Monthly Archives: April 2016

writing about a person

This is a technique that has worked for me. Before I wrote a poem about my father, I made a list listing aspects of him, things I remembered about him. Then I began the process of including these memories and character traits in the poem. This will work effectively  in a narrative essay as well.

portrait of a relative

write a poem or prose piece about a relative. I just finished one about my Italian grandfather. Try not to make it schmaltzy, but rather aim for an objective portrait of the person. To make the piece more alive be sure to include sensory aspects, such as smell and sound. You might want to focus on a particular incident that somehow functions as a showcase for the whole person. For instance, I focused on an afternoon sitting with my grandfather in his garden. His actions that day show him as a gentle man. The poem is entitled “A Changed Heart”. The poem begins with retelling how he had been known as a cruel man until his youngest son was born. He then made a novena in the church to change his ways. So, in the poem there is a contrast between the man he was and the man he became.

Have fun with this one.

Body Parts

I just wrote a poem about my lover’s hands. Try writing a poem or a prose piece that employs a particular physical feature to represent that person. Some great examples from The Great Gatsby include Gatsby’s smile, Daisy’s voice, Jordan looking like she is balancing some object on her chin, and  Tom’s massive physique.


Parody doesn’t need to be satirical, but can be any imitation of another work. This week’s challenge is to write a parody/imitation (whatever you want to call it) of one of your favorite poems. I will be writing an imitation of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (my favorite poem. Don’t forget to share!