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Prompt #117 What words mean…

August 2, 2012


What words mean…

We Write Poems:
As writers we know that words can mean more than only one thing. Some words clearly have multiple meanings. Some words, while literally having a single meaning, can radically shift depending upon the context in which they are used or framed. That’s what we’re looking for this week, how meanings change.

Write a poem that begins and ends with a one word line, that word being the same at both beginning and ending. Yet allow the body of the poem to create that shift in meaning for that one word. Brevity here is not a rule this week, however since the point is focused on that one word try not to have the poem distract from that purpose of craft. So brevity and simplicity would likely be a good idea, but we’re not counting words or lines this week. Rather, make your words and lines as potent and meaningful as you can, all the more to enhance your first and last word.

Maybe start with your single word, and build the poem around it. Else think of a poem idea, then find a word that changes meaning relative to the context of that idea. Either way.

Challenge enough? Have fun!

Please come back next Wednesday when you see our follow-up post,It’s Post Your Poems Day!” and leave a link to the poem on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, then please, post your poem in the comment itself. *** You are invited to respond to the prompt given here, but if you have something else you’re just itching to share, please feel welcome in doing that. Our first desire here is to encourage you to write and learn and share. *** When leaving comments to other’s poems, please be appreciative and encouraging. We are not a poem “critique” site (unless someone specifically asks for that). Be kind with each other (and yourself!). *** Please consider including a link with your blog poem back to the prompt response here at We Write Poems so that others may see and join our community. More participants do make better soup!

  1. August 2, 2012 6:21 am


    was the creeping
    dawn as death, in tandem,
    sidled in; his visitation

    • August 2, 2012 6:25 am

      Sorry. last word should be ‘silent’, huh?

      • August 2, 2012 11:33 pm

        Yes it should, and the meaning should have shifted.

        • August 3, 2012 6:49 am

          Agreed. Thanks.

        • August 3, 2012 7:03 am

          I suppose I write too many Cinquains (2,4,6,8,2), where the first 2 syllables will be further delineated and described in the last two syllables. I did not pay close enough attention to your instructions: ( Write a poem that begins and ends with a one word line, that word being the SAME at both beginning and ending. Yet allow the body of the poem to create that SHIFT in meaning for that one word.) A Cinquain is all about doing just the OPPOSITE of what you requested of me for today.
          Maybe someone can offer me advice as to how I could create
          that “shift”. I am at a loss at the moment. Thanks. Jackie

        • August 3, 2012 5:57 pm

          Well I’ve written mine so if you like, you could look here..

  2. August 3, 2012 12:45 pm

    This is a poem for prompt #117, What Words Mean.
    I’m leaving the link here as I’m not sure how to link any other way. Thanks for the poetry prompt. Carol

    • August 3, 2012 1:07 pm

      Usually they wait for the following Weds to post the poems from the last prompt. Can you re-post this next Weds when they open the 117 post your poem day here? I haven’t written mine yet and will wait until I do before I look at others. This one might be tricky…I’m not fond of restrictive rules, but I might try it anyway.

      • August 3, 2012 1:30 pm

        Yes, I will do that. Sorry, I’m just learning how this works as I haven’t done the prompts from We Write Poems before. Thanks, Carol

      • August 7, 2012 9:17 am

        Thanks Jules!

        The biggest reason “why” we want poems linked on Wednesday is because that’s the group expectation, and otherwise what folks write and link to the initial prompt may then get missed.

  3. August 3, 2012 2:44 pm

    I did the prompt today and gave you a nod at . If you like I will send it to you again Wed. I post my own Wonder Wednesday prompt then, too I’m not sure how this works but I liked how my poem picture and prompt worked today.

  4. August 5, 2012 4:23 pm

    We have an opportunity to show our interest in poetry at the NPR Poetry Games. Read the poems and vote.

  5. August 7, 2012 7:06 am

    Hope you don’t mind that I’m posting today, 07/08 rather than tomorrow 08/08, but I’m away tomorrow. Here is the link to my poem:

  6. August 7, 2012 4:45 pm

    Hi all,
    I’m new to the site, and my friend Polly Robinson (see post above) suggested I take a look. I have written a little something on ‘What Words Mean’. I had to rush it a little to get it finished in time, but I’m mostly happy with it. I hope you will like it too 🙂

    Is the number,
    The number is one.
    The singular unit,
    Divisible by none.

    The One, Is uncoupled,
    He lives on his own.
    Unevenly balanced,

    One is of a number:
    There are lots on their tod!
    Isolated, eccentric?
    Yes, just a bit…

    • August 7, 2012 4:49 pm

      I think you meet the criteria for this week really well Sarah 🙂

      • August 7, 2012 4:55 pm

        Oi! Get to bed lol. Thanks though… I’m glad you like, 😀

  7. August 8, 2012 1:03 am

    I hope I did what you asked!

  8. August 8, 2012 8:15 pm

    Loved this prompt. Mine is up.

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