Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some Poetry Prompts as We Leap into National Poetry Month

Some of us are about to start our April regimen of writing a poem a day. You might be like me, with lots of poetry ideas stored up that you itch to get started writing.

But maybe you're not inspired. So, I offer here a week's worth of poetry prompts. I decided to focus them all on fairy tales, myth, and other types of tales that already exist. That way, some of the work has been done for you.

So, first you must choose a fairy tale, a Bible story, a myth, your favorite novel (or TV show or movie) or some other tale that has a narrative. Then try some of the following:

--Write a poem from the point of view of one of the minor characters. Don't limit yourself to the human characters. For example, what would Cinderella's pumpkin which was turned into a pumpkin and then into a coach and then back into a pumpkin say?

--Write a poem that's a prequel or a sequel. How are Cinderella and the Prince getting along 10 years after the Ball?

--If you're working with an older story, modernize it. For example, think about the big, bad wolf. What would today's big, bad wolf, come to blow down our houses, look like? A predatory lender perhaps?

--Take one of the strong images from the work and incorporate it into a poem that has nothing to do with the original story. Could you use the image of a glass slipper without mentioning fairy stories?

--Take strong images from several works, combine them, and see what happens. For example, take melting wings from mythology, glass slippers, red capes, a baby in a manger, and Oliver Twist's empty porridge bowl--put them all in a poem, and what kind of glorious mess will result?

--Take characters from two (or more) different works and have them collide. What happens when the Prodigal Son meets Cinderella during his travels?

--On a day when you have no time to write, turn the myth or fairy tale into a haiku (you remember haiku--3 lines, 5 syllables in the first and third line and 7 in the second).


Serena said...

I've added this link to the Hubbub Around the Blogosphere feature on my blog...thanks for posting these great ideas. I know Poetic Asides will be doing this beginning April 1.

Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

I'm so honored to be featured on the sidebar on your blog--thanks!