Sunday, October 28, 2012

Poetry Prompt #28 - Think of it as ordering from a Menu or Smelling Potpourri - Sit in Your Poet's Chair

This feels enormous.

This concept of writing my final solo prompt for OctPoWriMo2012 feels so…. I can’t even express it.
You may not know, but I have written and lead my fair share of writing programs, but this is the first in a long time. I tend to start my grieving early, so perhaps that is part of what I am feeling.

I feel pure joy that so many poets have been re-awakened, started writing again after years of silence. 

I feel satisfaction to read the words of new friends and pure delight when several Bakersfield poets came along and wrote with us.

I recognize as we have written our way through OctPoWriMo and in the weeks before we started, I have tried to share as many tidbits as I could to not only help you write but to help you grow as poets…. I have worried lately I have gone over the top in that direction. I suppose it is because I want each and all of us to thrive as writers and to feel confident as we begin to share our poetry with wider audiences.

This is why I decided in my final solo prompt (Morgan and I will write the final prompt together) I want to give you a very simple prompt, one of my favorite ways to inspire myself.

I love using quotes both for my poetry and prose.

There was a time when I did not read poetry very much, but as I grew as a poet I knew reading other poets was one of those “magic keys” to my own improvement. Not only that, but seeking and writing from quotes is almost like sitting across the table from poets I either know well, trust and admire and also it is a time of getting-to-know poets who are new to me.

I found a great place to discover new poets as well as treasured favorites. For the past few days I have been researching the best selling 2012 poetry collections on Amazon and searched for quotes from some of the poets who have places of honor on that list. By the way, it is a treasure chest for seekers of new poets to read. I have learned a lot and gleaned so much wisdom there.

Prompt: Choose one of the quotes below and use it as an inspiration to writing today’s poem. I won’t provide you with a word or sentence prompt, this is your chance to start “doing it yourself”.  Naturally we will still be around to write with you, but I guarantee it will be fun to come up with your own way once you start.


Think of these quotes as a menu or a batch of potpourri to sniff or breathe deeply.

You lie there kicking like a baby, waiting for God himself
To lift you past the rungs of your crib. What
Would your life say if it could talk? 

—from “No Fly Zone” by Tracy K. Smith (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

“You must be careful not to deprive the poem of its wild origin.” 

Stanley Kunitz  (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

“You remember too much, my mother said to me recently. Why hold onto all that? And I said, where can I put it down?”  Anne Carson

People invent poetry as a means of expressing something they can’t easily say. The desire to talk about special things in a special way, the desire to change, elaborate, or deliberately misuse language for the purpose of greater communion is all but universal.”  Brendan Constantine

And a video with some grand advice from fellow poetry lover and former first lady of California, Maria Shriver.


  1. no linky ?

    My post is here :

    Though this is d third poem I wrote for the prompts , I loved reading every exercise. some day I will try all :)

  2. hi here is my post too