Poems of Childhood

I just read David Orr’s essay “The Style of Luis de Gongora” collected in his You, Too, Could Write a Poem. His argument is that the debates over whether poetry is simple or difficult are debates about style. He cites lines from Wallace Stevens and Frank O’Hara to illustrate the differences in their respective styles to lead into an analysis of the early modern, Spanish poet Luis de Gongora’s work. His writing is compelling, approachable, and persuasive, so that his point seems obvious. The whole collection is well worth checking out.


Children’s minds are wondrous. They ask questions, many simple and profound, and are unafraid to share their doubt, skepticism, and curiosity. Uncovering the child-self inside any person is often key to regaining intimacy with your creative self. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is concerned with recreating a life in which that child-self is welcome and safe.

This week’s prompt takes inspiration from those connections and from a neat op-docs piece on the NYT’s site.


Imagine one of your childhood friends, think back to your early days when you saw this friend regularly and the times you had together. What are the questions you would like to ask that person? What are the questions you wanted to ask them when you were a child? Write a poem in only questions that captures the nature of your relationship with this friend. Use words that you might have used then, language that reflects the nature of the friendship, a structure that mirrors the fabric of that connection.