“Beauty is certainly a soft, smooth, slippery thing, and therefore of a nature which easily slips in and permeates our souls.” – Plato
“In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.” – Christopher Morley
“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again.” -William Faulkner
“Art is a microscope which the artist fixes on the secrets of his soul, and shows to people these secrets which are common to all.” – Leo Tolstoy
“That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.” – Ninon de L’Enclos
“Art is the concrete artifact of faith and expectation, the realization of a world that would otherwise be little more than a veil of pointless consciousness stretched over a gulf of mystery.” – Stephen King
Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting week at Prompt Nights. A work of art is considered to be an epitome of the world. It is the result or expression of nature; for although the works of nature are innumerable and different, the result or the expression of them are rather similar and single. Hence a poet, painter, musician and architect, each seek to concentrate the radiance of the world and strive to satisfy the love of beauty which stimulates them to produce. Tonight our task is simple. Write a poem or prose revolving around either the subject of beauty or a piece of art. Explore the unlimited possibilities and perhaps combine both if need be. Previously written work is more than welcome. For further inspiration please refer to the two amazing poems below:
Ode to Beauty
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Who gave thee, O Beauty!
The keys of this breast,
Too credulous lover
Of blest and unblest?
Say when in lapsed ages
Thee knew I of old;
Or what was the service
For which I was sold?
When first my eyes saw thee,
I found me thy thrall,
By magical drawings,
Sweet tyrant of all!
I drank at thy fountain
False waters of thirst;
Thou intimate stranger,
Thou latest and first!
Thy dangerous glances
Make women of men;
New-born we are melting
Into nature again.
Lavish, lavish promiser,
Nigh persuading gods to err,
Guest of million painted forms
Which in turn thy glory warms,
The frailest leaf, the mossy bark,
The acorn’s cup, the raindrop’s arc,
The swinging spider’s silver line,
The ruby of the drop of wine,
The shining pebble of the pond,
Thou inscribest with a bond
In thy momentary play
Would bankrupt Nature to repay.
Ah! what avails it
To hide or to shun
Whom the Infinite One
Hath granted his throne?
The heaven high over
Is the deep’s lover,
The sun and sea
Informed by thee,
Before me run,
And draw me on,
Yet fly me still,
As Fate refuses
To me the heart Fate for me chooses,
Is it that my opulent soul
Was mingled from the generous whole,
Sea valleys and the deep of skies
Furnished several supplies,
And the sands whereof I’m made
Draw me to them self-betrayed?
I turn the proud portfolios
Which hold the grand designs
Of Salvator, of Guercino,
And Piranesi’s lines.
I hear the lofty Pæans
Of the masters of the shell,
Who heard the starry music,
And recount the numbers well:
Olympian bards who sung
Divine Ideas below,
Which always find us young,
And always keep us so.
Oft in streets or humblest places
I detect far wandered graces,
Which from Eden wide astray
In lowly homes have lost their way.
Thee gliding through the sea of form,
Like the lightning through the storm,
Somewhat not to be possessed,
Somewhat not to be caressed,
No feet so fleet could ever find,
No perfect form could ever bind.
Thou eternal fugitive
Hovering over all that live,
Quick and skilful to inspire
Sweet extravagant desire,
Starry space and lily bell
Filling with thy roseate smell,
Wilt not give the lips to taste
Of the nectar which thou hast.
All that’s good and great with thee
Stands in deep conspiracy.
Thou hast bribed the dark and lonely
To report thy features only,
And the cold and purple morning
Itself with thoughts of thee adorning,
The leafy dell, the city mart,
Equal trophies of thine art,
E’en the flowing azure air
Thou hast touched for my despair,
And if I languish into dreams,
Again I meet the ardent beams.
Queen of things! I dare not die
In Being’s deeps past ear and eye,
Lest there I find the same deceiver,
And be the sport of Fate forever.
Dread power, but dear! if God thou be,
Unmake me quite, or give thyself to me.
by Anne Bradstreet
To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings,
Of cities founded, commonwealths begun,
For my mean pen are too superior things:
Or how they all, or each, their dates have run;
Let poets and historians set these forth,
My obscure lines shall not so dim their work.
But when my wondering eyes and envious heart
Great Bartas’ sugared lines do but read o’er,
Fool I do grudge the Muses did not part
‘Twixt him and me that overfluent store;–
A Bartas can do what a Bartas will,
But simple I according to my skill.
From school-boys tongues no rhetoric we expect,
Nor yet a sweet consort from broken strings,
Nor perfect beauty where’s a main defect:
My foolish, broken, blemished Muse so sings;
And this to mend, alas, no art is able,
‘Cause nature made is so, irreparable.
Nor can I, like that fluent, sweet-tongued Greek
Who lisped at first, in future times speak plain;
By art he gladly found what he did seek–
A full requitl of his striving pain.
Art can do much, but this maxim’s most sure:
A weak or wounded brain admits no cure.
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fits.
A poet’s pen all scorn I should thus wrong;
For such despite they cast on female wits,
If what I do prove well, it won’t advance–
They’ll say it was stolen, or else it was by chance.
But shure the ancient Greeks were far more mild,
Else of our sex why feignéd they those Nine,
And Posey made Calliope’s own child?
So ‘mongst the rest they placed the Arts Divine.
But this weak knot they will full soon untie–
The Greeks did naught but play the fools and lie.
Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are.
Men have precenency, and still excell.
It is but vain unjustly to wage war,
Men can do best, and women know it well.
Preëminence in all and each is yours–
Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours.
And oh, ye high flownquills that soar the skies,
And ever with your prey still catch your praise,
If e’er you deign these lowly lines your eyes,
Give thyme or parsley wreath; I ask no bays.
This mean and unrefinéd ore of mine
Will make your glistening gold but more to shine.
So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ❤️