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Poetry Prompts

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Here is a list of prompts to help with ideas for new poems. This idea was conceived by Goldenlangur to encourage writing in the Prose forum. Golden has suggested that the prompts could also be useful for writing poetry, so they will appear here in the Playground. When posting a poem that was inspired by a prompt as a new topic in the Poetry Playground, please put the name of the prompt and the date, like this -- 19.2.8 - Musty boxes of memories -- after your title. Of course, you are also free to post the poems elsewhere on the board in accordance with the rules stated in the Welcome section ...

The first time   x                                
All night            x

Stone Bridge    x

Feverish slumber  x

Etched    x

Rim     x

In denial 


The moment 


Letting go 

Secret garden 

A miracle 

Never again 

Never knowing.

 Winter sun 

Feverish dream 

The parasite 

Fencing off      x


Forgotten Melody. 

The Last Boat.


Persimmon Buds 

Blue Bell Woods 

Nesting Birds 


New Wool 


Rite of Spring 

Kite Festival 

Mask Dances 


Empty Page






Sting in the tail






Apple Blossoms


Last Snow









Sunless Sky 

Empty Promises
(inspired by Aleksandra's poem)             

Recurring Dream 

Face to Face 

Last Train 

Your Eyes. 

Spring Moon 




Last Call 





Wing print 


The Past 





No Words 




Sentences    --
These too can be used for poems:                         

Crossing the threshold I... 

What do I know? 

Through the open window... 

Another visit ends... 

Blinking in the sunlight... 

The braille of your body... 

Musty boxes of memories ..

You were the only one ... 

If you knew then...

Whenever I pass this way... 

In the shadows I saw... 

Not for the first time 

Sometimes it's best to. 

Waiting for you to... 

Sometimes I wonder … 

In my headlights... 

When the rains came 

What is he doing at …. 

Her warm breath is... 

Through the flowers they... 

On the first Spring dawn... 

He coaxes from the ... 

In lapis waters  ... x

Forever in doubt …. 

If only she had... 

At the bar he saw..

 Through a shattered windscreen ... 

The sounds before I sleep …. 

If nothing works …. 

The phone rings and ... 

Last time you said... 

Holding hands we.... 

I saw a face at the upper window... 

With unsteady hands he peels away.



However hard I try... 

She and I are tethered to.... 

Beyond the hills there... 

Over time one gets to... 

When the time comes.... 

I remember the places... 

It wouldn't be logical... 

Conversations in restaurants... 

Up the road the neighbors are... 

It's not easy to... 

There are several mirrors... 

Do dreams hold the key to... 

When did I last hear... 

Unwittingly I disturb... 

Is it indolence, ennui or something else which... 

Lost for words.... 

Where in the world.... 

Driving away from... 

He picks up a string of wooden beads... 

Somewhere in the building a voice calls... 

It wasn't supposed to... 

I collided with ... 

For a long time it seemed... 

This was the first.... 

Looking around to park the car I...


















So far, these Prompts have all been from Goldenlangur, but moderators are encouraged to contribute to the prompts in this thread, below this line ... icon_smile.gif


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Here I've been putting up daily prompts from another site and ignoring this pinned item.   A slew of prompts to inspire.   I do remember some of them I wrote a prose short story I guess from #19 Fencing Off that I called: 

 " Fencing off ".  


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And it Came Down

to the ground
for the first time
this year.  Drifting snow,
swirling white and lively
only to melt when it lands 
on the waiting winter landscape,
wetting and cooling the sleeping earth
for future frosty flakes to stick and stay.
                               ~~ Judi Van Gorder

Prompt the first time

Verse form.   Count Down

I think I will work on this list.  I'm trying to write something every day.  I know you all are serious poets but if you don’t use it you could lose it.  I would be delighted if someone would join me.  Think of it as exercising your fingers.and your poetic muscles


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Devil's Bridge  Notes:

I'm still trying to create example poems for the multiple stanzaic and verse form as well as genres I've described in the Reference Forum.  So I'm using a prompt from Tony's list above to spark the content inspiration which I will try to deliver through a specific form or genre.

Devil's Bridge Wales.jpgPrompt Stone Bridge:  This prompt sent me researching.  What I found:  There are 5 Devil's Bridges in Wales, many more through out Europe and more recent ones (1800s) in the US primarily in New England. These stone bridges built centuries ago were a mighty fete.   Very difficult and dangerous to build so the people needed help from the devil to overcome the obstacles.   The folk tales are all similar, a goat, a rabbit etc cross for the fated soul.

Verse Form  Utendi

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Prompt: all night  plus  a challenge from WCD to write a poem in 24 syllables including the word "portent".     I'm combining 2 prompts.
Believe it or not, this little poem won first place  at the WCD 24 syllable daily poem prompt "portent"

Soldier's Bride

All night she cried,
a portent of more nights to come,
in daylight she wore a smile,
waiting his return.

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Prompt:  feverish slumber

Genre    Abstract Poetry      This will be a huge challenge for me.  I'll have to read a few more "Abstract Poems".  Although I think I understand it and try to explain it, I'm  not sure I can emulate it. My need for logic and order get in the way.  Sound and sight and texture to convey the emotion, isn't that what poets do anyway?  But Sitwell's poems kind of read like nonsense.  


Between sheets of umber,
tossing in feverish slumber.
On my chest an elephant sits,
crushing lungs, a camel spits.
The rattle of my breath
portents the snake of death 
sliding round my throat
choking the bleating goat.
Sweat glistens and prickles, 
drips from bumpy dill pickles.
Cooling cloth wipes my brow
soothing me to a placid cow.
               ~~Judi Van Gorder


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Prompt:  "etched"
Genre:  Vignette

The Crystal Vase

Etched upon a crystal vase
these words round the base,"
"Beauty in things exists
                             in the mind
which contemplates them."*
Resting gently inside
are three long stems 
with tight rosy buds rising
above the mouth, ringed in kind
with dainty baby's breath
and fanned by the forest's
green lace.
In my mind, no denying,
living things, lovely in their dying.
                 ~~Judi Van Gorder

  *David Hume 1711-1776
Of Tragedy


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Prompt:  rim

Invented verse form Vignette  

breaking free

on the earth's rim,
spring board to the
universe and beyond,
possibilities abound,
dare to soar


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Form:  Tanka

Prompt: in lapis waters

2019 #1

in lapis waters
guilded by the morning light,
memories submerged
fathoms below,  swim slowly
to the surface, taunting me.

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