It's Poetry Monday! Started by Diane at On the Alberta/Montana Border, and joined by Delores at Mumblings. Join us in writing, or share a poem you like, or just read and enjoy ... or you can cross to the other side of the street and run away. It's all good. Just come back when the danger has receded, eh?
This is a poem I wrote a few years ago based on the writing prompt: "Write a poem that contains only questions."
Is There A Problem?
You want me to do what?
Write a poem that contains only questions?
What kind of a suggestion is that?
Do you realize how silly you're being?
Do you know how hard it is to do?
Do you care?
If you don't care, why should I?
Did you get this idea from "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" *
Why aren't you answering me?
Are you upset with me?
Can't you hear me?
How can I get you to speak?
Will I regret it if you do?
How long can I keep this up?
Would you like to call it quits?
Can I join you?
Can we never do this again?
Can you stop whining now?
Can I apologize now?
Must you cover your eyes and ears like that?
Isn't this the worst poem ever?
Can you prove you wrote a worse one?
Is there a prize involved?
How will I know when I am done here?
Are you as bored as I am?
Why are we still here?
Who thinks I should stop writing?
Are you sincere?
Is it even possible to stop?
What if I never find the right words to finish?
Doesn't everyone want their poem to end with a bang?
Can you believe I think I'm finished?
Can you at least try?
Do you think I should write another poem?
Will you pay me to stop?
Do you know - ouch! - how much that rotten tomato hurt?
*Note: "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" refers to both a short-lived British radio show and its spin-off American improvisational TV comedy. One of the regular skits requires the actors/comedians to converse only in questions - unscripted and unrehearsed. For a Youtube video example, click HERE.
* * *
Last Monday, I stated my intention to give up the use of exclamation marks for one week.
It was about as difficult as I had expected. The week is over now, and I have put them back in my pencil case along with my ellipses, dashes, and asterisks, with a big sigh of relief.
Actually, I didn't last the full week. I cheated toward the end.
The exercise was useful, though, because it raised my awareness of my writing habits. I immediately realized just how much I use exclamation marks. I also realized that I don't always overuse them. If the topic is a serious one, or if I'm writing business-type correspondence, I don't feel the need to use them at all. I also realized that my writing style here is often like my speaking style with friends - relaxed and animated. It's hard for me to express myself in real life without some body language and excited talking, and in my writing I've decided to go back to flinging punctuation around like confetti to convey my enthusiasm.
... Maybe not like confetti. Maybe less than that.
But it is not a crime to use exclamation marks! It might be a crime to use smiley faces, but until the Smiley Face Police come to get me, I'm hanging on to those little guys too.