Creative writing prompts for teens: Japanese wabi-sabi and nature poems

You may have  noticed that the past posts have deviated from the original intention of this blog which was to showcase my poetry and creative writing and to offer tips for aspiring writers. So, um, yeah, in an effort to make money from writing, I shared articles I'd written. Because poetry doesn't always pay the bills like NF.

So with that said, I'm planning to turn my focus back to the fine arts. I'm still poor and still need to make money so feel free to send large amounts. I jest. But I do promise not to cheapen the craft with the trade-writing. Sorry, to wax verbose but the moon is full and I felt a disclaimer was needed. So here's are helps for teen writers on Japanese poems using the art of wabi-sabi, just in time for April.

Why April? It's National Poetry Month. Some writers celebrate NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writer Month (an online poetry slam lollapalooza) . And what better month to celebrate poems than April with spring awakening, nature busting out all over and Earth Day nestled in? Want to join the poem-penning but don't know where to begin? Here are poetry writing prompts, story starters and word games I invented, to call forth your inner bard! Perfect for homeschooler parents, English and creative writing teachers.

Verse-adventure: Hands-down, there's no better poetry muse than mama
nature. Get outside and start your poem quest. Pack a bag with pen, paper, thesaurus and blanket. You could write on laptop or phone, but old school pen and paper are more conducive to getting poetry juices flowing. Quill and parchment would be best) Station yourself in a garden. Walk in the woods. Sit on the beach. Observe the elements: wind, sun, water. Notice the flora and fauna: trees, flowers, animals, land formations. Jot down sensory details--colors, sounds, smells, shapes. Check your thesaurus for new, fresh words to express ideas.

Japanese still life poem: In Japan, artists look for wabi-sabi or beauty in simplicity and imperfection. Artists focus on simple subjects: bonsai tree, a vase with a single flower, cherry blossom sprig or pussy willow frond. The artist uses pen or brush strokes to evoke the essence of the subject. Japanese poetry is similarly simple--haiku has 17 syllables in lines of 5, 7 and 5. Create a Japanese still life display. Explore all aspects. Using a few words, describe the item. Write a wabi-sabi haiku, tanka or cinquain. Here are printable directions from St. Jean Elementary). Or create a formless verse in your own style.

For more writing prompts, story starters and poetry templates, visit my blog 

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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