Writing Prompt

Wouldn’t it be nice every now and then to have something to use as sort of a springboard for creativity? Between school and work and the many other things that clutter our daily lives, sometimes it can be hard to find genuine inspiration, or to even think of ways to do so. That’s what we’re here for. Every week or so we’ll be posting a new writing prompt in case you’re one of the many that frequents that creative rut that so often comes with writing.  That said, to start off, today’s prompt is easy.

Take a poem you have already written and are not particularly fond of. Now, rearrange it any way that you want to. You may add or subtract words here or there, but try to do so infrequently. Make it an entirely different poem using the same words, just in a different pattern. See if you can become more satisfied with the poem simply by moving the words around.

This is actually a really great tip on how to improve or add a fresh perspective to your poetry, especially when you feel stuck or are unhappy with a poem you’re working on. In a poetry workshop class I had here at UTC, while workshop-ing one of my poems, my professor (the one and only Earl Braggs, to be exact), asked me to read a specific stanza of my poem backwards, that is, reading the last line first, the second-to-last line second, and so on, from the bottom up. Needless to say, it worked brilliantly, and to this day, that particular poem is saved with that revision.

So go ahead, try it! You never know what new things you might discover in something you’ve already written.


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