Thursday Poetry Prompt

It's Thursday, and according to my new blog plan, that means it's time for a poetry prompt. I'm still trying to imagine up a great name for this time slot, but for now... well I guess it's pretty straightforward, so that's something.

I am all about helping people find their way into poetry as a form of self-expression. It's about imagery; it's about details, and about your heart-connection to those things. So each week, to give you a taste of the process, I will share a poem I wrote and a prompt I either derived from it or set as a challenge to write for. I want to encourage you to take the leap, and try your hand at the prompt.

For now, we will keep it at free verse, or free write if you prefer to set your rhythm in form. But focus on that heart-soul connection, and creating images with your words.

Today's Prompt:

I want... / I don't want

1. Write two stanzas of free verse about what you want.

2. Write two stanzas about what you don't want.

3. Arrange the stanzas together into any combination.

Writing Advice: Don't overthink it. Focus on what is stirring within you that needs expression. Get out your whole first draft without editing. I will share my first draft example here, even though there are a lot of things I would like to change. This is about letting your creativity out to play, or whatever feeling it is you need to get out. Be raw, and be real. The important thing is just to begin.



by Jamie Bagley


I want to appear wise… (or not at all.)

I want to look like I’m worthy of the world’s time.

I want to be rewarded for all my efforts.

I want to be human... and like it.


I want my tears to mean something.

I want the space I take up to matter.

I want to embrace the whole world in a song.

I want peace. I want love. I want freedom.


I don’t want to always have to be strong.

I don’t want to simply power through angst.

I don’t want to go through life feeling nothing.

I don’t want to mind feeling everything.


I don’t want to hurry across wobbly bridges.

I don’t want to rush past the view from my room.

I don’t want to wish I had a different occupation.

I don’t want to forget how to feel fulfilled.


Now it's YOUR turn! Aaaaand.... GO!

Jamie Bagley