April 30, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompts – Brendan Constantine

Prompt 1
Go through your pile of broken poems, saved lines, favorite unused images. Start a new poem using them this way – begin EVERY sentence with “And then…”

Try for at least 14 lines (good poem length). Once you have a draft – try changing the order. Don’t have a file of saved material? Use 14 RANDOM lines and see what happens.

Prompt 2
This is for two or more people writing together.

One person writes 20 random questions beginning with “Why…”. They can be lofty  ‘poetic’ questions or otherwise.

Why have the birds stopped singing?
Why are there no more waffles?

The second person, out of the sight of the first, writes twenty random answers all beginning with “Because…”

Because no one appreciates genius
Because you’re adopted

Once you’ve both finished, try a call and response and see what happens. There is a potential for three good poems here – the questions, the answers, the exchange.

These poetry writing prompts submitted by Brendan Constantine.


If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 29, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Milo Rosebud

“Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner; Morning, Noon, and Night”. Tell us in a Sonnet how you lead your Life. Two lines for each word, and a Couplet of Advice.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Milo Rosebud.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 28, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Jen Karetnick

April is not just National Poetry Month. It is also Jazz Appreciation Month. Write a jazz sonnet a la Wanda Coleman – a non-rhyming, open-form sonnet with what Coleman calls a “jazzified rhythm structure” comprising 14-16 lines. See examples of her American Sonnets for inspiration and explication here and here. For a good interview with Coleman about her jazz sonnet process, read this.

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Jen Karetnick.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 27, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Suzanne Lummis

Write a love letter to a movie star or rock star you’ve never met. Make them want to meet you.

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Suzanne Lummis.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 26, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Sandra Soli

Internally Yours

Write a poem that exploits internal rhyme. Use slant/half rhyme, exact rhyme, eye rhyme, or any variety of your choosing. However, none of the rhymes may appear at the ends of lines. The purpose of this exercise is to explore the possibilities of sonic devices to add interest. Aim for unique rather than common rhymes such as the slant rhymes legion/bludgeon/pigeon or other unusual combinations.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Sandra Soli.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 25, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Debra Leissner

With Mother’s Day coming up in May, take this opportunity to write a sonnet about or to your mother. She might be your biological mother, adopted mother, grandmother, nanny, a teacher to whom you are or were particularly close, or even Mother Earth herself. Select your own rhyme scheme from the standards and remember that you are limited to 14 lines. Have fun!


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Debra Leissner.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 24, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Zvi A. Sesling

NASA has selected to send you to the moon. You have landed and look back at Earth. Write a poem about what you see and think about as you look at the home planet.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Zvi A. Sesling.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 23, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Peggy Nolan

My favorite writing exercise – Using the alphabet, write words in alphabetic order (ambivalent, banana, create, dog, etc) and then circle 8 words and write a poem or short story. Have fun!

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Peggy Nolan.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 22, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Liz Minette

Pick three words, anywhere: the street, a dictionary, cookbook, anywhere – any page, street, idea – & build a poem around those three words.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Liz Minette.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 21, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Clint Hirschfield

Write a transposition poem using any poem from one of your favorite writers, the voice of the poem usually turns out to mirror the original.

Transposing Poe:

A Dream: Edgar Allan Poe

In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken hearted.
Ah what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?
That holy dream-that holy dream,
Whole all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.
What though that light, thro’ storm and night,
So trembled from afar-
What could there be more purely bright
In truth’s day-star?

A DREAM: Clint Hirschfield

Broken-hearted
A ray of light on dark of night, a dream
of life
To hath those whose eyes are chiding
cast around on him
Left that a truth’s holy dream guiding me
Thro’ storm and night
In visions with joy things departed there
Lovely beam as light and him from afar
I have dreamed upon the past world while
All were but waking
What trembled could be a star
What day is not, turned back by what dream
So the dream cheered in that though more
Purely bright


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Clint Hirschfield.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 20, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Ellen Sander

Look at your feet. Are they bare, stockinged, shod? Recall some of the places your feet have been, e.g. the beach, grandparents’ home, the stairs of a school you went to. Write a “place” poem that starts with your feet.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Ellen Sander.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 19, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Vic Vosen

Think of an axiom that’s a bit wordy, such as “we stand on the shoulders of giants” and expound. Find context and relevancy for it in your own life pushing the maxim further than it’s ever meant before and try to find the hidden conclusions corollary that you are either are ignorant of but can now see, or possibly a logical conclusion that draws a straight line for you in your own world view.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Vic Vosen.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 18, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Carlton Johnson

In the Greek story of Laocoon, the father and two sons are fed to giant serpents after attempting to expose the ruse of the Trojan Horse. Virgil has Laocoon saying the phrase “Do not trust the Horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greek even bearing gifts.”

