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.

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 ear wormed 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 to remove 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.

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