April 22, 2024: Poetry Writing Prompt from Tara Elliott

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Tara Elliott:


Constraints help allow the subconscious mind to release what might be brewing underneath the surface.  Time is one form of constraint.  Form is another.  But what would happen if you created your own set of constraints before you even touched pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?


  1. Choose one from each column (A, B and C below).  If you’re not certain what a term is, spend time now looking them up. This site from Harvard includes terminology that might help (https://poetry.harvard.edu/guide-poetic-terms).

If you’re daring, use a standard die to help you “roll” your selection.

A: Craft Skill Focus             
1. Allusion
2. Anaphora
3. Simile
4. Metaphor
5. Personification
6. Assonance

B: Restrictions
1. One adjective/adverb only
2. No end-stopped lines
3. No articles (a, an, the)
4. No stanza breaks
5. One verb only
6. No alliteration

C: Must Contain
1. A color
2. A scent
3. “thirteen”
4. Sports team or sport
5. A reference to the body
6. The name of a famous poet

  1. Set a timer for precisely eleven minutes. You can edit later, but the time constraint during the initial writing will increase your focus.
  2. Write. While writing, do NOT edit yourself other than attempting to stay within the constraints you’ve already set. Write the entirety of the eleven minutes. Yes, even if you think you’re finished. Keep writing.
  3. Edit your work.

What happens if you break a rule you’ve set?  You are the ultimate judge and jury.  There is no wrong way to do this activity.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

#napowrimo #poetry

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