Updated: Jan 7, 2022
Trigger Warning: The following prompts all revolve around the theme of death. It may be triggering to contemplate the themes discussed below. We do not go into a graphic description but please read and use these prompts with discretion. Take care of yourselves!
1. Different cultures have diverse theories on what happens after death. In some cultures, the dead turn into crows and watch their families from the rooftops. In some, they become stars and watch us from above. Some believe in voids, others in spirits. Explore the idea of what happens after one’s death and use metaphors to craft a poem.
2. With Death comes Liberation. Compose a poem describing death as a saviour from this world. What would such a liberation look like? Would we come to be one with the soil and grow into the little flowers peeking in between grass straws? Would it mean becoming one with the water droplets that evaporate into the ether, then returning into the oceans where we'd end up inside oysters becoming pearls? Or is it an escape from a body of bones and muscles and a beating heart that once constricted the soul?
3. With Death comes Liberation, or so they say. Write a poem exploring the terrors of the afterlife. What happens after death is uncertainty and that is one of the most fearsome emotions we could ever feel. Is it pitchforks and lava bubbling on the other end? Or is it pitch black darkness and nothing more? Write a poem revolving around these ideas and use your creativity to think about what terrors we could face.
4. A child is the symbol of youth and liveliness. How does a child look at Death? Is it merely something that Mum and Dad refuse to talk about? Or does the child see Death on Grandfather’s ashen face and his limp fingers? What else could the child associate death with? Advance one step further and step into the eyes of Death and look at a child. Write both these poems or write them as one; you choose!
5. Death is usually described in dismal colours like black, grey, sometimes white. Maybe blue for the sadness or red for gore. Try describing death in other colours. For instance, brown symbolises the soil that we eventually become a part of. If you’d like, consider sharing the poems you write using these prompts in the Cove Forum!
6. We often look at death as Death; a person or power above us. For once, let’s push it beneath us or hold it within our hands. No death for the ones do not fear Death, they say. Write a poem belittling Death and reducing it to death alone. As artists, even if our life leaves the earth, we altogether might not. We leave behind our thoughts, our emotions and our stories on paper and if anything, they will live on. Go one step further and explore this idea in one of your poems.
I hope these prompts inspire some words out of you. Make sure to share your poems with the other Covers for reading or for feedback. I was wary of sharing these prompts and hope they weren’t too triggering to think about.