Poetry Challenge #34

I Have Never…

There are many things I’ve never done. I’ve never pet a tiger although I had a stuffed one growing up. I’ve never eaten snails or octopus. I’ve never run a marathon or climbed a mountain over 3000 feet tall.

Make a list of some things you’ve never done. Try dividing your list into sections: things you’ve never done and never want to do, things you’d like to do but haven’t done yet, and things that seem impossible. Write a poem using some of these. It could be a list poem or it could be about one of these things. Maybe it’s a wish poem of things you want to do.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #33

“Yes, You May!”

It’s May! It’s May! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, grass is growing, trees are branching out—and so are we! Hooray! Hooray!

Taking a cue from the musical Camelot’s Lusty Month of May song, in which merrymakers prance about singing “It’s May! It’s May! The month of Yes, You May!” we’re giving ourselves permission to break a few rules.

With “Yes, You May” as the title, write a poem giving someone (or something)—maybe yourself—permission to be naughty, mischievous, daring—in other words, to do something he, she, it—YOU—would never, ever do. As this poem is a celebration of May, use flowery, colorful, provocative language. And, if you’re in the mood to be extra daring, give permission to go all out by having every line begin with “Yes, You May” . . .

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #32

Pick a Number…

Do you have a favorite number? Mine is 5. You can pick your own number for this challenge or use a deck of cards or a pair of dice to come up with a random one. Same with the letter. Pick your own or draw a letter from a word game. Have fun!

1) Pick a number between 1 and 10.
2) Pick a letter.
3) Write a poem using that many syllables (or that many words) on each line.
4) Use as many words as possible beginning with your letter.
5) Write at least seven lines. Play with those words.

Here’s a poem I made up following these directions:

5, L
Lucy leaves little
lines between luscious
legumes planted in
her least favorite
plot of the garden.
Limited color
of light leaves lay to
the left creating
some leathernecking.
Let them alone and
they will grow lavish.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #31

Hello Earth! It’s Me _______________ the Tree

Since 1970, when Earth Day, a bigger, more expansive world-wide environmental “Movement” came into creation (take that J. Sterling Morton), Arbor Day has lost its popularity—but trees haven’t.

In the spirit of inclusivity, with a nod to Arbor Day on Earth Day, here we go:

For this prompt, you’ll need a clean sheet of paper (kind of ironic, isn’t it) and something to write with (a No.2 pencil perhaps).

We’re going to create a Shape Poem about a tree. But not just any tree, the tree you’d like to be.

FYI: “A Shape Poem is a type of poetry that describes an object and is shaped the same as the object the poem is describing.”

#1: Imagine Yourself as a Tree.

#2: Ask yourself what kind of tree are you? What do you look like? What’s your name?

#3: Draw a picture of YOU _____________ the Tree. As this is only a 7-minute prompt, make it a quick sketch (you can always embellish later).

Above your tree sketch, add the title:
Hello Earth! It’s Me ___your name here_____ the Tree.

Now, with You the Tree in mind, doodle words, phrases, questions, all around your tree’s roots, trunk, branches . . . add leaves, vines creatures.

And if you feel inspired, use those words to pencil a poem about You the Tree.

Or, heck, run outside and
Hug A Tree!
Climb A Tree!
Hang your poem from a tree!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #30

Loop Poem

Round and round and round we go!

In a loop poem, the last word of a line becomes the first word of the next line and so on until the last word of the poem which should be the first word of the poem.

Here’s an example I made up:

Read a book,
book a plane,
plane a board,
board a train,
train a dog,
dog-ear a page,
page my doctor,
doctor the soup,
soup up the horse,
horse around time,
time for a walk,
walk home and read.

Now you try it. Can you write a loop poem of at least seven lines?

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

 

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #29

Name-Name Bo-Bame Game

Start with your name, ala The Name Game.

Repeat your name twice, stick a “bo” in the mix, finish by changing the first letter of your name with a B. Like this:

Kelly-kelly bo belly

Now, using that as the beginning, write a rhyming poem by changing the endings of other words so they rhyme, too. (If you’re stuck start by making a list of words that end with the same sound your name does: belly, swellie, jelly, ellie, smelly, umbrellie . . . ) Feel free to make up words, too. After all, this is your poem!

Sound hard? Maybe . . .

