Prompt # 18: Form

Prompt# 18: Form

Recently someone asked me how to become a poet.  I answered honestly: I have no idea.  I just started writing.  Then I read.  Then I thought about what I had read.  Then I read some more. And finally I went back to writing.

I realize that there are ‘rules’ to writing poems and a demonstrable respect for words.  However, most modern poetry in the U.S., and probably written by those having fun with these prompts, does not follow traditional form.  So with that in mind, and to flex our sometimes unused poetry muscles, let’s write a poem using a traditional form.

Having trouble remembering those rules?  Click here:

The Pantoum, sestina, and villanelle all provide interesting avenues for exploration, especially if you consider yourself a free-verse poet.  Structure can provide boundaries to language.  Follow the link for a more complete guide to various forms and select one that you’ve never tried before.  Rather than prompt you with content, I encourage you to find a form for today.


Pantoum from Penheadpress!

Today has been a day of steps and fun.  First, a big “Thank You” to William of Penheadpress.  I often struggle to explain to my students [and sometimes my friends] that poetry doesn’t have to be suicidal drivel best read at midnight with cigar and cognac in hand.  The playful spirit is as authentic as the mourning heart.  Pen Head Press, an online journal, takes submissions/suggestions, and then crafts a variety of poetic forms from our inspiration.  Follow the link to see the creation made from my two lines.

This is a unique collaborative experience, and I encourage others to have a little fun and try it as well.  The challenge of working in others’ ideas into lines that flow and make sense is amazing.

Sand River and Other Places I’ve Been

After months of review, revision, deliberation, and amputation, I feel like my first chapbook of poetry finally has cohesion.  While quite small with only eighteen poems, they feel like a unit, happy siblings fighting from the backseat of the car… but still family.  The next big step is to begin the submission process and quite frankly, that process is daunting.  However, I believe that writing is meant to be shared.  I’ll start with traditional venues and keep you posted on the process.