Poets Online Archive

This month's prompt has two parts: topic and form. First we begin with a Net search. Go to google.com search engine and enter 10 words that appeal to you right now. Click the search button. You probably will get a good number of hits on these words appearing on web pages. (I did a few tests with 10 word sets (10 is the google maximum) and got from 358 to 23,000+ hits) If you get NO hits, congratulations, because that's unusual and your list must be unusual too. Take out a word at a time and redo the search. 
What are we looking for? We don't know really - but click on a page found that appeals to you, read and wait for the muse. You picked the ten words, so something was already going on in your mind. (By the way, this idea is loosely based on a prompt found in the Virtual Poetry Classroom. The site has many prompts that may be useful for you or students of yours. SIDELIGHT: don't enter words like "poem, poet & poetry" in your search or you'll find poems which may influence your writing too much. You may also expect to hit on a few blog sites.)

While you are thinking about the poem, take into account that you will be using a form to add structure to the mass of words your research will yield. ( A librarian once said to me that doing research on the Internet is "like taking a sip of water from a fire hose".)  The poems we looked at for this prompt were by

Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914). Her poetry was published after her death in 1915 as Verse and the completed portion of her work on prosody as A Study in English Metrics in 1918.  look at some poetry by Adelaide Crapsey    The form used is the cinquain [sing-KANE] that was claimed by Adelaide Crapsey.  The cinquain is a five-line stanza or complete poem of syllabic verse; the lines contain two, four, six, eight and two syllables. You may work in the small haiku-like one stanza form or expand on it with multiple stanzas. Cinquain suggestions: avoid the temptation to make each line a complete sentence/phrase as this gives the poem a clunking pace. Westerners often feel the need to make haiku and cinquain have an "ending" or message - something the form was never meant to overtly do, though the best ones do move towards a climax.


Be brave.
No defense for
lottery of weather.
Winter can return any time
of year.

love. Wrap her in
sunlight and kiss her ears.
Against all probability,
stay warm.

Lauren Cerruto



old quantum mechanics
new ten dimension string theories

golden spiral
harmonics repeating
subatomic universal
tremors . . .

one, two
one, one, two, three
two, eight, fourteen electrons
neutrons, quarks, strings much shorter than
light waves

higher purpose
beyond three dimensions
intricate music making souls

Alan R. Bender



and fried scallops
he loved to read comics
and owned a nineteen fifty-three
Plymouthhe was
just twenty-two
married Sandi then left
with the army for Vietnam
and warin May
artillery found him
still missed by all his family

James M. Thompson



tongue thrust into
the ocean, tasting the
source and beginning of life, of

creation's mouth,
this thrust into water
from which life came fourth to the land
and air.

It is
this thrusting need
to pierce creation's womb
that drives evolution's surging

of forms,
to populate
with multitudinous
expressions of life's energy
the earth,

and skies, that drives
mankind into dark space
striving to thrust out even to
the stars.

Marvin Lurie



more beautiful
than the angels, are back
again despite the pills
and talk.

hidden under
clothing in drawers were moved
while I slept and dreamt about them
last night.

The wind
and the moon above,
which never meet but seem joined,
are like the angels and their black

I cling
to the safety
of the coastline of now
following moon, fighting wind.
Black thoughts.

Ken Ronkowitz



Like wind
At a window,
Death rattles, shakes, shimmies,
Blows invisible noise - wants to
Get in.

And she
Lets it in like
Something chilled, something cold,
Something freezing wanting shelter.
"Get in,"

She says,
Like to a stray
Dog with hanging tail.
And death gets in, invisible,
Like wind.

And death
Gets in and sucks
All noise from her. "Gotcha,"
It barks - and rattles, shimmies, shakes
In her.




Through You
I am always
tested on this green earth
to see what I can glean from it
with You
within my heart
I should have no part of fear
because I'm placing all my trust
in You
who are near and
true to Your faithful Word
and always heard through promises
I live
to give each day
the practice it deserves
which serves in teaching me to seek
and move
to prove Your Plan
for me upon this earth
from birth to now: that all I hold
and have
in Your Good Hand
(as you endow Your Gifts)
will then empower MY BEING!

Catherine M. LeGault



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