Contact Us

Have a question or comment? Send it along, and we'll get back to you lickety-split. 

Pittsburgh, PA




NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompt 20: Where Do Ideas Come From?

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Difficulty 3/5

One of the most mysterious questions about writing is where do ideas come from? No one really knows; for those of us who write, sometimes the ideas seem to be jumping out from behind every corner, and sometimes they are invisible and silent and nowhere to be found. Those are the hard days as a writer.

But today, you're in luck! You don't have to wait for the ideas to arrive in your head. They will be provided for you, but not in any sense you're used to. There are, by the miracle of the internet, magical things called Idea Generators. Here's one (there is occasionally language your mom might not appreciate). Here's another (this one gives both the idea and the structure for the poem).

Basically, you click a button and you get an idea. Use that idea to write your poem. It's a pretty straightforward proposition.

Here's the one I did, based on the prompt 7 Problems with Music.

7 Problems with Music

Only 7? It seems like there are
several thousand more than that,
including rhythm, sore throats, dearth
of artistic spaces and
bongo drums. But music will always
have its bitter grumblers,
desperate for their silence, insisting that
even the birds put a sock in it.
They miss the good old days (that never were)
of doo-wop, boogie-woogie, and rock-a-billy,
before the computers came with their antiseptic
sense of architecture,
the crystalline beats and their bass lines
that sound like trudging thru mud.
But what can you do? We live in the future.
These are the chairs we have built.

Let the idea serve as a jumping-off point. Let your mind drift on it like an inner tube down a lazy river. Enjoy the ride.

Have you registered for the Poem-A-Thon yet? Sign up to write poems and raise money for the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council today! And don't forget to send us your poems for publication on this here blog: