Dear Mike (Postcard of Castle of Gruyeres)

April 28, 2018
Hello, all! There are just three days left in our April poetry-writing adventure! I hope you’ve been enjoying it.
Our featured participant today is Thoughts of Words, where the Tarot poem for Day Twenty-Seven features a poetical hermit.
Today, we bring you a new craft resource, in the form of this history and exploration of the prose poem. This essay helpfully catalogs several different styles of prose poem, with examples, and possible strategies for writing.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Following the suggestion of our craft resource, we challenge you today to draft a prose poem in the form/style of a postcard. If you need some inspiration, why not check out some images of vintage postcards? I’m particularly fond of this one.
Happy writing!

Dear Mike,
Remember Gruyeres? Count Michel? How we rode up to the castle on horseback, that steep narrow path at the back, entered through the gateway, dismounted, tied the horses by the granite fountain? How thrilling and eerie it was to be in that distant past hewn in stone, perched on a hilltop, reaching into the clouds? Remember the crenelated bastions, the belfries, the stories of feuds and sieges? How with the length of your arm you measured the thickness of the walls that defended the castle against the Saracens? 12 feet, that’s right, you said.

Looking down at the jousting court we imagined days of chivalry, fancy tournaments. You recalled a time you’d wanted to take up fencing, wondered what medieval banquets were held in the great hall. We walked through the armory to reach the count’s mistress’ room, the tower’s top chamber; where Count Michel consoled his Belle Luce with the view of a mini-French garden, way below, to help her forget her prison. How that story horrified me, and you thought those were fun times? You liked the guards’ kitchen, the fireplace big enough to cook an ox in; we decided it still smelled of soot and smoke!
But it was Chalamala’s, the court jester’s ancient house, just outside the castle walls, you loved best of all – a fun career, you thought, fraught with dangers, I said.
You were very much present when I revisited. I miss you. A distant past overlaid with a recent one. The cranes that gave their name to Gruyeres are no more – though I saw a grey heron stalk through tall grass. And now you can taste a cheese that proudly shows off the mistress’ name: Belle Luce. An added reason to maybe come visit one more time?


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