The Crossroads – Prose to Poetry

At the dVerse Poets Pub today readers were challenged to take a piece of prose and turn it into poetry. The prompt suggested finding an existing piece of prose in the public domain, but I was uncomfortable with doing something like that with another’s writing, even if it is in the public domain. So I went to a short story I wrote a while back called The Crossroads, and used the first three paragraphs as the starting point for this poem. I actually think it works better as a poem than as the original short story.

The Crossroads

Sarah stared
through the picture window
across the perfectly
manicured lawn

She and John
settled here 
twenty years ago
It seemed like forever

Once she was happy here
but now a feeling
of discontent
and despair
crept over her

She knew
there was more to life
than what they had
Beyond the blooming
rose bushes
and the Sycamore tree
was the crossroads

She gazed thoughtfully
down the narrow
bumpy
dirt road
She knew where it led
Pure beauty
was found
down that road

She longed to move
away from the crossroads
down that dirt road
to a small house
with everything needed
to be content

But John
wouldn’t listen
His eye was on
a big mansion
up the highway

So here they stayed
at the crossroads
Neither willing
to go with the other
Neither willing
to go on alone

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21 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Fiction, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

21 responses to “The Crossroads – Prose to Poetry

  1. I think its great you chose your own work. That gets you directly to the essence of the challenge which stepping outside of your role as a visionary into the role of a nuts and bolts editor. By chosing a previous work, changing the medium/presentation/approach you have met this challenge in the most wonderful way!
    First off, I really liked your original story — it opens up in a way that reminds me of the Katherine Mansfield short story, “Bliss” — but it takes a very different term — but deals with important issues and works wonderfully as a metaphor.

    Your conversion of this into the poem, emphasizes the metaphor even more and brings a conciseness and focus greater than that you would be able to acheive in a traditonal short story format.

    Very well done!

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    • Thank you for such a wonderul comment! This was a really great exercise. I found it interesting as I worked on the poem how certain elements and word that seemed essential to fill out the short story were surplus baggage that weighed down the verse. Thank you for the challenge. Peace, Linda

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  2. I like it as a poem too. Crossroads is a powerful symbol. I understand that protagonist’s feelings too.

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  3. great closure linda…staying at the crossroads..unable to move neither forward nor backwards…not an easy place to be…well captured..

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  4. this is revealing, we face cross road often, but even if we make a wrong turn, we may still look back, and get a second chance.

    your poetry is deep, Glad to meet.

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  5. This is wonderful. I especially like the last stanza:
    “…Neither willing
    to go with the other
    Neither willing
    to go on alone”

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  6. Really powerful ending!

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  7. I love the Crossroads as a poem too!! So glad you used it! 🙂 Very powerful and pointed. God bless you as He keeps guiding you and your writing for Him. I am praying for you, for doors to be opened for the writing and speaking skills He has given you.

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  8. manicddaily

    Wonderful close–or stasis! Deadlock? K.

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  9. Ann

    Thank you, Linda
    Very nice 🙂
    “Neither willing to go with the other …Neither willing to go on alone” I like the sense of suspended animation

    Not sure why I thought of :
    1. Lot’s wife
    2 Abraham & Lot
    3. Ananias & Sapphire

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Blessings
    ann

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  10. nice…i love those last 4 lines…neither to go alone…or together…yet they will stay…like the symbolism of a cross roads as well and how it marries that conundrum

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  11. crossroads are sometimes a scary place to be, we are not sure if we went the right way.

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    • I guess as long as you are still at the crossroads you haven’t made a choice on which way to go and there’s still hope of making the right choice. It is scary, though, to have the choice before you. Peace, Linda

      Like

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