This poetry writing prompt submitted by Ellaraine Lockie:
This is a brief introduction for an exercise I use in a workshop I teach called “Word Branching.” It’s especially helpful for situations when you hear or read a word or phrase that mesmerizes you in some way, but you’re not sure how or why. But you think you might like to write about it in some way. The following will help you clarify what you want to say and to also give you images to use in your poem or prose piece.
- First, pick a word or a couple of words that best describe what you’re feeling about the word or phrase that fascinates you.
- Write that word or words on a piece of paper or in a word document.
- Then look that word or words up in the thesaurus.
- Make a list of the words that resonate with you. As you do it, images and ideas will come to you.
- As they do, word-branch them too.
- Continue to do this until you get an idea of what you want to say and where you want to go with the poem or piece.
This could very well be the start, or even an outline, for your next poem or other genre of writing. I often get poems from a single word, and the content sometimes doesn’t even relate to the word as I originally heard/read it. Try it, and happy writing!
If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.