Poem Spark Aug. 21-28 – Words

Salutations fellow poets!

Today I began thinking about the poem spark while the power was once again broken in my house. Everything was quiet, except the bugs, the birds, and the wind. Obviously, I had no access to radio, tv, or the internet, and it made me think about one of the things that first interested me in poetry: the power of words. What does one do when the power goes out? What does a writer do when the power goes out?

It’s simply a blast to create unique phrases, verbs, images, etc. that support your poem and transport your reader into a new conversation with the world. Many of my favorite poems use phrases and words in a way different from ordinary conversation. So this week, we will concentrate on the words of a the poem. Here is a random list of words from the Favorite Words topic in the Just Conversation Section of Poets.org’s forum:

skink
menippeah
agelast
xylophone
idiolalia
gestalt
unscathed
murmuring
phenomenological
gobsmacked
phantasmagoric
crapulent
anthropomorphic
serendipity
furbelow

If you’d like to know the meaning of some of these words, here’s a link to an online dictionary: Dictionary.com.

This week, write a poem using one or more of the above words OR make a list of your own favorite words for a day, then write a poem with them. Please list the words you use along with your poem.

Along with the usual sampling of poems that I include with the poem spark, I’d like to also include some quotes by poets who are speaking about words and the language with which they use to write poems:

William Stafford wrote:
I have this feeling of wending my way or blundering through a mysterious jungle of possibilities when I am writing.

Mary Oliver wrote:
I looked at words and couldn’t believe the largess of their soundβ€”the whole sound structure of stops and sibilants, things which I speak about now with students, until they don’t simply look at the word in terms of sense but also in terms of body, in terms of sound.

Sylvia Plath Morning Song

Claudia Emerson Bone

Barry Seiler Pincushion

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2 thoughts on “Poem Spark Aug. 21-28 – Words

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