Pick Up a Pen: Spring into Poetry Contest – Poetry Prompt, Week 3

Blossoming cherry tree limbs in front of the blurred greenery of a park beyond.

Writing poetry for some doesn't come as natural as it does for others. So, for the duration of our first-ever Spring into Poetry Contest, we will be posting a helpful prompt to inspire your own writing. If anything, think of these prompts as exercises that focus on the process of writing, rather than the final product. It may be that a poem comes into being after such an exercise, but it's also completely OK if it doesn't. The act of exercising builds up those poetry writing and thinking muscles that will make the creation process that much smoother.

Great news! Deadline Extended

Still noodling on a poem and need more time? Our submission deadline for Spring into Poetry Contest has been EXTENDED to May 9. You've got more time to put pen to paper and submit a poem. You've got more time to check the cadence and polish the language. What a glorious feeling to have more time! Perhaps this week's prompt will get your wheels whirring.

This Week's Prompt

This week's prompt is taken again from the official site for National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo.

From Stephanie Malley, who challenges us to write a poem based on the title of one of the chapters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. The book’s table of contents can be viewed using Amazon’s “Look inside” feature. Will you choose “the poem squash?” or perhaps “grocery weeping” or “the blue socks”? If none of the 60 rather wonderful chapter titles here inspire you, perhaps a chapter title from a favorite book would do?

I decided to try my hand at this week's prompt and took a chapter title from Wooldridge's text. The chapter title I chose, though, I misread initially, which actually made it all the more fun to play with. Here's what I came up with:

Red X's on the calendar
countdown to the evening
when I can finally venture out
moss mad and moonly

My bag is packed--
jars of water, treats
pouches of bones, a good stick
moss mad and moonly

This waiting in a lunar purgatory
setting my nerves alight
anticipating that silvery glen
moss mad and moonly

The day arrives at last
in a frenzied flourish I flee
and find myself in a fog and can't see
most mad and moonly

So. Take a breath. Pick up your pen. And start writing.

Then, Enter Our Poetry Contest!

SJPL's inaugural Spring into Poetry Contest is happening now through our new EXTENDED deadline May 9, 2021. Our contest is open to folks anywhere of all ages. Our submission guidelines will explain what will be considered, how to submit, and prize structure. We are taking submissions virtually - submit here!

Need More Inspiration?

Head over to our Recommended Reading section and this staff-picked list of Poetry that is sure to inspire you and encourage you to write.

Lastly, check out this event hosted by the Academy of American Poets: Poetry & the Creative Mind — Virtual Gala Supporting National Poetry Month. It's free to attend and virtual, so you can log in and give a soundtrack to your Thursday afternoon.