The Redbud Post has recently published my poem “Cabin Fever Compels Me to Bike to the Anacostia River:”
“Cabin Fever Compels Me to Bike to the Anacostia River” is a verse paragraph poem, which means it is written all in one stanza, with no line breaks. The verse paragraph is a wonderful form to chronicle a journey, and/or a steady escalation of emotion and suspense. Since there is no stanza break to provide a pause for breath, the lines weave together and cascade into each other down the page. Verse paragraph poems are common, especially in contemporary poetry. Some prominent examples include “How to Triumph Like a Girl” by Ada Limón, and “Still Morning” by W.S. Merwin.
Have you ever written and/or read a verse paragraph poem? If so, how did the form strengthen the subject(s) and intent(s) of the poem?
Feel free to try your hand at this verse paragraph writing prompt:
Write a verse paragraph poem about a memorable journey. This journey could be a common commute of yours, a hike, or even a journey of discipleship over many years. What key pit stops, sign posts, and/or landscape markers stick out to you? Close your eyes, and imagine yourself making this journey. What do you see, hear, taste, smell, and/or feel? What do you notice at intersections and/or forks in the road? How is your body moving, and responding, through this journey?
Notice how you feel led to begin the journey, as well as to end it–these may change through the writing process. Feel free to combine memories from various circuits of this journey into one composite piece. Pay attention to line breaks–how does each line on its own contribute to the sense of journey? How does the poem look on the page?
I’d love to see any poems you may draft in response! 🙂