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NaPoWriMo Prompt #14: From Me to You

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

"Studio V2" Shared by flickr user insEyedout, used via Creative Commons License.

"Studio V2" Shared by flickr user insEyedout, used via Creative Commons License.

Difficulty: 2/5

In the old days, way back before SnapChat and Twitter and however else y'all communicate with one another, before even the crotchety old email, there were things called letters. They were like emails, but took longer to get to there.

From that quaint old method of contact comes the epistolary poem, which is basically a letter in poem form. Here's one of the most famous, by my friend and yours, Langston Hughes:

Letter
Dear Mama,
    Time I pay rent and get my food
and laundry I don't have much left
but here is five dollars for you
to show you I still appreciates you.
My girl-friend send her love and say
she hopes to lay eyes on you sometime in life.
Mama, it has been raining cats and dogs up
here. Well, that is all so I will close.
    Your son baby
        Respectably as ever,
          Joe

As you begin, think about who you want to write to--your mom, as the speaker in Hughes' poem; another relative, a friend? Your future or past self? Whoever Might Find This Poem in the future? And consider, if you're going to spend the time writing a letter, what do you need to say? What's worth writing down to let someone else know? The true beauty of the epistolary poem is its limitless potential, bound by neither time nor space--embrace the freedom!


Have you registered for the Poem-A-Thon yet? Sign up to write poems and raise money for the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council today! We just ordered some pretty sweet one-inch buttons that are yours for free if you play along with us. And don't forget to send us your poems for publication on this here blog: flashbangwriting@gmail.com.