Form It is a prompt that focuses on exploring our topic through form poetry. This time, we’re going to “form” horizons.
Prompt Guidelines and Options
1. Consider how you are feeling today, as you approach your topic. Are you sorrowful? Overflowing with joy or good humor? Maybe you’re in a snarky frame of mind. Or feeling perplexed. Perhaps you’re just in the mood to tell a story or express gratitude or awe. You could also consider the nature of the topic itself. Think on these things before you…
2. Choose a form that either matches or purposely works against how you feel as you approach your topic, or that matches or purposely works against the nature of the topic itself. Options:
Acrostic (good for creating puzzles and mystery or dedications)
Ballad (excellent way to tell a story)
Catalog Poem (useful for building intensity, praise, or a sense of magic)
Ghazal (helpful for emphasizing “longing” or for exploring metaphysical questions)
Haiku (good for creating immediacy or focusing in on emotion)
Ode (excellent way to praise something or someone you love or admire)
Pantoum (useful for plumbing depressive or anxious themes)
Rondeau (helpful for giving form to extremes of either sadness or dark wit)
Sestina (good for exploring confusion, questions, worries, neuroses, fears in an oblique way)
Sonnet (excellent way to confine a bombastic theme or rein in a potentially sappy or overly-sentimental theme; also an excellent way to “work against” a topic humorously)
Villanelle (useful for themes that feel resistant to answers; also can be used to “work against” a topic, using mocking humor)
3. Be specific. Think nouns instead of adjectives.
4. Consider doing a little research about the topic you are covering: its history, associated words, music, art, sculpture, architecture, fashion, science, and so on. Look for unusual details, so you can speak convincingly and intriguingly.
That’s it! We look forward to hearing you form poetically, about Horizons.
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Thanks to all who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Sandra we enjoyed:
I stand where sand smooths its skirts
and slips into the wave’s embrace.
Together they tumble toward the sunset
(or is it the sunrise?)
where sea kisses sky.
What’s beyond my eye-mark?
Is there a space for me in this
ripple of time to build a castle?
Photo by David McGregor. Creative Commons via Flickr.
Browse more writing prompts
Browse poetry teaching resources
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland
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Sandra Heska King says
Oh! I didn’t expect to find my poem featured here. Thanks so much!
Donna Falcone says
Sandra – this poem is beautiful. The sand smooths its skirts… the sea kisses the sky …. oh beautiful! 🙂
Okay, I couldn’t resist the challenge and wrote two!
Heather Eure says
I enjoyed these. The double acrostic was a bonus! Thanks for sharing.
Sandra Heska King says
Fantastic, Karin! 😀
Monica Sharman says
Ghazal on the Horizon
Global traveler, make the horizon
your aim, though mountains break the horizon.
Whether in eighty days or hours, see through it;
don’t make it opaque, the horizon.
Like Passepartout, keep your own time
whenever you overtake the horizon.
Like Aouda, remember the past,
the present, the future ache her eye’s on.
And I, like Phileas, walk with a posture
and attitude that can remake the horizon.