Poetry Month Challenges Day 25: Urge and Use

Use in Urge by Maria L. Berg 2023

Urge & Use

An urge can come from without—an act of urging; impelling action, influence, or force—or within—an involuntary, natural, or instinctive impulse. An urge may come from within but then one may urge another to act on one’s urge. I’m not sure how I’m going to place urge on my chart. I found this interesting statement about “urge” in The Mind at Mischief:

Disgust is the emotion associated with the instinct of repulsion and is aroused by bad tastes and smells. It seems to be especially stimulated by the sight of slimy creatures such as snakes and lizards. It no doubt lies at the bottom of the development of the esthetic taste in primitive man, and unquestionably constitutes the inherent urge which propels modern civilized peoples along those lines which lead them to look for the beautiful.

William S. Sadler, M.D.

Use is harder to define. Use means employment, employment means use. I got really excited finding these circular definitions last year until I realized they were usually an internet dictionary short-cut and I could find definitions in my physical dictionary. So I looked up “use” in my trusty, red Merriam Webster’s Collegiate: Tenth Edition and found: the act or practice of employing something: Employment. So I looked up “employment” and got . . . You guessed it! Use, purpose. At least we extended the meaning to purpose, but that’s not easily defined either: purpose, noun, something set up as an object or end to be attained. I like purpose’s definition as a verb: to propose as an aim to oneself (There you go, clear as mud). But that’s not what use means, is it? We all know what use means: we use stuff, we use and are used by others—doesn’t sound great, but it happens. So why is it so hard to define?

Looking up “the psychology of use” online led me to the works of psychologist Alfred Adler. “Psychology of use was Adler’s view that behavior is understood in terms of the use the person puts in. This is not necessarily the traits in which the individual is assumed to have, but the way they make use of their opportunities and capacities.” ~AdlerPedia However, I haven’t found Adler talking about the psychology of use in his texts yet. I found copies of Understanding Human Nature and The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology and the only mentions of Use I found so far were in the Concluding Remarks of a chapter on Child Psychology and Neurosis. I do like the Realities in (e).

The foremost task in the study of the psychic life is to reckon with the tentative attempts and exertions of strength, growing out of the constitutionally given powers and the initial and subsequently well- tested efforts for utilizing the environment.
V, Each psychic phenomenon must therefore be interpreted as a partial manifestation of an integrated life– plan. All explanatory attempts that refuse to follow this course and, instead, attempt to penetrate into the child’s psychic life, to analyse the manifestation itself and not its synthesis, must be regarded as unsuccessful. For the facts ” of the child’s psyche are not to be taken as finished products but rather as preparatory movements in the direction of a goal.
VI, According to this view nothing consequently takes place without subserving some tendency. We shall therefore attempt at this point to call attention to the following guiding principles which we consider the most important.
Realities. — {a) The development of a capability for attaining superiority.
{b) Coping with the environment.
(c) The feeling that the world is hostile.
The amassing of knowledge and piling up of achievements.
(e) Use made of love and obedience, hatred and defiance, of community feeling and the lust for power.

Imaginary. — (f) Development of the As-If (phantasy, symbolic successes).
(g) Use made of weakness.
(h) Procrastination in making decisions.
Search for protection

Alfred Adler

Today’s Images

This morning when I thought of “urge,” I thought of the pull I feel to create. The want and have to that gets me out of bed to make new filters to express new pairs of contradictory nouns in new ways in the mirrorworld. When I thought about “use,” I thought of tools, especially my favorite tool, my camera. So I sat down to cut out a “camera” shape, thinking I would put my circular arrows transparency in it, but as I drew, I took off the lens cap. In the lens cap I not only saw the circles within circles of the lens, but colors and shapes from the windows behind me.

To find the urge in use and the use in urge, I used sharpies to draw what I saw in my lens onto a clear plastic filter, then turned off the blue curtain lights and added the multi-color string lights to the mirrorworld.

An Urge in Use by Maria L. Berg 2023

The Prompts


Today’s prompt is to read e e cummings’ poem [somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond]. Then to write a love poem, one that names at least one flower, contains one parenthetical statement, and in which at least some lines break in unusual places.

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is the two-for-Tuesday prompt:

  1. Write a dream poem, and/or…
  2. Write a reality poem.

dVerse Poets Pub

At dVerse the Poetics prompt is music. Specifically, “write a poem about music in any form. You can mention music fleetingly or write a poem dedicated to music. BUT please include any two titles from the following list. These are all taken from Linda Perry’s albums.”

  1. Edge Of Your Atmosphere
  2. Sunset Strip
  3. Life Despite God
  4. Sunny April Afternoon
  5. Bang The Drum
  6. Life in a Bottle
  7. Fruitloop Daydream
  8. Tiny Box Of Lies
  9. Knock Me Out
  10. I Am My Father’s Daughter
  11. Don’t Touch Me While I Am Sleeping
  12. Secret Lover

Looking at all my prompts, I chose “Sunny April Afternoon,” because it’s afternoon in April and the sun came out for a moment, and “Don’t Touch Me While I’m Sleeping” because it will work well with the NaPoWriMo requirement for a line break in an unusual place. I guess I chose to write a reality poem.

The Poem

instruments others use, urged further
~after e.e. cummings

instruments others use, urged further
than I, your hands form other chords
stretch to different notes that resonate in me,
vibrating deeper because they are outside my range

your hum will misuse me
though I have plugged my ears like wine bottles
you uncork each one with a thunk in a Sunny April
Afternoon trill (hearing the daffodil open) of dark-eyed juncos

Only the user perceives a frequency
equivalent to your creative urge: whose vibration
moves me to refuse interruption. Don’t Touch Me
While I Am Sleeping, I dream your symphony

(I want to make sure to write it when I wake
and reuse your hand patterns to find how we resonate
in the frequency of us, a melody and harmony of waiting)
so clear and sweet and still open to the street

8 thoughts on “Poetry Month Challenges Day 25: Urge and Use

  1. Fantastic, Maria! You combined those prompts so well. I really love the lines:
    ‘…your hands form other chords
    stretch to different notes that resonate in me,
    vibrating deeper because they are outside my range’
    ‘(I want to make sure to write it when I wake
    and reuse your hand patterns to find how we resonate
    in the frequency of us, a melody and harmony of waiting)’.

    Liked by 2 people

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