It’s Poem in Your Pocket Day, that magical day each year when you’re encouraged to carry your favorite poem around with you and to share it with anyone who will listen–and even those who won’t (if you shout it loudly enough, they’ll be forced to pay attention.)
In honor of this auspicious occasion, we’ve devoted all of this week’s Figment Daily Themes to writing prompts of the poetic persuasion, courtesy of the illustrious Emily Moore. An accomplished poet whose work has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and the sixth edition of Poetry: A Pocket Anthology, Emily also moonlights as a high school English teacher in New York and a singer in the alt-country group, Ménage à Twang.
So try your hand at one or all of Emily’s first four poetry prompts (for the fifth, you’ll have to sign up for Daily Themes) and then share the resulting brilliance with a friend or Tweet it out with the hashtag #pocketpoem.
Figment Daily Theme – April 26, 2012
Here’s a writing prompt that was inspired by Li-Young Lee’s poem “Persimmons.” Write a poem that weaves together three stories: a story involving words in a language other than English; a story about an object that someone in your family once brought home; and a story that begins with the phrase “In the sixth grade…” See what happens!
Figment Daily Theme – April 25, 2012
Write a poem about something that happened in the middle of the night.
Figment Daily Theme – April 24, 2012
Pablo Neruda wrote marvelous odes to common things, for instance in his poem “Ode to My Socks.” Close your eyes, turn your head a bit, and when you open your eyes, write an ode to the first thing you see, no matter how humble. In the course of your ode, try to re-name your chosen object three times. For instance, in “Ode to My Socks,” Neruda describes his socks as “cases / knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,” and says “my feet were two fish made of wool, / two long sharks.” You can even attach a copy of your ode to the object you’ve written about; perhaps the next person who encounters that object will see it in new ways.
Figment Daily Theme – April 23, 2012
Take two minutes to jot down some memories that you have that involve motion–anything from biking to running quickly to swimming in the ocean to riding on a roller coaster. Once you’ve got a good list, choose one and try to write a poem in which the form of the poem–line breaks, rhyme, rhythm, line lengths, stanzas, anything! –expresses the motion you selected in some way.
If you haven’t yet signed up for our Daily Themes emails, then whaddaya waiting for? Click here! And if you’re eager to share your prompt response, tag your work with dailythemes and you just might get featured on the homepage.