Poetry Writing Prompts — November 2016

“The more constraints one imposes,
the more one frees oneself
of the chains that shackle the spirit…
the arbitrariness of the constraint
only serves to obtain precision of execution.”

— Igor Stravinsky

As a teaching device, I have my students write what I’ve come to call a “manipulated poem.” I’ve included the prompt below so that you can try writing your own manipulated poem!

A Manipulated Fourteen Line Poem
Line 1: Write a line that has a smell in it
 Line 2: Make a one-line, end-stopped statement about a city.
 Line 3: Comment on the time of year, the season, or the weather
 Line 4: Use an internal off-rhyme
 Line 5: Use syntax in an unexpected way.
 Line 6: Write a line with personification(s) and color(s) in it
 Line 7: Finish a sentence that begins with the words, “Next year at this time”
 Line 8: Make an allusion to a book, movie, or artwork
 Line 9: Be sure this line includes a metaphor and enjambs
 Line 10: Make this line a question
 Line 11: Alliterate at least three words
 Line 12: Make this line shorter or longer than the previous one by no less than five words Line 13: Write whatever you like
 Line 14: End on an image

Enjoy your manipulated poem, and visit my website for more poetry updates and advice!