Prompts




  • Write down 5 unusual fragments from overhead speech, news, conversations and other text you encounter today. Use these fragments to build a poem, repeating each fragment 3 times. Add subtle changes to the phrases as they reappear, end the poem abruptly. 

  • Write a 2-3 page poem that juggles multiple tracts of thought—personal, political, outside quotes, maxims. Don't think too hard while writing the first draft, write a lot and try to surprise yourself—really try to go off! Then step away and allow the draft to get "cold" for 24-48 hours. Make a new page of notes in your phone app in the meantime for potential lines to add. After some time, Revisit the original draft and edit thoroughly over the next few days.

  • Write a poem that takes its title from a work of art you have a relationship with (painting, film, book, etc). Make the poem about the piece and not about it at all. Can be as short or long as it needs to be.

  • Write a handful of haikus (don't worry about a strict 5-7-5 meter) then blend them together to make one poem. For some inspiration you can look around online and (Check out the anthology that the link mentions at the bottom, which is a lot of fun).

  • Write a poem that is "about" one thing, that is secretly (personally?) about another thing. Give a clue to the secret meaning in the title. 

  • Write a poem that gives examples of both the exterior and interior world. In other words, a poem that begins with description of what is happening outside the speaker's mind, moving to a description of what is happening inside (interiority). For example: https://poets.org/poem/pastoral-3. This poem ends by going back to the exterior; a concrete image.

  • Compose a poem that is made of a series of lines or sentences that in-and-of-themselves are complete thoughts. 

  • Consider—privately—whether you are intuitively atheist, agnostic, or a believer in something greater than yourself (“God” … ). Don’t share your thoughts. Write a poem from the opposite perspective

  • Source the internet for 5-10 aphorisms, adages or truisms, and paste them, double-spaced, into a blank Word document. Rewrite them in your own words, in between the lines. Delete the original sentences, and use yours to create an original poem. Give it a title.

  • Form: Choose a form not usually associated with poetry, then fill it out ... poetically.

  • Write a poem that makes use of numbered sections. Make sure to evolve in tone, theme, subject. Edit with a birds eye view. If you want more of an overall structure, think of a concept such as the four seasons, or twelve months, and write one corresponding section for each (four sections for the seasons, twelve for the months). Keep the concept a secret.








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