A poem-a-day for National Poetry Month

Archive for March, 2011

Prompt #01: No Narrative

Today’s prompt, to kick off our 30 days of poetry writing, is brought to us by poet Sage Cohen.


Reveal Something Without a Narrative

My invitation today is to say something without actually saying it. To reveal something through a series of images, rhythms, and sounds that give us more of an experience of, or a feeling about, what happened rather than the actual facts, events and story line. The following questions are designed to help you get loose and wander into a scene or two in which you might want to include your reader.

* * * * *

How do you pray? If you don’t pray, what do you do instead – and how do you do it?

What should you have done?

What can a person die of?

What surrounds your house? How does it protect you or not?

Who left you?

How did they do it? What did their face look like as they left?

What were they moving toward, instead?

What do you want to say to God about this departure?

What do you want to say to the person who left?

Where did it leave you? Doing what?

(This prompt was inspired by Larissa Szporluk’s poem “Solar Wind.” I encourage you to find it and compare it to your poem once you have written yours.)



Reminders for Participants: You can post your poem below in the comments, offer a link back to your site where the poem is posted, or comment about the experience of writing the poem (without actually posting the poem). If you’re going to comment on other participant’s poems, please remember that this is not a critique space — comments should be kept thoughtful and supportive. Lastly, remember you don’t have to use the prompt to write your poem — they’re here for your inspiration but they’re certainly not a requirement.

Let the Wild Poeming Being!

Let Us Go Then, You & I


Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Tomorrow, we begin our quest for a poem-a-day during National Poetry Month — thirty days of prompts and poetry, thirty days of opening our hearts and minds and notebooks and laptops, thirty days of joy and exhaustion and pain and pleasure. It’s going to be amazing and poemific.
Prompts will be posted at midnight-ish the night before (US East Coast Time, if this works out the way I hope it does). You’re welcome to post your poem in the comments (or your link or your notes about writing said poem) anytime after the prompt is posted. You don’t have to use the prompt, of course. It’s just there as a jump-off and inspirational point.
Thanks for joining us! It’s almost time for the Wild Poeming to begin!

About to Begin!

Welcome all of you who’ve committed to doing a poem-a-day for the month of April. We’re just about ready to kick off the big event — hope you’re revving your poetry engines out there and getting your schedule cleared (ha!). In the meantime, we hope you’ll continue to spread the word about poem-a-day: The more poets and writers we have on board, the merrier! There is always a place for more poetry in the world.

In addition, if you’re a poet, we’re still looking for a few good prompts. Want to give a form challenge? How about offering up an inspirational image or quote as a jump-off point? Just send your prompts to notwithoutpoetry@gmail.com.

Two more days before the wild poeming begins!