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  • Matthew Foley

Writing Prompt: The Way It Is With Children


This week’s Contribute Your Verse writing prompt is called “The Way It Is With Children”, based on a line from one of my favorite poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Here’s a little excerpt:


"I believe is all that has never yet been spoken. I want to free what waits within me so that what no one has dared to wish for may for once spring clear without my contriving.


If this is arrogant, God, forgive me, but this is what I need to say. May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children."


I love this poem, especially those last lines, because they express a profound truth about creativity.


We’ve all noticed that children have this magical capacity to create and express themselves - to dance, to sing, to paint, to make up stories - free of the kind of self-consciousness that comes with adulthood & adult responsibilities.


As Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”


So, this week’s prompt is designed to free your creativity throughout adopting the perspective of a child.


When you get into your writing space, take a few deep breaths and let go of your adult responsibilities from the day, all those adult worries and concerns.


Begin to imagine yourself as a small child again, looking out at the world with fresh, innocent eyes.


What do you see?  What do you feel?  What does this child want to express?


Let the words flow from you like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.


Good luck & happy writing.

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