Poetry topic idea: nostalgia

Today’s poetry topic idea is nostalgia.  A poet could use this idea in different ways.  A poet could:

  • Write about something nostalgic. It could be a food, a television show, a song, a tradition or something else.
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  • Write about the moment something becomes nostalgic. Given certain qualities, there is a certain amount of time that must past before something becomes nostalgic.  This amount of time varies depending on circumstances.  Whatever it is for a particular thing, a poet could write about the moment something makes a transition and becomes nostalgic.
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  • The change in view of something nostalgic. When things are looked back upon nostalgically, they can look better than they were at the time they happened.  A poet could write about this idea.  They might write about how something is viewed when it occurs and contrast that with how it is viewed years later.
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  • Write about the qualities of something nostalgic. Rather than write about something that is nostalgic, a poet could explore the qualities that something nostalgic has.  A poet could apply these qualities to different ideas.

Here is an example poem using the idea nostalgia:

Watching the show,
from thirty years ago,
wait, wait, he’s going to say …

Poem Series: Time: sepia tones

You paint a picture
of your past
with sepia tones
and vintage clothes

but back then
in that time
the tones were clear
the clothes were new

there was no culture
no sense of era
no sense of things
now so easily defined

it wasn’t romantic
or nostalgic
it wasn’t a story
a movie in a listener’s mind

it wasn’t a story
something with music
no voiceover spoke
to add emotion

it wasn’t an image
some mysterious place
some far away
seen through a glass

it was real like this
it was solid like this
there was noise like this
there was dirt like this

it wasn’t history
something lived
thinking how the world
would look back

it wasn’t uniform
it wasn’t a decade
it wasn’t defined
by a song

it was real like this
it was solid like this
there was life like this
there was sense like this

but the stories are told
and the pictures are shown
and eyes look up
and imagine the tones

the black and white
with a sepia tint
of still photographs
and movie reels

the fedora hats
and tailored suits
seem ever present
no matter the time

and despite the knowledge
that all was real
the pictures are shown
with sepia tones