This week’s prompt
This week we’re going to try to mix up our writing life and we’ll start the process with a little poetic introspection.
Take a look at your last dozen or so poems and study them to find any common elements. Sure, you might have been working to different prompts, but do your recent poems share any structural components?
Are they narrative poems or do you tend to write to the surreal?
Do have they have short or long line lengths?
Do you write in stanzas or not?
Are they first or third person? Or otherwise?
Do you tend to be direct or indirect?
Is there a predominant theme in your work?
Do you play with spaces or punctuation or write in sentences?
What kind of word choices do you make? Concrete, romantic, whimsical?
Take some time, maybe a day or two, and think about these (or similar) questions and your poetry.
Now take your poem’s most consistent characteristic and this week try to write from its “opposite.”
Do you mostly write in third person? Try first person. (Try a persona in first person if it’s too uncomfortable to write so “personally.”)
Do you write in metaphor? Yay you! But this week try writing a piece that uses a little less metaphor, or perhaps a subtle metaphor.
Change up line length – and change the pacing of the poem by paying attention to sound and meter, even if you are not working to a formal form! This alone can shake things up in significant ways.
Do you always write free verse with lines? Try a prose poem instead.
Do you write about relationships? Write an ode to an inanimate object.
The idea is to try something different from your usual style. Something that feels a little awkward, kind of like writing with your “other” hand. See if stretching different poetic muscles doesn’t release new creative juice.
If you feel like you need a prompt-prompt to get started, as in a topic or subject matter, try to rewrite a poem that you aren’t very happy with, but that you sense has some good stuff inside it using one (or more) of these switch-ups.
And then, of course, come back starting Friday and let us know your results (and how the experience worked for you).
How prompts work under the Big Tent
We post prompts on Mondays, and you have all week to write your poems, based on our fabulous prompt or any other inspiration. Come back on Friday when you will find a “Come One, Come All” post where you can use the comments section to 1) leave a link to your poem or 2) leave the poem in its entirety.
You’ll have all day Friday (and all weekend!) to post your work and read each others’ work. Take your time. Enjoy all the poems that are new to the world.
Hint: We’ve set Big Tent Poetry to Central Time.
Hint: An easy way to check on new post comments is with RSS reader, if you use one. Here’s the address: https://bigtentpoetry.org/comments/feed.
Hint: Since we’re a new site, and you’re new to it, your comment(s) will be held for moderation for your first few posts. We’re checking the filters often, so don’t despair! That said, if it takes more than a half a day to see it come live on the site, do email us at info (at) bigtentpoetry.org. (But be patient, okay?)
We figure you know how to play in the poetry community, but here are the basics:
Be nice. Have fun. Remember we aren’t a critique forum. We want to support each other as we bring more poetry into our lives. Only provide critique if someone specifically asks for it.
Although we love seeing our badge in the sidebar of your blog, we would appreciate it if you would also link back to the site in each of your poem posts. Linking within your post helps people travel back and forth from your site to the Big Tent Poetry site, and it helps perpetuate Big Tent Poetry “findability” in Google searches — and that helps us all.