O is for ostracon – Poem: I Am a Piece

Today’s new word:

ostracon n. a piece of pottery, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In an archaeological or epigraphical context, ostraca refer to sherds or even small pieces of stone that have writing scratched into them. Usually these are considered to have been broken off before the writing was added; ancient people used the cheap, plentiful and durable broken pieces of pottery around them as convenient places to place writing for a wide variety of purposes, mostly very short inscriptions, but in some cases surprisingly long. -from Wikipedia

In ancient Greece ostraca were used to vote which citizens should be ostracized.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a reason poem. If this prompt seems unreasonable, just remember all the reasons you write poetry or enjoy cooking, dancing, singing, etc. Or provide a reasoned argument for your lack of reason. Only you know your reasons.

My poem

I Am a Piece

I am a piece, an ostracon
I am not broken
I am whole and of the whole
I am unique in size, shape and site
I am your surface, your history,
your judgement

I will not return to the whole
I will bare a name, carved, scarred into me
I will hold its weight upon me immemorial
I will be counted among the other ostraca
I will grow in number and strength, deciding
your fate

I have heard the reasons:
I have been abundant and plentiful
I have been accessible and pliable
I have no other useful purpose, but
I have lasted through time and space to witness
your erosion

Reading

This month, I bought myself a very rewarding birthday gift: a year of access to Masterclass. I love it! I’ve already enjoyed about half of Neil Gaiman’s class and Margaret Atwood’s class. The classes come with beautiful, unique workbooks and videos about the craft from the authors. It’s wonderful.

Yesterday, they added a poetry class by Billy Collins. Though I was not familiar with his work, in the introduction video he showed a lovely sense of humor, so I dove right in.

To my great joy, my library system had a couple of Mr. Collins’s collections for immediate access as ebooks and one as an audiobook and a performance of Mr. Collins reading his poems on audio as well. Needless to say. This week’s inspirational reading will be Billy Collins heavy.

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

6 thoughts on “O is for ostracon – Poem: I Am a Piece

  1. My 91 year old father loved this poem! He is well-educated and very well-read, but he had never heard of the word ostracon before. He says this will come in handy the next time he does a crossword puzzle. Thank you and well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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