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Prompt #124 Dear Poets of WWP

September 20, 2012


Dear Poets of WWP,

What exactly is an Epistle Poem?

While it sounds rather archaic, daunting and formal, an epistle poem is simply said… a poem written in the form of a letter.  There are no rules to follow here so let your imagination be your guide.  In fact, the great appeal of epistolary poetry is the freedom it gives to the poet to express his own views or to take on the character of a different person.  A poet can address the epistle to a real or imaginary person, to the world at large or to a bodiless entity or an abstract concept.  Epistles can be intimate and colloquial or formal and measured.  They can be philosophical, declarations of love, lessons on morality or lists of errands.

Some simple guidelines to follow (or not)…. ask yourself

Who is writing the letter (poem)?
Who is it being written to?
How would you address the specific audience, be it a person, place, thing or idea?
What would interest the writer and recipient?

And, not meaning to belabor the “lesson plan” but I can’t resist offering up one simple, yet near perfect, example for you to enjoy.  This Is Just To Say, by William Carlos Williams, likely a note originally written to his wife.  (And for a little more background information on this poem form you might wish to read this from Poets.Org.)

This week’s prompt is to write an epistle poem.

Offered sincerely,
the staff of WWP

Come back to leave a link to your poem next Wednesday when you see our second follow-up post called, It’s Post Your Poems Day!

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!

introducing a new regular staff contributor to We Write Poems
You’ve already seen her name on some of our recent prompts.  And I want to formally introduce and acknowledge Julie, a long standing friend of mine, for her “prompt” contributions to WWP.  Her point of view and experience is rather different from my own, and I think this well amends and broadens the range of prompts we have to offer here – a good balance I think.  That said, I’ll let her say hello herself.  [~neil reid, for WWP]

Much to my chagrin, Neil has asked me to write a sentence or two by way of introduction.  Just between you and me, I think when he learned that my background as a teacher of English was a long lost passion, he thought to resurrect the “fire” and perhaps be of help to him when it comes to thinking up these weekly prompts.  Much to my delight, the passion is still within and I seem more at ease with creating prompts than writing the poems.

However, I shall not abandon my inner poet.  My thanks to Neil for opening Pandora’s Box and letting the English teacher loose upon WWP.


One Comment
  1. September 24, 2012 12:23 am

    Welcome, Julie – I look forward to your prompts and the poems which ensue.

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