From TweetSpeak’s Poetry Prompt Free Mini-Series. Sign up at their website to get prompts in mail.
Based on Chris Forhan’s Poem “What My Father Left Behind“
In Forhan’s poem, not only do the line breaks, but the stanza breaks (breaks between groups of lines), carry a lot of “weight”: half-finished—, he might be, and it arcs, for instance. Write a poem in which the breaks at stanzas suggest emotions, multiple meanings, themes, or suspense. Challenge yourself further by making each stanza the same number of lines.
By C. S. E. Cooney
he says, shy-scratching his quarantine curls, “there are people
in the kitchen, talking, so I’m waiting, like a gremlin, waiting
for my turn to go in and cook, some waffles and eggs, perhaps
a second cup of coffee”
I say (or want to say), “let me make your breakfast! thaw
your Eggos, stir in my colibrí’s sweet ratio of sugar to
caffeine, not break your yolk this time, serve it up pristine
in one of mama’s cobalt bowls!”
he checks his twitter, stands and paces, sneaks out
the door in his pajamas, alligator t-shirt, ducks back in
grinning, mutters, “not yet!” like a gremlin, prances to
his laptop, dainty, rinse-repeat
I, like a folksong, bend head to breast, lean over laptop, tap-
tapping it all out, real-time, here’s a poem, it hardly rhymes but
it’s us, right now, 9:56, a rill of wind chimes just outside our
One response to “TweetSpeak Poetry Prompt 3: Line: Suspense Breaks”
“I, like a folksong ….” –love that.