Tag Archives: How do I write a poem?

Friday Poetry Prompt

Read “Bound” by Aline Murray Kilmer at Poets.org:

If I had loved you, soon, ah, soon I had lost you.
Had I been kind you had kissed me and gone your faithless way.
The kiss that I would not give is the kiss that your lips are holding:
Now you are mine forever, because of all I have cost you.

You think that you are free and have given over your sighing,
You think that from my coldness your love has flown away:
But mine are the hands you shall dream that your own are holding,
And mine is the face you shall look for when you are dying.

Write an eight line formal poem that begins with “If I had love you,”

OR

write an equally haunting poem that is concerned with war or loss.

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!

Merry, Happy, Poetry

November drags major American holidays to the forefront of everyone’s attention. Christmas is close on the heels of Thanksgiving, though more and more, Thanksgiving barely gets its due these days. Less time to be thankful, more time for consumerism.

But these are not the only Holidays that mark the end of the year. Really, year-end consists of at least four months in which several holidays occur. They include Labor Day, Autumnal Equinox, Halloween, All Saints Day, Dias de los Muertos, Veterans Day, Election Day, Winter Solstice, Chaunakkah, Kwanza, and New Year’s Eve. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the biggest of all, Festivus.

For this week’s prompt, write a story, poems or essay about an end-of-year holiday, real or imagined, American or international, uplifting or depressing.

Good luck, and happy writing.

The Epistolary Poem

This past July I participated in an email based “poem-a-thon”  activity facilitated by my good friend Juan Morales. The following prompt is one I particularly enjoyed and am now passing on to you (with Juan’s blessings).

Write An Epistle to Someone Who Inspires

Below, is a description of the epistle form from the PoeWar website (http://www.poewar.com/poetry-in-forms-series-epistle/):

Epistle (pronounced e-PISS-ul) is a poetic form that dates back to ancient Rome and to the Bible. It is a poem written in the form of a letter. The term epistle comes from the Latin word epistola, which means letter. It was used to express love, philosophy, religion and
morality.

Most people who think of epistles think of the Bible. Many of the books in the New Testament are epistles, especially the Epistles of St. Paul. The poet Robert Burns also frequently wrote epistles, as did Alexander Pope.

Over the past hundred years, as the telephone took over for letter writing, letters became less personal and more formal or business related. The concept of writing letters to relatives, friends,colleagues and lovers went out of fashion. In the last few years,
however, letter writing has had a rebirth of sorts as the Internet grew in prominence and people began to send e-mail to each other.

There are no meter or rhyme requirements for an epistle. Epistle is more a form of voice and persona. A poet can address their epistle to a real or imaginary person and express their views or take on the character of a different writer. The wonderful quality of an epistle is that it can be such a freeing form. The tone can be formal or use very personalized voices. The poems can be many pages long or as short as a post card.

Some things you should keep in mind when writing the epistle are who is writing the letter, who is the letter being written to, and how you would address that person. What would interest the writer and the recipient? How formal or informal would the writer be when addressing that person?

Share your epistle in the comments section below.