Poetry Prompt #140

Rescue Dogs

Have you ever rescued a dog or do you know a rescue dog? The ones I know are wonderful—and lucky. They have nice homes after starting out in less than perfect situations. They’re smart and happy and full of love.

An ode is short poem praising something. Today’s prompt is to write an ode praising a rescue dog. Think about what it looks like, acts like, anything that makes the dog special. You can write it to your dog friend if you want!

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.

Poetry Prompt #139

National Frog Jumping Day

Three Ribbits for National Frog Jumping Day! Ribbit! Ribbit! Ribbit!

As long as toads have been croaking, frogs (and kids) have been jump-jump-jumping, and, every May 13th, in honor of Mark Twain’s first published short story, Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog (better known as The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County or The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County) folks have been celebrating frog jumping day.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the longest frog jump on record is 1.21 m (3 ft 11.64 in)—compared to the frog jumps recorded at the Calaveras County Frog Jumping Jubilee, a mere hop.  The 2019 Calaveras Country winner “The Webbed One” jumped 18 feet 6 inches! Seeing a frog jump that far is surely the stuff of poetry!

It Jumped How Far?

Let’s invoke the spirit of Mark Twain by writing a hyperbolic poem about a long-high-far jumping frog, or a person who jumps like a frog, or a frog-jumping contest—creator’s choice. See how many words for jump you can include in the poem. And don’t forget to add a ribbit or three:

April Pulley Sayer’s book: Being Frog http://www.aprilsayre.com/2020/01/31/being-frog/

Calveras Country Frog Jumping Jubilee: http://lace23.wixsite.com/frogjump/history

*According to the Guiness Book of World’s Record, that 1.21 meter frog jump was achieved by Noa Möller (Sweden) at Palatset in Stockhom, Sweden, on 19 November 2011.

Guiness World Record: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-frog-jump

Longest Frog Jump: https://www.livescience.com/40480-biggest-frog-jumps-calaveras.html

“In 1865, Mark Twain published his first short story, Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog. Later, he changed the name and published it as The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.  This same story also had a third title, The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

“Mark Twain’s story about a pet frog named Dan’l Webster and a casual competition between two men betting on whose frog jumps higher, is the origin of National Frog Jumping Day.  The annual Frog Jumping Contest, which began in 1849 in Calaveras County, California, is also an origin of this holiday.

Use #FrogJumpingDay to post on social media.

National Frog Jumping Day: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/days-2/national-frog-jumping-day-may-13/

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.

Poetry Prompt #138

Revision

One of the best things to do to make a poem better is to read your poem aloud. Find a poem that you’d like to make better and do the following:

1) Can you replace weak words with more visual words? Words like “that” or “was” or “is” can usually be replaced with something stronger. Try to make every word count.

2) Listen to the sounds of each word. Is there a sound that’s repeated in your poem? Can you replace words to add more of that sound?

3) Read your poem very slowly. Pause at the end of each line. Is that the best word to end on? Play with your line lengths and with punctuation. Make readers read it the way you want them to.

4) Repeat these steps until you’re satisfied and then read the poem once more aloud.

Happy revising!

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.

Poetry Prompt # 137

XYZ: Xamine Your ZZZipppppper!

Two Part Question: 1. Did you wear a coat or pants today? 2. How did you clasp the front closed?

If your answer to the second part was “I zipped it up!” Then put on your party hat and let’s here it for Elias Howe!* It’s National Zipper Day!

Elias Howe’s first zipper wasn’t called a zipper. When Howe filed his patent in 1851, it was for an “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.” But …Howe never tried to market or sell his invention, so it wasn’t until 42 years later when Whitcomb Judson patented a fastener similar to but not exactly the same called the “Clasp Locker.” Judson debuted his clasp locker at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. But… people were too zipped up at that time to fathom doing away with button hooks and laces, so nothing came of it. Finally, in 1917, a fella who worked at the company Judson founded, Gideon Sundback invented the “Separable Fastener.” Folks liked it, but…no one knew quite what to do with it. Apparently, the trouble was all in the name. It wasn’t until 1923 when B. F. Goodrich tried the danged zipper as a boot fastener and coined the name that stuck. Which brings us to our prompt.

Back in my school yard days, whenever a friend forgot to zip his or her pants, we’d call out with a helpful XYZ! Let’s begin by doing exactly that. By design a zipper is “two facing-rows of teeth that pull into a single piece by the slider.” In honor of National Zipper Day let’s choose two different sets of words and link them together—zip them—into a poem.

