NAPOWRIMO 2020 – Prompt 19

By on Apr 18, 2020 in Poetry

Milton, Pennsylvania in March 2016 by Alyce Wilson

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. 



For adults:

Vivid details that involve the senses lead to stronger poems. Some senses, however, tend to be easier to write about. Most poets feel very comfortable relying on visual images, sometimes incorporating the other senses, as well. For today’s poem, try focusing on sound. You can spend some time listening to the sounds around you, or you can write about a sound you remember from either childhood or from your daily life. Then try reading it aloud and see if it evokes the sound that inspired it. For examples, read “The Sound of the Sun” by George Bradley, “The Sound of One Fork” by Minnie Bruce Pratt and “Hearing” by W.S. Merwin


For children:

We spend so much time making noise that we often forget to listen. Set a timer for two minutes and listen to the sounds in your house. Then write a poem about them. It can be a simple list, or you can add some of your thoughts and feelings about the sounds you hear.

Sounds at 7:30 p.m.

A truck bumps onto a highway ramp
Quiet music and typing
A chair creaks
If you listen carefully, you can hear
the brush of your skin against fabric
A lone car, driving somewhere important


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.