KERRY'S Sunday Challenge #2 May 29, 2011 - June 4, 2011
THE FIVE ACT PLAY
This is week 2 of the challenge and we turn, for inspiration, to a novel.
The terms of each challenge will be very clearly stated, but the FIRST RULE, which will apply to all the challenges, is that the piece must be written in the week of the challenge. Any older poems that are entered in the contest will not be eligible for an award.
'The Unbearable Lightness of Being', by Milan Kundera, takes place in Prague in 1968. It explores the artistic and intellectual life of Czech society during the Communist period, as well as the relationships between Tomas; his wife, Tereza, and his mistress, Sabina.
The central philosophy of the novel is that each person has only one life to live, and that which occurs in life occurs only once and never again — thus the “lightness” of being. The concept of which is well expressed in the quote: “what happens but once, might as well not have happened at all. If we have only one life to live, we might as well not have lived at all.”
Following this logic, life is insignificant, and decisions do not matter, and are thus rendered light. Yet the insignificance of decisions — our being — causes us great suffering, and calls into question how we will choose to exist in the time afforded to us.
The "unbearable lightness" in the title also refers to the lightness of love and sex, which are themes of the novel. Kundera portrays love as fleeting, haphazard and perhaps based on endless strings of coincidences, despite holding such significance for humans.
Visit the Goodreads Quote page (URL below) and find a quote from the novel to inspire your own thoughts. Please share the quote, if applicable, in the Author's Note box.
Write a poem in which you explore any of the themes relating to human sexuality, OR tackle the existential theme of 'the lightness of being'.
I would like to state that the badge awards are not given on a first, second, third, runners up basis. They are of equal value, and tokens of my great admiration for the work of POETS, and my deep respect for all who enter their pieces in these challenges.
The pursuit of personal excellence
Created May 29, 2011