Poem A Day Prompt: Shakespeare

Some not yet jaded mountain(hill?)eers – Lose Hill, Peak District. April 2016


I picked today’s prompt based on the fact that I wasn’t feeling very creative, so instead of a topic/theme it was easier to pick a ‘rule prompt’. The rule was to write a poem with a title made up of two words invented by Shakespeare. The website I used for my word list can be found here. I added my own constraint that each line should be only 4 words long, since I’m trying to get better at being more concise and not overexplaining in my poems. I also ended up using a lot of language from the list in the poem, and have underlined the words in the poem that were Shakespeare-coined.

The content of the poem was probably inspired a little by Andrew Waterhouse’s ‘Climbing My Grandfather’, which I have taught this year as part of the AQA GCSE course. The poet in question was a keen mountaineer that went on to commit suicide; I found the idea tragic, since as mountain climbers hold a bit of a cliche status as ‘grab life by the balls perma happy sunrise chasers’. I put that in quotation marks but I’m pretty sure it’s not actually a coined term. Until now…

Emily Shakespeare x

Jaded Mountaineer

The jaded mountaineer climbs;
Vaulting upwards, vaulting through
a deafening noiseless sky.
Addiction to amazement drives
this jaded man with
moonbeams in his eyes.
Negotiating scree, securing handholds:
summit in his sights,
with frugal half movements,
dauntless bloodstained hands and
dawnlight in his eyes.
It’s lonely up there
in the obscene tranquillity.
No-one will listen to
his majestic coldblooded cry
as he surveys the
countless laughable discontents below:
“That’s all there is?
So let me die!”

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