Prompt for May 29 – Virtual Barat House

None of our fights ended where they began

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

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Deeper dive into the prompt

We were the symptoms, the road our sickness:
None of our fights ended where they began

From “Duplex: Cento” by Jericho Brown in The Tradition (2019)

“[The Tradition] introduces a new form of Brown’s making, the ‘Duplex,’ a sonnet-like series of couplets that includes repetition and, here, is used to devastating effect. In an interview with Michael Dumanis, Brown explained how he came up with the form:

“Since I am carrying these truths in this body as one, how do I get a form that is many forms? I was looking at sonnets, looking at ghazals. I got really interested in ghazals when writing my second book. In ghazals, you take couplets that are completely disparate, then juxtapose those couplets so that some kind of magic happens because of the juxtapositions. So I was like, ‘Oh, if I can take a sonnet and I can take a ghazal and I can take the blues—we’re not gonna get around taking the blues, since I’m black—if I take those three things, is it possible for me to merge them into a single coherent form?’ And that’s how the duplex came to be.”

from “Barrelhouse Reviews: The Tradition by Jericho Brown,” review by Jeannine Hall Gailey, July 2019