Select one of the following four prompts to write your first poem of the week in the form or style of your choice.
- Think about something that you did or said to someone that you regret. Write a poem of apology, comprising five 4 line stanzas, with the same number of stressed syllables in each line. Avoid sentimentality. Rely on images, rhythm, and structure to convey your regret.
- Think about all the things we celebrate for anniversaries: weddings, ends of wars, beginnings of countries, the first moon landing, The Beatles landing in the U.S. and the list goes on. Write a poem celebrating things we do not normally acknowledge for an anniversary: a removed spleen, your first flu, the last time you bullied someone, or that one time you ignored your parents when they asked you to do something. The form is completely up to you, but it should be no less that twelve lines.
- Think of a person from your past, someone you wish you’d gotten to know better and have always remembered. Think about why you wish you’d gotten to know this person better—did he or she do something that intrigued you, did he or she have a particular way about them, did you an important moment together? Write a poem to this person, exploring what it was about him or her that has remained with you, even though the person hasn’t.
- Rites of passage, a kind of portal from one stage of life to another. Write a poem about moving from one stage of life, like adolescence to puberty, elementary school to middle school, young adult to middle age, and so on…but in list form.
- A list poem often uses repetition
- It can be free verse and not rhyme
- Often involves a list of items or characteristics
- The last line or two often sums up the characteristics of the subject in a humorous or particularly hard-hitting way
Check out more information about list poems as well as this 250-year-old list poem by Christopher Smart called Jubilate Agno for your stop, drop, and read a poem moment.
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