Poetry topic idea: Halloween

As today is Halloween, today’s poetry topic idea is Halloween.  Happy Halloween.

There are a number of ways a poet could write about Halloween.  A poet could write about:

  • Trick or treating.
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  • Costumes.
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  • The history of Halloween.
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  • Alternatives to Halloween.
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  • Frightening things.
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  • Horror movies.
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  • Candy.
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  • Jack-o-lanterns.
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  • Decorations.
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Artwork to inspire poetry: Bob

Bob

Above is an artwork entitled Bob.  Bob is an imaginary person.  A poet could see Bob and be inspired to write poetry.  The poetry could focus on Bob and his life.  Here is an example poem about Bob:

Bob stood,
in line,
knowing,
only five,
of the fifty,
would get jobs,
that day.

Poem with an explanation: closing a medicine cabinet door

Who knew,
closing a medicine cabinet door,
could be so horrifying?

 

In some horror movies there is a sight effect that is shown.  In the effect a character is looking at a mirror that is on a door.  They see themselves and the background behind them.  Everything looks normal.  The character then opens the door, does something, and closes it.  When the character closes the door, they see something horrifying in the mirror.  It might be something behind them or it might be a change in how they appear.

This effect is the idea of the poem above.  In the poem, a person is reflecting on an experience.

The person in the poem just saw a horror movie with the effect mentioned.  After it is done, they go to the bathroom.  While there, they open a mirrored medicine cabinet door.  Then they remember the scene from the movie.

All of a sudden they become afraid.  They all of a sudden feel something behind them.  They all of a sudden have the sense that something ominous is about the happen.

In this moment, a simple act, closing a medicine cabinet door, has become frightening.  Something that was a thoughtless act, now has an immense amount of thought with it.  The person very much feels a moment they otherwise would not have noticed.

This basic idea – that of being scared of something that normally isn’t scary because of some experience – is something that can be applied to a number of situations.  In this case, the previous experience was based on fiction.  A poem could be written though where a previous experience was real.  For example, a person may have shocked themselves when they plugged something into an outlet.  The next time they plug something in, they might pause with fear.  The person would feel fear at what normally isn’t a frightening situation.

Experimental Poetry Form: homophones, homographs, and synonyms

Today’s experimental poetry form is called homophones, homographs, and synonyms.  Homophones are words that sound the same.  Homographs are words that look the same.  Synonyms are words that mean the same thing.

The form consists of three couplets.  The couplets combine the use of homophones, homographs, and or synonyms in pairs.  These words appear at the beginning and ends of the couplets.  Other than these restrictions, the couplets can be written as a poet wishes.  Here are how the couplets are laid out:

Homophone 1 … Homograph 1
Homophone 1 … Homograph 1

Homograph 2 … Synonym 1
Homograph 2 … Synonym 1

Synonym 2 … Homophone 2
Synonym 2 … Homophone 2

In the form the number sets go together.  So homophone one indicates two words that sound the same.  Homograph one indicates two words spelled the same.  Synonym one indicates two words that mean the same thing.  This idea applies to all the pairs.

Below is an example poem illustrating the form.  As can be seen, it can be difficult to have a poem written in this form make sense.  It can be useful for imagery though.

“Red clouds were drawn with the pen”,
read the man within the pen.

Bats did swing and balls did fly.
Bats did fly and quickly did soar.

Imaginary clouds made of lead,
pretend bats are never led.

Poetry essay: Hidden meanings

Some poems have hidden meanings.  Sometimes the meanings can be significant, sometimes light.  Here is an example poem with a light hidden meaning:

the sentry stood
as all did leave

after the sun did climb
only sticks and stones remained

This poem might sound significant, but the hidden meaning is light.  This poem is about a snowman melting.  The snowman is the sentry.  The family at the house where the snowman is, left for the day.  As the day warmed up, the snowman melted.  All that was left were the sticks for his arms and the stones for his face.

The idea of having poems with hidden meanings brings up a number of ideas, some of which are examined below.

Significance to the insignificant

Sometimes when a poem has a hidden meaning, the poet can impart significance to something that is otherwise insignificant.  Think of a poem about a brown leaf falling from a tree.  This, in itself, is insignificant.  A poet though, could apply a metaphor of death to this idea and write a poem portrayed with depth and meaning.  The underlying meaning of the poem is not that important, but the poem is portrayed with importance in it.

Insignificance to the significant

On the reverse, if a poet writes a poem with a hidden meaning, they could take a significant idea and write a poem that seems insignificant.  For example, a poet could want to write about birth.  This is something significant.  They could though portray this idea by writing a poem about a package that was delivered.  The delivered package could symbolism the birth.  In doing this, a poet would be writing a poem that seems insignificant, but about a significant idea.

Expression without revealing

One reason a poet might have a poem with a hidden meaning is that it allows the poet to write about something without being overt.  A poet could express themselves without revealing something about themselves.

There are a number of examples that this could apply to.  One example might be a poet wanting to write about an addiction that they have.  They might want to express themselves, without revealing that they have an addiction.  They could do this by writing a poem with a hidden meaning.

Tricking the reader?

One issue that can come up when writing a poem with a hidden meaning, is the issue of tricking the reader.  Some might perceive a poem with a hidden meaning as not being honest with the audience for the poem.

As an example, consider a poem that is on the surface about a light bulb burning out.  If this poem was really about death, this might seem to some as fooling the reader.

Even more so, a poem that is on the surface about death, but really about a light bulb burning out, might seem disingenuous to some readers.

No explanation

Another issue that comes up with poems with hidden meanings is the idea that, unless it is done, the poems have no explanation.  The reader might not ever know the poem had a hidden meaning.  The reader might take the poem at face value.  If for some reason, letting the reader know the poem had some sort of other meaning was important to the poet, this could be an issue.

Use of metaphor and symbolism

One benefit of writing poems with hidden meanings is that they can be a good exercise in the use of symbolism and metaphor.  Trying to hide an idea while still expressing it can be a good way for a poet to learn about writing poetry.

Poetry topic idea: cards

Today’s poetry topic idea is cards.  There are a number of types of cards.  Some include: credit cards, debit cards, identification cards, playing cards, security cards, key cards, business cards, greeting cards, and post cards.  There are others as well.

A poet could pick one or more of these or other types of cards and use the idea of them in poetry.  Here is an example poem:

The business card,
went in the bowl.
Would he get,
the free dinner?