NaPoWriMo Prompt 25

By on Apr 25, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

We are nearing the end of the NaPoWriMo challenge. How are you doing? Today, “V” is for “Viewpoint.” The nature of a poem can change dramatically based on who narrates it. Sometimes the best way to elevate a poem is by changing the point of view. For example, while I was in grad school, I watched a woman with her guide dog on campus, marveling at how well they communicated non-verbally. When I attempted to write a poem from the woman’s point of view, I felt it was flat and uninteresting, but by inhabiting the dog’s point-of-view, I brought the poem to...

Read More

NaPoWriMo Prompt 24

By on Apr 24, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

We are nearing the end of the NaPoWriMo challenge, and in case you’re still behind, today’s prompt might give you a break. “U” is for “Utterance.” According to Lewis Turco in The New Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics (University Press of New England, 1986), an utterance is a spontaneous word or phrase. He describes the Japanese form the mondo, which consists of a question and its spontaneous, intuitive answer. As an example, he provides the short poem:   Why does the brook run? The banks of the stream are green. Further, he describes the katauta form,...

Read More

NaPoWriMo Prompt 23

By on Apr 23, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

On day 23 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, “T” is for “Transcendentalism.” This was a poetic movement of the mid-19th Century, outlined by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1836 manifesto “Nature.” According to the Poetry Foundation’s page on the movement, Emerson explained “that the natural and material world exists to reveal universal meaning to the individual soul via one’s subjective experiences. He promoted the poet’s role as seer, a ‘transparent eyeball’ that received insight intuitively through his or her perception of...

Read More

NaPoWriMo Prompt 22

By on Apr 22, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

In order to keep things interesting, on Day 22 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, “S” is for “Sevenling.” This is a seven-line poem with no set rhyme or meter but with specific line requirements, as follows, from the Wikipedia page on the form: Lines one to three should contain three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities. This can take up all of the three lines or be contained anywhere within them. Lines four to six should similarly have three elements (statements, details, names, or possibilities) connected directly or...

Read More

NaPoWriMo Prompt 21

By on Apr 21, 2015 in Blog | 2 comments

On Day 21 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, “R” is for “Repetition.” Many types of repetition can be effective in poetry. Try reading the examples of poems that use refrains (repeated lines) at the Poetry Foundation page. I also recommend visiting the Repetition page at, which includes a fuller discussion about the types of repetition used in poetry, along with some examples from famous poets. 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...

Read More

NaPoWriMo Prompt 20

By on Apr 20, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

As we continue the NaPoWriMo challenge, on Day 20, let’s depart from the alphabet briefly. Today, our prompt is “20” or “Stream-of-Consciousness.” Read “20” by Barbara Guest, a stream-of-consciousness poem sparked by the number 20. Then write your own stream-of-consciousness poem, either inspired by the number 20, or inspired by anything else. Don’t take too long to come up with a jumping-off point: You could grab something off your desk or use the first thing you notice when you go outside. Feel free to share your poem (or a link to your poem)...

Read More