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Janet Hamill – Synesthesia Writing Prompt

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Janet Hamill – Synesthesia

 

Surrealist poet and fiction writer Janet Hamill has adapted her poetry prompt for us.

SYNAESTHESIA:  THE SENSES AND THE ART OF IMAGERY

Synesthesia – From the Greek, “perceive together.”  The intermingling of sensations; sensing for example, of certain sounds through colors or ordors.  Blending of sensations

To write the poem/ prose poem/flash fiction, choose from the sheet a symbol/subject from section A, a verb from section B, and a sense from section C.  In your poem you may use more than one item from each section.

(Flash prompt is based on this poetry prompt–)

Write a poem of a minimum of 10 lines (maximum 50) that uses synesthesia.

Correspondances

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.

Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.

II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
— Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,

Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.

— Charles Baudelaire

Correspondences

Nature is a temple where living pillars
Let sometimes emerge confused words;
Man crosses it through forests of symbols
Which watch him with intimate eyes.

Like those deep echoes that meet from afar
In a dark and profound harmony,
As vast as night and clarity,
So perfumes, colors, tones answer each other.

There are perfumes fresh as children’s flesh,
Soft as oboes, green as meadows,
And others, corrupted, rich, triumphant,

Possessing the diffusion of infinite things,
Like amber, musk, incense and aromatic resin,
Chanting the ecstasies of spirit and senses.

—Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)


hamillJanet Hamill’s books include Troublante (Oliphant Press),The Temple (Telephone Books), Nostalgia of the Infinite (Ocean View Books), Lost Ceilings (Telephone Books), Body of Water, ( Bowery Books), poetry collections, and Tales of the Eternal Café (Three Rooms Press), short stories.

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