NAPOWRIMO 2020 – Prompt 8

By on Apr 7, 2020 in Poetry

Henri Mattise, "Woman with a Hat"Henry Matisse, “Woman with a Hat”


April is National Poetry Writing Month, and many poets like to challenge themselves to write a poem a day. With that in mind, Wild Violet will be sharing poetry prompts each day: one geared towards adults and one for kids. 

If you write a poem based on this prompt, feel free to share a link to your poem, or the poem itself, in the comments. Poems appearing in the comments are not considered published in Wild Violet, and you retain all rights to your work.


Art as Inspiration

For adults:

Just like poetry, artwork comes from a variety of sources of inspiration. By tapping into the visual language of a painting, sculpture, or photographic print, you can convey the feelings that artwork evokes. Page through an art book, if you have one, or if you don’t, sift through the random art prints at Random Classic Art Gallery for a work that speaks to you, and write about the emotions, thoughts, or observations it inspires. For some famous poems based on paintings, visit article, “Listed: Poems Inspired by Paintings.”


For children:

Artwork is like poetry for the eyes. Try looking at a piece of art and writing a poem about it, using the following steps.

  • Either look through an art book at home, if you have one, or click on the links at the page, Art History and Artists for Kids. Choose a painting that you really like or that makes you think.
  • Write down your observations about the painting. How would you describe it (use of color, realistic or abstract, dark or light)? What does it remind you of? How does it make you feel? Does the painting tell a story? Does it raise any questions, such as what might be happening outside of the frame? 
  • Take your most interesting observations and turn them into a poem.


Looking at Mattisse’s “Woman with a Hat”

In her world, shadows come in colors.
Lilac, baby blue, red and even forest green.
As if she’d bathed in a pool of melted crayons,
she’s covered with a waxy rainbow.
She peers crossly at me over her shoulder,
disapproving of my ordinary earth tones.


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.