Poetry Prompt #141

 Popsicle Daze                                 

National Grape Popsicle Day: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/days-2/national-grape-popsicle-day-may-27/

It rarely freezes in San Francisco, but boy, when it does . . . Grape Popsicle!

Here’s the story: in 1905, 11-year old Frank Epperson “was outside on his porch, mixing water with a powdered flavoring to make soda. Upon going inside, he left it there on the porch with the stirring stick still in it.  That night something that rarely ever happens in San Francisco happened: temps dipped below freezing! The following morning, Frank discovered the drink frozen to the stick.” *

Popsicles are now as much a part of summertime as, well, the sun! Who hasn’t sat on the steps hot afternoons slurping ice treats? Trying to catch the sweet syrup as it drips down your hand. Or maybe you’ve made your own popsicles, the way we did. We used to fill ice cube trays with whatever sweet drink was on hand: cola, root beer, Kool aid, lemonade—and yes sometimes grape juice—stick in toothpicks for sticks and wha-lah!  What about you? What memories come to mind when you think of popsicles? What was your favorite flavor? Grape?

Try writing a Tongue Twister about Popsicles. A tongue twister is a phrase that’s hard to say multiple times in quick succession or sometimes even once. Sally sells seashells by the sea shore, and Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers are two tried trustworthy tongue twisters.

Tongue Twister Tips:

There are three key elements in the twistiest tongue twister: alliteration, consonance, & confusion.

  • Alliteration: words that begin with the same-sound. Lucky Lucy liked_____ or tricky twisters twist ____.
  • Consonance: repeated consonants within a word or phrase. Think “pitter patter” “slippy splinter splitter”…
  • Confuse the reader’s eye and trip up their tongue with consonant combinations that are almost the same, but not… as in soldier’s shoulder or chains clang. And change the endings of words—s ending are really slippery.

With these elements in mind, begin by brainstorming phrases that come to mind when you say grape or popsicle. Wait! I think I hear the ice cream truck now…

*The rest of Frank’s story: Fast forward 17 years to a Fireman’s Ball in 1922, Epperson introduced his frozen treat-on-a-stick and the guests went wild. Knowing he was onto something—cheap to make, fun to slurp, Frank began selling “Epsicles” in an amusement park and finally, in 1924 he patented the “Epsicle,” which he renamed “Popsicle.”

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 1400 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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