Today, I challenge you to write a poem that takes the form of a dialogue. Your conversant could be real people, or be personifications, as in Andrew Marvell’s A Dialogue Between the Soul and the Body, or Yeats’ A Dialogue of Self and Soul. Like Marvell, and Yeats, you could alternate stanzas between your two speakers, or perhaps you could give them alternating lines. Your speakers could be personifications, like those in Marvell and Yeats’ poems, or they could be two real people. Hopefully, this prompt will give you a chance to represent different points of view in the same poem, or possibly to create a dramatic sense of movement and tension within the poem.
This is my take on a dialogue we’ve probably all had:
I see her mirrored behind me,
scissors pointing, hair spiky,
anonymous in black.
We talk to our reflected selves.
OK and Hello: A magazine while you wait?
Going somewhere nice tonight? Just home?
Capuccino? Or did you say Americano?
Can’t hear for that drier.
Booked your holidays yet?
Harris? I thought you said Paris!
That’ll be cold. Tenerife for me,
Show you the back?
The final flourish of the mirror
to reveal the dark side of the moon
Questions and answers
reflected from a thousand mirrors:
cutting to essentials,
colouring our days.