It seems to me that some images provoke, others evoke, and still others invoke—and the best do all three.
I like this photograph for its many earthy textures, but even more for how it conjures certain feelings, reactions, and other images—of an owl’s face, for example, or the howl of the iconic figure in the series of Expressionist paintings by Edvard Munch.
In actuality, it’s half of an empty black walnut shell on a bed of drying pine needles and loose gravel. It’s lovely and reminds me of the towering black walnut tree that lived near the end of the driveway to the house where I grew up.
The tree’s long, narrow leaves seemed almost tropical to me, and in October its fruit—a strangely fleshy brown-green husk that encased the hard-shelled walnut—hurtled to earth and made a powdery mess on the tarmac.
We kids would pick up the fallen fruit, which left a sticky residue on our hands that was unpleasant, but didn’t stop us from touching. They were too fascinating, and the walnuts within too maddeningly well-protected, for us to resist.
Perhaps that’s partly why I’ve chosen this image for the first blogopus Poet Prompt. This little half-shell on its pine needle and gravel bed makes a big impression on the viewer.
Does it inspire you to reflect?
I invite you to arrange your thoughts in a single, four-line stanza—use whatever rhyme scheme and meter you wish—and send it to me at email@example.com (list “Poet Prompt, Walnut Shell” in the subject line). I’ll post the stanzas received on Saturday, November 26, along with a new prompt.
If you wish, give your stanza a title. I’ll include your name or post your stanza anonymously, if you prefer.
For those who are less familiar with poetic terms, a stanza is a group of lines of poetry that form a unit and typically have a set pattern of rhyme and meter. A four-line stanza is called a quatrain.
I’m looking forward to posting your stanzas!