Tweetspeak Rocks (A Poetry Prompt)

Each month, we compile a musical playlist that corresponds with our monthly writing-prompt theme. It’s our hope that you find a little inspiration in the lyrical turns, the rhythms, the musical nuance.

This month’s poetic-prompt theme is “Rock and Roll,” a theme I’m quite sure will inspire some good poems.  This month, I tried to compile a playlist that was true to the roots of Rock and Roll, while still exploring some of its derivative sub-genres like Punk (for those who remember the 80s fondly) and Grunge (for those who remember the 90s fondly).

I love the rhythms and the hard backbeats in the majority of this playlist. I’ve always thought a strong four-on-the-floor beat makes for a killer rock tune. What about you? What do you think defines Rock and Roll?

Listen to this month’s musical collection here at Tweetspeak, and pen a poem or two about Rock and Roll. Write about the music, the feelings it evokes. Use Rock and Roll as a metaphor. Write about your first experiences with real Rock and Roll. Whatever you do, though, be creative and share it with us in the comments.

Poetry Prompt: Plug in your headphones, listen to the Tweetspeak playlist, and write. What do the rhythms and lyrics conjure? What words come? Pen your Rock and Roll poem and share it with us in the comments below. Now who’s first? Come on. You might as well jump.


Tweetspeak’s Rock and Roll Prompt:

This month we’re considering Rock and Roll and we’ll be composing poems around the theme. How do you participate?

1. Consider Rock and Roll. Think about your favorite band, song or album. Think about that awesome Van Halen concert you rocked out in the 80s, or listen to our monthly prompt-themed playlist. What images, emotions, metaphors, or allegories do they conjure?

2. Compose your own poem around the theme.

3. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #TSMirror hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.

4. If you aren’t a Twitter user, or if you’d rather, leave your poem here in the comment box.

5. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a poem to feature in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.

Last month’s theme, “Mirror, Mirror” produced some good poetry. My favorite from last month was Maureen Doallas, who used the text of our poetry prompt to create her own found poem. In “Infinite,” she wrote:

We stretched our moment
in that Ozark sun, a mirror
that fluorescent-lit our origin
in light. Reality perhaps was
finite, a time and space
of potential we reflected, each
to the other. But consider:
of hundreds and thousands
of possibilities the forever
that was just you
and I.

I love this, Maureen. Thanks for playing. And thanks to the rest of you who submitted this month.

Do you want to have your work highlighted here at Tweetspeak? Join us this month as we explore the theme “Rock and Roll” maybe we’ll highlight your poem in the coming months.

Photo by  Berenice Decados, Creative Commons via Flickr. Post by Seth Haines


Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In July we’re exploring the poetry theme Rock and Roll.

Every Day Poems Driftwood


  1. says

    Wow… I didn’t expect Even Flow to be filled with butterflies, and so of course this was all I could think of… Pearl Jam and Butterflies. Who knew? Certainly not me. You have expanded my thinking, Seth! Thank you!

    breezes blow
    like butterflies arise
    wings thrumping strong
    inside my chest

    voices grow
    monarchs arrive
    strings riff their song
    where they sing best

    even flow
    in wingburst skies
    where i belong
    where I can rest

    breezes blow
    like butterflies arise
    wings thrumping strong
    inside my chest

  2. says

    Rocking out with Van Halen in the 80s? Some of us think of the 80s as Post-Rock-No-Roll. Perhaps you meant Bill Haley instead of Van Halen?

    • says

      Preach it, Sir Glynn.

      “Rock ‘n’ roll’s been going downhill ever since Buddy Holly died.”–from the movie “American Graffiti.” Truer words were never spoken.

  3. Richard Maxson says

    On his 26 birthday Stevie Ray Vaughan’s wife Lenora (“Lenny”) gave him a used Stratocaster guitar he had admired in an Austin pawnshop. Later that night as she slept SRV wrote the song Lenny for her and played it when she woke. He named the guitar after her.

    This is Lenny

    SRV in the Parking Lot At the Quick Stop

    No traffic,
    light coming up
    with the radio—
    Lenny’s here, really here.
    Do you cry
    when you play her,
    where the fret moves into the music box
    I dance inside,
    sometimes I risk it driving—
    bow my head and shake
    where the clear notes sound tenor up the neck,
    bass in a tin can like a kick
    oh my!
    Margarine for my sweetheart, butter me—
    whiskey’s too early, but those cigarettes
    sleep in my heart like a snare vibrating
    in the red rising sky like it’s all I’ve got left.

    Here now, people come and go,
    Lenny loud low, lingering me in the parking lot—
    I can’t leave you like this radio,
    staring into the space behind the world,
    fingers walking like these vagabond birds—
    not for sweet love or even neat coffee.

    • Richard says

      Elizabeth, I seemed to see several allusions in this, apart from the obvious ones. I loved the ending.

  4. says

    I had some fun using only the titles of rock n’ roll hits.

    Don’t worry, Baby!
    I want to hold you hand,
    turn on your love light
    in the still of the night.

    (Beach Boys, Beatles, Bobby Blue Bland, The 5 Satins)

    Every breath you take
    I fall to pieces,
    dazed and confused.
    When doves cry
    try a little tenderness.

    (The Police, Patsy Cline, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Otis Redding)

    It ain’t me, Babe,
    up on the roof
    blowin’ in the wind.

    (The Turtles, The Drifters, Bob Dylan)

    After midnight
    I walk the line,
    leader of the pack

    (Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, The Shangri-Las, The Young Rascals)

    Love is the drug:
    Give it away
    just like me.

    (Roxy Music, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul Revere and the Raiders)

    When a man loves a woman
    dancing in the dark,
    night moves.

    (Percy Sledge, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band)

    Oh, Pretty Woman
    crying in the chapel,
    the sounds of silence,
    nights in white satin,
    once in a lifetime
    fire and rain.

    (Roy Orbison, The Orioles, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Moody Blues, Talking Heads, James Taylor)

  5. says

    Been a Long Time
    (An ode to Led Zeppelin’s Rock-and-Roll)

    Led Zeppelin rocks decades
    Musical reverberations persuade
    Bellows of lyric and voice—Robert Plant
    Bass caries and strives—John Paul Jones
    John Bonham—Drives the drum beat home
    And guitar shrieks and wails—Jimmy Page

    A friend of a friend held a door at a hotel,
    And in walked Robert Plant.
    “What did he smell like?”
    My friend asked.
    “Rock-n- Roll!”
    He stated emphatically.

    And if it’s been a long time
    Since you have rocked-and-rolled
    Breathe it in deeply—you can smell it—
    On a moonlight stroll. You can’t count the tears—
    Of a life with no love. So Rock-and-Roll.
    Let it carry you, back to where you come from.

    © July 9, 2013, Robbie Pruitt


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