by Ellen Gwin
This season’s prompts will focus on personification and the themes of rebirth/growth that come with spring.
Personification can be used in poetry:
1. Take the viewpoint of the object
2. Make Multiple objects speak to the speaker or reader
3. Convey abstract concepts
Use the prompt titles, prompt descriptions, etc. as you please— whatever moves you, go with it!
Metamorphosis can spring a lot of different ideas to people from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to the film The Metamorphosis right down to the biological term.
In nature, a metamorphosis is a physical change creatures undergo after their initial birth (or hatching). For example, tadpoles turning into frogs or caterpillars into butterflies.
Humans undergo multiple metamorphic (and literal– though acute in comparison to that of amphibians and insects) metamorphoses in their lives.
Write from the perspective of a tadpole becoming a frog or a caterpillar into a butterfly. Keep in mind not all is bad for the tadpole/caterpillar just as not all is perfect for the frog/butterfly.
2. Reborn in Fire
Many modern and historical references can be made to a rebirth in fire:
In Greek Mythology phoenixes are said to live for 500 years before burning into ash and being reborn into a new, baby bird.
In Shakespeare’s Henry VIII Queen Katherine says, “My drops of tears I’ll turn to sparks of fire.”
A modern reference includes Collins’ Hunger Games where a common theme is Katniss reborn in fire.
Also, in Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, Serena burns the house to the ground before starting on a new path.
Write from the perspective of either:
1. All consuming fire
2. An object you cling to bursting into flames
3. A living being (a witch, a phoenix, a cockroach) reborn in fire
igna natura renovatur integra — through fire, nature is reborn whole.
3. Morphing Moon
One could look at the moon from many different perspectives: the light thief, only a reflection, fickle, bringer of tsunamis, guider of sea turtles– but in the context of rebirth, one can look to the phases of the moon.
The moon begins whole, shining bright, then slowly it dwindles or hides itself throughout the month by becoming a crescent, before coming back again as the new moon– a rebirth.
One could view the moon as a good teacher
One could view the moon as ancient and resilient
One could view the moon as one that is many, not one
One could view the moon as many, many things.
Write from the perspective of the moon: the fading light, the decision to shine again, etc.
4. Spring Serenades
So many creatures making noises indicative of growth and life appear in the spring!
1. Give the bugs & bunnies around you voices
2. Make the wind whisper and the sun sing
3. Convey the mood of the scene through them
4. Convey your inner monologue through them
5. Discuss ideas of nature or timeless truths through them
5. In the beginning…
Write on an origin story from any religion:
Genesis from the Bible
The greek belief of Chaos
Either Devi (Tantras) or Vishnu (Puranas)
Give your own perspective:
Write from the perspective of a snake (original sin)
Write from the perspective of Devi (matter) or Vishnu (mind)
Write from the perspective of Chaos (or the entities that followed)
6. Rain Rain Go Away
In the context of spring, water could symbolize many different ideas and is therefore a fun vehicle for conveying your thoughts in poetry!
Water could refer to the rain which helps plants grow, washes away the grime (baptism), sets a dreary mood, etc.
Water could refer to lakes to fish in, rivers to swim in, oceans to surf in, etc.
Write from the POV of water of any kind that you find in the springtime!
7. Apollo’s Precious Petals
In Greek Mythology, Hyancinth was a mortal admired by the god of sun, Apollo, the god of west wind, Zephyrus, and the god of north wind, Boreas. Hyacinth chose Apollo over the rest and they began to go on beautiful, luxorious adventures together.
One day, out of jealousy, while Apollo and Hyacinth played discuss, Zephyrus blew the wind so hard that the discuss killed Hyacinth.
In grief, Apollo created a flower from Hyacinth’s spilled blood so that the memory of his beauty would last forever.
Write from the perspective of the hyacinth flower.
8. What I Imagine in Spring
Create a character who symbolizes spring to you:
This could be a fairy who helps gardens grow
A witch who brings dead creatures back to life
A newborn infant discovering life
A rain goddess