Friday, September 14th, 2012

Writing Prompt – A National Anthem

A cluster of small American Flags.
American patriot Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner on September 14, 1841. Key wrote with emotion, never knowing his poem would one day become the National Anthem of the United States of America.

(It wasn’t officially adopted, in fact, until 1931.)

National Anthems are generally songs of a patriotic nature. They’re primarily set to music in the style of a march, a hymn, or a fanfare. These songs describe the history and traditions of a nation, and are (usually) formally adopted by the government to represent the country.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write a “national anthem” of you. Decide if your spirit – your history of you — is a march, a fanfare, or a hymn. Write the words which embody your spirit.
  • Write an essay or a journal entry about the national anthem of your country. What images does it invoke? How do you feel when you hear it played at a ball game? How does it make you feel when you hear it at an Olympic medal ceremony?
  • What does it mean to be patriotic? Make a list of ideas, feelings and phrases which denote patriotism. Use the best of these in a poem.
  • Drop your finger down on a random line in a national anthem (use yours, or choose one from a different country) and free write for 10 minutes about what that image evokes.

Good luck!

Image of American Flags by Lipton Sale. Used by permission under the Creative Commons License.