Recommended for all ages. During Friday's Poetry Sampler, Billy Collins read a poem about an exhibit of Greek and Roman statuary. There is a long tradition in poetry of writing in response to art. It's sometimes called "ekphrastic" poetry. But Collins' focus wasn't the art itself. It was the missing parts. In this case, limbs, noses, eyes that --over time -- have changed the piece of art. Let's write about a beloved object -- something you own or a famous work of art -- which we know has been broken or damaged. How does the damage change your view of and feelings about the object? Fiction writers, this is a character sketch exercise. If one of your characters breaks or loses something important, how does he or she react?