most people know i really love list poems. i love reading them, and i love writing them. i’ve also credited them with saving me on many poem-a-day writing challenges i’ve attempted. in these instances, i write the poem as the list evolves. the poem is the list.
only recently have i begun to experiment with lists as starters. with a couple successful recent poems, however, i created (or was given) lists and then used the lists as lines/words within the poems.
i didn’t realize, until reading this article – ray bradbury on how list-making can boost your creativity – from brain pickings, how/why that actually works. bradbury knows, and lists are tools he relied on.
read the article. it’s full of gorgeous words from bradbury. here’s just a taste:
these lists were the provocations, finally, that caused my better stuff to surface. i was feeling my way toward something honest, hidden under the trapdoor on the top of my skull.
i was beginning to see a pattern in the list, in these words that i had simply flung forth on paper, trusting my subconscious to give bread, as it were, to the birds.
want poetry prompts based on lists? here are a few:
- channel surfing, part one, brought to you in living color (one of donna vorreyer’s poetry tow truck prompts)
- going up? and down? (another of donna vorreyer’s poetry tow truck prompts)
- prompts 1, 4, 13, 17, 24, 27 from a 2010 napowrimo poetry prompt list published at book of kells
- ideas of lists to use in poems from we drink because we are poets