8:23 a.m. — Atlanta
Hello all. How are you? We are experiencing gorgeous Autumn weather here: blue skies, crisp, chilly temperatures, and leaves turning colours. Bring on the hot chocolate.
The instructions for today’s exercise are short: Write a poem of four quatrains that contains no adjectives, no adverbs, no similes, and the word “lime”.
That’s it. I knew I could write a short post. I am off for coffee…No? You would like a tiny bit more? Okay. A colleague and I included this prompt as an option in the final project of our tenth graders’ poetry unit. Few chose it, but the ones who did: Wow! What wonderful, creative, uncluttered poems they came up with.
Look at what you are being asked to do and think about why. What is the effect of leaving out qualifiers [similes qualify in the way they direct a comparison]? Ask yourself this before and after you write the poem.
If you need a kick-start, list all the situations where you might come across a lime. Choose the two or three you find interesting and jot notes next to each. Go with whatever your brain is telling you. Pick one. Remember that quatrains, while they mean four lines to a stanza, do not mean the lines have to be long, or even with each other. They do not have to rhyme. A quatrain is four lines. That’s it.
This is the only step you can be flexible with. If you need fewer or more stanzas, go for it. BUT: no qualifiers and the word lime must be in the poem somewhere. Think strong verbs and nouns. Don’t forget, sensory imagery is your friend.
I do hope many of you will try this. It is one of my favourite exercises to do and to read results of. Don’t forget to post either links, or the poem, in comments. Read what others have written. Enjoy and I will see you Friday for the prompt roundup, and next Tuesday for a less prescriptive prompt.
Happy writing everyone.