Friday Freeforall: Poetry Prompts to Keep You Going

16 Jul

7:56 p.m. — Walnut Creek

Hello all. Yes, I am a trifle late. Mom’s day in the city. I like to accompany her. Lunch at Japantown. Yum! That was my opening last night before my mom’s internet went wonky. I learned the panicky feeling people are beset with when they have a regular blog that goes out, not to mention the emails I knew were piling up! The time is now 11:45 a.m. and I am hoping to get this posted before something else happens.

We start, as always, with Donna’s Poetry Tow Truck and a prompt that says: Today, I will ask you to take one of your “ugly” words and transform it into something beautiful. There are several ways to approach this….. To find out the ways and to see what Donna is talking about, you know what to do. If you missed last week’s because you wait until I post Friday, trawl back through her posts. You are looking for a prompt on reverse sonnets. I know! These both sound intriguing.

The next site is The Sunday Whirl. Visit to see Brenda’s wordle and to read up on how it works, if you wish to post responses. Otherwise, enjoy a weekly wordle, the words of which come from responses to the previous week’s wordle. And be sure to go over to see what others have done.

Poetic Bloomings, hosted by Maria Elena Good and Walt Wojtanik, asks us to try a Japanese form: This week our featured form is the Dodoitsu. The Dodoitsu is a fixed folk song form of Japanese origin and is often about love or humor. Visit the site to learn the structure, and read the poems by the hosts in response.

For Carry on Tuesday, we have a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Neither a borrower nor a lender be. Play with it before going over to the site to see what others have written and for a link to read other lines from Hamlet. You will be surprised how many you know..

One Single Impression offers us respect which can be approached on many different levels. To find out more go over to the site. Check out some of the participants’ offerings while you are there.

At Scribble & Scatter’s ‘Sunday Snaps’ Susan May James has three photographs ready for you to look at. They are lovely. If you use one, consider submitting your creation to Sunday Snaps: the Stories’  a collection of 52 photos and stories/poems. Susan is finalising submissions for her next book and has posted a deadline. Head to the stories’ link to read up on it.

Whether you like to read them or want to try writing one, this site is the place to play with limericks. I enjoy the whole site more every week. It is plain fun to browse. Go to Mad Kane’s Humor Blog for her Limerick-off Mondays and a lot more besides.

Jingle Poetry’s ‘Monday Potluck’ offers us Life in Free Verse. Remember to pop by and check the site. Next week they want us to focus on art.

Visit Magpie Tales for our other image prompt. The painting is by Thomas Hart Benton and if you aren’t sure what to do with the whole, pick an individual or a small group to write on. Ask yourself what story just happened, or is about to happen, here.

For you alliterists out there, here is ABC Wednesdays letter for this week: Gad zooks!   Can you believe we have traveled from A to Z one more time on ABC Wednesday?  Head over to read the rest of the Z prompt and for a link to zydeco music, which is great fun.

The three words this week for Three Word Wednesday are indecision, option, and fate. As always, visit them for their definitions. They have a particularly good source. I realised, this time, why what intrigues me more than the words are the definitions. A mini found poem can be written from them. When you look at the definition each week keep that in mind.

We Write Poems starts its prompt with: Elizabeth Crawford’s suggestion for our prompt is to use the dictionary (or thesaurus), find some words new to your vocabulary and use them in creating the poem you write this week! Go on over and read the rest of the prompt.

Poets United ends their prompt with: So this week we give you the prompt of loneliness. When does it strike you the most, the holidays after the family has left? When someone close to you has passed on? When you move away from your childhood home? When do you feel you’re most alone?. They always have more to help us choose possible paths, so go over and read the rest of the prompt and view the photographs. Loneliness is a powerful thing to write about.

Scribble & Scatter’s ‘Alpha to Omega Thursdays‘ says: Theta is the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet and the focus of our next alpha to omega challenge. Head over to see the two words chosen and to read their definitions.

