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Thin Veil: Jodah Sentence Poetry Challenge


Alyssa is an avid reader, writer, and coffee enthusiast. She loves sharing thoughts, ideas, and creative writings with the world.


The Challenge

Creative writing is always something I've loved. Like many teenagers, I found myself exploring the world of poetry and short stories. I had notebooks and journals filled with poems, stories, and ideas. As I got older, responsibilities took precedence and I didn't have the time or energy to devote to creative writing. That all changed last year with Bill Holland's photo prompts. Each story stretched my creative muscles with an intense blaze that left me craving more. So much so, that I set a lofty New Year's goal of writing six new stories.

With that in mind, you can imagine my delight in finding John's prompt. The rules are simple: Choose a sentence and use each word as the beginning line of your poem or story. What a great idea!

When it comes to creative writing, poetry has always been easier for me. My philosophy: where poetry is concerned, anything goes. I have a tendency to throw convention out of the window. I'm not big on rhyming, focusing my attention on the rhythm and feel of each line. This prompt made my normal process a little more challenging and the sentence I selected didn't make it any easier either. Regardless, it was fun to give it a try.

Thank you for this idea, John! I know I'll be utilizing it in the future as I continue exploring my creative side.

The Inspiration

The sentence I selected is from All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. This was actually included as an epigraph of a novel I'm currently reading.

Side note: I just realized that I did not follow the simple rules of this prompt. Instead of the first word, I used the first letter of each word. That's still a good idea, I think, but I've made a note of clarification for the future. Stay tuned because I will properly attempt this prompt again soon.

For the truth is a terrible thing.

— Robert Penn Warren


For The Truth Is A Terrible Thing.

Faded cobblestones

Tell the tale; centuries of

Temptation, beckoning

Illusions of glory, fame, fortune; yours for the taking

A thin veil of promises shrouding

The simple, darker reality — misery and heartache, abandoned dreams

Tattered, wandering souls.


© 2021 Alyssa


Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 17, 2021:

This is what I love most about poetry... Interpretation is up to the reader. It can be cathartic reminiscing with friends. Reflecting back on the challenges reminds us how far we've come and reminds us of the importance of gratitude.

Thank you for taking the time to read my poem. :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 17, 2021:

Thank you so much Bill!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 17, 2021:

It's definitely an intriguing idea! Thank you Lora!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 17, 2021:

Thank you Brenda!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 17, 2021:


After reading your comment, I feel like you really get poetry more than I do.

You painted the perfect picture.

It's a rare individual who can take words to heart the way you seem to do.

The sign of a true writer.

Kyler J Falk from California on March 17, 2021:

I spent much of the night reminiscing with friends about the times we shared in the past, and I read this one aloud to them all shortly after reading it myself. We were all reminded of a time where every day was a slog through the rain, and everything seemed as if it were hopeless. At first we figured that one day we'd all be back home together, but when you return a few short you see behind that veil more often than you'd like.

Your first picture reminded me of the rain, and later of our first stop over on the way home being more bitter than it was sweet; after I read the poem I fell apart. Luckily I had company to help pick up the pieces, but I didn't mean to come off as criticizing. I don't want to call it a flashback as it does not deliver the proper connotations, but reading this poem was more than just thought-provoking.

The poem hit deep, I'm just pedantic, and that shouldn't draw away from how excellent this poem was. I mean, it even inspired me to break off a piece of history I'd rather forget on public comments. Should probably just avoid poetry when I've been hitting the sauce.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2021:

And yet another excellent piece of writing, with a philosophical message as a bonus, a question for the Ages, the fine line we all walk in life. My goodness I am a huge fan of you and your writing, young lady!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 17, 2021:

Well done. Nice.

Lora Hollings on March 16, 2021:

This is a wonderful write, Alyssa. If we abandon our values on the road to success or try to profit by hurting or cheating others, do we not lose our humanity in the process?

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 16, 2021:


Another great write.

I think all that matters is you were inspired to jot down your thoughts...and that you did.

I'm not sure where Kyler gets marching through the rain, maybe it is that whiskey. I'll have to read it through those kind of eyes one day...but not tonight.

I'm with John...I wanted to read more.

But your point gets across..we all look forward to that American dream.

Too often though, our dreams are shattered and we are lost wandering.

Have a great night.

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 16, 2021:

Thank you John! I'm looking forward to trying this prompt again.

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 16, 2021:

Sometimes you just have to break the rules. haha! Thank you Kyler! I hope you are enjoying your whisky and a restful evening. Cheers!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on March 16, 2021:

I enjoyed your "acrostic" poem you wrote using the first letters of each word, Alicia. The rules were not meant to be hard and fast, the fact you participated was what is important, and as you said you will use the prompt in future the way I suggested.

The only thing is that I loved your poem so much I wanted it to be longer. Well done.

Kyler J Falk from California on March 16, 2021:

I figured the goal was to use each word rather than the letter, but your derivation is quite pleasant!

Maybe it's the whisky.

The energy of this reminded me of marching in the rain. Very thought-provoking.

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