Freewrite Friday · Original Writing

Freewrite Friday: Hunger and Thirst

What do we all hunger for? What do we all thirst for? Is it justice? Peace? Redemption? Truth? Or do we simply need a cup of coffee or a sandwich to satisfy us?

This week we’ve talked about some great pairings between books and tea as well as how to snack by genre. So, for our Freewrite Friday I’d like to challenge you to do an uncommon form of poetry on a similar subject. Today we are going to write a list poem about food and drink, about items for which we hunger or thirst.

Freewrite Friday Official List Poem

What’s a List Poem?

It’s a pretty common form in classrooms, yet I think that the precision needed to write this type of poem is really a powerful form for all ages. According to Betsy Franco’s Excerpts from Conversations with a Poet, a list poem has the following elements:

  • A list poem can be a list or inventory of items, people, places, or ideas.
  • It often involves repetition.
  • It can include rhyme or not.
  • The list poem is usually not a random list. It is well thought out.
  • The last entry in the list is usually a strong, funny, or important item or event.
There are many ways that you can approach this prompt. You can think of hunger and thirst as abstract ideas (listing items associated with your hunger for truth), or you can think of hunger and thirst literally to create a list of food or drink items that combine to communicate some sort of message. You could even write a grocery list or a menu and have it reflect some truth about yourself or the world around you.
My advice is to start listing items and simply go back to reorganize it to really make your juxtaposition of the elements have the most meaning. Play around with your list and see if you can’t find multiple ways to say something meaningful and interesting!

My List Poem

Once again, dear friends, I went a little dark with this freewrite. I wish I could be more upbeat, but that’s not the truth I’m searching for this morning.

Feed

My mother would feed
     The deer
     The squirrels
     The cardinals
Illegally in our suburban backyard
Using countryside fodder she made special trips to buy.

My mother would feed
     Dried corn
     Salt licks
     Sunflower seeds
Religiously in our suburban backyard
Thinking without her benevolence they would die.

My mother now feeds
     The gods
     The grubs
     The ground
Eternally in a suburban churchyard
Giving sustenance long after her goodbye.

A little more sing-songy than my usual poetry, but I like a good challenge to try something new!
How did you find this freewrite prompt? Was it challenging or did it get you out of a writing rut? Share your poems and ideas below!
Lit & Love,
Amy Signature
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