Project: Write a Poem

Let your language take a break from the daily grind and have a moment of glory. For this project, we're writing poetry.

OK, I admit it: I use emoticons, and I use them often. I use “LOL,” and "abbrevs," too. Sometimes I feel a little guilty for my shorthand, but I don’t have time to dwell on it. In fact, I appreciate the speed with which we communicate and the alterations we’ve made to our vernacular to enable ourselves to do it. Still, I have this nagging feeling that the English lexicon is sitting in the corner feeling badly for itself, and it could use some attention.

When was the last time you read a poem? Yesterday? Great! Senior year of high school? That’s OK, too. Poetry has long frustrated readers, bored students, and collected dust in the back of bookstores, but it has a lot to offer. Poetry is classic and it is contemporary. It’s literary and it’s irreverent. It’s abstract and it’s concrete. It’s written in stanzas and scrawled across a page. It’s art made of words. We know words. So we can write poetry, too.


Let’s take a look at language from a different angle. We spend our time blasting out emails with the efficiency of a McDonalds assembly line, but words have more to offer.

Get inspiration from, from the world around you, or from whatever is directly in front of you, and write a poem. You can scribble it down however it comes to you. It can rhyme or not, have stanzas or not. If you don’t know where to start, press your pen to the page and just let your hand move. Display your poem in your home, give it to a friend, or post it in a public place.

Submit a picture of your poem in the world here by Monday, November 7, and you could win a GOOD T-shirt and a year’s subscription to the magazine. Check back in to see our favorite. Happy writing!