Poem Spark Sept. 17-24: an oldie but goodie

Hello fellow poetry entrepreneurs,

I’ve been going through a bit of a dry spell lately with poetry. Sometimes, when faced with a blinking cursor and white page, the only thing that works is to fall back onto my favorite method for sparking a poem: pick ten words at random from your favorite poetry book.

I’ve been reading a lot of Jack Gilbert this year; his poetry seems to be sticking with me as I go through each day. So, without further ado, here are ten words from his book, “Refusing Heaven“:


Jack Gilbert has a tendency towards abstract concepts that remain grounded in reality, or at least, his version of reality. Most of the verbs in his book are simple ones: break, said, wakes, etc. The action and setting revolve around these small verbs, letting the reader create movement in his/her own way from the message of each poem.

You task for this poem spark: borrow ten random words from your favorite poetry book, chapbook, essay, online journal, or use the ten words I found and write a poem. Don’t overthink and don’t try to hunt for the “best” or most complicated word. Instead, let the words come to you. They’re waiting for you to give them a home: a poem in which to get comfortable enough to speak clearly.

Good luck!

6 thoughts on “Poem Spark Sept. 17-24: an oldie but goodie

  1. Well, I guess I’ll go first.CSYou Can’t say ANGEL in a PoemSo, what to call the miles of pink wings bleeding into blue the shade of eyes when young?Behind scribbled lids, the woman slips into sleep. It’s flesh that keeps her rooted here, permits the meditation of steepled fingers under the chin. Above where she has fallen, brain reinventing clouds that break into avatars, the future dividesthe low blue hush of heaven from the rolling green fervor of earth. We won’t name those gods either, though the woman might have wished it,her prayers falling in ignorance, unclaimed,from the round of a dreaming mouth.

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