Sound fun? YES-YES BO-BES!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

 

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 700 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #28

Balliol

Another fun form of poetry is the balliol. The balliol is a four-line poem that has two pairs of rhyming couplets (a couplet is two lines). Each line contains four beats (which you can get by writing eight syllables). Balliols are usually funny and about a person. The first couplet includes the person’s name. The second talks about what they do or who they are.

Here’s an example I came up with:

Inventor Thomas Edison
had light bulb moments in his den.
He lit the streets so all could tell
’twas one o’clock and all was well.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

 

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 700 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #27

Here Comes the Sun!

Move to a brighter spot, somewhere you are either in the sun, or where you can witness the effects of sunshine. Don your sunglasses and shade hat to get you in a springy mood. There, now your ready!

First: Brainstorm a list of words that rhyme with either the word “Spring” or “Sun”–your choice.

Now: Using the words from your list, write a springy-sunny poem entitled “Here Comes the Sun!”

Here Comes the Sun Playlist:
• Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
• Feeling Groovy by Simon & Garfunkle
• Sunshine on My Shoulder by John Denver
• And one for Max: Springtime in Alaska by Johnny Horton
• One that is anything but springy, but I couldn’t resist: Three Days sung by KD Lang:

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

 

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 700 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #26

I’m a wordy bird! Are you?

Quite often we use too many words to get our point across. We’re going to do some math today and take away 25% of the words used in a poem. But don’t worry…it will be simple. Just do one step at a time!

Take Away!
Pick one of your poems. Count the words in the poem. Divide that number by 4 (round up if it’s not even). Take away (delete!) that many words. Reread your poem aloud. How does it sound?

Abracadabra! A poem becomes sharper, stronger, more interesting without so many words. . . And the best part is, if you don’t like the way the poem sounds without the words, you can always put them back. Bippity-boppity-boop!

If the thought of removing 25% of your words scares you, check out this example of how my poem changed when I slashed it by 25%:

Here’s the Poem I started with entitled 2/24:

“I can’t watch the news.
I see those teens
so earnest, so determined,
so hurt,
and imagine the pain
and grief
of their lives.
There can’t be peace
on earth while
lobbyist make fun
of “white mothers grieving”
Every word is loaded
and shot
with no regard
for stolen innocence.”

It has 50 words. Divide that by 4 and round up should be about 13. Subtract 13 from 50 and you get 37.
50-13=37

2/24 The 37 word version:

“Can’t watch the news.
See those teens
so determined.
Can’t imagine the grief
of their lives.
Can’t be peace
while lobbyists
make fun of
“white mothers grieving”.
Words loaded
and shot
with no regard
for stolen innocence.”

This second version feels stronger, doesn’t it? But I didn’t stop there. “Can I cut another 25%?” I asked. 37 words, divided by 4 and rounded up to get 10. Subtracted 10 from 37 to get 27.
37-10=27

2/24 The 27 word version:

“Can’t watch
those determined teens.
Can’t imagine the grief.
Can’t be peace
while lobbyists
ridicule
“white mothers grieving”.
Words loaded
and shot.
No regard
for stolen innocence.”

WHOA! What a difference! Now you try it!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.
Select a poem to revise.
Do The Math!
Take Away 25%

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 700 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #25

Double Dog Dare You to Delete the E

A lipogram consists of writing paragraphs or longer works in which a particular letter or group of letters is avoided. In its easiest form, a writer avoids using uncommon letters like X, J, Q, or Z. Or avoids words with “ing” or “ed” endings. More difficult lipograms avoid common letters like A, T or E—E being the most common letter in the English language.
If you think avoiding using E is tough, consider this: Ernest Vincent Wright wrote an entire 50,000 word novel, GADSBY, without using the letter E.

Well, dang. If Wright could write a whole novel without “E”, surely you and I can write a poem without “E”, can’t wii?

Begin with a poem you’ve already written. Revise it by deleting every “E” word and replacing it with another word, if necessary.

Or, if you’d rather, revise the poem using only “E” words.

Or, try writing an entirely new poem without the letter “E”.

(And no fair intentionally mis-spelling words to avoid using “E”, that’s cheating.)

For Inspiration:

American logologist A. Ross Eckler, Jr. recreated “Mary Had a Little Lamb” six times, excluding different letters each time. To see the results of his efforts, click over to Wikipedia.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 700 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 dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!