New entry this week. I know several poets try their hand at flash fiction so thought I would include a site that looks open as far as focus and topic but is there as a place to post. I haven’t quite found my way around it but you younger brains out there may be able to figure it out. Flash 55 is a site hosted by the G-Man, who posts every Thursday…I think. Feel free to let me know in comments if you know how the site works. I did look for directions.

Remember to check out Elizabeth Crawford’s discussion site Writers Speak where she asks writers of all genres to stop by and talk about the life of a writer. She will post new topics every week around Friday. This week’s topic is a series of ten questions. We may answer one, a couple, or all. Here’s a chance to get to know our fellow writers and cyber friends a little more.

That should keep you busy and writing. If you think anyone else would enjoy these, click on the buttons below. If you have questions ask. If you write in response to any of these, both the people whose blogs you visit and I would love to read your responses. So, post!

I shall see you Tuesday for a new form; Thursday for a discussion of a topic yet to be decided [Hey! I’m on vacation!]; and next Friday for more of the same. Happy writing, everyone.

P.S. If I disappear it’s my mother’s internet.


Posted by on 16/07/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


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23 responses to “Friday Freeforall: Poetry Prompts to Keep You Going

  1. jhon baker

    16/07/2011 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you for these.

    • margo roby

      16/07/2011 at 5:30 pm

      You are welcome, Jhon. Thanks for subscribing. I have these every Friday. Tuesdays are exercises and Thursday, discourses on writing.

  2. pmwanken

    16/07/2011 at 4:48 pm

    “Poetry Prompts to Keep You Going”…never a truer statement than that one, for me, these days.

    Although…I’ve had a bit of a debate going with a friend as to whether prompts are a prod for me…or a crutch.


    Regardless, thank you, Margo, for providing us with a concise locale for the best of the best. 🙂


  3. margo roby

    16/07/2011 at 5:27 pm

    Paula, that’s an interesting point and one easily answered. Of course, you would have to remove yourself from prompts for a while… I always wrote as many poems from my own thoughts as I did for prompts — for several years I had no prompts — so that’s an easy one for me. Prompts are prods.

    I wouldn’t worry about it. You are clearly having a wonderful time with the prompts and they result in poems. At some point in the future if you are still curious, pull yourself off prompts except for one or two and see what your brain does 🙂


  4. anjum wasim dar

    16/07/2011 at 5:39 pm

    Loneliness is a powerful thing
    to write about.
    No one hears ,
    even if you shout
    no one reads-
    there is doubt

    Loneliness is a killing thing
    lump in the throat
    numb and afloat feet
    heart sinking and
    missing the beat

    Loneliness is a depressive thing
    It comes in a day
    when a dear one is
    indifferent and far away
    with reasons unknown
    what can one say-

    loneliness is a lonesome thing
    it stays with the lonely
    and makes them sing
    when they cannot fly
    with their broken wings

    loneliness is a powerful thing….

  5. margo roby

    16/07/2011 at 5:47 pm

    Anjum, I LOVE the last stanza and closing line. Powerful, indeed.


  6. anjum wasim dar

    16/07/2011 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks M I was hoping you would read.I took the line from your prompt writeup and have added to my list of : is…….
    -is lost
    -is a powerful thing
    as I sit and tap away my thoughts, my feelings dead, my heart sleepy, my spirit static,the house quiet as a mouse, the whirring of the fan sounds like a boeing’s roar , at least the electricity is present-and I have a question: where is my angel? and soon I get the answer as I see a staircase, I hear the sound of someone stepping descending, the sound is not balanced, one step is like the sound of hard piece of wood-Ah a broken leg-a wooden support, as I lift my eyes to see-I find ‘an angel with broken wings”-my angel cannot fly”-
    -my angel
    is disabled…
    m…my search continues…

  7. Mary

    16/07/2011 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks, Margo, for your words at my site. They meant a lot to me. See you around the poetry circle, probably with Brenda’s wordle tomorrow!

  8. margo roby

    17/07/2011 at 1:07 am

    You are entirely welcome, Mary. And, indeed I shall see you.


