Friday, December 4, 2020

a line that strikes you

Our fellow Sunday Swagger Molly Hogan has challenged us to use this all-purpose prompt recommended by Holly Lyn Walrath.

Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.”

It is absolutely true, evidenced by my 15-minute application of these directions, that it could not be simpler to get going!  And you have the added bonus of honoring those who are your inspirations.  Here are the first lines from "Winter Dark," by Lilian Moore, and here is my poem thereby inspired and retitled.

"Winter dark comes early
mixing afternoon
and night."


how it surprises us.
it is day, a gray day; 
day, even a sunny one,
and then

suddenly, so subtle

comes the drifting drop
of dark, floating down 
fast and heavy,
a hood over our heads.

if lights, they bright up.

how we are shocked
to find it is night, a gray night;
night, maybe a moonlit one,
has snatched us.

instadraft ©Heidi Mordhorst 2020

You can see the how each of the other Swaggers tackled this by clicking below.

Catherine Flynn @ Reading to the Core 
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone 
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise 
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche

And our host for today is Mary Lee at A Year of Reading, where there's a two-for-one special featuring Irene Latham!


  1. I've found myself thinking, "Oh, it's near dinner time" when really it's only 4:30! I like the idea that Molly gave to you all, and the way you responded, Heidi. "Snatched" might also apply to our time this year! Enjoy your weekend!

  2. ooooooh snatched up into night. I love that idea. This night feels soft and safe even if it's wintery. Maybe moonlight makes it feel this way.

  3. This is a great poem about how night snatches you in winter. I barely have time to get home before lights out these days. "Comes the drifting drop of dark."

  4. Winter dark is ever present in Maine. I still remember how hard it was to adjust to turning on lights at 3:30 in the afternoon when we first moved here. Snatched is a perfect word choice. I also love the alliteration in "drifting drop of dark."

  5. Winter does have a habit of snatching the day away as you note Heidi. I like where you have gone using Lilian Moore as inspiration. Your words have established themselves independently of the spark that ignited them. It further emphasizes the importance reading plays in our lives as writers and poets.

  6. It does feel if the day is snatched from us at this time of year. "The drifting drop of dark" is stunning. Well done, Heidi!

  7. Heidi, what you gathered from Moore's poem is so poetically delivered in "snatched".
    so subtle/comes the drifting drop/of dark, floating down - love this image. Darkness sneaks up for sure this time of year but I am always surprised. Perhaps, there is a bit of hopefulness here because moonlight always bring a sense of wonder and peace.

  8. Snatched is a wonderfully evocative word and when paired with the dark, well, that 's perfect! It sounds like a great poetry form to get things going.

  9. You've described the surprise of winter night PERFECTLY!

  10. Even here in the tropics, the days are drawing in. Lovely poem!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!