Famous Starts with Humble Endings

Famous Starts is a creativity game wherein I choose the first line of famous poems, then you fill in the next line or more. Credit to Glyn Maxwell for the idea. The trick is not to read the original until AFTER you’re inspired to write your own humble ending.


Up here, with June, the sycamore throws
-Charlotte Mew, From A Window

Up here, with June, the sycamore throws
her golden hair in shafts of light
And twitches and twirls her seeds
Shaped like fairy lungs, holding minute
Breath as they find a space to breed.
Hers goes a completely different way, but I would argue that while mine jars the ear (sorry), it has promise. Hers is differently visually on the page – a bit jagged, almost seesawing. I think I like that better than my plodding strips.


Up here, with June, the sycamore throws
her golden hair down shafts of light
twitching and twirling
seeds like fairy lungs:
minute breath held
to find a home.

It looks more like falling seeds and shafts of light, yes? I think the shorter thoughts help with the song, but it still would need work.

How did yours turn out?


there’s a whispered prayer blowing
– Roberto Carlos Garcia, This Moment/Right Now

there’s a whispered prayer blowing
monotonous harmonies of care
the same notes over and over
but none of them lead anywhere.

His is leagues better than mine. Good grief! The next two lines are just amazing. I think because his are more concrete and visual, but still retain that lunar minor chord needed for a good poem. You know the rest of it is going to be dark and sorrowful somehow without him saying it! The rest of it’s excellent, and I hope you go read it. My question is…what is he doing with appearance on the page here? I am still trying to learn this part of writing poetry, and I’m not sure I grasp his intent.

Anyone have ideas?

As a bonus for today’s post, I have a new word for all of you to roll off your tongue: clishmaclaver – gossip or idle talk, first use 1720

You’re welcome!

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