Sandbox Challenge #25: 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:

When does the butterfly read what flies written on its wings?

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!

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8 Responses to “Sandbox Challenge #25: Neruda Writing Prompt”


  1. 1 K a b l o o e y January 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    When his boyfriend reads it to him? Otherwise it’s just too much of a contortionist move. (Butterflies don’t like mirrors — too many “hey, that butterfly looks just like me” crashes.

  2. 2 K a b l o o e y January 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    forgot this: )
    (always do)

  3. 3 Sheri January 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Would the nectar be as sweet
    if the bold color was above my feet?
    And the stark contrast of black and white
    stayed on the stem, not taking flight?
    Who decides where the beauty lies
    between the bold pink flower and the butterfly?

  4. 4 hemlock1981 January 14, 2011 at 8:10 am

    First let me say, Neruda is my favorite poet. I am so glad you use him as inspiration on a regular basis.

    Second, the prompt:

    I am –
    The memories of thousands of generations of history.
    I am –
    The records of the future being etched in the design.
    I am –
    A reminder of all that was before.
    I am –
    A hope of what is to come.
    I am –
    Time.

  5. 5 stranglingmymuse January 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Once again, I love seeing how a simple prompt inspires such different creations!

    Kablooey, thanks for making me laugh!

    Sheri, your poem is lovely!

    Tom, I’m glad to know you’re a fellow Neruda fan! I love what you’ve created from this prompt.

    ~Sandy

  6. 6 herby January 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I once was a caterpillar
    An ugly green creature
    I couldn’t get a break
    Always feeling somehow wrong.

    I struggled against the tide
    With people trying to squish me
    Are you a boy or a girl?
    You are an unwanted pest.

    The caterpillar life was tough
    Success was measured
    Not in months but
    In the days I got through.

    One day I entered the chrysalis
    I almost drowned
    In the darkness
    But I didn’t give in.

    Suddenly, I burst forward
    A butterfly in colours bright
    I saw the beauty
    Of my struggle and my wings.

    I don’t think I’ll ever know
    What is written on those wings
    But I’m told
    That it’s beautiful.


  1. 1 Written on my butterfly wings | Living As Herby Trackback on January 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm

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