This poetry writing prompt submitted by Taylor Mali:
The secret things we never tell the world are often the very same things the world most needs to hear. But we stay silent for one of two reasons: Either we think no one will be interested because our experience is so common, universal, and boring, or else we think no one will be able to relate to it because it’s singular, unique, and only makes sense to us. However, usually we are dead wrong and have it completely backwards! That which you think no one else in the world has ever felt . . . is actually quite common! There’s a whole family of folks just waiting to hear your story and say, “That happened to me, too!” Meanwhile, those things that you always thought were a part of everyone’s life? They weren’t! That was just you! And the world is dying to hear what it was like!
Write a poem in which every sentence makes two statements, one that’s likely true for everyone, and another that’s only true for you. Then start switching it up by talking about what ISN’T true for you, but likely IS true for others. It’s okay if all your sentences have a similar structure. It’s okay to make some outrageous claims, especially if an intelligent reader will be able to tell that you aren’t entirely serious. Take a risk. Tell us something important.
If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.