Poetry Friday: So much poetry to go around!

(Warm up your pointer finger; there’s a lot of clicking ahead…!)

I usually share a different poem here each week, but I realized yesterday that I’ve been sharing so many poems on other folks’ blogs lately that perhaps I should share their links, instead!

Poetry_Friday logoSo that’s what I’m doing today.
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A question that children’s writers often discuss is the value of writing prompts; that is, suggestions or tidbits of inspiration offered to writers in order to help spur their creativity. Some people aren’t a big fan of prompts, and prefer to write based on their own personal inspiration.
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I, on the other hand, enjoy prompts, even if I don’t often have time for them. I don’t need the inspiration, really – I have 4 different book ideas I’m trying to juggle right now along with several poems I need to write – but prompts force me to try something new.
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Perhaps it’s writing in a poetic form with which I’m unfamiliar. Maybe it’s coming up with a poem about a subject about which I know very little. Sometimes it’s just a fun challenge.
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But ultimately, prompts make a writer think on his/her feet – sort of like Whose Line Is It, Anyway? for the literary crowd. I’ve learned that one of the things that sets amateur writers apart from professionals is that amateurs wait for inspiration to strike, while professionals make their own inspiration.
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While I used to be in the former category, I have enough publishing credits under my belt to feel comfortable placing myself in the newbie section of the latter. I also am growing adept at being able to write a solid, publishable poem within a day or so of being given a topic – which for me, was a huge leap. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I couldn’t have gotten to this point without prompts.
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That said, it’s been a busy week for me! Just this past Wednesday on her blog, Michelle H. Barnes shared a poem of mine based on a writing challenge from author/poet David Elliott. Based on his poem, “Dear Orangutan,” readers were challenged to write a poem based on the construct of a letter…and suffice it to say, I took an unusual path.
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Elsewhere around the interwebs…
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–  I found myself writing a short little poem on Laura Purdie Salas’ blog yesterday; she shared a photo with a poem she wrote about it and asked her readers to do the same, in 15 Words Or Less (a fun weekly feature on her blog).
–  Jane Yolen and I shared “candle” poems on David L. Harrison’s blog this past Monday, as part of his “Word of the Month” challenge. (You can read all of this month’s poems, written by some very talented folks, HERE)
–  Two days later on David’s blog, a number of us joined in a little poetry game and shared poems based on a single vowel sound.
–  And going back to last Poetry Friday, Feb. 6, educator/poet Laura Shovan shared one of my poems on her blog – a rather short one, I admit – as part of her month-long Sound Poem Project. Each day during February, she offers a different sound clip as inspiration, and since I had suggested the sound of a theremin, I felt writing a couple lines about one was the least I could do! You can read my poem along with many others HERE.
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Cybils-Logo-2014-Rnd2As I said, I’ve been kinda busy.
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But wait, there’s more! Cathy Mere is celebrating Poetry Friday by handling the hostess duties today – so please check out her blog, Merely Day by Day, for all of today’s pre-Valentine links and hi-jinx! Have a good weekend, and stay tuned for news about the CYBILS Awards winners…coming soon!
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16 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: So much poetry to go around!

  1. I think I needed to read your post for two reasons today. The first is that an offer recently came my way to help with some an interesting writing project. Honestly, I almost passed it up as I often write when inspired (still an amateur) and it has a predetermined topic (prompt). These two things, combined with much lengthier chunks of required writing time have me a bit concerned. However, I think it’s time to step up to a new challenge. Your post helped to remind of the importance of this in growing as a writer.

    Secondly, I’m not a prompt person — never have been. However, you made me think about prompts in a new way; prompts as a bit of a writing challenge. I think this thinking might help me to reach out and try some new types of writing and again help in growing as a writer.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom, as well as all of these amazing links to follow.
    Cathy

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    1. Thanks so much, Cathy! I’m happy that I might have been able to spur you on to new things. I don’t jump on every prompt that comes along – some don’t inspire me, some I simply don’t have time for – but whenever there’s a new poetic form or some unusual angle I can seize, I try to. Even if you don’t come up with anything worth submitting, at least you stretched your brain for awhile, and that’s valuable!

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  2. Dear Matt, you’ve been busy! I just read the one at Michelle’s — what fun. 🙂 I really love prompts when I am between projects… or stuck in traffic, whichever comes first. Sometimes magic happens. Sometimes I get very frustrated. Either way I learn something. Happy day to you, and thanks for sharing!

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  3. djtsmith

    I do like prompts, as they spur me to think in different ways or write in different ways. I think they’ve helped me grow as a writer. But I, too, like to “prompt myself”. There’s so much to write and so little time!

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  4. As I wrote today, I am so busy now that I actually relish those prompts because they help me focus. I also am inspired by the way others (like you) write from the same prompt. I’m always happy to see one of your poems, Matt! What a great year you’re having!

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  5. I definitely have the hardest time NOT writing to an assignment. Give me constraints and deadlines and I’m at my best creatively. Of course I’m also stressed out, but who cares as long as the muse is at its best. 😉 Now if only I could have the same kick-in-the-pants response to my own imposed deadlines and assignments.

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