THE LITERARY LIFE The Time Is Now
Writing prompts and exercises.
Here’s a strange question that might get some ideas flowing: Where do spiders and stars overlap? Jumping spiders, whose eyes have tubelike structures akin to Galileo’s telescope, have retinas that can swivel so the arachnids are able to look in different directions without moving their heads. Despite being only a few millimeters long, the spiders have eyes that are capable of discerning the moon, according to calculations by scientists. Use the notion of moon-gazing spiders as a launchpad for a poem that draws together two unlikely objects—a celestial body and an earthly body. You might also find inspiration in John Donne’s “The Flea” or Marilyn Nelson’s “Crows,” which incongruously pair the examination of metaphysical subject matter with a mundane physical creature.