Last night (at the San Jose subZERO festival) I sat at a table writing poems on demand with key words provided by the poem demanders. It was fun. It was hard work, too, oh boy oh boy. One woman wrote that she wanted a poem about being anxious about the future, graduation, “but I love my hair.” I was intrigued, and wrote her a poem about her wonderful hair — even though she had disappeared and I had no idea what she looked like (by the time her poem prompt got to me, furiously typing behind the screen…).
Hair is a very sensual human characteristic, right up there with lips and eyes. People do love their hair. Or they hate it. Hair is the subject of song and painting, story and myth. And yes, there are many poems about hair. Go to The Poetry Foundation and type “hair” in the search box. Then limit the 1786 items found by “poem” and you still will be offered 1000 choices. Click this link if you don’t believe me.
So, your prompt today is to write about hair. Write about your hair, how much you like it, miss it, what it’s like to get it cut, the way it falls in your eyes when you’re working, or the way it falls across your lover’s cheek. Write about your lover’s hair. Write about the hair that flies across a garden to be found by a bird, making part of a nest. Write about cat hair on your best suit coat. You can do it.
If you need inspiration:
- Read (or listen to) Eleanor Wilner’s “The Girl With Bees in Her Hair“
- Read “For My Wife Cutting My Hair” by Bruce Guernsey
- Enjoy the poem “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” by Stephen C. Foster, listen to Marilyn Horne (soprano) sing the song, Thomas Hampson (bass) sing the song (with flute accompaniment) — I think this is the best versions, with piano.
Or, if you’ve gotten this far in to this post, check out Lady Gaga singing “Hair” and then see if you can write a poem about something that means that much to you. (Have fun, love your Cup PL)