Have you written a sonnet lately? Now is a good time. Yes, there is the rhyme scheme but you can squeeze that a little bit. You don’t want to have your lines end at the breaks. That will result in Dr. Seussishness. Enjamb, let the lines flow into the next. The rhyme should be really subtle in this old rhymed form. Write the Black Lives Matter poem. Did Ovid write about Covid? He would’ve. (He didn’t write sonnets either but so…as I used to say as a teenager.) Make it contemporary. No flowery handkerchief language.
Write a poem using a real place in your life in an important way. PS Make it really good!! (From Writing Poetry by Barbara Drake) The real good part is mine EK
Write a poem that modernizes a classical myth. Rewrite the old myth in modern terms. For instance, Sisyphus is doomed to push a car up a hill forever. You may make yourself the classical figure if you like. (From The Mind’s Eye by Kevin Clark) Don’t forget: Poetry Society of Michigan is looking for poems that have turned out well from these prompts for a reading. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a clever example from the pages of Third Wednesday Magazine. (by permission from the editors).
From Writing Poetry by Barbara Drake: Write a poem that teaches the history of your family to those who come after you.
Below is an example from The Ekphrastic Review by one of our PSM members.
From The Practice of Poetry. Write a poem in which the name of a color is frequently repeated throughout the course of the poem. Consider symbolic associations (blue=sadness) as well as personal associations. (green=the phosphorescent algae on our little lake). Get the color into the title of the poem.
From the Schakal/Ridl book of yesterday:
Look at some poems by Rita Dove, specifically ones were she writes about her family. Using the history of your family, write a poem depicting one or more of the people you learned about.
From The Writers’ Idea Book by Jack Heffron:
Find a religious or philosophical quotation that makes a statement about the human condition. Consider looking in the Bible, a book of quotations, the Koran or a book of philosophy. Use that statement as the first sentence in a piece of writing or an an epigraph. In the piece, refute or demonstrate the efficacy of the statement.
When you were a kid, you believed things that may not have been quite accurate. I thought I could see atoms when they were actually dust motes, but never mind that! Take something inaccurate you used to believe and go with it.
From Creative Writing by David Starkey. Write about an event in your life that is almost too embarrassing to write about, but not quite.