Saturday, October 30, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 31: Goodbye train

As you read this, chances are I will be on the train home from Paris, after celebrating a dear friend's birthday there. I have not lived in the Paris area now for four years and it's always so hard to say goodbye to the place and to the wonderful friends I made and still have there.

And yet as the train clacks away there is usually a sense of peace, as I know I will soon be back.

'Goodbye train' is also (fun fact) the name of a song by The Apartments, recorded in 1993, which my husband put onto a mixtape (well, mix CD) for me when we were in the throes of our international long-distance relationship in the mid-2000s. Have a listen:


Word prompts

points

platform

track

fading

distance

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 30: Diary


I kept diaries throughout my teenage years, writing copiously to get my seemingly interminable sadness out, just to make it feel manageable. This self-awareness sometimes felt like such a weight, but in the end I think it's what lifted me up. I don't write in my diary that much now - probably because there's less to say in a diary when you are happy. But I daresay that many of us have kept diaries at difficult moments in our lives.

If you have kept a diary (or even still do!), use this poem space to express what it means to you. If you have never kept one, or even find the idea bewildering or weird, let those feelings out in your poetry too. Even if you have at some point read someone else's diary, write about that perhaps: did the person whose diary it was ever find out? How did you feel afterwards, having read it?

Word prompts

secrets

pages

whisper

turn

hide

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 29: Paris


All being well, by the time you read this I will hopefully be on a train from where I live (in the Netherlands) to Paris, where I lived and worked for 9 years and where I will be heading this weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday. It's a place that means a huge amount to me; I got my first grown-up job there, I got engaged and then married there, I qualified as a teacher there, became French there, and even got my driving licence there. So in short, I basically grew up there, becoming a fully-fledged adult by the time I left (as opposed to a slightly dappy 22-year-old, which I was when I arrived).

So in your poem today, what is Paris to you? Have you ever been? Perhaps you have good or bad memories of your visit. Or maybe you have never been, but have always wanted to (or, if you have no desire to go, say why in your poem!). Perhaps you have only ever heard about Paris from other people, or received postcards from Paris from them, or maybe even learned everything you know about Paris from the film Amélie.

Today, try some rhopalic verse if you feel able: a poem whose lines increase by 1 syllable each time. If you play your cards right you might end up with something that looks like the Eiffel Tower!

Word prompts

métro

pâtisserie

baguette

magique

love

light

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 28: Tea

I'm British, so of course there HAD to be a prompt about tea at some point.

Crazy as it may now seem, though, despite being British I don't think I liked tea until I was about 19! My mum and dad always had theirs very weak and milky during my childhood (and my mum still does) and I just never saw the appeal of that. It just tasted like warm milk with a faint background of tea (if you really concentrated). Just...blech. Not for me. So I was a committed coffee drinker probably from the age of 12 or 13, and never really gave tea another thought until the glory of the second-year freshers fair at university. Anyone who's been to a British university (I don't know if it's the same in the US or elsewhere) knows that freshers fair only means one thing...FREE STUFF and lots of it. Pizza, pens, you name it. And, in my second year...tea bags.

Never one to let a good free thing go to waste, I made the tea and I drank it. I can't remember if I drank it black or with milk. But I discovered that I liked it. I suspect I started off with a smidgin of milk. Over time I have gradually reduced the amount of milk and now am officially the easiest person in the world to make tea for: chuck the tea bag in and leave it there. No milk. No sugar. Just give me a spoon so that I can fling the tea bag out when I am ready (which, depending on the tea bag, could be never). Some brands of tea are of course more finely calibrated than this. Birchall, for one, can be relied upon: if it says 2-3 minutes' brewing time, it means it. And as well as branching out into the wonderful world of fruit teas, I can also be found supping on Lapsang Souchong during an afternoon tea in a fancy hotel in London, or buying first flush Darjeelings from Twinings as soon as they hit the sale stands.

So how do you make yours? What is tea to you? Whether you love it or hate it, let your poem today be about how you make it, and make it yours (or, at least, make it for other people).

Word prompts

tannin

jade

russet

porcelain

steam

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 27: Expecting

The last time I was this involved with OctPoWriMo, I was on maternity leave, waiting for my first child to enter this world. I had committed to providing prompts for OctPoWriMo 2018 but warned Morgan that I might not make it all the way to the end - my son was due on October 27th.


