Prompt 3: Lightning Twice

I hope y’all enjoyed the last prompt, Uber Lost & Found. Be on the lookout for tomorrow’s weekly recap to see how it went for me and what other’s said about it.

Since the last one was so specific, this week I’d like to revisit a prompt from one of my college poetry classes. It was from this prompt that I wrote the poem “Blessed,” which would ultimately win the Saluda River Poetry Prize from Fall Lines magazine. Not exactly expecting lightning to strike twice, but I do think there’s value in repetition and routine when you find an element or a process that works well at least once.

I had a teacher (not the one who assigned this prompt), who, if you wrote something successful, would tell you to recreate exactly what you did, wore, ate, etc. the day you wrote it; sit down at the exact same time and in the same way you did the first time to write, and try again. I’ve tried this, but never quite to such an extent. Statistically speaking, you’re just not going to walk away with an award-winning poem each and every time. So you might as well do your laundry and not eat ramen every day. But, at least you’re making a habit out of writing, which was really what I think this teacher was trying to drill into us. (If I really wanted to recreate my writing process for the poem “Blessed,” I’d have to go back to my college campus at three in the morning and sit on the porch swing of the Math and Sciences Office writing until five. But I’m not a depressed and dramatic college freshman anymore, and I like my sleep, so that’s not happening.)

So here’s the prompt:

Write a thirty-line poem with medium-length lines (try to get them to where they take up at least half the page). Twenty-eight of those lines must be enjambed, and only two of them may be end-stopped. No rhyming.

That’s it–fairly simple.

If you’d like to do prose, write eight hundred to a thousand words, and do try to create some internal rhyme or music; that should be your primary focus this time instead of plot. Keep your sentences long-winded (I’ll even allow a run-on or two).

Choose whatever topic you’d like, just make sure it follows the prompt.

My deadline for myself to have a draft of this done by is Wednesday, April 3. Feel free to use the same deadline for yourself, and to send me your drafts for feedback to Comment here once you send it so I know to look for it.

Happy writing!

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