A poem-a-day for National Poetry Month

Prompt #20: Personify

Today’s prompt created by poet Sage Cohen.


Personify Something and Invite it to Surprise You
Choose an object, any object. Don’t think too much about it. Just take what comes. Write it down.
Now quickly, off the top of your head, write down answers to these questions:

* * * * *

What kind of shoes does this object wear?

What does it eat for breakfast – or dessert?

Where does it live?

Who are its friends?

How does it sleep?

Where does it go on vacation?

Who is its big brother?

What is its middle name?

How does it sing?

What does it taste like?

Who does it love?

What does it want you to know?

What did it borrow?

What country, state, neighborhood does it live in?

What does it believe?

Who is its favorite movie star?

What kind of music does it listen to?

What do you admire about this object?

What do you hate about it?

Who in your family does this object remind you of?

What grade in school is this object in?

What does this object dream about?

Who would this object vote for as president?

What does this object want to be when it grows up?

Where does this animal belong?

Where doesn’t it belong?

Who is its best friend?

What does it do when no one is looking?

* * * * *

Take whatever interests you about that object you’ve been writing about and let it lead you into a poem.


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!

20 responses

  1. If you arrived early and saw the double-post glitch, sorry about that! Apparently my day planning wasn’t as good as I thought it was. This is the correct prompt!

    April 20, 2011 at 5:39 am

  2. http://nikkimagennis.blogspot.com/2011/04/powerdown.html

    a powercut threw everything

    April 20, 2011 at 6:30 am

  3. Bill Noble

    Guess this kinda, sorta qualifies as personification . . .


    . Woody knows nothin’
    . but peckin’ on the bough,
    . bough and the skies of blue.
    . Never knew what love could do
    . till I, till I met you.
    . –Traditional song

    He’s there again, of course, just after the sun,
    at that resonant place he’s found
    on the old power pole at the corner of Valley Road,
    one long rattling drum followed by another,
    and another, and . . . or for variation, brief silence
    punctuated by a single almost despairing cry.
    He’s the Andres Segovia of red-shafted flickers,
    and this is his transcription of Bach for lumber.

    He and I are not so different. I bustle around
    the kitchen, clattering dishes, pouring milk,
    singing snatches of silly long-remembered songs,
    I pay the bills, work my lists, telephone and type
    all day long, but my music lingers, always,
    just behind my lips. Woody and I know
    exactly what we want, and I want sheets folded down
    and you, arms wide in greeting in our shared bed.

    April 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

    • Lovely. And ‘transcription of Bach for lumber’ is lol great.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm

  4. Pingback: NaPoWriMo Day 20 | Lusty Literati

  5. dorlamoorehouse

    I decided to personify death: http://dorlamoorehouse.com/2011/04/20/napowrimo-day-20-4/

    April 20, 2011 at 11:52 am

  6. ‘Bereft’: Not followed this prompt but one from Margo Roby: http://wp.me/sbg4K-bereft. Maybe one for this prompt later…

    April 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  7. 4/20
    I decided to just take the random answers to the list of questions and do a little “free association” poem, cool cats. Are you hip? ; )

    Begonia in mud boots
    in sunshine
    on sill,
    molecules are
    and the fig tree
    says “angel,”
    bitter as the
    it all comes back,
    rural reincarnation, hungry like
    the plant in the little shop of horrors,
    show tunes ripple through
    red ruffled leaves,
    brown crinkled leaves falling on the floor,
    mother sweeps,
    high school weeps for
    a bigger pot,
    a green party,
    a bigger begonia
    in the rain forest,
    no longer dry and cold,
    dirt dance,
    shimmy and shake.

    April 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  8. Pingback: Year’s end « Tony Linde

  9. Mad bugger. I’ve written a second poem, this one to the prompt on this page – well, more or less.

    April 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

  10. Jennifer P-W.

    Done in five minutes, tops, and it likely shows.

    Personification: Grass

    Rivers, seas of grass wish me good morning, bending under burden of dew,
    asking “Breakfast, anyone?”
    and opening its jacket of pores,
    breathing in harmony
    to a friendly sun.
    Grass is meek,
    folds under pressure,
    dreams it is the horse eating,
    the buffalo running,
    the deer dozing
    in grassbeds; making love,
    butterflies to flowers,
    wearing their sex at the end
    of a proboscis.
    Concerts are sung with every breeze
    if you are a grass field,
    pollen its lyrics,
    oxygen its discard.

    J. Pratt-Walter

    April 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    • Jennifer P-W.

      Hmm, didn’t format right, though all the words are there…

      April 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

  11. b_y

    Lucky Cat Bank 10×10

    I have told lies about you lucky cat
    I described you in lavender flip-flops–
    with pink daisies, yet. So undignified.
    Though your best friend is a three-legged rabbit,
    and you did borrow that yellow boa
    before you went to Destin last summer,
    you don’t really idolize Jackie Chan.
    I only said that to make you seem trite.
    I envy your smile like a touch of gold,
    and who else could I trust with my money?

    April 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

  12. To NaPoWriMo’s prompt today:

    Who marks the sun and writes the sky
    And takes the tally of the bursting sky?

    The strength of arm to whirl the seasons
    And push the clouds across the sky

    The steady hand to place each star
    As jewels to dazzle the belovéd sky

    The quiet mind to hear the songs
    thrummed by wind, pilgrim to the sky

    Power builds around the grey-black banks
    anger tossed to the feet of the sky

    Needs no faith nor theory of creation
    holds the reins of time across the sky

    Tips the sun over the dark hills
    Pours light brilliant at the edge of the sky

    April 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm

  13. Pingback: Poem#20 « Black Satin

  14. This is a good prompt. I’ll have to come back to it.

    Clusters of spicy yellow blooms
    Amid holly leaves and green shiny curls
    Send for the red blue berries of summer

    April 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm

  15. Today’s:

    April 21, 2011 at 7:28 am

  16. Eeps. I’m way behind, thanks to NY visit. Sort of prompt-following as I climb out of the hole!


    April 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  17. No prompt again – one day I’ll have to try using them.


    April 25, 2011 at 8:14 am