As you can imagine, the 27th came and went and the little guy clung on. The sense of expectation and anticipation can send you crazy. I remember bursting into tears one day and just feeling like "he's never going to come, is he?!". (Of course, needless to say, he did arrive, on November 4th, and is now nearly 3, and filling me up with the best ever love as well as driving me crazy sometimes. But at least he let me complete my OctPoWriMo duties back in 2018!)

So today let's write about expectation, or expecting. It can be in relation to expecting a baby, or just about expecting or anticipating anything that you thought or hoped would happen. It could be something where you got what you wanted or expected, or perhaps a time when your expectations weren't met. Either way: let's feel the anticipation together.

Word prompts

wish

heartbeat

tenterhooks

wait

hold

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 26: Speaking and listening

Michele wrote recently about storytelling, and if we go back through time, all storytelling began as an oral tradition in pre-literate societies. People also then started to travel and to sing and recite those stories to others. Others would then memorise them and pass them down to other generations in different places - and so those stories spread, retained only in the minds and mouths and ears of others until they could be written down. 

So today the focus is specifically on speaking and listening. Perhaps go back to childhood and think about somebody reading to you. Maybe you could already read or maybe you couldn't, but what do you remember about that experience of somebody telling you a story, without focusing on the written word? Or perhaps you'd like to write about a different experience of speaking or listening, such as giving a speech or listening to a friend who has come to confide in you. Find that experience or memory within you and go from there.

Word prompts

heart

open

aural

vibrate

breath

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 25: Cup


Plenty of us have come across the above meme, or a version of it, especially over the past 18 months. Self-care is so important. What do you do for self-care? Take a walk? Stretch? Bathe? Meditate? Consider writing about that.

Alternatively, you can take the idea of the cup itself, literally and/or metaphorically. What do you do to 'fill up your cup'? What empties it? Or maybe you have a favourite cup that you drink from now, or remember a favourite cup from childhood (shout-out to the plastic Tommee Tippee sippy cup with ducks on it from my childhood that my son still drinks from now at his grandparents' house!).

Word prompts

weight

spill

load

water

balance

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 24: Millstone

Michele's prompt on October 17 talked about milestones, which are (or at least should be!) joyous occasions which lift you up and fill you with a sense of triumph.

So let's flip it over and think about millstones. What, rather than lifting you up, weighs you down and is that proverbial millstone round your neck? 

Sometimes writing about things that bother you can have a cathartic effect. I'm convinced that doing so is what got me through my teenage years!

Millstones are circular, so if you're looking for a form, try a shape poem in the form of a circle or spiral.

Word prompts

circle

disc

mill

will

ache

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

OctPoWriMo Day 23

 What we once have enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us. – Helen Keller


Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay 

I'm attending a Memorial Service this weekend and will come together with family and friends to remember a very special couple. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this celebration of life. For today's prompt, let's think about how we honor loved ones. I think I'll skip the word and poetry form suggestions and leave this open to personal interpretation.


Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.

Friday, October 22, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 22

 

My sister and I spent the day at Harkness Memorial Park a while back. This is a local attraction that at one point had been a private home. The grounds go on forever and are immaculately kept. As we wandered through the endless gardens, I found myself wondering about the people who lived here. What were their lives like? How did they spend their days? What were they thinking when they stood in the same spot where I was now standing? Do you ever think about the people who occupied your space in a different era?



Suggested Word Prompts:

trace
figures
past
history
similarities
differences


Suggested Poetry Forms




Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Writing and Reflections to see more of her work.



Thursday, October 21, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 21

 “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn


The gap between my goals and what I've been able to accomplish feels at times too great. Even with OctPoWriMo, I've found myself disappointed in what I intended to do and what I have done. I think this is the first time in all the years I've been participating that I've missed a week straight of posting poems. Is that a lack of discipline? Maybe. The difference is that I am in a completely different job now and don't have the time I once had to devote to writing. That being said, I do agree with this quote. I just need to find a different bridge.





Suggested Word Prompts:

intent
aspiration
joy
effort
reward
acceptance



Suggested Poetry Forms



Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Writing and Reflections to see more of her work.




