2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

Publish date:

For today’s prompt, write a tragic poem. Two courses of action here: Write a poem that is heavy, or write a poem that is light. Or write a poem that could be heavy or light. For instance, a tragedy could be Shakespeare's Hamlet or a bad hair day.


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Here’s my attempt at a Tragic poem:

“The Tragically Hip”

Are a Canadian rock band.
They have a song called "Poets"
& an album titled Man Machine Poem.
I like to think all the poetry references
make them tragic & hip,
or at least hip. I was

never that hip or tragic
or from Canada, though I went
fishing there for a week once & that week
was one of the most relaxing weeks of my
life. No phones. No TV. Just food,
sleep & fishing. In no particular

order. It reminded me
of trips to my grandparents'
home in the Eastern Tennessee Mountains,
the smell of the red clay in the morning &
clouds along the ridges that
provided them their smoky

reputation. On the final
day, an emergency call made
it through to me all the way from town
& I worried it might be my pregnant wife
or the baby she carried
but it was my grandpa,

the one I visited
in Tennessee & he
died alone & I felt so relieved it wasn't
my wife or our child & then felt so guilty
that I was haunted
all the way home.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.


He never listened to The Tragically Hip before tackling this prompt, but their music is actually pretty good.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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