NaPoWriMo Prompt 26

By on Apr 26, 2015 in Blog

Multicolored shards with words on them

“Words / Palabras” by Catalina Olavarria (

As we near the end of the NaPoWriMo challenge, we are also nearly done with the alphabet. Today, “W” is for “Word.” Write a poem built around a specific word, or words. For this poem, you could select a random word from a dictionary and then write a poetic definition of that word, focusing on associations, images, and other intuitive forms of interpretation. Another method would be that, instead of coming up with your own definition, you begin with the dictionary definition of a word and highlight specific phrases or words that can springboard you into your own poem. Or, lastly, you could ask your friends or family members to generate a list of 5 to 10 words for you and then challenge yourself to incorporate as many as you can into a poem. Have fun!

Over the years, Wild Violet has published several definition poems, including “Roman Numerals” by Deborah H. Doolittle, which reflects on the impressions from various Roman numbers; “Reading Elephant” by Suellen Wedmore, recalling her childhood impressions upon first encountering the word; “Pit and Pit” by Ken Haas, comparing the meanings of two similar words; along with a series of “word definition” poems by David Kowalczyk: “Simpatico,” “Ursine,” “Venal” and “Wormwood.”

Feel free to share your poem (or a link to your poem) in the comments.

The NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge is to write 30 poems in 30 days during the month of April. For more, visit the official site,


Alyce Wilson is the editor of Wild Violet and in her copious spare time writes humor, non-fiction, fiction and poetry and infrequently keeps an online journal. Her first chapbook, Picturebook of the Martyrs; her e-book/pamphlet, Stay Out of the Bin! An Editor's Tips on Getting Published in Lit Mags ; her book of essays and columns, The Art of Life; her humorous nonfiction ebook, Dedicated Idiocy: How Monty Python Fandom Changed My Life, and her newest poetry collection, Owning the Ghosts, can all be ordered from her Web site, In late 2019, she published a volume of poetry by her third great-grandfather, Reading's Physician Poet: Poems by Dr. James Meredith Mathews, which also contains genealogical information about the Mathews family. She lives with her husband and son in the Philadelphia area and takes far too many photos of her handsome, creative son, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda.