Poetry serves many purposes. It can be entertaining; it can communicate; it can help change minds and hearts; but it can also be cathartic. Heck, some of the best poetry can do all this and more in the same poem.
Today’s prompt is to write a gripe poem. Do you have a gripe with someone or something? Write about it. Maybe it’s a personal gripe. Maybe it’s a general situational gripe–like people who litter or don’t know how to handle a left-hand turn when driving. Some gripes may be justified; others may not. Let them out with this prompt.
Thanks to Susan Budig for inspiring today’s prompt and poem!
Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!
In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.
Here’s my attempt at a Gripe Poem:
“The End of the World”
This is how the world ended: Me in my navy blue shorts
that should’ve been royal blue. Or the next day when I appeared
in sky blue. My phys ed teacher wanted blue, but only
the right shade. On the third day, I wore dodger blue, and then,
I showed up in cornflower. My gym teacher shook his head
and made me run laps. I imagined I was as fast as
electric blue. I wished to hide in midnight blue or move
to Carolina blue. I missed the days when blue was blue,
but that’s how the world always ends: With a brand new knowledge
of how the world really works. When Friday rolled ’round, I thought
I finally nailed it, but my teacher was quick to point
out the difference in royal blue and cerulean.
So I ran a lot of laps and joined the cross country team.
Years later, I even joked about it with the teacher,
who was wearing periwinkle shorts in the middle of Lowe’s,
and asked him if I should paint the rooms in my house crimson
and emerald or scarlet and chartreuse. He shook his head
as he would do and said, “Hell if I know! I’m color blind.”
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.
Find more poetic posts here:
- The Georgia Review: Monday Market Spotlight.
- The Science of Poetry.
- WD Poetic Form Challenge: Decima.