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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 475

For today’s prompt, pick a mode of travel, make that the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could be as vague as “By Land,” “By Air,” or “By Sea.” Or you could get a little more specific with titles like “On the Back of an Elephant,” “B-2 Spirit,” or “Mayflower.”

*****

Poem Your Days Away!

Online poetry prompts are great! But where can you get your poem fix when you unplug? The answer is the forthcoming Smash Poetry Journal, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This book collects 125 poetry prompts from the Poetic Asides blog, gives poets plenty of room to write poems, and a lot of other great poetic information. Perfectly sized to carry in a backpack or purse, you can jot down ideas for poems as you’re waiting in line for a morning coffee or take it to the park for a breezy afternoon writing session (or on a bus, at a laundromat, or about anywhere else you can imagine–except under water, unless you’re in a submarine or a giant breathable plastic bubble).

Anyway, it’s great for prompting poems, and you should order a copy today. (Maybe order an extra one as a gift for a friend.)

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Mode of Travel Poem:

“1986 Plymouth Horizon”

It was my first car
bought from a mechanic
my mom knew through a guy
and it was dirt cheap–
a former government car
with a No Smoking sign
attached to the dash–
but I loved it more than any
other car I would ever own
and to this day I dream
that it wanders free
on the great highway
in the sky.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He loves driving compact cars. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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Treochair: Poetic Forms

Last week, we looked at a Welsh form (awdl gywydd). This week, let’s try out the treochair!

Treochair Poems

The treochair is an Irish form. While there are quite a few mentions online, the only book that appears to mention it is Robin Skelton’s The Shapes of Singing. Here are the basic rules:

  • Variable number of tercets (or three-line stanzas)
  • Three syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and seven in the third
  • The first line rhymes with the third
  • Treochairs employ a lot of alliteration

*****

Master Poetic Forms!

Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and more with The Writer’s Digest Guide to Poetic Forms, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This e-book covers more than 40 poetic forms and shares examples to illustrate how each form works. Discover a new universe of poetic possibilities and apply it to your poetry today!

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Treochair:

tell teacher, by Robert Lee Brewer

tell teacher
to traipse in the pale moonlight
with the purposeful preacher

while playing
poker peacefully teaching
and passionately praying

for lovely
interludes in the little
log house silencing the sea

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He never knows where the next form will lead him. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 474

For today’s prompt, write a gift poem. Maybe the gift is a book, an action figure, or a delicious pastry. Or maybe it’s jewelry. Or the gift of life. Re-gifting is a thing. Also, not all gifts are welcomed gifts. So there are a lot of ways to possibly take this prompt, which is my weekly gift to you.

*****

Poem Your Days Away!

Online poetry prompts are great! But where can you get your poem fix when you unplug? The answer is the forthcoming Smash Poetry Journal, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This book collects 125 poetry prompts from the Poetic Asides blog, gives poets plenty of room to write poems, and a lot of other great poetic information. Perfectly sized to carry in a backpack or purse, you can jot down ideas for poems as you’re waiting in line for a morning coffee or take it to the park for a breezy afternoon writing session (or on a bus, at a laundromat, or about anywhere else you can imagine–except under water, unless you’re in a submarine or a giant breathable plastic bubble).

Anyway, it’s great for prompting poems, and you should order a copy today. (Maybe order an extra one as a gift for a friend.)

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Gift Poem:

“At Least You Tried”

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do
but shake your head and say, “Darn it.”
Your kid says she wants high top shoes,
and it is something you can do,
except you got her pink not blue–
and besides they don’t even fit.
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do
but shake your head and say, “Darn it.”

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He tries. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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Smash Poetry Journal: 125 Poetry Prompts and More

I’m so excited to share my latest news! Writer’s Digest Books is releasing my book Smash Poetry Journal, a collection of 125 poetry prompts and other poetic fun, later this month. Order your copy here.

Last week, I celebrated my 19th work anniversary. I’ve done a lot of cool stuff in that time. But this project ranks up there with my favorite accomplishments ever. Because it kind of completes a cycle that started nearly 11 years ago with the first April Poem-A-Day Challenge.

Here are the guidelines for the 2019 April PAD Challenge.

Through April challenges, November challenges, and Wednesday Poetry Prompts, I’ve shared more than 1,000 poetry prompts and 1,000 example poems (to get things started). Smash Poetry Journal collects 125 poetry prompts. And it includes a little bit more.

Smash Poetry Journal Example Poetry Prompt

Okay, so here’s an example prompt from the book (prompt number 52 for those who are counting):

COORDINATED EFFORT

Write a “coordinated” poem. Coordination could refer to keeping your balance, but it can also be a coordinated event. Sports teams have coordinators; complicated processes require coordination; and even poems have to coordinate words, line breaks, and stanzas.

Then, there’s plenty of white space provided to write poems. Or at least get some ideas started. But that’s not all. Many of the prompts come with an extra sidebar of poetic knowledge. Such is the case for this one.

Smash Poetry Journal Example Sidebar

Since this poetry prompt was about coordination, I included a sidebar about the one poetic form that I consider the polar opposite of that idea:

UNCOORDINATED POETRY

Believe it or not, there’s actually a French poetic form that’s basic premise is to be an uncoordinated, chaotic mess. The main rule of the descort is that the poem should not be the same from line to line or stanza to stanza. Varied syllable count, no end rhymes, no refrains, and unpredictability from one line to the next.

Some Poetic Asides readers’ may remember and may have even tried this particular form. If not, learn more about the descort here.

Praise for the Poetry Prompts in Smash Poetry Journal

So yeah, I’m pretty excited about the Smash Poetry Journal and the poetry prompts within its covers. But if you have any doubts about the effectiveness of these poetry prompts (maybe the prompt above didn’t spark any ideas), here’s some praise from other poets who’ve used my prompts over the years:

“For years I avoided prompts–too narrow, too woo-woo, too not me–but Robert Lee Brewer’s prompts won me over with their unusual balance between specificity and open-endedness. I’ve published many poems based on them, poems I never would have written otherwise.” – Amy Miller, author of The Trouble with New England Girls, winner of the Louis Award from Concrete Wolf Press

“Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides blog has been a vital tool in my career when I need a writing prompt ‘boost’ to put something down on the page. I can’t wait to share this book with my students!” – Shaindel Beers, author of Secure Your Own Mask, winner of the White Pine Poetry Prize

“I have stacks of books on my desk, by my bed, and piled in my office. Some have been there for months. This book arrived, I opened it, and I immediately took it into my Poetry Workshop the next day … and the day after that … and the day after that…” – Joe Mills, author of Exit, Pursued by a Bear

“Robert Lee Brewer’s prompts reached me at a time when, after 20 years of writing, I was becoming disillusioned with the art form. The gentle and copious inspirational offers he gave reinvigorated my creative practice, and I’ve continued to write, publish, perform, and teach poetry ever since.” – Daniel Ari, Richmond, California poet laureate and author of One Way to Ask

“Robert’s prompts have brought good results for me. In fact, many poems from my upcoming chapbook resulted from his prompts.” – Nancy Breen, author of Burying the Alleluia, a Top 10 finalist for the New Women’s Voices award

I’m thankful for these kind words. But there are actually more than a dozen other endorsements included in the book–and those are just the ones we could squeeze into the front two pages! I honestly believe these prompts work, whether you’ve never written a poem before or you’ve published multiple collections.

Order your copy of Smash Poetry Journal today!

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He’s also the author of the forthcoming Smash Poetry Journal. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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