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Poetry Trick or Treat

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Fri Oct 22, 2021 8:06 pm
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Poetry Trick or Treat



To help you out for NaPo Week this year Poetry Crew decided to put together a list of Poetry Tricks (Tips) and Treats (Prompts) to help guide you through the week - if you'd rather not use the prompt each day that's perfectly alright! But if you do write a poem for all 7 prompts, you'll be a Poetry Trick or Treat Prize Winner and earn yourself 250 points! Have fun!

And please feel free to share your poems using the prompts or tips as well as claim your prize if you're able to complete all 7 prompts.

Oct 23

Poetry Trick | Tip - alliyah
If you're stuck on the editing stage, and aren't sure where to go, you can try swapping out the pronouns or tense of the poem. For example, if you've written it in first person, how might it sound in second person, or addressed to multiple subjects? If the poem was written in past tense how does it change when you swap it to present tense? One of the tricks to editing, is to make sure you are carrying your edits throughout the entire piece (ie. not just sprinkling something in a few places, but creating one unified concept) by making a relatively small change stretched across the whole piece you can practice keeping poetic continuity while still working on editing.

Poetry Treat | Prompt - alliyah
Autumn is a time of change! Changing temperatures, changing colors, changing seasons... Write a poem in which the mood changes from the first half and the second! To make the transition more stark, you can try using contrasting imagery too.

Oct 24

Poetry Trick | Tip - alliyah
When you're writing a poem rooted in a particular emotion (horror for spooktober?) a technique to bring your poem to the next level is to make sure your poem isn't "one-level" emotionally. The same trick is often used in cooking, adding a little salt to a dessert recipe, or a sugar to a savory dish. A sad poem has more kick, if there's a moment of relief from the sadness, and a joyful poem has more depth if there's a nod to something other than just one emotion. Varying the degree of the emotion you are trying to convey is another way to add range. If the poem is all "absolute rage" from beginning to end, then there's nowhere to go or build to. Emotional variety also can protect your poem from sounding cliche and may help your poem come across as more genuine.

Poetry Treat | Prompt - alliyah
One of the most memorable parts of the Halloween season is the food! The treats, and caramelized apples, pumpkin pie etc. Your prompt today is to write a poem that takes inspiration from some sort of food. Make sure to use some sensory descriptions!

Oct 25

Poetry Trick | Tip - Lim
Are you feeling that your imagery is lacking some punch? Try finding a real-life object or a photograph of what you want to describe while describing it to pick up some good details. (not recommended for the very spooky things, though!) For example, you could try Googling an evening sky or a hollowed-out tree.

Poetry Treat | Prompt - Lim
Think of a spooky bit of folklore or culture from your own country and use that as inspo for your next poem. It doesn't necessarily have to be something that is bound to October - anything that fits the mood works!

Oct 26

Poetry Trick | Tip - Lim
Caesura is where you mark a pause in the middle of a line like so:

"chickens, the pumpkin rows,"

When stuck in editing, look over any caesura (or lack thereof) in a piece and see what sort of effects you can get by tweaking where you pause and where you don't pause.

Poetry Treat | Prompt - Lim
Use the video 'ghost + guest' for inspo today!

Oct 27

Poetry Trick | Tip - Plume
Some people put punctuation in their poetry, and others don't. For some, it can vary between poems. While you're examining one of your works, see how differently it reads based on punctuation: if it has some, remove it, and if it doesn't have any, put it in! Don't stick to just commas and periods, either; try some new and exciting ones, like semicolons, colons, em-dashes— the list could go on! One could even argue that white space is a special kind of poetry punctuation... see how your poem changes as you increase or decrease the space between lines!

Poetry Treat | Prompt - Plume
One thing that's always associated with October and autumn is the wind. One of those quintessential fall images is orange and red leaves blowing in the breeze. Try and write a poem either about the wind or with the wind in it— or you could even interpret it more generally and do something dynamic and transportive, much like the wind is! Bonus points if you build up a nice rhythm and flow through assonance and rhyme!

Oct 28

Poetry Trick | Tip - Seirre
Often in poetry, less is more! After you've written a first draft of a poem, try going through and making a second version where you cut out everything that isn't absolutely necessary for conveying the intended meaning and tone of the poem. If after doing this, the poem feels too bare, you can play around with adding back in some things until you feel you've hit the right balance.

Poetry Treat | Prompt - Seirre
Sometimes in horror movies and stories, a sense of anticipation and fear is created through all the senses except sight - for example, if a character wakes up in the middle of the night, they might not be able to see anything because it's pitch black, but they can still hear, feel, and smell things. So your prompt is to write a poem that does not have sensory descriptions involving sight, but uses at least two other senses instead. It can be a horror poem if you like, or something else entirely if horror isn't your jam!

Oct 29

Poetry Trick | Tip - Seirre
One important element of poetry is formatting and visual interest. But another important element is how your poem sounds, not how it looks - in fact for some poems, like slam poems and spoken word, formatting or how the poem looks on the page don't matter at all! Instead, it's all about how it feels to say and hear the poem. So it can be a really good tactic to read your poem aloud several times while you're editing it; you may find spots where the wording is awkward or clunky that you wouldn't have noticed otherwise, and you may also find places where you'd like to add in some more sound devices!

Poetry Treat | Prompt - Seirre
Write a poem about whatever comes to mind while listening to Maple Leaf Rag!

Happy NaPo Week!

oh to be a cat in a pile of towels
— ChesTacos