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prompt 194 Happy New Year

January 2, 2014

Hi, this is Elizabeth. Someone has coaxed me from my cave, inviting me to create prompts here at We Write Poems for the month of January. Thanks Irene.
We can and often do use tools to write. This week we’ll be using a Thesaurus, one of which may be found at Of course if you prefer, you may use your own copy of a Thesaurus.
Now, on a piece of paper, mark off three columns. Each column will begin with one of three words. The words are:


Using the Thesaurus find a synonym (similar meanings) for the word Happy. Then one for New. And another for Year as a period of time.
On the next line do the same with antonyms (opposite or contrasting meanings). You won’t find an antonym for the word year because it designates a precise period of time, but a word designating either a longer or shorter period of time ( such as second or century) will do.
Please try choosing words that you normally don’t use, choose them for their sounds, or your immediate response to them, paying attention to the associations that might arise when reading them. You may repeat that process several times if you like, giving yourself more choices.
Then pair some of the words, and/or try some phrases using them. Sit back, breathe and just let your mind float through whatever comes. You are seeking associations, sound a-likes, or phrases that tweak your imagination.
Example: One of the words I chose for happy was intoxicated. I found pairings with the antonyms antiquated and out of date. Just let the words rest in your mind for a few minutes and see what happens. Take notes.
Build your poem using some or all of these words or phrases in whatever fashion you wish. This is wordplay so you will not be limited to length, or word count, or poetic form. The words themselves will offer avenues to explore, paths yet untravelled. That is my wish for you in this coming new year.
The wish for a Happy New Year does not have to constitute the theme of your poem. This list of words may suggest many other things. Have fun and write.

  1. January 2, 2014 5:30 am

    We Write Poems Prompt: Happy New Year

    Happy New Year
    The year begins
    It is new
    I have counted
    Seventy two
    Each begins with
    Happy New Year
    Wishes all around
    Some wishes
    Come true

    It probably
    Matter what
    A year will
    And if wishes
    Come true
    For as the
    Year ends
    The new begins
    And it is
    Happy New Year

    What is new
    Becomes old
    A cycle
    A circle
    As the year
    Each will be
    Greeted with
    For a
    Happy New Year
    January 2014

  2. January 2, 2014 5:30 am

    Thank you Elizabeth, that was fun!

    • January 2, 2014 1:29 pm

      You are more than welcome Annell, that was my intention and thanks for playing along with me,


  3. January 2, 2014 5:54 am

    A little dark, but sometimes life is overshadowed by current events.

    • January 2, 2014 2:19 pm

      This exercise has a tendency to wander off in surprising directions. Thanks for joining in Jules,


  4. January 2, 2014 8:25 am

    Had to be fair and give it a try, didn’t I?


  5. January 2, 2014 8:49 am

    An interesting direction, this took. No idea why.

    • January 2, 2014 1:47 pm

      That is what I was hoping for Barbara…a different direction based in the words and whatever they might suggest.


  6. January 2, 2014 10:41 am

    I enjoyed this challenge! Thanks!

    • January 2, 2014 1:54 pm

      Glad you had fun,


    • January 7, 2014 2:42 pm

      I’m having trouble leaving a comment on your blog, Robyn, so I’m leaving it here. Is the beginning of each new year a precipice? That’s what I envision when I read this poem, especially the first stanza. I also like your wordplay with heart and art in the second stanza…as artists we seek growth so it’s natural to question the state of both.


  7. January 2, 2014 11:07 am

    Great prompt, Elizabeth. I will be back with something later. I have to take the husband to the doctor first.


    • January 2, 2014 2:04 pm

      Hope all is well with the hubby and will be looking forward to whatever you do poemwise,


      • January 3, 2014 8:38 am

        Prognosis is not very optimistic. Still, I will make some time to write.

  8. January 2, 2014 11:41 am

    Happy New Year (Giddy fresh moment)

    Giddy as a class of third graders
    On that fresh morning in June
    When they are dismissed for summer vacation.

    A long time ago. Decades, even! Some
    Of the giddy third graders have turned
    Into grouchy old ladies and grumpy old men.

    Do the boys still gather in the fields and
    Bat baseballs into their neighbors back yards?
    Do the girls still gather wildflowers in soft, shady woods?

    The fields and woods of their childhood have
    Disappeared beneath paved streets and side-
    Walks and rows and rows of houses.

