Category Archives: Fast Friday Poetry Prompt

Friday Poetry Prompt

For today’s prompt, write an acrostic poem (that doesn’t suck) based on your lover’s first name. Here is one written by Edgar Allan Poe to use as inspiration.

An Acrostic
by Edgar Allan Poe

Elizabeth it is in vain you say
“Love not” — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L.E.L.
Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His follie — pride — and passion — for he died.

Friday Poetry Prompt

Thanks to Jenn Givahn for today’s poetry prompt:

Pick an object–a can opener, a doorknob, a football–and imagine its history. Where was it made? How did it get there? Who has it belonged to? What adventures did it experience? Write a poem that tells the history of the object. You might even try it in first person, from the object’s perspective.

(adapted from “The Observation Deck” by Naomi Epel… a cool prompt book that incorporates drawing cards).

Write A Modern Ode

Thanks to Erin Adair-Hodges for today’s poetry prompt inspiration:

Today’s prompt is to write an ode. Not a classical or even English ode, which follow particular formats, but rather, just write a poem in praise of something. Except, since we’re post-post-post, not really. Write an ode to something not usually praised or for which you have, at best, mixed feelings. Here is a great example, Kevin Young’s “Ode to the Midwest.”

This exercise is inspired by my trip to the dentist today. There were kitten posters on the ceiling.

Questions Poetry Prompt

Thanks to Rebecca Aronson for today’s awesome prompt:

Today’s prompt: a question poem.

For this poem, write only questions. Let each question lead your mind to the next question–these can be as loosely or closely associative as you feel like. The questions need not be answerable, but they should feel to you like real questions. I suggest at least ten questions on the list.

(once you have a list of at least ten questions, you might find that the list is a kind of poem itself, or you might decide to choose one or more of the questions, or their possible answers to write from.)

Have fun!

From Icebreaker to Poem

This week’s prompt is an adaptation of a great ice-breaker activity in which many of you may have participated at some point in your lives; but  instead of getting to know your peers, you get to write a poem.

Write three statements, two of which are true and one which COULD be true, but is not. Use the premise of these statements as a basis for a poem in which the reader cannot easily discern if the speaker is reliable. This may feel like a perfect prompt for a narrative poem, but experiment and see what develops.

Most of all, have fun!

Help Yourself

Here is my version of an exercise that’s been floating around the writing world for some time. It’s simple, straight-forward and pretty powerful. Please complete each step before moving on to the next.

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First, list the things in life that get between you and your writing and creativity – even those things that are legitimate, like taking care of the kids and washing the dishes. Include on this list any pesky internal obstructions and voices, like “I can’t write about that, it would hurt ____.” Make the list as long as you have time for – you can return to it for future writing exercises.

Second, read over your list and select one or two things that are particularly vexing for you at this very moment. It might be different the next time you approach this exercise – that’s fine. For now, go with your instinct and choose one or two items from your list that are really giving you a tough time or bogging you down in some way today.

Third, imagine yourself in a private sanctuary or someplace like Superman’s fortress of solitude. You are safe and everything you say is completely protected and will never be heard by another living soul. Spend the next 20 or so minutes writing, in first person, a detailed description of a specific time you wrestled with one of the challenges on your list. Where did it happen? When? How? It’s important that you don’t generalize here. Be as specific as you possibly can.

Fourth, reread the story you’ve just written but change the voice and perspective from first to third person (that is, change every I to a she/he or to a proper noun – like Joe). You may need to adjust verbs while you’re at it.

Fifth, do not continue until you’ve completed step three.

Sixth, read and listen to yourself as you read the new story (aloud or silently in your fortress of solitude). Put yourself in the role of sympathetic advisor and offer some useful, helpful and empathetic words of support and advice for the person (that’s you) in the new story. Notice how you feel a little lighter and more empowered?

You can use these steps as a kind of template with which you can experiment in order to overcome writing or any creativity block. It is adjustable and can be made to fit any circumstance.

Happy writing!

Write With Joy!

Today’s writing exercise is adapted from Rebecca McClanahan’s “Write Your Heart Out. ”

We find it relatively easy to write when times are tying or when we experience grief, sadness or anger. We are, after all, encouraged to use our journals to vent about difficult situations so that we might work through them. Experience may have even taught us that this approach to our discomfort and confusion is preferable to sitting with these frustrations for an inordinate amount of time. McClanahan refers to this tendency to write only when in pain as the “foxhole syndrome: writing as desperate prayer.” When happiness returns, we suddenly have nothing to say.

Perhaps this is because happiness so absorbs us that we don’t stop to think about writing. Maybe we fear writing about our happiness is tantamount to testing the fates. McCallahan writes that:

French theologian Francois Mauriac called happiness the most dangerous of all experiences, ‘because all the happiness possible increases our thirst and the voice of love makes an emptiness, a solitude reverberate.’ Seen this way, happiness is a scary proposition. As our capacity for joy increases, so does our capacity to feel all emotions. So won’t we be sadder than ever when the happiness ends?(98)

Or maybe we just forget to notice the small things that do make us happy. Our brains are finely tuned to notice the dangers that surround us and dismiss that which cannot immediately hurt us. If it is not a threat, we do not make note of it.

Take some time this week to notice things that bring you joy, no matter how small, and make a daily list. Start with yourself – your eyes, hands, ears, nose, etc. From there, take in your surroundings and note that which bring you joy – music, books, a warm blanket and a comfy couch.

This exercise only takes minutes a day and will result in a more joyful you.

Good luck, and happy writing.