Think about them isolated from each other and then bring them together. What would each ask of the other? What is the question?
Poetry Prompt from Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Let’s do something with color. Select two paintings. Check out an artist’s standard color wheel. Pick one color and then its opposite. Let’s do Blue and Orange. So I’m looking at some of Joan Mitchell’s stuff for Blue. I then think of a poem that invokes “orange” in some way. Let’s think about Louise Glück’s poem “Mock Orange.” Spend extended time examining Mitchell and Glück. Wait a few hours or days before trying to write anything down. Think about them isolated from each other and then bring them together. What would each ask of the other? What is the question? Write a poem that tries to meet the space between the two. If that’s too meta, then take one of the questions in Glück’s poem, “Mock Orange,”—“How can I rest? / How can I be content / when there is still / that odor in the world?” Use these questions to write about a Joan Mitchell painting that conveys a language of Blue.
Her other books include Lighting the Shadow, Mule & Pear, The Requited Distance, and Miracle Arrhythmia. Griffiths’ work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Tin House, and many other journals and magazines.
Read her interview with WTP Poetry Editor Sara London here.