    The old men sit in chairs and watch young
    Men chase balls around for large sums of money.
    The old ladies call to the old men that it is time
    To eat dinner.

    • January 2, 2014 2:12 pm

      I left a reply at your site and so glad to see you here Marian,


    • January 3, 2014 7:38 am

      A spectacularly (albeit familiar) poem. I just called my “old man” for lunch. 🙂

    • January 4, 2014 12:38 am

      Oh yes, this lovely poem hit many a chord with me!

    • January 6, 2014 8:58 am

      Lovely poem, Marian.

    • January 7, 2014 2:44 pm

      I love how your physically and concretely show us the passing of time with the contrast between what the young folks did then and what they as old people do now. Is there time to bat around balls and gather wild flowers in the wood? That is up to us. Lovely poem.


  9. January 2, 2014 11:45 am

    A not so happy poem to begin the new year.


    • January 2, 2014 2:13 pm

      You’ve woven quite a tale from the words you chose, thanks for playing along,


    • January 4, 2014 12:44 am

      I couldn’t find a way to comment on your blog. How well you set the scene, and then harrowed me into a quivering wreck! More antonym than synonym, which is very clever of you.

      • January 7, 2014 2:49 pm

        Thank you, Elizabeth and Vivian. I can’t take all the credit for the scenery. I’m using my own (invented, as per the prompt) words to describe an already existing scene created for a music video in the mid-90’s…I borrowed the scene and placed the characters there. Of course, I heavily edited what I showed as the original was deemed even too explicit for MTV. So far, no one has guessed the video and the artist.


    • January 2, 2014 2:21 pm

      I’m glad you followed the words stimmyabby, childhood memories are not always enjoyable, but it’s good to air them occasionally,


  10. January 2, 2014 2:58 pm

    Hey guys, Nicole’s wordle prompt has mooted our Monday wordle. Starting this week, I’ll collect three words each from your submitted poems to create a collaborative wordle prompt. Cut-off will be Sunday.

    • January 4, 2014 1:01 am

      where, where can I find it? My wordle-phobia morphed into a wordle-mania!

      • January 4, 2014 3:03 am

        Will post the prompt on Monday, Viv. It’s mid cycle to allow folks to write to Thursday’s prompt. It will also dovetail nicely with Miz Quickly’s Monday prompt for those of us who like to kill two birds with one stone.

  11. January 2, 2014 4:02 pm

    Happy New Year, alternate universe style:


    • January 2, 2014 4:19 pm

      Great to see you here Denise, a bit like old times, yes?


      • January 2, 2014 5:22 pm

        Yes, with so many fun prompts!


    • January 3, 2014 7:49 am

      I tried to leave a comment on your blog but my Firefox barks at Blogger for some reason. I did however want to say that I really enjoyed reading your poem.

      • January 4, 2014 3:16 pm

        It did come through. Thank you for stopping by!

  12. January 3, 2014 6:49 am

    my foggy offering

  13. January 3, 2014 7:28 am

    Slightly off kilter from New Year celebrations, but there you go, or rather here you go.

    • January 3, 2014 7:45 am

      Love that photo Misky…a pale sun can do that,


  14. January 4, 2014 12:35 am

    Mine started as a 6-word-Saturday, but then I had fun with the thesaurus, as per Elizabeth’s instructions. Thanks Elizabeth for an idea I shall re-use. My poem is here:

    • January 4, 2014 8:47 am

      Love your expression of enthusiasm for all those creative energies Viv. For me, they are the most satisfying. Glad you enjoyed the prompt…


  15. January 4, 2014 8:21 am

    Hi Elizabeth, I did come up with something. Not real uplifting, but I am a bit depressed at the the moment.


    • January 4, 2014 8:55 am

      Have been thinking about you a lot ever since I read your comment above. Poems come from the places we are in…not all of them can be beautiful and uplifting. There is always someone who needs to hear reality and truth expressed with honesty. Thank you so much for being here Pamela…


      • January 4, 2014 4:58 pm

        Actually is that what poetry is reframe the helplessness & unsettledness of the world so we can find peace.

        • January 4, 2014 8:17 pm

          Yes, I think a great deal of poetry is just that…peace or some aspect of it.

  16. January 5, 2014 12:41 am

    This is a re-posted poem from 2009. It represents how I need to embark upon 2014!

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