Wednesday, October 20, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 20

 

I'm a huge fan of participating in different writing events when I can. In addition to OctPoWriMo, one of my favorites is the Weekend Coffee Share. The idea is that you have a virtual coffee date with your readers and share your imagined conversation. I post these every few months and love the responses. It's led me to the work of some incredibly creative people and is a great way to feel connected to the writing community. What does being a part of this community mean to you?



Suggested Word Prompts:

support
shared interests
introduction
exchange
inspiration

Suggested Poetry Form

Free choice - there are so many directions this can take!  Shadow Poetry is a good resource if you're looking for new forms to try.

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Writing and Reflections to see more of her work.



Tuesday, October 19, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 19

Not all poetry wants to be storytelling. And not all storytelling wants to be poetry. But great storytellers and great poets share something in common: They had something to say, and did.   Sarah Kay 

Image by Lolame from Pixabay 

I love the storytelling aspect of poetry. Weaving words together for greatest impact and in a way that makes the reader see the familiar in a different light makes the time spent agonizing over each tiny detail worth it. What does storytelling mean to you?

Suggested Word Prompts:

storyteller/storytelling
unlock
rise
magic
slip

Suggested Poetry Forms:



Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.








Monday, October 18, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 18

I come from a huge family and something I look forward to is our frequent gatherings. I missed them terribly when we weren't able to get together for holidays or even casual Tuesday night dinners during this past year. It's been a blessing to spend time together again and to make new memories. Food has always been a central theme for us. For us, food is love. 

Thinking about an empty pot as an invitation, describe what it means to break bread with loved ones.


Suggested Word Prompts:

tradition
flavors
appreciate
strength
time

Suggested Poetry Forms:





Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.



Sunday, October 17, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 17

My husband and I traveled to Maine this summer to celebrate our anniversary. We spent our time exploring the scenery and took the opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other. What is your favorite way to celebrate a milestone? Are you looking for grand adventures or do you prefer to keep things low-key? 




Suggested Word Prompts:
memories
milestone
adventure
escapade
celebrate
moment in time

Suggested Poetry Forms:

Momento or Shape Poetry


Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Day 16: Sonnet

 


I'm a huge, unashamed sonnet fan. I've been writing them since I was 17 and obsessed with Keats (so, that's literally half my lifetime). I've refined my style over the years and even won poetry competitions with sonnets: an honour in a time where free verse and postmodernism seems to dominate. Now I'm unafraid to experiment with the form myself, breaking the lines where the sentences end rather than where metrically it's traditionally done.

I've posted the sonnet form above for you; the nicely colour-coded blocks make it easy to visualise. But here are a few more tips to help you write a sonnet:

- The first 8 lines (the octave) typically address a 'question' or 'problem', and follow an ABABCDCD rhyme scheme
- The final 6 lines (the sestet) typically provide the solution or answer, and follow an EFEFGG rhyme scheme
- This 'turning point' at line 8 is called the volta or 'turn', and represents the poem's change of mood
- Each line has 10 syllables
- These syllables are divided into 5 pairs of 2 (making each line a pentameter), following an unstressed/stressed pattern within each pair (making each line iambic in its rhythm)
- It's worth reading your poem aloud as you write to check you've got the rhythm right - though some more modern sonnet-writers sometimes dispense with the iambic aspect
- This iambic rhythm replicates the human heartbeat quite closely - perhaps a reason why the sonnet is a traditional vehicle for love poetry.

So today you could try to write a sonnet about love - or, to disrupt the form somewhat, about a flip side of love (maybe a breakup).
If you're feeling brave, flip the form too: perhaps start with that final rhyming couplet (the GG rhyme) and then work towards the octave, having this appear at the end of your poem instead.

Writing your first sonnet can feel laborious - but as with anything, practice makes perfect.

Coincidentally, Cannon Poets' Sonnet Or Not competition also ends on October 31st, for those looking for an extra challenge.

Word prompts
agape
erotic
breath
loveless
wondrousness

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Day 15: Leaves

As with yesterday's prompt, the season begs for a poem about leaves. My 2-year-old son loves stomping through crunchy ones, of course. Once, a couple of years ago, I found a pink €50 note camouflaged in a pile of autumn leaves. Who doesn't love watching a leaf fall from the sky at this time of the year? And who doesn't feel slightly pained at the look of a pile of them squelched into mulch underfoot as the season wears on? 

