Writing poetry again

I’ve been writing poems to Writers Digest Poetic Asides blog editor, Robert Lee Brewer’s prompts for years at least since 2009 when I first entered his poem a day challenges in November and April. As a result, I have reams of poem-a-day poems, and poems to his Wednesday prompts. Right now, my Wednesday prompt document is eight-three pages and has 27,084 words.

So when I decided to declare victory on my novel at least for now, I thought: why not go back to my Brewer poem document and write poems for all the prompts I’ve skipped over? I missed quite a few in the last few weeks because I was working, and I’m sure there must be many throughout the document as a whole.

Another thing I want to look at is: are there any good enough to submit for publishing? As far as I know there is only one the first one on the list that’s been published (actually twice). Here’s the prompt and poem.

For this week’s prompt, write a box poem. This poem is either about a box or includes a box somewhere in the poem (or title). Don’t be afraid to poem outside the box this week (sorry, I had to say it).

Things in Boxes

He left a black canvas box
filled with his music recordings
next to his bed,
the cassette tapes neatly packed
in order of performance.

And on his closet shelf
we found a cardboard box filled
with little games, cars, toys,
1984 Olympic souvenirs,
and Russian buttons and buckles
his uncle brought back for him.

He fit these favorite things
together like an intricate puzzle,
before he left his body
for us to put in a box
in the ground.

Some of the prompts are silly, some are simple, and some take a lot of thought. Also, Robert’s poems to his own prompts sometimes feel less than writerly. That of course has given a lot of leeway in my own responses.

Here’s Robert’s prompt and poem from last Wednesday, September 27:

For today’s prompt, write a name tag poem. The poem could be about a literal name tag (I’ve written one about a pencil before, so why not? But it could also be a poem that includes your name (kind of like a traditional ghazal includes the poet’s name in the final line). Or it could be a poem that defines you. Or go old school and work your name in via an acrostic poemor some other sneaky poetic device.

My Name Is

Running off through the streets and mob
of people who like to shorten and remember
Bob, even though that’s never been my name,
even though I point it out often to the many and few
repeatedly. When it comes to my name, I have a preference
to Rob, Robby, Bo, or Bob, and if you’re not sure, just say, Sir.


I haven’t written to this prompt yet. Why don’t you try it and share it with me and my readers by posting it in the comments? I find having poetry prompts around makes poetry writing a lot easier.




  1. Your style is visual as well as descriptively engaging….amazing.

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