Poetry Challenge #115

Knit Wits

Old Lady whispering hush.jpg

Think “knitting” and an image of the “quiet old lady whispering ‘hush’” springs to many a mind. But that’s bunk. At last week’s VCFA Writing for Children and Young Adults Alumni workshop flashing, clicking needles were everywhere. Co 7-Minute Challenge creator, Cindy, is a big knitter. So am I, in my fashion. And in the same way, so are you.

Knitting is such a useful word. In the same way yarn becomes sweaters, wounds knit back together. Families are closely knit. Brows knit in consternation or contemplation. Thoughts knit together become ideas, just as words knit together can be poetry.

In Merriam-Webster speak, knitting is “a series of connected loops,” so that’s where we’ll begin.

  • Close your eyes and write down the first word that pops into your mind. One word. That word will be the title of your poem.
  • Next, quickly list words that you associate with your word.  From that list, choose the best five.
  • Take a moment to reorder those five words into a sort of pattern that makes sense to you.
Classic Knit-One, Purl-Two pattern
Classic Knit-One, Purl-Two pattern

Let’s use our wits to knit those words together to create a poem. For our first effort, we’ll use a simple knit one, purl two pattern. Consider those five words to be your “knit” stitches. The “purl” part of our poem will be modifiers. Let’s get knitting!

Write your first “knit” word. Below it “purl” two modifiers. Below that purl, write your next “knit” word, then “purl” two; continue in this knit one-purl two pattern until you come to the end of your word list. Just like that you’ve knitted a 10-line poem

Set your timer for 7 minutes

Don’t think about it too much; just do it!

Start writing!

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1300 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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