What happened to winter snow,
hoary patterns on windows,
frozen ponds to skate on,
icicles hanging from the gutter?
Sun worshippers may think it doesn’t matter
and wonder why we mutter
at unseasonal weather,
unconcerned that snowdrops
and daffodils bloom early,
blackthorn roots are purply
and willow tops froth with yellowy green.
Is it the residue of fumy factories and mines,
dirty words scribbled on a crystal sky,
thawing the season before it’s even begun?
Is it the greed and waste of millions
that has confused and angered Mother Earth,
the one who nurtured us from birth?
I think it is.
Kim M. Russell, 18th March 2020
This week Sanaa has brought us a challenging prompt of questions and answers in an exploration of hypophora, a figure of speech similar to a rhetorical question, in which a writer raises a question and then immediately provides an answer to it, with the main purpose of rousing the reader’s curiosity. She says that a well-timed pause in hypophora creates a heightened effect as well as interest.
Sanaa explains that the question or questions in a hypophora are often used to set up a long answer, which is basically a point that the speaker wishes to make. She has given us examples, one by Truman Capote entitled ‘A Christmas Memory’, and an excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions.
Our challenge today is to write poetry or prose using hypophora.