Saturday, July 4, 2015

Prompt #229 – Say It Again, Sam ...

This week’s prompt is easy and will, hopefully, be fun for you to try.  Simply write a poem in which each line repeats one word from the previous line. That’s it. Nothing complicated.


1. Think of a subject/topic for a poem.

2. Write an opening line for a poem based on your subject.

3. Continue writing your poem, but be sure that each line includes a word repeated from the line that immediately precedes it. The only exclusions—this is important—are definite and indefinite articles (an, an, the), prepositions (he, she it, they, etc.), and conjunctions (and, but, nor, for, so, etc.).

4. Be sure that you don’t repeat the same word for every line of the poem. The echo should only occur in paired lines:

Lines 1 & 2 should contain one repeated word.

Lines 3 & 4 should contain one repeated word that’s different from the repeated word in lines 1 & 2.

Lines 3 & 4 should contain one repeated word that’s different from the repeated word in lines 1,  2, 3, & 4.
And so on ...

1. Word toward making your echoes words seem more organic than deliberate.

2. Pay attention to content—that is, the repetitions should be subordinate to meaning.

3.  You might consider beginning with the first line of a poem that you’ve already written and  rewrite the poem using the repeated word format.

4. Repetition necessarily suggests sound, so be aware of the sounds you create within your poem.  Work out ways in which your repetitions may enhance your poem's sonic impression.


  1. Love your clever title -- a play on "play it again Sam." Brilliant! Enjoy the fourth of July holiday!

  2. Great, easy idea for these hot days of July!

  3. I'm not writing much this summer with all the family activities, kids home, etc., etc. But ... I enjoy your posts nevertheless!

  4. Hi Adele, thank you for this week's prompt...I really enjoyed experimenting with this simple idea! :)

    ~ ~ ~

    The Summer of Seventy-Six

    It seemed every day in full bloom though money was scarce on the ground
    the summer of seventy-six a child and the fields as full as a galaxy of flowering stars.

    A white butterfly drinks from a teardrop on the back of my six-year-old hand,
    a hand that rings a bell on my bicycle as I am swept up into an air of gloom.

    I kick off my black shoes on my return from the church on that day of memory swept days,
    again and again I dream of my father and his return from the summer of seventy-six.