|Creative Commons image accessed in Microsoft Office|
We all have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of unsent (and unwritten) letters inside us. Today’s prompt provides an opportunity to write at least one of those letters. Jeanann Verlee's poem "40 Love Letters" is one of my all-time favorites and fits so well with our theme.
Who are you writing to?
Answering this question is the hardest part of this poem. Choose one that calls to you in this moment.
Begin with “Dear ________” and fill the blank with a description of the person.
Guy who never called after our date
Woman in front of me in the grocery line
First love/The One that Got Away
Childhood Pen Pal
There are infinite possibilities. Be as creative and vague as you want/need to be.
Now that you know who you’re writing to, take some time to WRITE THE LETTER. Don’t worry about poetry yet. Just get the feelings out onto the page/screen. Then go back and read what you’ve written, looking for opportunities for a poem. Find the words that you used that have the most impact - the emotion words, the descriptors of time and place, etc.
End your poem with an appropriate valediction and a description of the writer of the letter.
Regretfully, Your Long Lost Love
Furiously, The Customer at the End of the Line
Remember that our prompts are only suggestions - go wherever the muse takes you.
In the meantime, read other participants' poems, share the #OctPoWriMo hashtag on social media, and add a link to your own poem in the comments below.
Amy McGrath is a poet, fiction/non-fiction writer, and visual artist. She is a volunteer at The Muse Writer’s Center in Norfolk, VA and a co-facilitator of the Poets on the Page blog and Facebook group. When she’s not writing or painting, she has been known to appear in local community theater musicals and occasionally shows up for karaoke nights. She is currently painting a series of portraits of her ancestors, both biological and adopted, and she is working on her outline for this year’s NaNoWriMo project. She is the mother of two teenage boys and lives with her husband in Virginia Beach.