When we were children, wishes were part of our immediate reality, and believing that our wishes would come true was easy: “star light, star bright, first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight.” Things change as we grow up, but we always have wishes, and that’s what this prompt is about.
Here are some “wish poem” ideas:
1. A poem based on a wish for more time with someone (recall the words in Jim Croce’s song: “If I could make days last forever / If words could make wishes come true / I'd save every day like a treasure and then, / Again, I would spend them with you.”).
2. A poem based on a wish to see or spend time with someone you lost touch with years ago.
3. A poem based on a wish to see/talk to someone no longer living.
4. A poem based on a wish you had as a child.
5. A poem based on a wish to be a child again.
6. A poem based on a wish that was realized and lost.
7. A poem based on a wish you know will never come true.
8. A poem based on the old caveat: “Be careful what you wish for….”
As an adjunct to this prompt, you might try incorporating anaphora. Anaphora is a kind of parallelism that happens when single words or whole phrases are repeated at the beginning of lines. Shakespeare was fond of anaphora and used it often (in “Sonnet No.66,” he began ten lines with the word “and”). Anaphora can give a sense of litany to a poem and can create a driving rhythm that intensifies a poem’s emotion. In this prompt, perhaps you can use anaphora to intensify the meaning and implications of your wish.
A classic wish poem: