Saturday, November 21, 2015

Prompt #239 – Object-ive Associations

We often discuss being objective about our poems when we edit and refine them (of course, we all know that real objectivity about our own work is next to impossible). Last week we wrote about pieces of furniture—this week, we’re going to spin the word objective and use an object as inspiration—let’s take a fresh look at something to which we don’t generally pay a lot of attention. (Some might call these "object poems.")


1. Take a look around your living space and select an odd, unusual, or taken-for-granted object—something that speaks to you about its unusualness, a special time, someone who gifted the object to you, or a memory associated with the object. Remember that this must be an inanimate object.

2. Free write about the object and its associations. Or, make a list of things that the object calls to mind.

3. Establish your connection with the object.

4. Working from your free write or list, begin to draft a poem using the object’s name as your working title (remember that a working title can be changed later on).

5. Don’t make this a personification or persona poem. That is, don’t ascribe human characteristics to the object. Write from your point of view, not the object’s.


1. Think about possibly transforming an unusual object into something familiar.

2. Describe your chosen object, reference it, give it a sense of movement and trajectory.

3. Think in terms of the senses, especially colors and textures.

4. Create a second subject in your poem by thinking beyond the object itself to what it means to you (or what it might mean to someone else).

5. Don’t just write a flat description of an object; your poem should be based on imagery rather than philosophy or psychology to underscore the poem’s meaning(s). Be sure to go beyond the obvious!

6. Be as objective as possible when you edit and refine your poem (imagine a big smile here)!  



  1. Late night here and just getting to my computer after 'one of those days'. Love this prompt and looking forward to working with it.

    1. As always, Jamie, thanks for your comment and your kind words!

  2. Thanks for this one, Adele. I'm going to ask my students to choose objects in their backpacks or school lockers to write about. Should be fun the week before Thanksgiving when little work gets done.

    1. So glad you're able to use this one with your students. I hope they enjoyed it!

  3. I found this prompt to be quite difficult but, I did enjoy the challenge. I will have a few more attempts at this form of poetry...definitely well worth further exploration. Thank you, Adele :)

    ~ ~ ~

    Adam and Eve

    Rainbow down-and-over the hill where the acorns

    are deep in moss under mature English Oak tree's

    by the canal towpath and the old sorcerer

    on his narrow boat carves the mandrake root into

    Adam and Eve, six-inch figurines dried, varnished

    then placed on separate plinths of oak wood a gift

    for grandson just born and fifty-five years later

    used as bookends for the poetry handwritten

    by my grandfather and left to me to read of

    a long ago garden of Eden never lost.

    ~ ~ ~

    1. Lovely, Lewis!

      I really enjoy your poems and seeing how the prompts inspire your words. Thank you so much for sharing your work with us!

  4. Thank you, Jamie. I'm still playing around with this week's to write about an object and to weave a personal element into it, or to see the object in an unusual way. Not so easy.

  5. Note Card

    curiously curled
    in the crescent moon
    the exotic female
    embraced by the
    heavenly sky
    continues to uplift
    the spirit of my heart
    filling it with well wishings

    1. Risa, there is no need for me to say anything more than WOW!

    2. I love the sense of something magical brought into focus through the title! Well done!

  6. Shabby Chic Floor Lamp

    The light bulb sun beneath the pleated skirt

    for a head that warms the planet flowers —

    prints in orbit — pink tulip, buttercup,

    violet, on parallel even folds.

    Oyster shell feet that support an oak wood

    body, slender, painted white and on its

    collared neck hang pearl drop crystals aglow

    with the mystery of a child's mother.

    ~ ~ ~

    1. Very nice, Lewis! Thanks so much for sharing! I was away from my computer most of the day and just found your email regarding the first post of the poem. I was about to delete it as you requested when I found that you already had. Glad that worked out!