  9. anjum wasim dar

    17/07/2011 at 2:53 am

    Loneliness is a powerful thing
    when it builds patience
    when it fills emptiness
    when it heals wounds
    when it shows colors
    when it reveals character

    loneliness is a powerful thing
    when it does not come once
    when it goes and returns
    when it widens distances
    when it cools the burns

    loneliness is the absence of response.

  10. Linda H.

    17/07/2011 at 7:26 am

    Jeepers…tons of information here. I’m lucky if I do two of them 🙂 Thanks for compiling everything and making it easier for me to choose.

    Have a great Sunday!

    • margo roby

      17/07/2011 at 4:24 pm

      Linda, you are welcome! And, I only get two of them done…mostly 🙂


  11. Jenni

    17/07/2011 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Margo —

    I am the editor-in-chief over at The Found Poetry Review and we have started posting weekly found poetry prompts on our site, archived here: We would love to be included in your weekly wrap up!

    Best wishes to you.


    • margo roby

      17/07/2011 at 4:16 pm

      More than happy too include you, Jenni. I love found poetry and posting you will keep me looking at the prompts!


  12. pmwanken

    18/07/2011 at 11:23 pm


    Finally getting around to compiling my responses to prompts for the week…some of which you’ve mentioned here, some are not. Regardless…thank you for your wonderful resource, as always.

    By the way


    The Sunday Whirl (7/10/11) and Poetic Bloomings (7/10/11): The Prodigal’s Poem

    Carry On Tuesday (7/12/11): Little I ask…

    Three Word Wednesday (7/13/11) and Poetic Asides (7/13/11): Life in the Pits

    Poetic Bloomings (Dodoitsu – 7/13/11): Poetic Love Story

    Your Tuesday Tryouts (7/12/11), Thursday Think Tank (7/14/11), We Write Poems (7/14/11), and Theme Thursday (7/7/11 and 7/14/11): Hopes and Dreams

    And I have also been posting a small stone, daily for A River of Stones; and I have just completed and posted my answers for Elizabeth’s questions for Writers Speak #3.


    • pmwanken

      18/07/2011 at 11:26 pm

      Whoops…didn’t finish my “By the way…” above.

      By the way….for now, I’m with you: prompts = prods. Someday soon, I will see what will happen if I limit my use of prompts. Meanwhile…I continue to be quite inspired by the wonderful people out there (like you!) who prompt us onto our next masterpiece! 😉

      • margo roby

        19/07/2011 at 12:01 am

        You always make me smile. That’s quite a gift you have 🙂


    • margo roby

      19/07/2011 at 12:05 am

      Thanks for the reminder! I need to get over to Elizabeth’s and give my answers. I missed last week! I don’t know where you find the energy. I managed four stones before that disappeared off my chart. And we won’t talk about all the other prompts…


      • pmwanken

        19/07/2011 at 12:19 am

        …I squeeze in what I can between my Facebook Madden NFL games! LOL 🙂

        OH! And…by the way…. 😀 I’m glad I make you smile. We all need to do more of that during our days!!

        (giggling, now, as I head off to sleep!)

  13. Mary

    19/07/2011 at 9:01 am

    I wonder if you noticed that your blog was featured as ‘blog of the week’ yesterday at Poets United. Take a look, if you haven’t.

    • margo roby

      19/07/2011 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you, Mary. I was lucky to have someone send me a heads up and left a comment at PU. I am honoured to be a featured blog and thank you for the write-up [that is you isn’t it?].


  14. Jingle Poetry

    19/07/2011 at 11:05 am

    you are thoughtful,

    do join our poetry potluck sometimes when you are free.

    • margo roby

      19/07/2011 at 12:30 pm

      I appreciate the invitation, JP. I love your blog — and really love the changes you made to it recently. You did hit the nail on the head with your ‘when you are free’. I barely keep up with We Write Poems and The Sunday Whirl! But I will keep an eye out for crossover poems so I can join the party at Jingle Poetry.



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