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.
Ekphrastic poetry: sounds complicated. It’s not. Ekphrastic art pays homage to another art form. In the case of poetry, we write a poem, taking our inspiration from a work of art. Use a painting or a photograph.
Do not spend any time describing the work of art. Enter it. Become part of it. Use details but let your imagination run amok in the art work. There is no right answer but your answer. – Elizabeth Kerlikowske
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.
This is another fun prompt. Write a poem using a recipe as your guide. I could give you a bunch of advice, but It is possible to stir loathing into a batter of glitter and regret. Bake at 485 for six years.
From Writing Poetry by Barbara Drake: Write a poem in terms of the smallest parts of a thing or entity. For example, the eye of a rabbit or lizard, a leaf bud on an apple tree; the battery in your electric watch. (I’m pretty bored by the last one.
Do you have any recurrent dreams? Write a poem in which you explore the dream in a nonrational way, meaning, don’t explain it. Be in it. Go with it. No doubt there is a message in it for you. Imply it.