Saturday, August 14, 2010

Poetry Prompt #18 – Reverie Poem

absentminded dreaming while awake; 
a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts.

For me, during these “dog days” of summer, reverie means sitting in my gazebo (with my Yorkie next to me) and being “pleasantly lost” in thought to the music of birds, crickets, and cicadas. Sometimes my “absentminded dreamings” become poems.

For your reverie poem: 

1. Take a walk, lie on the grass, lounge in your favorite lawn chair (or, if the outdoor weather isn’t cooperative, relax on a sofa or other comfortable place in your home). Any time is fine, but try doing this in the morning or evening.

2. Keep paper and a pen or pencil nearby. 

3. Simply unwind, free your mind of distractions, and let yourself daydream. 

4. Write down some of the things that come to you, and don’t try to organize your thoughts. 

5. Later in the day (or the next day), go back to the notes you took during your reverie and look for inspiration. Is there something there that you can develop into a poem? What did you daydream about? What did your reverie bring to mind? Instead of one poem, you might find material for several short poems or a sequence of short poems. Your reverie may take a traditional, experimental, or fantasy form (and it's not necessary to use the word "reverie" in your title.)

Examples (Click Link to Read):


  1. Twenty or more years ago, after a reverie-like time of summertime reflection outdoors, I wrote a haiku that was published in one of the journals (Modern Haiku or perhaps the Haiku Society's Frogpond). Your comment about short poems in this prompt made me think of it. Reverie suggests a certain stillness, but that doesn't mean silence; my reverie haiku was a two-liner about sound. Here it is:

    cricketsong at dusk
    darker louder

  2. Thanks, Bob! I remember that poem – a great example of minimalist haiku. Can't recall which mag published it, but I know it was reprinted at least once and was included in an essay. I'll try to locate the journals for you.

    You're right – silence isn't prerequisite to reverie. In my own experience (as I mentioned in the prompt intro), the best reveries take place to the sounds of nature.

  3. I just want to say how much I enjoy this lovely site and the thoughtful prompts. I may not have time to respond every time, but I am looking at them and sharing them with students regularly. Thank you so much for what you are doing here!!!

  4. Thanks so much, Melissa! Your support is much appreciated, and I'm happy to know that you're enjoying the blog. I hope your students find it useful.

  5. Adele,

    The beauty you have painted and the value you have created in this blog are priceless. I - also - don't always comment, but I enjoy and take so much from it almost daily.

    In poetry and its music...,


  6. Basil,

    Thank you for your kind words! It's wonderful to know that the blog is useful! Thanks, too, for your poems and comments.