“Beware of expanding what is clear. A literary work is produced by means of art, a book by means of ink and paper. You may produce a work in two pages, and only make a book although you fill ten volumes folio.” – Joseph Joubert
“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what other men say in whole books — what other men do not say in whole books.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
“Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
“To literature belongs the mighty privilege of embalming, for all ages, the departed kings of intellect. There they repose within the eternal pyramids of their fame.” – Robert Aris Willmott
“A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” – William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style.
“So often is the virgin sheet of paper more real than what one has to say, and so often one regrets having marred it.” – Harold Acton
“Words — so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting week at Prompt Nights. It’s often said that brevity is the soul of wit; that it’s he who by his way of charming another with fewer words excels in the realms of Literature. Well, it certainly is by no means an art. Tonight, I want each and every one of you to write a short poem on a topic of your choosing. It can be a poem not more than a 100 words. You can also opt to write a tanka, a senryu, a haiku, a haibun or perhaps even a quadrille; just as long as the poem conforms to the rules of brevity. Previously written work is more than welcome. For further inspiration please refer to the three amazing poems below:
by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
by Henry Van Dyke
Not to the swift, the race:
Not to the strong, the fight:
Not to the righteous, perfect grace:
Not to the wise, the light.
But often faltering feet
Come surest to the goal;
And they who walk in darkness meet
The sunrise of the soul.
by Emily Dickinson
Faith—is the Pierless Bridge
Supporting what We see
Unto the Scene that We do not—
Too slender for the eye
It bears the Soul as bold
As it were rocked in Steel
With Arms of Steel at either side—
It joins—behind the Veil
To what, could We presume
The Bridge would cease to be
To Our far, vacillating Feet
A first Necessity.