Prompts for the Promptless Season Three, Episode Three: An amphigory is a piece of nonsensical writing in verse or, less commonly, prose. It often parodies a serious piece of writing.
How To Write a Poem In Ten Easy Steps
1. Get inspired by something. It doesn’t have to be anything amazing. In fact it can be as inconsequential as a dust bunny under your bed or a flat tire. Good poetry comes out of nowhere.
2. Read poetry by other people, listen to song lyrics and attend poetry readings. Inwardly scoff. Then steal lines or phrases or words from several different sources and arrange them randomly on a page. No matter what your topic, this will form an excellent base for your own poem.
3. Think about what message you want to convey to your readers. Absolutely do not make it easy for them to figure this out. Great poetry is always totally confusing.
4. Choose a style – limerick, sonnet, ballad, villanelle, sestina, haiku – there are hundreds to choose from. Or you can make up a style of your own. Be sure to give it some fancy sounding name. It might catch on, you never know. If all else fails, free verse is pretty easy and has the fewest annoying rules.
5. Look up some big interesting sounding words, especially ones with obscure meanings which are difficult to pronounce. The thesaurus is a poets best friend.
6. Build a strong structure with your words, sort of like building a tower of blocks in all different sizes and shapes. There should be rhythm and flow. Or a big pile of rubble. It is totally your choice.
7. Use imagery and vivid description which appeals to the senses. Enhance the crap out of everything. A fire doesn’t just burn, it blazes with monster flames and crackles and spits and shoots sparks into the stratosphere. Everything in poetry should always be super emotional and intense.
8. Try to make a few things rhyme here and there, just to show you put a bit of effort into the whole thing. Pick easy words for this like boy, toy, and Illinois.
9. Have a punch line. Poetically speaking, this is better known as a powerful ending. Go out in a blaze of glory. But never attempt to explain what your poem actually means. Refer to step three. Give your reader something to scratch his head over once he’s plowed his way through to the end.
10. Share your work. Read it out loud with a ton of emotion. Set it to music. Join an on-line poetry group and ask for suggestions. If others are critical, inwardly scoff. Refuse to edit, and never apologize.
Each of us has a way of putting language together that is ours alone. So seriously, how hard can this be? Go ahead and write your poetic little heart out. I hope you find these ten steps helpful. If not, as a last resort before tossing out your work, try giving it to your mom. Critics be damned, she will love it unconditionally, simply because it’s yours.
- FORTHEPROMPTLESS – AMPHIGORY: Jabberwocky (teepee12.com)
- ForThePromptless – S. 3, E. 3 – Amphigory (thequeencreative.wordpress.com)