12 April 2010

April Poem A Day Challenge Day 12

Poetic Asides: For today's prompt, pick a city, make that the title of your poem, and write a poem. Your poem can praise or belittle the city. Your poem could be about the city or about the people of the city. Your poem could even have seemingly nothing to do with the city. But the simple act of picking a city will set the mood (to a certain degree), so choose wisely.

This was a fairly easy and fun prompt for me. I had the city in mind instantly. Siena. I spent time there in college, going to the University of Siena (Università degli Studi di Siena) in Italy, where I majored in Art History, of course. It was wonderful to live amid all the art, tour the churches and museums, practically live art history every day, and be able to jump on a train and run up to Amsterdam to see the Van Gogh Museum, or pop over to France for the Louvre.

I liked this prompt because it never occurred to me before to tackle things this way. I have the idea in my mind to do a poem for each city I have lived in – there's about 20. It could be fun to do. The prompt is also wide open in how to approach the city poem. I think it still needs to give the feel for the city so people can live vicariously.

I have one Siena poem done, and another roughed out, because you can't think about Siena without remembering the Palio and the colorful parade of contrade. (sort of city subdivisions, but way more involved) I belonged to the Valdimontone (Ram) contrada at the time. The display of colorful banners, parades, feasts, and fierce dedication to their horse for the big Palio was inspiring. The Palio is sort of a galloping train wreck of a horse race that careens around the city square. It has to be seen to be believed, experienced to get under your skin for life.
So now I'm curious.

What city moves you to poetry?


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