01 April 2016

5 Prompts to Kick Off Poetry Month

It's that time of year, National Poetry Month. Lots of places are offering prompts and places to post your work, I thought I'd do the same. Here are some poetry prompts to get you rolling. Feel free to post the results in comments. 

1.  Describe the night without using the words 'black' or 'darkness'. Take us to your version of night, and let us see - or not see - what it's like. Remember to use your five senses to carry us along. 

2.  It's happened to all of us. A special piece of music sets our toes to tapping, it makes us want to get up out of our chair and dance. For me, I wanted to jump up and waltz, even though I know nothing of ballroom dancing. Write a poem about this feeling. See if you can move us out of our chairs. For a bigger challenge, don't name the piece of music or artist. Just write the results. 

3.  Unfortunately, I watched Disney's "Frozen" the other night. Now I'm earwormed by the song 'Let It Go'. What is something you can let go of? Write a poem about letting go. Was it difficult. Easy once you put your mind to it? Conversely, write a poem about clinging to something beyond all reason. Why won't you let it go?

4.  Write a poem about water. Look for water based words and incorporate them into your imagery. Is there a particular type of water you're attracted to more than others? Thunderstorms? Ocean tides? A rushing stream? The implicit power inherent in water held back by a dam? The way ordinary water turns into tasty, tasty coffee just when you need it?

5.  Since it's spring, and the start of April, write a flower poem. Think outside the box, go beyond the ordinary descriptions. Go to a great cosmic meaning - or down to a molecular level. Just write, then rewrite it with an eye toward removing the ordinary. Think about Emily Dickinson's "With A Flower"

With A Flower - Emily Dickinson

I hide myself within my flower,
That wearing on your breast,
You, unsuspecting, wear me too -
And angels know the rest.

I hide myself within my flower,
That, fading from your vase,
You, unsuspecting, feel for me
Almost a loneliness.

Or how about this gorgeous poem that wraps language around you like a blanket?

Labor as a Tulip
by Karen Volkman

Labor as a tulip
arrays its flame, nu
form, as the bulb-star,
interred, divines its ore

surging the gulf
rooting it into
appalled memento
pulsing will.

Leaf-blades score the heap.
Other wounds—penetralia—
other worlds, cries, far.
Filaments, simples

emblazoning the rei,
rebus of grief.
Unslumbering terra
premising her kill. 


Oonah said...

Nice prompts Constance x

Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

I agree - gorgeous prompts! Think I'll have to play a little with them. Thanks! Nice kick off for National Poetry Month.

Constance Brewer said...

Thanks Oonah. :)

Constance Brewer said...

Kath - expect to see some poems from you. I need something to edit. :)

Lisa Goyne said...

Fun prompts and if my brain weren't fried right now, I'd give them a try. I've been working on organizing a fundraiser for a hike I'm doing this summer. Wow! I had no idea what went into fundraising. I have a whole new respect for those that do this kind of thing regularly. Anyway, just wondering if you would you be willing to check it out (www.followyourbeaglenose.blogspot.com- it will redirect you to my much easier to type beaglenoses.com domain) and if you like what you see, share it a little? No pressure and I feel funny even asking, but I know you love dogs. :) And I totally get if this isn't your bag. Thanks Constance- whatever you decide!

Constance Brewer said...

Hi Lisa,

What a great cause! I contribute to Corgi Rescue groups, I can certainly check out your beagle rescue. I love groups that give dogs a second chance on a wonderful home.
Are you going to try and blog your hike? When you do step off the trail into the world again?

Lisa Goyne said...

Aww thanks, Constance! I really appreciate it- any extra exposure is a huge help. The easiest way to check out the blog is to go to beaglenoses.com. Right now I'm trying to lay the backstory about why I chose Cascade Beagle Rescue and beagles to hike 450 miles for this summer, as well as introduce some of the issues beagles currently face. Once I get back to Oregon and begin prepping for the hike, I'll probably switch my focus to more hike-related topics, such as training, food prep, gear, etc, and then it will switch again on July 28th when I hit the trail. Do you think that's a good idea? I have no idea as I've never organized a fundraiser before!!! Feedback welcome. :)