Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fairy Tale Prompt: Volume 1

"Miranda at the Stern"

If you haven't seen this before or are new to SSiG, this is a writing prompt community project in which we share our art and writing for encouragement and constructive criticism.

Click here for the rules and deadline.

I'm posting this way ahead of time in case some people are still unclear about how to go about participating and what that participation entails.

Copyright Claudia Bernasconi Esposito.  Source.

Reflecting on the prompt (above) made me think of undines, which became the wreaths or petals of the poem, and grew backward and inward from there.

I would be very grateful for a critical eye: style, word choice, stanzas, story, anything that catches your attention.  I purposefully did not ask for feedback on this before hand.  

The idea is to encourage and critique.  But please be gentle and considerate!  We want to uplift, not to trample.*

Miranda at the Stern

The buoyant fruit, seeded
with pearlescent faces bearing names
of extinct, pedantic gods,
dives from father's cay
in albatross form, sails puffed
but breathless, catching no current,
slapped by the wide palms of rain;
the mineral sea a mouthless
appetite, devouring islands, spitting them
back like stones.
The waves' tongues pitch and roll
the rootless boat.  Fish-eyed
undines swirl, stare
at she who tore and drifted through
the veil, broke the soot-circumference
of Prospero's pentagrams, forsook
what is solid, with no place
to anchor.

*  Please also be aware when offering constructive criticism that, as a writer once said about her craft, "there are no mistakes, only effects."  Tone and style are unique and personal.  It can be hard for the un-trained critiquer to recognize the difference between what isn't working and what isn't his personal taste.  I would be mortified if, through a desire to help foster someone's creative inclinations to art and writing, we unwittingly discourage and cause self-doubt and discouragement.



  1. One of the things I love about your poems, & this one especially, is that they live in all the senses at once. I can almost taste this one, it's so briney and cold, with just a hint of sweetness.

    First reading it, I wanted to open it up a bit, break it into stanzas. Reading it again, I know I wrong. It belongs as it is, I think, all fluid and organic.

    1. Thank you, Masha, that is such a treasured compliment, you have no idea!

      What do you think of "sails puffed/but breathless." I don't know if that's possible. And do you picture with "albatross form" that it is kind of lunging, with its wings/sails out?

  2. I loved "sails puffed/but breathless." it made sense to me, it made me think of asthma, sucking in air but not being able to use it. I don't know if that's exactly what you're going for, but it work really well in my mind.

    "albatross form" I did think of lunging down, wings out and back and sort of awkward and heavy, but natural with the sea all the same.

  3. Hi, Christie!

    I <3 the "extinct, pedantic gods" and have a knee-jerk preference for "pearly" over "pearlescent," but that's just me being too sleepy to read carefully; maybe I'll come back when I'm more awake.

    Also, "soot-circumference."

    Have you read Undine? Because that would be awesome!

    An "albatross form" to me is wings-out, but above all teetery, being kind of wind-wobbled all the time.


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