Poetry Challenge #124

Alphabet Puzzles

Many forms of poetry are like puzzles—you try to fit the right words into a certain order or have the right number of beats/syllables on each line. Here are four poetry puzzles. Choose one to solve today and come back to this when you’re stuck for a topic some other day.

1) Can you use every letter of the alphabet in a poem? The letter can appear anywhere in the word and can be in any order.

2) For the next puzzle, you need to use a word starting with each letter of the alphabet in order. You can add other words between your words to help your poem make sense.

3) How about starting each line with a letter of the alphabet? How long a poem can you make that makes some sense?

4) Pick one letter. Can you write a poem using twenty words that begin with that letter?

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.

Poetry Challenge #123

Library Shelfie Day

Hooray! It’s Library Shelfie Day!

Observed every 4th Wednesday in January, Library Shelfie Day was founded by the NYPL (New York Public Library) as a way to celebrate and share our books by arranging a few favorites or entire collections on a shelf. Take a picture and share it on social media with the hashtag #LibraryShelfieDay. As we do, let’s observe Library Shelfie Day with a poem.

First, choose a few of your favorite titles…

Arrange them into a social media worthy collection and post it or not as you choose.

Then use your collection to create a poem.

Write 3 to 5 of your chosen book titles on a paper. These titles will form the basis of your poem. How you arrange them is entirely up to you. You may choose to use the titles exactly as they appear or mix words and phrases around. Feel free to add words to improve the poem. Or change the form of the words. However, there is one rule: You must use every word from every title. 

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.

Poetry Challenge #122

National Hat or National Bagel Day

Think of words that have to do with either hat or bagel. Come up with words to describe your pick, words you think of when you have one or the other, or words that those objects remind you of. Now use those words to form a shape poem. Fit the words into either the shape of a bagel or the shape of a hat. Make it beautiful!

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.

Poetry Challenge #121

Joy Germ Day

In the midst of cold-flu-ick-crud season, everyone’s trying to stay germ free. But, there’s one germ I’m hoping goes viral:  The Joy Germ!

Celebrated every January 8th, National Joy Germ day is a holiday created to remind people “that by being positive and treating people with kindness, we can influence those around us and pass that positive attitude on to others.”

Joy Germ day was established in 1981 by Joan White of Syracuse, New York, in honor of her mother.  Here’s Joan’s prescription for observing Joy Germ Day: “Laugh, smile, be kind, inspire and spread the one type of germ that is good for everyone to catch!”

Joy Germs

What’s your Joy? Imagine you are a scientist in a happy lab concocting your own Joy Germ. What ingredients would you use? What’s your Joy? What does it smell like? Taste like? Sound like? How would you spread your Joy Germ?

Write a poem titled “Joy Germ”

HOW TO OBSERVE Joy Germ Day:

Throughout the day, see how often you can spread the JoyGerm! Use #NationalJoygermDay to post on social media.

 “May a giant jar of jaunty joy germs rest gently on you and yours.”—Joan White National Joy Germ Day: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-joygerm-day-january-8/

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.

Poetry Challenge #120

New Year’s Day!!

At the beginning of the new year, everyone seems to have the best intentions. The most common resolutions people make are: exercise more, eat less, spend more time with family, get organized, save money, learn a new skill.

One thing that helps people succeed with their resolutions is when they tell other people what those resolutions are. Therefore, we’re going to write a resolution poem. First, think of three to five resolutions you would like to make this year. Then write a couplet (two lines that rhyme) about each resolution. Finally, share your poem with a friend—and get the friend to write one too. Reread your poem (and your friend’s) at least once a month to remind yourself of what you’re trying to do. Good luck!

And Happy New Year!!

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.

Poetry Challenge #119

Holiday Acrostic—Lights

Iridescence of Lights

 “Tis the hap happiest season of all,” the song goes. And so it is this year as Christmas (Dec. 25), Hanukkah (Dec 22-30) and Kwanzaa (Dec 26-Jan 1) converge, we are smack dab in the midst of the festivities. One way these holidays are celebrated is with lights! Lights! Lights! Lights!

In celebration of the holidays, write an acrostic poem about your holiday traditions. An acrostic poem uses the letter of a topic word or words to create a poem.

1. Write the word “Light” (or another holiday-related word) vertically down the length of a page.

2. For each letter, write a related word or idea beginning with that letter extending out horizontally.

3. Take a few moments to refine your poem. Try adding or changing some words to add interest, rhythm or rhyme to your poem.

4. Select your favorite word or image to be the title of your poem.

Lights

Luminous

Iridescent rainbow

Glimmering strands of

Holiday magic

Twinkling 

Stars show the way home

Happy Holidays Y’all!

Christmas: https://www.kidsplayandcreate.com/fun-interesting-christmas-facts-for-kids/

Hanukkah: https://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/806884/hanukkah-facts-for-children/

Kwanzaa: https://www.kidsplayandcreate.com/fun-kwanzaa-facts-for-kids/

Acrostic: https://poetry4ever.com/acrostic

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.

Poetry Challenge #118

It’s Getting Darker

In a few days, it will be the shortest day of the year. That day will have the least amount of daylight. The good news? Days grow longer after that!

In honor of the shortest day, write a short poem. Get your notebook or computer ready and set your timer. Then highlight the box below to reveal the prompt and write as fast as you can. Ready?

                        I need a break…

Poetry Challenge #117

A Month of Holidays

Every day is a special day. My friend and co-contributor, Kelly Bennett, finds all kinds of calendars that tell you what each day is. Today December 11, according to nationaldaycalendar.com, is National App Day and National Noodle Ring Day. I had no idea Noodle Rings were even a thing! No matter what the National Day is, December is a month filled with hustle and bustle and lots to keep you busy. Take a moment to write a poem and breathe!

Get your notebook or computer ready and set your timer. Then highlight the box below to reveal the prompt and write as fast as you can. Ready?

                        Nothing shines like…

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.

Poetry Challenge #116

Prompt Time

Writing from a prompt pushes you to write fast and helps you free your mind. You can use the prompt as your first line, your last line, or a line in the middle.

Get your notebook or computer ready and set your timer. Then highlight the box below to reveal the prompt and write as fast as you can. Ready?

                        No one tells me what to do…

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.

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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