Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Weekly Scribblings #11: Hypophora and all that

Coffee Notes by Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash
"How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask-half our great theological and metaphysical problems-are like that." ― C.S. Lewis

Hello everyone and welcome to another round of Weekly Scribblings! I thought it befitting to explore the function of  "Hypophora," this week while stumbling upon a wonderful poem by Pablo Neruda. It's a thing of beauty and deserves much consideration. But first, let us discuss what Hypophora actually is and does:

Hypophora: Meaning, Use and Function

Hypophora is a figure of speech in which a writer raises a question and then immediately provides an answer to it. The major purpose of using hypophora is to create curiosity among the readers, while a well-timed pause produces a heightened effect in turn rousing interest.

Hypophora is similar to a rhetorical question. The difference is that when a speaker poses a rhetorical question, he does not answer it.

The answer to a rhetorical question is implied by the way and context in which the question is asked. The question or questions in a hypophora will often be used to set up a long answer, which is basically a point that the speaker wishes to make. For instance:

A Christmas Memory 
 (by Truman Capote)

"Thirty-one cakes, dampened with whiskey, bask on window sills and shelves.

Who are they for?

Friends. Not necessarily neighbor friends: indeed, the larger share is intended for persons we’ve met maybe once, perhaps not at all. People who’ve struck our fancy. Like President Roosevelt."

 by Pablo Neruda


Tell me, is the rose naked
or is that her only dress?

Why do trees conceal
the splendor of their roots?

Who hears the regrets
of the thieving automobile?

Is there anything in the world sadder
than a train standing in the rain?

Your Challenge today is to write using the literary device "Hypophora." Feel free to address the current world situation, offer your own thoughts on it, delve deep into the universe and ponder upon its intricacies, romanticize or if you'd rather then philosophize. The possibilities are endless.

We at Poets and Storytellers United accept both poems and prose pieces (i.e. stories, essays, articles) you may contribute more than one entry. Also, if you opt to write prose then please keep it to 369 words or fewer. The Prompt will remain open until next Wednesday!

Good luck composing your masterpieces. I look forward to reading what you come up with. Please do visit others and remember to comment on their work. Also, enjoy this musical inspiration by Tina Turner. Have fun! 🍱🍣


  1. Thank you for the inspiration for improvement.

    1. Loved your poem, thank you so much for writing, Margaret πŸ˜ƒ Happy Wednesday!πŸ’πŸΉ

  2. Love the prompt, Sanaa! Playing with the technicalities is often my best source of inspiration. I hadn't heard of hypophora before; great word, and great concept.

    1. Thank you so much, Rosemary 😘 so glad you enjoyed the prompt! Happy Wednesday!πŸ’πŸΉ

  3. Happy Wednesday. Stay safe and healty


    1. Happy Wednesday, Gillena πŸ˜ƒ heading over to read you!πŸ’πŸΉ

      Much🌷love ...

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks gorgeous 😘 thought to try something different this week! Happy Wednesday!πŸ’πŸΉ

  5. Replies
    1. Just came from reading your poem, Susie 😘 I absolutely loved it! Happy Wednesday!πŸ’πŸΉ

  6. I'd write another, make it better. Sanaa, you know words that I don't. I like this one, where did you find it?

    1. Thank you so much, Jim πŸ˜ƒ I stumbled upon it online when I was reading about literary devices πŸ’πŸΉ

  7. Hello, everyone. Wishing you all a happy Thursday. I will be back to post a poem later.

    1. Happy Thursday to you too, Jenna πŸ˜ƒ looking forward to what you come up with!πŸ’πŸΉ


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