Skip to content

prompt 192 Holiday Advent Poems

December 25, 2013

This is my last prompt for the month.  It has gone by so quickly, and I’ve enjoyed each and every response–the cleverness, the inventiveness, the cheer, the subtlety, the sparkle, and most of all the willingness to play.

My final prompt is shamelessly based on one of my favorite prompts (which you can find here) by Jim Simmerman in The Practice of Poetry. Follow each step, considering each a small poem.  You might want to read through all them before starting; then again, you might not.  Add as many or as few seasonal connections as you desire.  Review them all as a whole and adjust to your taste (which you all do so well), including rearranging/deleting lines.  Leave your presents under the tree.  I’ll be back to read them on the 29th when I return to the land of internet.  Wonderful writing, joyful reunions, and safe travel to all.

Little Advent Poems

  1. Begin the poem with a holiday metaphor.
  2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
  3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
  4. Reveal a stress/tension of the season through a movie scene or song lyric.
  5. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
  6. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
  7. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
  8. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
  9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
  10. Create a metaphor using the following construction:  “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
  11. Overhear someone unexpected singing your favorite carol.
  12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
  13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he/she could not do in “real life.”
  14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
  15. List some of your favorite gifts (or gifts you would like to receive).
  16. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
  17. Describe the view outside the window nearest the tree (or nearest whichever place is most significant during your holiday).
  18. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
  19. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
  20. Use onomatopoeia (a word sounds like the thing or action it describes).
  21. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
  22. Use color terms to describe one of your least favorite things about the holidays/season.
  23. Make a nonhuman object say or do something human (personification).
  24. Respond in persona to the following line:  “When your eyes/Pause on the ball/That hangs on the third branch from the star/You remember why it is dark and why it gets light again” [Björk “Solstice”]
  25. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.

My Little Tree

  1. December 26, 2013 6:18 am

    Thank you Yousei Hime for all of your prompts. May we all have a wonderful, health filled and peaceful New Year.

    While not exactly true to the prompt which actually looks quite interesting and one that I might like to try in the future…we have had a great loss…and as my poems reflect my life (hopefully without dragging my readers down) I present my own ‘advent’ with a lower case ‘a’.

    • December 26, 2013 8:37 am

      I left a comment on your blog, Jules. Peace be with you and your family.

  2. December 26, 2013 6:18 am

    Christmas 2013 Taos, New Mexico
    The star so bright
    The sudden light
    The mess we made
    As we prepared
    To celebrate your

    The songs we sang
    The same ones
    We sung
    For all times
    Forgot the words
    Mumbled our

    Gave gifts
    To delight
    The ones we
    Sent wishes
    To friends

    The day after
    We clean
    Put everything away
    Look ahead
    Wonder what
    This year will bring
    Survived another

    • December 26, 2013 8:38 am

      That pretty much describes our Christmas, too. Merry Christmas!

    • December 27, 2013 6:44 am

      The words always start strong, and usually end that way, too. It’s just the middle that gets muddled. Happy Holidays, Annell

    • December 30, 2013 7:30 am

      Thank you so for participating. Again you’ve captured so many of the feelings that escort us through the holidays. The sparsity of words had me focusing on each phrase and its meaning, strengthening emotion with each one. Enjoyed it very much.

    • December 30, 2013 3:53 pm

      As well as ours. Have a happy New Year. 🙂

  3. December 26, 2013 7:08 am

    You guys are quick. I attempted this
    buffet of a prompt

  4. December 26, 2013 8:36 am

    Hi-dee-ho-ho-ho! Here’s mine.

  5. December 27, 2013 6:31 am

    Might have gotten this sooner, but there’s a cat asleep on my feet

    Happy Holidays, y’all

  6. December 28, 2013 1:44 pm

    Here’s my offering:


  7. December 30, 2013 8:04 am

    Thank you everyone for participating. They are all wonderful poems.

Comments are closed.