Teachers and writers, 15 Words or Less Poems are a weekly chance to write a quick poem to a photo prompt. It’s super simple–no pressure! And you can use the posts however you like, whenever you like! If you’d like to participate online or you want to know how our little Thursday community writes them, here are the bare bones:
- Visit Thursday
- Look at the picture and see what it makes you think of
- Write a poem of 15 words or less
- Share it in the Comments
That’s really it! If you’d like to view past 15 Words or Less posts, click here. And if you want more detail or encouragement, keep reading below:>)
- Every Thursday morning, I post a photo (usually by me, sometimes not).
- You look at the picture, see what pops into your mind, and write a quick poem of 15 words or less (not counting the title). The poem does not have to describe the picture. It does not have to rhyme or follow any poetic form. And, most importantly, it does not have to be “good.” This is a creative exercise, hopefully a fun one!
- Teachers: I have done 15 Words or Less poems in classrooms many, many times, and they are kind of magic with students. I only give students 2-3 minutes to write their poems (this forces them to not think too hard). At first, they think I’m crazy. But I start the timer, and those pencils start scritching. We might do a few in a row, or we might do them several days in a row. Either way, by the third 15 Words or Less poem, they have learned to get one little thought out. I always show the picture, then I give a few examples of things the photo makes ME think about. I’ll say, “This photo of an ant reminds me of the graduation picnic I went on with my daughter when that swing broke. I could write a poem about my sister flying off that swing and how my heart was like a big drum in my chest until I saw if she was hurt or not…And it also reminds me of that time I was sitting in the driveway and got bitten by a million ants, so I could write a poem…, etc.” I do that with 3-4 scenarios, and then I set them loose. And they write.
- This can be a poem for kids or adults, but please keep it clean. Many teachers and students drop by, and I don’t want anything too suggestive here!
- Leave your poem, with your name after it, as a comment, if you want. (Lots of teachers use this in their classrooms but don’t post their poems here, which is completely fine.) DON′T DO THIS HERE! Nobody will see your poem. Go back to the post with the actual picture in it. Thanks:>)
- As time permits, feel free to read other people’s poems and leave comments for them if you like. Be kind. Tell what you like about the poem. Ask a question if there’s a part you wondered about. I ask that you keep the feedback 90% positive!
- Sometime Thursday or Friday, I read through all the poems and leave brief comments. Again, my goal is to encourage y′all to keep writing poems, playing with words, visiting on Thursdays.
- So, jump in and give it a try! You can be moody, funny, serious, observant, whatever you want! How hard can it be? I spend 5 minutes or less each week on my poem. And if I can overcome my fear of sharing horrible, clumsy, pedantic pictures and poems, you can, too! If we share enough of them, it will be exhilarating instead of embarrassing!