Archive for April, 2011

INKpal’s One Poem a Day Challenge – Day 5

Today’s assignment is to write a poem about things you notice while on a walk. Really take the time to go on a walk. And I don’t mean the walk from your house to your car or on your way to work. I mean a really nice walk with the intent of noticing what is around you; smells, sounds, sights, etc. It could even be while walking the dog. Take a little note pad with you so you can write what come to mind.

Today’s  example or starter sentence is the following:

Sometimes while walking the dogs
I am amazed at their intent on finding
a new way each time to prolong the walk–
like  smelling every single post they walk by
and feeling like they have missed something
if they don’t. and then I catch myself, realizing
they do all this so in the end they can always
find their way back home.

Happy Writing!

-Enzo (INKpals)

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Enzo Silon Surin on April 5th 2011 in National Poetry Month

INKpal’s One Poem a Day Challenge – Day 4

Today, your writing assignment is the following:

Watch commercials with the mute button on and write a poem based on the images only.

Sounds simple enough? You will be amazed at how challenging it is to sit in front of a tv and not know what the people are saying. Oh, by the way: don’t cheat with the closed captioning. If anything, turn the volume down if your tv automatically turns on the closed captioning when it is muted.

Variation of the project: write a poem about two people you observe having a conversation.  Make sure you are far enough to not hear a single word they are saying.


Assignment provided by Mary Hutchins Harris, Poetess & Author

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Enzo Silon Surin on April 4th 2011 in National Poetry Month

INKpal’s One Poem a Day Challenge – Day 3

Today your assignment will be the following:

from The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the new York School Poets

“The poets likes hoaxes, pseudotranslations and collages. On the ground that all the rules of all verse forms are at base arbitrary, they created ad hoc forms (requiring say, an anagram or the name of a river in every line) and unconventional self assignments (“translate a poem from a language you do not understand; do not use a glossary or dictionary.”)…many works could be improved if you simply deleted every second word. Poems didn’t have to make sense in a conventional way” (4).

New Formal Exercise:

Write a poem where you use each prompt listed below to craft a poem (15 mins). Build each one into each line.


1. Use your mother’s name
2. A vegetable
3. The name of a song
4. A color you can’t describe/ describe that color/colour
5. A president’s name
6. The stupidest thing you have ever overheard in public.
7. This line will be one of the following lines:
a. Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best (Milton)
b. Their jealous pangs, and desperation (Dryden)
c. The dream grain whirls like freakish Easter snows. (Heaney)
8. A weather phenomena
9. Name someone who deserves a face punching; describe it.
10. An image or symbol of hope.

Teachers: you can break students up into pairs and have them workshop their draft (10 mins). Then make time to revise and hopefully read out poems.


Assignment provided by Christopher Bock, Assistant Professor
Creative Writing and Humanities, Lesley University

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Enzo Silon Surin on April 3rd 2011 in National Poetry Month

INKpal’s One Poem a Day Challenge – Day 1

Today’s assignment is to write a poem in the form of a recipe. You can use any topic you want just as long as the poem is crafted in the  style and tone of a recipe.

Here’s  a sample for students working on this assignment. It is from the poem How to Make a Bad Mood by Laura Purdie Salas:

Toss and turn all night

Combine broken alarm clock with morning detention

Roll your eyes at the ever-cheerful Ms. Lovejoy

Grind your teeth during music class

Measure each insult thrown your way

Peel back politeness

Pinch the piccolo player next to you on the bus…

Happy Writing!

Enzo (INKpals)

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Enzo Silon Surin on April 1st 2011 in National Poetry Month