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How to Write Poetry Part III

Red rock formations in a desert.

Welcome back to the Liv Northgate Blog where we are now halfway through our how to write poetry month. This time around we are going to keep it simple with an easy format for our poem. Today’s poem is a seven-line fill-in-the-blank format with “What if” and “I might” forming three two-line stanzas (with a blank line between each stanza), with the seventh line asking a question. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. Your topic can be thoughtful, serious, silly, adventurous, or whimsical — you decide. No rhyming is required unless you want to add it. This is the outline for the poem with an example following.

What if . . . I might Poem Outline

Line 1: What if ______________________________________________________

Line 2: I might ______________________________________________________

Line 3: What if ______________________________________________________

Line 4: I might ______________________________________________________

Line 5: What if ______________________________________________________

Line 6: I might ______________________________________________________

Line 7: Ask a question.

What if . . . I might . . .  Poem Examples

Desert Jasmine

What if walked away from Gilbert into the Arizona desert unprepared?

I might get extremely thirsty and dehydrated.
 

What if I began to hallucinate?

I might think I am walking toward an evergreen oasis.
 

What if my hallucination was actually really, really there?

I might quench my thirst with a mimosa while sitting next to the scent of jasmine on the breeze.
 

Why doesn’t everyone walk into the desert unprepared?
 

Mind Expanded

What if travel across deserts, rivers, mountains, valleys, and oceans?

I might find myself on the other side of the road — and the world.
 

What if I found other words, other ways, and other objects different from what I know at home?

I might be puzzled, amused, intrigued, or enchanted by looking at things in a new way.
 

What if I realized that underneath the differences, the function is often the same.  

I might give up my unneeded prejudices and welcome the expansion of my personal horizons.
 

Why don’t we more readily accept our shared humanity?
 

We hope you enjoy creating a new poem this week using this format. We would love to see the poems you’ve written this month; feel free to share in the comments.