POETRY PROMPT #9 – DEAD LANGUAGE ~ Beware of the man who only reads one book.


I have not done this before, poetry prompt or otherwise, so setting myself up for a challenge.

The task is this:

That is why this week I would like to task you with writing a poem that includes a Latin proverb.

I was completely stumped on this, not knowing Latin at all, so the sweet Oloriel, who is such a wonderful writer, gave me this lovely prompt as in her own words:

Yes, free verse, any length you like! 😀 We use many of the original Latin proverbs in nowadays language, we jsut translated them😀
Now, on with the show! How do you feel about this one:
Cave ab homine unius libri – Beware of the man who only read one book. 😀

My response was:

oh good grief..haha..oh my. erm well yes alright, I shall try it, oh my….faints!!!!!

So there we, go ….

Beware the man who only reads one book ~ Cave ab homine unius libri


‘Tingaling ling’ went the dusty ridden bell above the library door

‘Clang a lang lang’ went the echo as summer silk skirt met closing worn egress

Nostrils flared inhaling wise worn leather and vanilla from decaying books

Young pink coated fingernails left a telling trail walking over dust covered shelves

as light feet seemed to glide over floor boards that still creaked announcing the customers arrival.


Cornsilk hair framed around angelic face as sapphire blue eyes searched inquisitively

Curved glossy lashes batted a moment in shyness as solitary customer stood before unattended man

Enchanting tones almost mystical, akin to a common loon trilled off naive tongue as words said were

“Sir I am searching words to keep me entranced, would you share with me what you read in such magestical looking book?”


Thick set fingers with bulbous joints twitched over heavy embossed cover of cherished book upon disturbance

One hand lifted removing pipe, leaving a snakes trail of smoke that seemed to radiate torwards the youth

“There are many to enchant yet it is but only one I read, are you sure you would care to see?”

Wirey hair hair housed on chin and head seemed ghost like in transparency as head lifted to look upon the girl


She smiled, an affirmation, he nodded giving a great sigh almost melancholy yet eyes betrayed something of a glimmer

Thumb slid between heavily adorned pages, flipping it open, just a mere sketch of a girl upon a meadow

Angelic eyes opened wide, “it’s so bare” she whispered, as urge came upon forefinger, tracing ink lines so bereft

“Not now” came almost muted voice as colour vividly splashed and filled forlorn spaces, he was once more left in peace.

“The End”


It is always to show a new side to one’s attempt at something.  I don’t know what ‘style’ of poetry mine would fit in to, or whether it is even poetry.  I used to write a lot of creative storytelling to music, and this I guess is how I write my poems now, like a story, but almost with a rhythm, that is how it is to me when I am reading it to myself.  I love magic, mystery, so a little bit of this creeps in here and there.

I hope you enjoyed, either way xx

© Justine @ Eclecticoddsnsods.com

Living in East Sheen blog

Come browse one of my other blogs?

It is a lonely place blog

Come browse my journey with chronic pain!

Lets keep in touch!

Lets keep in touch!



  28 comments for “POETRY PROMPT #9 – DEAD LANGUAGE ~ Beware of the man who only reads one book.

  1. May 8, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    I loved what you did and how you wrangled the prompt. I like the fact that it teaches something and it teaches in the area dear to my heart. One should always give a book a chance, no matter their beliefs and their clothing.
    Even before I read your author comments this really felt like storytelling, all it needed was music in the background and a campfire 😀 I love the language that you used and the way in which you told the story. I think, if we want to throw labels around for which I dont care much, this would be prose poetry 🙂
    And you did a wonderful job with it 🙂
    See, a prompt didn’t kill ya 😀


    • May 8, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      haha than you for suuuuch lovely words, that made me smile. I love telling stories hehe and your description of a campfire etc would work wonders 😀

      So it was really all down to your prompt that you gave me, I am not sure i would even have thought of that, you might have made a rod for your own back you know when I need more inspiration hehe..winks.

      So glad you like xxx


      • May 8, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        I see the prompts as kind of a”lets talk about this” kind of thing, so just relax and write 😀


  2. May 8, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    That’s a concept that depends upon the context. I’m dyslexic (the mild version) and can’t remember what I read. I’m in the process of listening to the Asimov Foundation trilogy, which I’ve read in book form no less than 7 times. I remember 2 things about it: Mule and Trantor. That’s it–no plot. Nothing. My sister once said that I could have 1 shelf of books and it would be reading material for life. 🙂


    • May 8, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      Thank you for coming by, both my sons are dyslexic, one seriously and one very mild. They do enjoy reading, but the prompt in my mind had more of a magical mystical quality than directed at the more serious things in life, that is how I took it and hence my poem which is full of magic and mystery 🙂


      • May 8, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        You must be a great mom to be able to find creative ways to help your sons read. That’s a rare trait, as many parents believe their children are simply not trying.

        I believe that some poetry is better read aloud by a human than by a computer text reader. 🙂


        • May 8, 2014 at 5:07 PM

          Heh I wouldn’t say I was great but thank you. I think coming from a family of writers has helped with my imagination and storytelling so I love telling then stories and making things up which I think has spurred them in to liking books but of course they prefer me to read then hehe


  3. May 8, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    It absolute IS poetry! Love your creativity 🙂


  4. May 9, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Wonderfully done! Your talents are expanding far and wide. 🙂


    • May 9, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      hah thank you as long as they continue to amuse, be appreciated or something else that is great x


  5. May 9, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    Great poem dear lady…what a lovey story and so full of imagination. Like your subject and how you handled it. I think that if I were to put your poem into a category, I’d call it a Fairy Poem…in freeverse. Great first try! Hugs xx


  6. May 9, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Justine – that is a beautiful tale elegantly told. In fact, it read like a sweet song to me. You have such a depth of creativity. Thank you!


    • May 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      awe thank you sammy, such lovely words and yes I sort of semi sang it in my head, i always have a rhythm going on when i write that kind of thing hehe…I have soooo many posts to catch up on with reading, gosh its mind blowing i think i will be cross eyed soon hehe x


      • May 9, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        Give yourself a break (and your eyes, too). There’ll be plenty more posts to read next week 🙂


  7. May 9, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Wow! I really enjoyed reading that…brilliant 🙂


  8. May 9, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Oh, Justine, you write just so beautifully…free verse in all its eloquence with a nice rhythm but your words are so vivid…I felt enthralled like a kid in bed listening to a bedtime story. You have a gift, my friend. Your style is very unique and pleasant to read.


    • May 9, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      Awe I’m beaming now you know 🙂 it’s my turn thank you your comments really do give me confidence x


  9. May 9, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    That was fab, it had me reading it with a rhythmic tempo, a beautiful meld of poetry and prose, loved it 🙂


    • May 9, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      Oooh wow coming from you that’s great I’m so glad you enjoyed it well maybe I can give back a small bit of poetry pleasure compared to the enormous poetry pleasure you give me then xx


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: