I just finished week one of a new school year. Everyone is writing. My creative writing students are (re)establishing their writing practice with timed writing and go-to prompts (like I Remember…) but I fit in one exercise with a group.
As You Like It from Room To Write by Bonni Goldberg
Today draw comparisons between two things. Choose at least one from your surroundings. The other can be an object, a person, or an abstract concept like love, jealousy, fate. How many ways can you compare them? Go for at least twenty-five. Stretch yourself.
I looked up at my classroom ceiling. I wasn’t going to compare a ceiling tile to anything. I wrote down Fluorescent Light. Then I cheated a little, thinking of two or three immediate comparisons, and wrote Truth. We gave ourselves fifteen minutes. I got to number five in my list and blanked. It got easier around number fifteen or sixteen, until I got to number twenty-four.
- can be harsh
- brings clarity to a situation
- not shy
- hidden until a switch is thrown
- runs on a current
- can prompt finding a softer alternative
- sometimes unwelcome
- long lasting
- hums under conversation
- made strong through/ by reflection
- sees the way flesh goes: cellulite, bruising, pores, lines, veins
- can yellow
- not always everywhere we go
- may cause a headache
- wakes you up, ready or not
- knows not everyone is a fan
- offers no apology or excuse
- can change the atmosphere of a room
- conserves energy
- eliminates shadow
- restricts what happens next
Try it. Turn it into a poem. Or explore a comparison from your list.