Monday Writing Prompt: Poems as Ritual


Welcome to the first writing prompt of National Poetry Month! Because April is all about poetry our prompts this month will focus on writing poems. We'll also be sharing some of our favorite poems from old standards to new pieces that have been rattling around in our brain. 

For today's poetry prompt we want to explore rituals. Ask yourself, what is a ritual? It's defined in the dictionary as something religious in nature; (noun) a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. But not all rituals are religious. Some rituals are part of our daily routine, like the way we walk home from work or the order in which we get ready for bed (wash face, brush teeth, get in bed, sleep). 

What rituals do you perform? It could be something mundane like cleaning your kitchen or something more mystical like a special religious ceremony. Make a list of rituals big and small in your life. From that list pick two rituals; the first should be something spiritual or ceremonial and the second should be something you do everyday. Now take those two ceremonies and write a poem comparing, contrasting or conflating them. 

How does rethinking, or recasting, a daily routine as a ceremonial ritual allow you to enter your wiring? Sometimes we feel like we can only write about the big issues but oftentimes there is something sacred in a simple walk between the bus stop and your front door.