Category Archives: blog

Prompt April 24 2020

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A tercet is a group or unit of three lines.  It could be a three-line poem such as a haiku, or it could be a longer poem consisting of several tercets. The three lines of a tercet often rhyme together. Terza Rima is one of the most challenging forms of a tercet. It is composed in iambic pentameter and employees the following rhyme scheme “ABA BCB CDC.”  As you can see from the following poem by Robert Frost, this rhyme scheme has the effect of linking the stanzas together in a rhythmic fashion.

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Write a poem using tercets. Don’t worry about getting the form right.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 23 2020

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Today’s prompt is simple, or is it?. Write a haiku. Rules of Haiku writing are simple. Not so with creating the deep meaning in a stunning manner.
Here is the definition from the Academy of American Poets.

A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression.

Here is one great example from the famous haiku master, Matsuo Basho.

A field of cotton—
as if the moon
had flowered.
– Matsuo Basho
Translated by Robert Hass

Here are two “computer error message” haiku. I am not sure of the source of these.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand-dollar screen dies
So beautifully.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

As usual, you can post your haiku poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 22 2020

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April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It is the anniversary of the birth of the environmental movement in 1970. For decades before Modern industrialization and inefficient automobiles caused poor air quality and smog. Industrial waste piled up. The health effects of this polluted environment went unnoticed for a long time. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring was published raising concern for living organisms and the link between the environment and public health.
The question we have to ask ourselves is that have we done enough to protect the environment? Try to express your concerns and ideas for the future of Mother Earth in your poem.

Remember, the prompts are optional. If you want to write about anything else, go ahead.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 21 2020

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Today is the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. So let us think about female royalties. What pops in your head when you hear the word queen. Crown royalty? Queen of hearts? Queen bee? Queen of rock? Queen of Soul? The queen disk of Carrom? The band Queen? Brainstorm your ideas about the word queen. Also, keep in mind what Shakespeare said about the royal head.

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
— Shakespeare Henry IV

Once you have jotted down your ideas, connect them in a poem.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 20 2020

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Humans are suffering right now, and many are experiencing personal tragedies. While this pandemic runs its course, locked down humans create an incredible opportunity for nature to regenerate. Just yesterday, I saw an oriole enjoying a birdbath. Let’s hope once we are free to move around in the world that we decide to live in harmony with nature.

Here are a couple of short poems about the orioles. Both are in the public domain, so I can reproduce them here.

To an Oriole
by Edgar Fawcett

How falls it, oriole, thou hast come to fly
In tropic splendor through our Northern sky?
At some glad moment was it nature’s choice
To dower a scrap of sunset with a voice?
At some glad moment was it nature’s choice
To dower a scrap of sunset with a voice?
Yearning toward Heaven until its wish was heard,
Desire unspeakably to be a bird?

Sir Oriole
by Amos Russel Wells

“This is a merry world,
Truly a jolly world”—
So sings the oriole.
He is a winged flame,
He bears a lighted breast,
Sunshine incarnated.
His is a swinging song,
His is a swinging nest,
His is a swinging flight.
Ever a-tilt is he,
Tilting at gloominess,
Happy Sir Oriole!

Write a poem about oriole or any other bird you choose. Enjoy.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 19 2020

 

A good poem is more than just words. It also sounds pleasant to an ear. But today’s prompt isn’t about the meter or other sound devices in poetry. It’s about the sounds that you have internalized. Certain sounds such as ice-cream truck jungle might transport you back to those warm summer days of your childhood, or a sound of sleigh bells will bring back happy memories of Christmas. Hearing an ambulance siren of a firetruck alarm may bring awful memories if you ever had to encounter these sounds during personal tragedies. Sometimes even the seemingly happy sounds may trigger unhappy memories if those sounds are associated with the sad times in your own life. Think about a sound that either makes you happy or sad or triggers some bittersweet feelings within you. Write a poem about that sound.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 18 2020

Today’s prompt is about Anaphora.
Anaphora is the intentional repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of a sentence or a clause. For example, Biblical Psalms often repeated the phrase “O Lord” at the beginning of each line of a prayer. Anaphora is a popular rhetorical device used for added emphasis in spoken word poetry and speeches. The repetition adds cadence, and it sounds rhythmic and hence easy to memorize, not to mention the emotional impact.

Have you ever counted the number of occurrences of the phrase, “I have a dream” in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr speech?

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state, sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

Read it aloud to feel the impact.

Read Charles Dickens’s opening of “A Tale of Two Cities.”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Additionally, check out the lyrics to the song “I Envy the Wind” by Lucinda Williams.

Write a poem that makes use of anaphora.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 17 2020

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So, we are past the halfway mark. How many poems have you written this month? How many have you posted? Give yourself a pat on the back for your dedication and perseverance.

On to the next prompt. Think of a time when you were scared — I mean really scared. What things/people/events scare you? Fear may be paralyzing in real-time, but looking back at that time, think about how your feelings have changed? Write a poem in any poetic form of your choice.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 16 2020

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Let us do an experiment today.  Do some free-writing using your non-dominant hand.  Try to fill a whole page. Writing by hand increases neural activity in certain areas of the brain. It also forces you to slow down and allows more time to think.  Using a non-dominant hand can strengthen the current neural area, and it also helps to grow new connections. This will allow you to tap into creative thought patterns.

Write a poem using the ideas found in the free-writing above.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 15 2020

 

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Find ten words that have the same vowel sounds. Some examples are

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers (repeats the short e and long i sounds)
A host of golden daffodils” (repeats the long o sound)
Don’t let the cat out of the bag. (repeats short a sound)
Never mix business with pleasure. (repeats short i sound)

Use the ten words you have listed above in your poem repetitively to create pleasurable sound effects.
In simple poetic terms, use assonance in your poem. 🙂

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.