“Take Off Your Shoes, This is My House”
The poet Tiana Clark begins her poem “Soil Horizon”
with an epigraph (a short quote at the beginning of the work intended to suggest its theme) by Natasha Trewethy: “….the ghost of history lies down beside me, rolls over, pins me beneath a heavy arm.
In a Divedapper
interview, Clark describes the epigraph as “the foyer that you enter into the house of the poem. It’s a way of telling you to take off your shoes, this is my house; you are getting the smells of my house with this epigraph.”
The epigraph is a much-debated aspect of writing. It serves as an introduction or tone-setter for a piece, and can be used to draw readers familiar with the author of your epigraph into your work. An epigraph is also a good jumping-off point when you feel stuck in your writing.
Writers, what is the foyer of the house of your poem? Write a poem with an epigraph from someone who inspires your work, or someone who said something that has stuck with you. [Link the work or quote in your footnotes!]
This prompt was designed by Community Ambassador crow_e.