Blog, poetry prompt, poetry teaching resources, Sea Poems, writing prompts

Poetry Prompt: Swell


Poetry Prompt: Swell

The ocean dances. It undulates and curls. Arches back and bends forward. The proud swell leaps toward the finale along the shore. The choreography can be beautiful, or it can be severe and unrelenting.

Poetry Prompt: Write a poem from the perspective of a wave, as it reaches the shore.

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Zachary we enjoyed:

At dawn I knelt to touch a star
clinging to a shell of hammered metal
in a tidal pool.

This afternoon a flock of birds
sniped at brine-flies
bursting out of white-hot sand,
while faceless totems drifted
back and forth between two worlds.

Now, as evening falls,
a million jewels emerge,
then plummet one by one into the sea:
too heavy for the sky to hold,
too beautiful for words alone
to make them shine.

—by Zachary Garripoli


Photo by Jeff Rowley. Creative Commons license via Flickr. Post by Heather Eure.


Sometimes we feature your poems in Every Day Poems, with your permission of course. Thanks for writing with us!

Browse more Shell Poems
Browse more Sea Poems 
Browse more Poetry Teaching Resources

Your Comments

16 Comments so far

  1. sands of time
    swept out to sea -
    never leave the

  2. Marcy Terwilliger says:

    Sea, calm.
    Black round tube,
    Around my waist.
    Drifting my life away.
    Sleepy eyes wake-up,
    To find.
    Barely see the shoreline,
    Strong swimmer not me,
    Waves crash,
    Arms pushing hard,
    Feet peddle fast.
    Finally reach the shore,
    I will not do that anymore.

  3. of emptiness and light

    how glorious

    to be made

    of small things—

    light passes through us,

    even in the shade—

    we shine, we glow,

    impalpable to eyes,

    so made of waves,

    like fields of grass,

    or dunes of sand,

    and those on which

    the oceans rise.

  4. Marcy Terwilliger says:

    “Light or Darkness”

    Is this light all you know?
    Have you’ve seen Heaven’s glow?
    White light, I’ve been told.
    How about darkness?
    Have you really seen it yet?
    Pitch black and bottomless,
    Does it scare you to death?
    In darkness, lies regrets.
    I’ll swim up and take the light,
    Let it shine through,
    Inside my body, flows like the sea
    As it runs to you.
    The Son, bright shinning star,
    Is what I see.
    Lift me Lord, Lift me from the deep.

  5. Julie Sumner says:

    by Julie Sumner

    I spent a liquid life
    Gathering prisms and porpoises,
    As many as my wide arms would hold,
    Then leapt headlong toward the sun’s embrace,
    Straining upward for just a kiss,
    Emptying my whole glittering self,
    Flinging all I had gathered
    To the warm, giddy sand.

  6. just before sleep this poem
    rises from my ocean-bed
    a subtle swell gaining strength and
    form like energy that builds from
    the pull of the moon over the tides
    and the force of the wind over the sea
    tension builds within the wave while
    inertia hurtles words toward
    the shore tighter and tighter until
    this work crashes onto the beach
    exploding infinitely into the air
    to nourish the breath of each
    reader who passes by


  1. Poetry Prompt: Waves - Sandra Heska King - July 29, 2014

    […] offered in response to Tweetspeak Poetry’s prompt to write a poem from the perspective of a […]

Share with our Community

Post a comment

Take How to Read a Poem

Get the Introduction, the Billy Collins poem, and Chapter 1

How to Read a Poem by Tania Runyan

Free with tweet

Subscribe to our newsletter

Grab the Quote a Day Widget


Poetry for Life? Here's our manifesto on the matter...

Poetry for Life: The 5 Vital Approaches

Help make it happen. Post The 5 Vital Approaches on your site!

Learn to Write Form Poems

Whether or not you end up enjoying the form poem, we've seen the value of building your skills through writing in form.

One reader who explored the villanelle was even featured in Every Day Poems!

How to Write a Ballad

How to Write a Catalog Poem

How to Write a Ghazal

How to Write a Haiku

How to Write an Ode

How to Write a Pantoum

How to Write a Sestina

How to Write a Sonnet

How to Write a Villanelle

They Bring Poetry for Life

Meet our wonderful partners, who bring "poetry for life" to students, teachers, librarians, businesses, employees—to all sorts of people, across the world.

All top
I am

© 2015 . Powered by WordPress.

Daily Edition Theme by WooThemes - Premium WordPress Themes