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Writing Prompts for These Times

Parents across the country find yourselves joining the words “home” and “school” as a real thing in your lives for the first time. If that seems like a bad joke or an oxymoron (the way #alonetogether does), you may be scrambling for resources–something to accomplish after your kiddos complete their toilet paper roll art projects.

Here is a writing project for you.

An Aubade is a poem or song that welcomes the dawn or laments the ending of night (or both). An Aubade can also be a song. According a  March 12, 2018 explanation in the  New York Times, the word was first used in 1678 and was adopted by the French from the Spanish word “alba,” meaning sunrise.

Two of my favorite Aubade poems (for older students) are “Aubade With Burning City by Ocean Vuong and “Aubade Ending with the Death of a Mosquito” by Tarfia Faizullah  https://poetrysociety.org/features/in-their-own-words/tarfia-faizullah-on-aubade-ending-with-the-death-of-a-mosquito.

For younger students, here is an example of an Aubade poem that I composed with you in mind this morning, using Prompt #3 below. I have bolded the words which answer the questions in Prompt #3:

The sun rises in the east to the sound of a drip–

black coffee and oatmeal on my spoon–

I talk to myself stringing thoughts together

like tiny daisies on black silk pajamas.

I could still sleep to  this light.

Writing Prompts: Listen to the following “Morning Song” and watch the video footage of a sunrise as you listen.

  1. Write down the words that come to your mind as you watch and listen. Use these words to write a poem that welcomes the dawn or laments the end of night (or both).
  2. Are you a morning person? A night owl? Write about yourself and the ways that you either celebrate the morning or lament the end of sleep.
  3. Write down 3-5 words taken from your morning routine. What kind of toothpaste do you use? What do you usually eat for breakfast? Who is the first person you usually talk to in the morning? What patterns are on your favorite pajamas? You can devise your own questions about morning to answer and use in this prompt.
  4. (More challenging) Write an Aubade poem in which a sunrise is a symbol for the end of one season of your life and the beginning of a new phase (graduating high school or college, ending a relationship, living after loss of a loved one,  the end of your school year and beginning of home education, for example).

By smalltownbiglife

Poetry is my thing!

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