Prompt: Positive or Negative Effects on Love and Kindness

The prompt came from the book “Art as Experience” by John Dewey. In one section he describes that for art to be whole, it has to have its own unity. Each word in a poem has to come from what came before it, and contribute to the words that come after.

The example is an excerpt from Wordsworth’s “The Prelude.”

…the wind and sleety rain,
And all the business of the elements,
The single sheep, and the one blasted tree,
And the bleak music from that old stone wall,
The noise of wood and water, and the mist
That on the line of each of these two roads
Advanced in such indisputable shapes.

The wind as the noun is not described in adjectives but in the descriptions of what followed in the poem, the single sheep, blasted tree, bleak music from the stone wall, noise of wood and water…all paint the sense and emotional quality of the state of the wind.

Part one of the prompt was to write at least 7 words that leave you with a negative feeling, each one building upon the other. Then write at least 7 words that leave you with a positive feeling, building upon the previous one.

Part two of the prompt was to write something about the negative or positive effects on the topic of love and kindness, growing the feeling as the word choices push the reader forward with the growing emotions.


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