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Poetry Prompts

Monday Poetry Prompt: Waste Land

This month marks the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, so let’s write a waste land poem.

You don’t have to know the poem to use the prompt though I strongly encourage you to read The Waste Land at some point in your career as a poet. It’s a remarkable work and obtuse in the extreme. Best to read it with one of the many online guides so you can decipher his arcane references.

Whether you read it or not, don’t waste this prompt and post your poem in the comments below.


About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.


15 thoughts on “Monday Poetry Prompt: Waste Land

  1. I’ve stood at the edge of the event horizon
    watching the frenzied firefall of the end of all things
    time frozen in their last moments of being
    bits of our world in various states of destruction
    Old Cribs, Orange Dodge Challengers
    Nixon for President buttons
    Let’s Go Mets
    And as I turn to walk away I saw my world extend before me
    All the things that I had done
    Code still in Alpha
    The Harris Teeter down the street
    The Indian cashier I’ve seen almost daily for 7 years
    A bright ring in each own-star day
    Children catching the bus to the new middle school
    Just built with funds allocated years ago
    The dark floaters in my eyes
    looking like living shadows
    eye worms
    in the larch near the northern outskirts of Kiev
    unlucky insects caught on the pool’s surface
    Too small to be be saved by even the most ardent Jain
    I reached down to scoop them all out
    and lay them gently on the side of the warm green grass
    watch them stretch their water logged bodies
    crawl away through the grass
    diapered toddlers
    who quickly join the line to get on the bus
    before it pulls away.

    And in the reflective glint of the bus’s windows
    I see behind me darkness of a world uncreated
    where the light of the warm-lovers moon and a high-and-lonesome moon
    shine together upon the nightland behind me
    green and purple streaks
    Clouds illuminated moving across the sky
    the mother tree reaching out with arms widespread
    I turn to walk towards it
    and find that I am unable to head in that direction
    it is only then that I realize
    the true nature of event horizon
    and where it actually is

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Chris Clarke | October 30, 2022, 11:01 PM
  2. Soldier on

    The city is stirred to uncertainty
    among concrete slabs
    and slate stones

    Grey is the mood
    mixing with false Hope
    of a human Messiah
    clothed in eloquent speech
    and charisma

    Change births no life
    autumn leaves bring on doom
    Yet, we are still hopeful
    knowing the joy of spring

    The vision of new life
    and growth
    gives us the strength
    to plough through the wasteland

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Cassa Bassa | October 27, 2022, 5:19 PM
  3. Apologies. Travel lag!! Are you able to delete my original post Bartholomew?


    Posted by Gypsie-Ami Offenbacher-Ferris | October 24, 2022, 7:35 PM

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