Monday Morning Writing Prompt–100 Best Novels of the 20th Century


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Sitting here in front of a bookcase, I’m musing about what can inspire for this week’s writing prompt when I catch a glimpse of a title or two that tickle my creative fancy. What if, for today’s writing exercise we turn to an existing title and make it our own, using it as the springboard into a poem or short story?

Here’s a link from Wikipedia with the Modern Library’s list of 100 best novels in English of the 20th Century. Pick a title, if you like, from this list, or one of your own choosing and see what you can do with it.

Here’s mine:


Silence after birth.
Then a cry,
a smile, a tear.
They hand her to
a nurse,
bundled in a soft blanket,
so she’ll be warm
and no one will drop her.
Length, weight,
silver nitrate.
Document the time,
the Apgar.
Clinically correct.

Down the hall
an old man waits to die.

Life’s so slippery.

Looking forward to seeing your work posted in the comments section of this post.


18 thoughts on “Monday Morning Writing Prompt–100 Best Novels of the 20th Century

  1. […] Monday, Victoria at, in her Monday Morning Writing Prompt…, listed the 100 best novels of the 20th century. This worked for me, and in her blog, I posted my […]


  2. trisha says:

    this is tremendous. i will submit mine and add my url.



  3. kolembo says:

    Well, post some my way, I’m hurting this week! It’s a lovely poem…it sits in the silence you’ve created, a light breather between life and death.


  4. ladynimue says:

    And now for the poem you wrote .. such beautifully expressed thoughts .. we see and say tis so many times but you say it so well that one can neither be happy nor sad … or may be both …


  5. ladynimue says:

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    – Nimue

    “Little Kinchen want to play”
    is all i remember from years back
    a ruled sheet and pencil in hand.

    The dictionary searched hard
    desperate to find unknown words
    and string them together like pearls.

    It rained hard outside the window
    I wonder if that’s why I was indoors
    but i know that poem took me some hours.

    It was just eight random lines
    to ask rains to stop and not return
    children was so boring,so “kinchen”

    I don’t know wht i never wrote again
    it never just occured to me i could
    and now each day i feel, I should.

    (will post it on blog soon and link back here)


  6. Mike Patrick says:

    The Invisible Man

    Subtitle: I Wasn’t There
    By Mike Patrick

    I saw you today.
    You didn’t see me.
    Oh, you looked in my direction,
    But perhaps I wasn’t there.

    I walked up until I touched your hand.
    You pulled away without feeling me
    And wiped your hand on your blouse.
    Perhaps I wasn’t there.

    I spoke to you today;
    Called your name out loud.
    You passed by without a sound.
    Perhaps I wasn’t there.

    I wrote a poem today
    And left it for you to read.
    I won’t know if you found it.
    Perhaps I wasn’t there.


  7. timkeen40 says:

    Excellent poem. Always love reading them.


  8. Jingle says:

    super beautiful…

    I am dry these days, I wish I could write a profound poem.


    • Confession time: I’m dry as a bone. I dug in my old files, looking for a poem with the title of a novel. I lucked out. The one for potluck is from the archives, too. But my golf game is improving!!!


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