Thursday, 11 February 2021

Poetry Friday is a blogging community from across the world and across the kidlitosphere. Today’s link-up host is Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone.

We are nearly halfway through the 9th Annual February Daily Poem Project.

For several years — in order to practice writing in community — my blog hosted a poetry project. We moved to Facebook in 2017 to accommodate the number of poets and writers who wanted to participate.

2021 Theme: Bodies

Read more about this theme at my Week 1 project post here.

Every day, a member of the project shares a prompt related to our theme. With their permission, I am posting those prompts here on my blog, for those who’d like to follow along with the project. Your daily task is to write a poem based on that day’s body-inspired prompt.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PROJECT NEWBIES: The point of this exercise is to practice the habit of writing regularly, even if it’s just for one month.

For those of you following along, the second week’s prompts are in this post. Feel free to post your poetic responses in the comments.

Are you thinking, “What is this poetry project of which you speak, Laura?” Read about this year’s project here. And there is background on this project — now in its ninth year! — at this post.

Ready for the next set of prompts?

DAY 8: Monday, February 8, 2021
Prompt and photographs by Buffy Silverman (Shared with permission)

I intended to share a snowy-snout for my prompt, as that’s the body part that makes me laugh most these days. But I realized that might be too similar to Jone’s gorgeous brown-eyed pooch [from Day 6], and there might be some in the group who are not canine inspired. So I’m offering an alternative–snow-covered tree skin if you prefer. Choose either one or both for your Monday inspiration. (I’m thankful to have had a reason to take my camera out on this frigid Sunday!)


DAY 9: Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Prompt from Heather Meloche (Shared with permission)


They are being watched/noticed/worried over by most everyone right now, but for me, they have been a central focus for a long time. My dad suffers daily from COPD. I also remind myself constantly to “Breathe, Heather. Breathe,” so much so that I tattooed it on my wrist as a reminder. Write about lungs or what they remind you of.



DAY 10: Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Prompt from Matthew Winner (Shared with permission)

Shortly before our first real snow at the end of January, I walked down to get the mail and noticed a ball of feathers just behind our cul de sac’s bank of mailboxes. After grabbing the mail I turned around to get a more proper look. There, with one wing splayed out, was a finch, lifeless and looking no more assuming than a fallen leaf. I thought about grabbing a shovel and moving the bird to our back woods, but then the snow fell. Mercifully, that bird has been buried beneath a pile of snow ever since. Painfully, I cannot help picturing what’s beneath that small pile of snow at the end of my driveway.
This is the memory I’m passing to you today as you contemplate bodies.

DAY 11: Thursday, February 11, 2021
Prompt from Molly Hogan (Shared with permission)

I first encountered this Richard Avedon photo at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine. The photo is of Andy Warhol and here’s a link to an article that gives the backstory.
May be a black-and-white image of one or more people

DAY 12: Friday, February 12, 2021
Prompt from Donna Smith with artwork by Donna Smith (Shared with permission)

I had something else in mind and then my squiggle seemed to have a body of its own. A squiggle is an image that is created from a random black line squiggle I’ve made with eyes closed using Notes on my phone. (Here the line is in the mitten portion) Then I typically write a poem to go with it immediately. I have lots of them on my FB page.
Here’s my out of the blue prompt. As I see it there are at least two bodies here…maybe three? Take your pick!

DAY 13: Saturday, February 13, 2021
Prompt from Margaret Simon (Shared with permission)

I am fascinated by the metaphorical use of Kintsugi, “the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — a metaphor for embracing your flaws and imperfections.”


In our bodies, the flaw or imperfection may be marked by a scar. In 1995, I had a herniated disc at C3, upper spine, that caused excruciating pain. I had surgery and all is well, but my neck is scarred. Most of us have scars, physical or emotional that have stories.

I love this poem by Jane Hirshfield, For What Binds Us. “all flesh

is proud of its wounds, wears them

as honors given out after battle” But it’s what she says about long love that touches me most.

What stories do your scars tell? What secrets do they keep? How do you wear them?

For What Binds Us by Jane Hirshfield

Laura also recommends Youtuber Nerdwriter’s video essay on Kintsugi.

DAY 14: Sunday, February 14

Prompt from Kara Laughlin (Shared with permission)

 CESAR is a series of portraits by Christian Berthelot, of children born via c-section, captured in their first moments of life. I’ve included a link to photos from the series, but please be aware that some of them are pretty raw.
Alternately–it’s Valentine’s Day, so if babies covered in vernix caseosa aren’t your thing, you get a free pass to write a love poem.

Happy writing, everyone! To catch up on any prompts you  missed, Week 1 is here. Week 3 is here. And the last set of prompts are here.

Filed: Poetry Friday

21 responses to “February Poetry Project: Week 2 Prompts”

  1. […] Happy writing, everyone! To continue your February writing habit, the Week 2 prompts are here. […]

  2. Linda Mitchell says:

    I love the February project so much! This year feels smoother to me…likely because I don’t have to rush off to work in my virtual day. The prompts are really making me think. I like the theme because I really have to think and free-write to get to a poem. It’s just wonderful. Thank you again for sharing this month with us.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I’m so glad that you’re part of it, Linda. The prompts have been incredible this year. I look forward to seeing what people came up with for our writing task each day.

  3. Linda Baie says:

    Perhaps because of the year just passed that we’ve all lived, this February feels more serious, everyone digging deep to share their experiences with high emotion. It may be a kind of catharsis for us all, Laura. Thank you for keeping us going! Hard to believe it’s been nine years! Woo hoo!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      The theme is touching a lot of raw places, I think. Nine years — yes! I was just looking at my blog from the very first February project, when I wrote postcard poems. That year, I was writing by myself. I enjoy the community project much more.

  4. Kay Jernigan McGriff says:

    Thank you for this opportunity each February. I have been challenged by the prompts this year but am grateful for the opportunity to get back in a writing habit. It’s been incredible reading all the poems.

  5. Thank you, Laura, for bringing the February project to life with such an interesting topic during these trying times. The range of themes has been diverse and the skill of the poets is quite apparent as I read through the pieces. You have assembled a cast of characters who bring their talent and determination to write daily.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Carol. I feel like I’m improving at choosing themes! The group’s writing prompts always surprise me.

  6. Fran Haley says:

    The photos, the meanings behind them, the compositions, your collation of them, are riveting, Laura. This itself is a gallery of poetic fodder for months and maybe even years! Each rendering impacts me deeply, stirring deep thoughts and appreciation for bodies and being alive. And I do love that snowy snout.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Fran. Credit goes to the group members! I may set the overall theme, but they come up with these incredible writing prompts.

  7. These prompts feel so personal and there is so much that I could write about! Thanks for these, Laura.

  8. Molly Hogan says:

    The prompts have been wonderful and I’m always amazed by the varied entry points and the twists and turns of the responses. I am a few prompts behind, but hope to catch up over this next week. Winter break 🙂

  9. Ruth says:

    More great prompts – thank you!

  10. It’s an exceptionally rich journey this year Laura, very happy with our subject, thanks!

  11. […] writing, everyone! To catch up on any prompts you  missed, Week 1 is here. And Week 2 is […]

  12. […] also have a poem to share from day eight of Laura Shovan’s February poetry Project. The photo for the prompt, with such beautiful detail, was provided by Buffy […]

  13. […] writing, everyone! To catch up on any prompts you  missed, Week 1 is here. Week 2 is here. And Week 3 is […]

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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