You could also write about sticky springtime leaves just beginning to bud, or glorious lushly green summer leaves at the peak of their existence.

But what struck me about this prompt is, again, the possibility for multiple meaning. "Leaves", of course, is also a present indicative verb. You might want to weave these two concepts together, or just stick with one. Either way, we look forward to seeing the results.

Word prompts

crisp

saffron

emerald

living

rasp

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Day 14: Rain

With it being autumn, there's plenty of the wet stuff about in many parts of the world - including in the Netherlands, where I currently live. Whether it's the whisper of a light drizzle or rain that feels like it's both horizontal and made of bullets, you can be sure to find some here.

Whether you want to write about tropical rain (I seem to recall the rain in Florida practically being warm enough to bathe in) or autumn rain, create a shape poem in the form of rain, or just play with the homophones of rain, reign and rein, all options are open here today. 

Word prompts

pelting

drip

triumph

running

trot

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Day 13: Theatre

We're all different, of course. But frankly I don't think I can remember my life *without* the theatre in it. As a small child I attended a dance school that put on a show every year in our local theatre, and I can still remember the smell of the makeup, the sound of giggles echoing down stairwells, the hushed anticipation of waiting in the wings, and looking out into the darkened auditorium, simultaneously trying to remember my steps and spot the little red light of my mum's camcorder.

At age 11 I gave up dance lessons but moved swiftly into amateur dramatics, performing in pantomimes and musicals from Jack and the Beanstalk to Oliver! - at least one show every year, and more when I started GCSE Drama. The latter was a total accident of fate: with a grand total of 8 of us wanting to take religious studies, the school decided it wasn't viable and made us all pick something else. I remember mumbling to my head of year, "Drama. I'll do Drama", with little thought. But in the end it boosted my appreciation of plays, my confidence (most importantly) and (maybe even) my social skills (...a little). It careered me from Shakespearean comedies to absurdist drama and back again, to the point where I continued Theatre Studies through to A Level. Not bad for what was essentially a complete accident. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on ancient comedies and now integrate drama into my teaching of English literature in my day job, as well as getting to the theatre whenever I can: in my pre-child days, I would often go to London for the weekend, travelling in early on a Saturday morning, catching a matinée and then an evening performance, before going to yet another matinée on Sunday, right before travelling home. I'm now the proud owner of an NTAtHome subscription and couldn't imagine my life without the thrill of the auditorium.

For some of you, though, the thought of the theatre - whether watching others on stage or going on it yourself - may well fill you with boredom, terror, or both. Whatever your feelings, we want to see them in your poem today.

Word prompts

wings

heartbeat

rustle

velvet

paralyse

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Day 12: Ode

An ode, according to Oxford Language, is "a lyric poem, typically one in the form of an address to a particular subject". When studying my A Levels I studied John Keats' famous Odes - an experience I still remember vividly. Pindar, Dryden, Horace, Gray, and Wordsworth are other famous exponents of the form.

English odes are iambic in form (with the syllables following an unstressed-stressed pattern) but line lengths can be quite irregular. Pindaric odes historically celebrated athletes and their victories, while Horatian odes were more philosophical. You can also try the lesser-known Sapphic ode: while unrhyming, it follows a strict metre of quatrains, three 11-syllable lines, and a final five-syllable line. Or maybe you'll take Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as your inspiration!

Whatever form your ode takes, address it to something or someone you really love. This can be even a little bit silly (e.g. Ode to the Warm Towel that just came out of the Dryer) or a deeply serious ode to the first love whom you've never quite got over.

We look forward to reading all of your declarations of love through an ode today.

Word prompts

fresh

rising

wanting

you

first

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Day 11: Horses

Horse-riding was just one of the short-lived pursuits of my childhood. I dreamed of being a 'horse person' and fantasised about different breeds of horse carrying me over rolling landscapes. I read horse books (particularly the first in the Starlight Adventures 'Choose Your Own Adventure series', entitled Star Rider, by Carole Carreck - anyone else remember those?!) and loved the Hayley Westenra recording of The Little Horses, as well as the iconic Elton John and Luciano Pavarotti duet, 'Live Like Horses'. But horse-riding lessons were a different story. I did learn to ride a horse at a very basic level, but looked like a sack of potatoes on the back of one. Plus, my mother was so allergic that she couldn't even sit in the car to wait for our lesson to be over. So that pretty much was the end of that one. The reality is that I'm not even a terribly outdoorsy or athletic person and would always a million times rather be tucked up indoors reading! And yet I do still have incredibly peaceful memories of riding a horse while on holiday when I was 14 or so - and know people who have taken up horse-riding in their fifties to try to capture that level of calm and contentment. The Times columnist Melanie Reid, who broke her neck and back in a horse-riding accident in April 2010, still waxes lyrically and (inevitably) bittersweetly about the joy that horse-riding gave her.