Let’s begin with two words. But, just as zipping a snug pair of jeans isn’t easy, let’s not make this poem come together too easily. Choose two words that do not seem at all connected. For instance: Tire & Popcorn; Carnival & Pencil; Snow & Tabasco. You get the idea.

Write each word on one side of a paper. Now, take a moment to list at least 5 words that relate to each of those words.

Weave, link, fasten—zip these words together into one poem. Extra points for physically arranging the poem into a zipper shape on the page. Ready! Set! X.Y.Z.

*That zipper isn’t the only thing about those clothes for which we have good ole Elias to thank. He also invented the sewing machine. Without him, instead of closets & drawers full of clothes to choose from, we might be scrounging around in hand-sewn sacks tied with string—zip it, Pontificator, stick to the subject!

National Zipper Day: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/days-2/national-zipper-day-april-29/

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.

Poetry Prompt #136

Earth Day

The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970—fifty years ago! It is now celebrated by millions of people all over the world who care about our planet.

One way to celebrate our world is to write a poem about it. Because haiku is usually written about nature, today is a great day to write one (or two or three).

Haiku usually has three lines with 5 syllables on the first and third line and 7 syllables on the second.

Think about what you most appreciate about Earth on this Earth Day and write a haiku celebrating that trait.

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.

Poetry Prompt #135

Bird Song Therapy

Stop! Listen! What’s that Sound? Everybody look what’s flitting round! *

Birds! Hear them? See them? Now, in this time of CoVid-19 mandated Lockdown, with most human-made noises stilled and human activity slowed, Birds are everywhere! (Or were they always everywhere and we were too busy to notice?) I’m noticing now!

There’s something therapeutic about watching birds flutter and flit about, calling to each other—especially now when we humans are trapped in our cages and the birds are free. For today’s post, let’s send our imaginations winging with the birds.

Position yourself in a quiet spot with your eyes and ears tuned to the world beyond your window and listen to the birds. What are they singing about? Are they greeting each other? Squabbling? Sharing news of the world—just learning to tweet?

See if you can track the bird songs to a specific bird or clump of birds. If not, close your eyes and imagine yourself amongst the birds.

Nestlings in sis-in-law Liz’s pansies.
Nestlings in sis-in-law Liz’s pansies.

Write a poem about what you’re seeing—and most especially hearing.

Incorporate the sounds and rhythm of the birds into your poem to make it sing!

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.

Join Audubon Alaska’s Bird Poetry party. Each week a new bird poem prompt is posted. Try it! Submit it! Submissions will be published. And, what’s more! Each week’s poems are mashed to create a collective poem. #AudubonAlaska

Poetry Prompt #134

Zoo Lover’s Day

It’s National Zoo Lover’s Day. Imagine you’re an animal at the zoo. How would you describe the people looking at you? What would you think they love based on the people they’re with or what they’re wearing or eating? How would you—the animal—know if you’re right?

Write a poem from the point-of-view of a zoo animal. What does it see, think, feel? Who are its friends/enemies? When is dinner?

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.

Poetry Challenge #133

Dear April Fools

Because it’s what one does on April Fool’s day, let’s be epistolary pranksters!  An epistolary poem, also called a verse letter, is simply a poem in the form of an epistle or letter. Think up a prank to play on some good sport in the form of a letter. Epistolary poems can take any form, from couplets to lists, rhyming and free verse. So take a few moments to push some poetic elements and/or impose a form on your prank.

If you’re feeling naughty, send your epistolary poem…

Don’t forget to say “April Fools” after!

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.

Poetry Challenge #132

Little Red Wagons Get Rolling!

Norman has a little red wagon—that’s how he rolls! Bennett & Jack have one, too. How about you?

Do you remember bumping along the street pulling a little red wagon? Or maybe, as my brother and his friends did, attaching the wagon to your dog’s leash and trying to get him/her to tow you?

wagon-Norman.jpg

If you had a Little Red Wagon who or what would you fill it with? Or, if you’re the passenger, who’d be pulling the wagon? And where would your adventuring take you? Imagine the rhythm of the wheels rolling along. What does it sound like? What does it feel like? 

Create a rhythmic Little Red Wagon poem by first creating a refrain evoking the sound and feel of the ride. See if you can use the refrain three times in your 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 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.

Poetry Challenge #131

Mining

Sometimes it’s fun to mine your writing for gems. These gems can become a take-off point for a new poem or story.

Read through some of your older poems. Pick a line or phrase that you like from three different poems. Then put those lines in some sort of order and write a new poem. Add words or lines as needed.

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.