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prompt 198 Child’s Play

January 30, 2014

For the final ten years of my employment, I worked as a free-lance Writing Instructor, teaching classes at area colleges (including the University from which I graduated), and in several Fine Arts Schools. My students were adults.

My classes were writing based and often included poetry.  I facilitated one-day workshops and seminars, many of which were exclusively about writing poetry.  I never told my adult students that the exercises I asked them to do were based in ideas I had found in books written about helping children learn how to write poetry.  It was my personal practice to do those exercises right along with my students and those brief exercises sometimes found their way into my own writing. An example of that may be found here:

At Fifty

The second to last stanza is the complete response to an exercise in using an element of weather to define some aspect of ones own person. I had done the exercise in class two days before I wrote the above poem and it seemed to fall naturally into that space.

Recently, I found an online site that offers children (or anyone else) the experience of writing a poem by a fill in the blank type of method. The site is called Instant Poetry. click on their name to visit the site

In the left hand sidebar of the site, you will find numerous types of poems to choose from. Please try at least one or two of them. Then using one of them for a base, rework, revise, and rewrite it until you are satisfied with the results. Although this is essentially child’s play, you bring to it your own wealth of poetic experience and that can make for some very fine poetry. You might want to cite Instant Poetry somewhere in your post.

Thanks for joining me over the past month, and have fun as you continue to write,


  1. January 30, 2014 3:48 am

    Nice prompt. I hope to have a play with it again later.

  2. January 30, 2014 4:22 am

    Fun to start the day playing like a child!

  3. January 30, 2014 5:21 am

    I liked the prompt, too.

  4. January 30, 2014 6:04 am

    Not a virtuoso piece

    • January 30, 2014 4:25 pm

      Tigers have a very special meaning for me, Irene, just as a hermit dwells in silence and spindly grasses,


  5. January 30, 2014 6:21 am

    Very fun. Just what I’ve needed to get back into the groove.

    • January 30, 2014 4:35 pm

      So glad you shared that fun with all of us,


  6. January 30, 2014 9:52 am

    This one ran away laughing and kept tugging me along,


  7. January 30, 2014 10:29 am

    Are we held “in the palm of God’s hand”?

    I Mbosa A Láimhe


    • January 30, 2014 4:56 pm

      Yes, I believe we are, and especially you as you wrote this delightful addition to your ongoing tale,


  8. January 30, 2014 10:46 am

    If hope were a color
    It would be green like the grass in springtime
    If hope were a feeling
    it would feel like wrapping paper (with a present inside)
    if hope was a smell
    It would smell like something baking in the oven
    If hope was a sound
    It would sound like the little bells tinkling on the ice-cream truck when it turns up our lane.

    (will work on more detailed ones later, this is fun!}

    • January 30, 2014 1:35 pm

      Marian, this is so nice… I do like this.

    • January 30, 2014 4:59 pm

      I couldn’t agree more with the vivid sense imagery you chose to define hope, particularly the smell of it, so glad you enjoyed it,


    • January 30, 2014 6:52 pm

      Yes, you picked the best kind…the details that most everyone can identify with. Beautiful, Marian!

    • February 9, 2014 10:36 am

      I loved your smell and sound of hope in particular.

  9. January 30, 2014 1:17 pm

    I chose “Some of My Best Friends are Metaphors Poem” from Instant Poetry

    • January 30, 2014 5:03 pm

      Can’t beat a friend as good as a sister,


  10. January 30, 2014 4:02 pm

    Thank you Elizabeth for a wonderful site, and for hosting this month.

    Mixed a few…

    • January 30, 2014 5:37 pm

      Ah yes Jules, the child we were definitely lives on inside of us,


  11. January 30, 2014 6:15 pm

    Well I didn’t write to as many of your prompt as I had intended to Elizabeth, but I did read them each time and am sure happy with the fun I had with this one. Thank you so much for hosting!! 🙂

    • January 30, 2014 8:25 pm

      And thank you for that treasure trove of spilled gold to be found in your words, Hannah. So glad you enjoyed it and had fun, I did as well,


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