Write a poem about a ‘gift’ was received and had perilous consequences.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Carlton Johnson.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 17, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Michael Virga

On this International Haiku Poem Day 2016 write a poem featuring the Haiku.

Haiku – for such a small creation, has generated a literary history(lit story) of essays, competitions, and anthologies attempting to capture the essence of this elusive image-driven short form that lingers butterfly-like at the tip of the Mount Olympus of poetry — not survival of the fittest – the enduring existence of the Inspired

On this one day of 365 – the 17th day in NPM – treat the haiku to a poem of your making a haiku homage or a stance exploratory experimental or even anti-haiku

the haiku is
not heavy
handed

perhaps in haiku form as a series of haiku stanzas or any other free or metrical form – for example a long-winded pantoum on the non-repetitive one-breath haiku poem


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Michael Virga.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 16, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Scott Ferry

Think of the unhinged dream word of children, and even more so, adults. Think of ten titles to children’s stories which do not exist, yet. Remember many fairy tales and many contemporary children’s stories are violent and frightening, as are dreams. This need not be fluffy. You can either let your poem exist as the ten titles, or spring off and write poems for each title later.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Scott Ferry.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 15, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Prasanna Surakanti

Memorize a poem and Write it in your own words

When I started reading

“The birds have flown their summer skies to the south,..” of Thomas Mcgrath’s Beyond the Red River, the words naturally wanted to stick in my brain. So it was very easy to memorise.

The fun part started when I started on learning all of it. Thats when I would see that I would write it differently. In that process I paid more attention to the language of the poem.

This prompt is to take you on the wonderful journey of memorizing a poem as a way of understanding it more, while trying to write it.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Prasanna Surakanti.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 14, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Bruce Taylor

Go through old family photographs and find one of yourself, taken at least five years ago. Describe the person in the photograph what he or she did, thought, said, or hoped. How is that person like or unlike the person you are now?


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Bruce Taylor.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 13, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Miriam Sagan

Step A
Pick one of the following topics:
”I remember”
OR
”Things I have lost” 
 Using a notebook and writing by hand (please do try this, we won’t do it much, but it is a good technique) start with the topic and write for ten minutes or approximately two notebook pages. Be loose, wild, and do not write poetry–no rhyme, no line breaks.

Step B
Take the prose block you have written and break it into poetry. This will work best if typed so you can see clearly–and have ready to send. Discard any material you don’t like–for example, the opening may be warm up that can just be dropped. Break the lines where it feels natural. Read aloud and break where you breath. Use long lines if possible.

TIPS ON HOW TO STRUCTURE THE LINES

Traditionally in English lines have run ten syllables with five of them “stressed’ or emphasized. This is basically iambic pentameter. However, it isn’t usually that strict. If you look at any line of Shakespeare’s you will see it is rarely in rigid iambic pentameter.
For our purposes, consider the basic traditional line in English to be 9-12 syllables, with 10 as the norm. 4-5 syllables are stressed per line. In American poetry, however, iambic pentameter is considered too British. While the meter is supposed to imitate speech, American speech differs from British speech. American poets William Carlos Williams and Charles Olsen devised a method called SYLLABICS for American poets.

In syllabics you count the number of syllables per line and attempt to standardize this throughout the poem. For example, if line 1 has 7 syllables, all the rest should have the same. You can also be looser, and run the lines 6-8 syllables or some such range. Many contemporary poets use this, including Robert Creeley and Lucille Clifton. You might look at a poem you like, count the syllable, and see what is going on.

WHEN YOU BREAK YOUR PROSE BLOCK INTO LINES–TRY SYLLABICS. 
Try to go for lines of at least five syllables and less than twelve. Stay in a moderate range.

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Miriam Sagan.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 12, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Maggie Westland

Write about an act of kindness – either one you observed directly or one which came your way. Do NOT write a self serving poem about how kind you were to someone else.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Maggie Westland.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 11, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Don Kingfisher Campbell

You are in charge of putting on a parade. You can choose who will be in it. No limitations. Let the stanzas flow one below the other to the end of the event.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Don Kingfisher Campbell.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 10, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Jill Cournoyer

Find an old diary, journal, letter, notes, etc. that you wrote. Close your eyes, open it up, and put your finger on a page. Use only the words in that paragraph (or page/section if small) to create a poem. You may repeat the words and use different forms (i.e., long, longing, longest) of them. The poem should try to change the original tone or meaning of the words in the found passage to create a new tone or meaning.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Jill Cournoyer.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 9, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Richard Widerkehr

If you like writing fast, using word lists, try writing a poem that uses what I call mixed diction, a sort of goulash: make a list of about ten nouns and active verbs. Some are short plain words like “foot.” Some are longer fancier words like”divulge” or “bituminous.” Include at least one slang expression like “hocus-pocus.” Many variations are possible. Mix contemporary words like “screen saver” with more “poetic” words like “luminous.” (Avoid using “shards.” There were too many “shards” in last year’s PSH contest.)