So whatever your experiences of horse-riding and horses, we hope you'll be able to translate them into a poem today, in whatever form you choose.

Word prompts

lock

parade

rumble

clop

scrape

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Day 10: End-stopping

Today's prompt is about end-stopping in both senses - form and content.

Form-wise, end-stopping is the practice of ending each line of poetry with a piece of punctuation (this could be a full stop, comma, or any other punctuation mark that you choose). Often confused with caesura (which sees a pause created in poetry by the use of punctuation in the middle of a line of poetry), end-stopping has many devotees throughout history, including Alexander Pope.

So in your poem today, you could try using the technique of end-stopping yourself, by making sure that each line in your poem ends with a piece of punctuation.

Alternatively - or indeed alongside this - you could explore the principles of ending, stopping, or both concepts together in your poem. What does it mean for something to end? Does it mean something different to stopping? How do we know when something has ended (or stopped!)?

One of Pope's most famous end-stopped poems is perhaps Eloisa To Abelard, as popularised by the Jim Carrey/Kate Winslet film 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'. May this excerpt inspire you on your journey to a piece of end-stopped poetry today:

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!

The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!

Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;"

Word prompts

end

stop

begin

new

now

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions; you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants' work, share the hashtag #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you. 

OctPoWriMo Day 9

 We've made it to Day 9 and it's the weekend! I'm going to spend my time reading a good book and hanging out with my dog. What do you do to relax and recharge?





Word Prompts:
refresh
connect
play
quiet
untroubled



Poetry Forms:




Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.


Friday, October 8, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 8

 Welcome to day 8! Today's prompt is After the Storm. Write about what the world is like after a storm has subsided. There are so many directions this can take. Will you use it as a metaphor or will you describe an actual storm? Maybe both?


Word prompts: 

rainbow

refreshing

silver-lining

reward

gift


Poetry Forms:

Tanka or Free Verse


Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.


Thursday, October 7, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 7

 Many people talk about finding the perfect balance -- whether it's between work and life, wants and needs, light and shadow, giving and taking... the list goes on and on. Where is that sweet spot? How do you decide what's best for you?


Word prompts:

content
scales
options
balance
power


Poetry Forms:


Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.




Wednesday, October 6, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 6

 Are you someone who likes to plan? I love to make lists and organize things in my daily life. Although I don't have as much free time as I would like, I do enjoy playing cards or Chess when the opportunity arises. Strategizing is somehow more satisfying than whether I win or lose. I think it forces me to be present in the moment and adjust as necessary to reach my goal. For today's prompt, let's consider what we do to achieve our dreams.

photo: Mark Vecchitto

Word Prompts:

intention
design
purpose
believe
dream

Poetry Forms:

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

OctPoWriMo Day 5

 Happy Tuesday! It's already Day 5 of OctPoWriMo. How are you feeling?  Remember - this is your journey. Follow your path wherever it may lead. 


Word Prompts:

path
steps
nature
meander
introspective

Poetry Form:

Remember, our prompts are only suggestions, you can find your inspiration wherever your muse leads you. Please visit the other participants, share the hashtag, #OctPoWriMo on social media, and share your link in the comments below. Let us know how this journey into poetry is going for you and if this is your first year or if you have been with us from the beginning.


Michele Vecchitto is a writer, recruiter, and  former middle school teacher.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies as well as in four self-published volumes. Michele was invited to read her poems at the Austin International Poetry Festival and was honored to be included in When Time and Space Conspire.  In addition, she published a young adult fantasy novel, Tales from Blarnach: The Chosen One. She continues to hone her craft simply to breathe life into the stories living in the corners of her mind. Please visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and Reflections to see more of her work.





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