Sandbox Challenge #24: Neruda Writing Prompt

The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda, contains poems made up entirely of questions. I’ve pulled out one of these for today’s writing prompt:

At dawn, which smooth syllables does the ocean air repeat?

Write a poem, essay, story, memory, freewrite, description…whatever this question evokes in you.

I’d love to see your creations in the comments if you feel like sharing!


8 Responses to “Sandbox Challenge #24: Neruda Writing Prompt”

  1. 1 foolswords November 19, 2010 at 2:52 am

    woosh… woosh… woosh…
    Sway in the breeze, woosh….
    Taste the salt, woosh….
    Of your tears,

  2. 2 Tom McDonald November 19, 2010 at 5:51 am

    The peaceful incense of the salty morning air enveloped young Tom. As he stood on the beach with his toes in the sand, staring into the sunrise, “Yes, this will be a wonderful day!” he remarked to himself.

    As he began to walk down the tide line, Tom noticed sea shells that seem to dance along the shore. Gently picking one up like it was an ancient artifact, Tom softly brushed the wet sand off of the shell. Struck by the tremendous beauty of such a small treasure, a smile came across his face as he said, “Indeed, a wonderful day.”

  3. 3 stranglingmymuse November 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I love both of these! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity here, foolwords (Bun) and Tom — both lovely and very different. It always makes me smile when I receive creative gifts like this on my blog!


  4. 4 herby November 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    The soft sand brushed against my legs as I walked along the sandy shore. The ocean whispered her secrets in my ear.

    ‘Shh,’ she said, ‘let me share the stories you need to hear.’

    I was silent. The calm sea water continued to roll into the shore. The cool salty water lapping at my feet as though the sea wanted to touch me to make sure I listened to her.

    ‘Look out over the water,’ she instructed.

    I obeyed.

    ‘Out there, over the water are lands and people you have yet to meet. There are opportunities for you to explore. But, you do not have to go there to learn what you need. You have everything right here, in your heart.’

    As she whispered her secrets in my ear, the sea’s watery hands covered my feet with their white foamy bubbles.

    And then, as quickly as she had whispered that first ‘shh’ into my ear, she was gone. The water receded and the sand again brushed against my ankles.

    I walked further, pondering the sea’s wisdom. Could I really have the answers inside me? Or do I need to travel to find them?

    I decided to try taking the sea’s advice. And, as another watery hand found its way around my ankles, I heard her whisper gently in my ear, ‘Yesssssss’.

  5. 6 herby November 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I love your writing exercises and picture prompts. I am just at the early stages of falling back in love with writing after many years as a blocked writer. Between your exercises and The Artist’s Way, I am finding the courage to move from personal experience to fiction and creativity.

    Thank you for taking the time to keep this blog because it’s a fabulous tool in my writing development.

    I am waiting to hear from my local university whether I will be accepted into a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) next year (the Australian university year starts in February). I hope you don’t mind my using these tasks to prepare myself in case I get in. I love having a place to share my little works. I just open your blog post and write whatever comes to my mind – no editing or pre-meditation. I love it.

    • 7 stranglingmymuse November 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks so much for letting me know how helpful my blog is to you, herby. It really means a lot to me to hear it.

      Best of luck with your writing now and as you move forward more deeply into your creativity! And I love it when you share what you’ve written.


  1. 1 She whispered a secret in my ear | Living As Herby Trackback on December 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

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