Write this in five to seven minutes.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Richard Widerkehr.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 8, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – David Coombs

Take a child’s drawing (the kind you might hang on the refrigerator) and interpret it in a poem or describe what is going on from an adults viewpoint.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by David Coombs.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 7, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Oonah Joslin

Breakfast: Love it or hate it, there are many forms of the first meal of the day. It is different in different cultures. It differs throughout history. It varies from person to person, solitary, communal, on the go or luxury. Maybe you’ve had an Elizabethan breakfast — maybe you’ve had an embarrassed breakfast — the moring after…maybe you can imagine us up the breakfast of the future? I’d love to read some breakfast poems whatever form they take.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Oonah Joslin.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 6, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Emily Vieweg

Pick two books by two different authors.
In the first book, turn to page 45.
The sixth sentence is the beginning of the first stanza.
Write for twenty minutes.

Take the first name of the author of the second book.
Rewrite from that person’s point of view.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Emily Vieweg.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 5, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Robert Wynne

Go to the kitchen. Pick something (a food item, a piece of cutlery, a small household appliance) and write a Creation Myth for it. How and why was it created? Make something up. Be creative with your thinking, and generous with your language. Here’s an example:

Creation Myth: Toast

The stubborn sun rose, not because it was riding
in a chariot, but because it couldn’t sleep any longer.
Bread brushed crumbs from its face and remembered

last night’s dream, the crunching sounds like footsteps
on fresh snow. The knife, when it came, was a relief
from the simple sentence imposed on each loaf

by oven after oven, with their promises and lies.
Crust crumbled at the edges, and questioned
how dawn light stretched the blade’s shadow

past the table and onto the floor. It is important
to remember that fire is a form of love, the way
energy embraces some things until they become

something entirely new. So it was that flames
tongued the soft slice until it blushed golden brown.
So it was that even peanut butter softened

at the sight of such beauty, and grain learned
what it could be: crisp and hot, firmer over time
and able to carry so much on its back. Still,

no one knows what hand guided the transformation
but toast has no time for such mundane concerns.


This poetry writing prompt submitted by Robert Wynne.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 4, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Jessica Wilson Cardenas

We all the have the ability to create, move and shake, in our own lives. Let’s explore the topic of POWER! Write a poem where using the starting lines:
“I am…. ”
“I make…”

Continue this repetition throughout your poem.
You will discover the powers that you raise in kind, and learn much more about your abilities to move and shake your world! Write on!

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Jessica Wilson Cardenas.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 3, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Winston Plowes

The Poetry of Small Things

Look round your house and write about something you find that’s small (about the size of your hand) in only 5 lines.

Now write about something tiny (smaller than your little finger) using only 3 lines.

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Winston Plowes.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 2, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Trish Lindsey Jaggers

A fan of W.S. Merwin, I find his poetry and prose to be prompts in and of themselves. The title of his recent book *Unchopping the Tree* gave me an idea for a prompt to use both in my own poetry and for my writing group.

Write an apostrophe poem about “undoing” a permanently-done thing: unlosing the money, uncutting the hair, unslicing/uneating the cake, undraining the lake, uncracking the egg, unshooting the rabbit/dear/buffalo/turkey, unfailing the class, unsaying the words—you get the idea.

An apostrophe poem is a poem addressed to the person, idea, or thing as though it were a living thing and could respond. For instance, an apostrophe poem written to unburning the house might begin:
“If I’d only known how you’d respond,
your ashen face bowed toward me, wet and streaked
with soot, I would have been more careful with you
and the fires I lit inside you . . .”

Have fun with this exercise—even if you write “about” the permanently-done thing instead of “to” it. I’ve got a collection of apostrophe poems, and I am adding two more based on “un.”

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Trish Lindsey Jaggers.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 1, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Bill Gleed

Imagine you’re a super hero. Not one of the existing fictional super heroes, but a brand new super hero of your own invention. You don’r have actual super powers, though. You’re just an ordinary real life super hero, or maybe you’re the secret identity of the new hero. What’s your back story? Is there a narrative? Who do you save? How do you do it? You can go in almost any direction with this. You can be socially conscious…You can be a cynic super hero who is burnt out and doesn’t give a damn. You can be a frustrated super hero, or you can be a small super hero for just one person. You can be whatever you can imagine for whatever reason.

Or you can flip the whole thing and be an arch nemesis. (Which might be more fun.) You can do this as two poems side by side, too, if you want to go for it.

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Bill Gleed.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry