I found an interesting poetry prompt in The Practice of Poetry, edited by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell. The book has many clever individual and group activities. Poets, I encourage you to pick up a copy. It has given me a wealth of tools and inspiration.
This exercise asks you to describe something objectively and in detail using direct, concise, brief language. It is called “The Fill-in-the-Blanks or Definition Poem” activity by Jack Myers.
This activity asks you to describe an everyday object using a list of uses for that object. Use language that suggests a symbolic use that connects them to a larger context or theme.
Myers suggests structuring the poem as below:
- title and subject
- the list of functions
- a summary statement.
He uses a door as an example. You can find that poem in the book. Mine is a little different. I found it challenging.
I have chosen to use a flowering plant that my husband gave me for Christmas. My thing is connecting photography with poetry, so it is a great choice for me.
Red Blooms Red blooms color the kitchen, the world. Absorb sunlight, keeping safe, protected. Red flowers celebrate life. Send a jolt of energy like fireworks. Smiling, they open and close telling time reflecting space. Splay like Orient fans, when no one sees. Blooms breath in and exhale secret gifts. Life, unexpected and welcome. The elegant, unassuming flowering plant, a Christmas gift, is beauty without expectation, color no human can create, strenthens the air I breathe, gives joy, takes nothing. Red blooms.
So, this is unedited. I will edit soon, but I did want you to see my first draft.
Try it! Post your poem in the comments, please. Thanks! Susan