Write a poem about a drug that doesn’t exist. Give it an abstract name like “Violence” or something like “Milk Money.” What does this drug do? Is it more medicinal or something more like LSD? Is it sold legally or illegally? Can this drug save the world or ruin it? Begin the poem, That October...
Write a poem that makes you feel a little vulnerable. This can be from having certain words in your poem that you have never used or a subject you find taboo.
Six Word Story
A story about Ernest Hemingway and a bet with some of his writer friends has been around forever. Though it has never been proven to be true, it leads to an interesting exercise.
Supposedly, someone bet Hemingway ten dollars that he couldn't write a whole story in 6 words. Hemingway (supposedly) responded with this:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn”
Some more examples are on the Six Word Stories site. Since we are creepy closer to Halloween, you might also like the Scary Stories twitter account.
Six Word Memoir
A variation on this is to write a six word memoir about yourself. Smith Magazine has a web project that has produced two books with these memoirs.
Here are a few from the teen version:
“Laughed at all the wrong moments.”
“The keys I have don’t fit.”
“Desperate to explore, yet stuck here.”
Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to write a six word story or memoir. Try to do it without repeating words. Do your best to pack as much meaning and implication as possible in those six words, just like Hemingway (probably never) did.
These are two short pieces by working poets about where to find material for writing poems. They are from the book The Crafty Poet by Diane Lockward.
Where Inspiration Waits for you & Scratching
#1 Organic Metaphor
Imagery is a basic building block of poetry. This is an easy to follow for practicing writing good metaphors. http://scotts.members.sonic.net/albany/apages/prompt/metaphor.html
#2 The "You" Poem
Think about all of the people in your life that you liked, but never really got a chance to know. This could be because they died or perhaps you had just a brief friendship before you had to move away. Maybe you switched jobs or your relationship was cut short for another reason. Write a poem where you address this person. Share with her/him images of your favorite things and things s/he never know that were important to you. Be specific. If you love flatbread from Spain or love dinner-plate dahlias, mention it. Tell them what you remember of them. You can write this poem in the form of a letter, postcard, or just address the poem to them: Dear ______, You never saw my garden….
The "You" Poem is from the book The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice by Kelli Russell Agodon