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.


Villanelle for Sunday: She Waits in Snow-filled Lanes

This isn’t a true villanelle in the Dylan Thomas style.  Perhaps that’s a good thing.  Maybe not.

She Waits in Snow-filled Lanes

She watches his slow rolling gait
as he pushes through white, the tenor
of his voice forcing her to wait.

His eyes with crinkles in the corner
alight upon her face back-lit by snow.
She stuffs down her sense of horror

that he might notice her heart low
within her eyes; that she might feel
more than he is ready to know.

So with hands deep in pockets of teal,
his warm breath fanning her cheek,
she waits on his mouth to heal

all that has come before.  And weak
though she might be, she hopes
he will take hold of hand and seek

something farther than this moment
with feet sunk inches in snow
and toes too frozen for movement,
toward whatever the future might hold.


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