Friday, April 15th, 2011

Writing Prompt: Reverse Poetry

April is National Poetry month in the U.S. and Canada.

Do you like poetry? I admit that I don’t know much about it, although I do know what I like.

I favor bouncy, rhyming poems a la Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein (because they are so fun!), but I also like e.e. cummings (clever, clever).

Henley’s Invictus is my favorite (Thanks, Charlie!) because the strength of the narrator appeals to me. It’s also dark, and I really like that.

In honor of National Poetry month, let’s have a prompt about poems.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  1. Write a poem. It can be jouncy, bouncy, rhyming fun, or free verse, or even a patterned poem, such as a sonnet. (If you choose haiku, you must write at least 5!)

    Here are some resources on how to write poetry:

  2. For a twist on writing poetry, choose a favorite scene from a book or movie, and write it in poetry form. Again, it can be free verse, rhyming or patterned.
  3. Here’s where the reverse poetry idea comes in: find a poem, any poem, that you like. It can be one from childhood, or a new one you’ve never read before. Then, re-write the poem in prose, but the deal is, you have to use the exact words of the poem in your essay /story / scene.

    For example, if you were to choose Silverstein’s “Forgotten Language” which starts off:

    Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
    Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,

    You could write…

    Once I spoke the language of the flowers: silent and delicate, a trembling of fingers or tilting of head conveyed much. Lengthy speeches could not offer as much information as the casual lift of a hand.

    Once, I understood each word the caterpillar said, I knew the flowers for liars….

    Get the idea? Find some poetry here:

Brownie points if you post in the comments! Have fun!