NYWC Prompt-A-Day: Lines Lost Among Trees (and Subway Platforms, Bathtubs and everywhere)

April is National Poetry Month, and to help you dig into NaPoWriMo (or whatever poem-a-day challenge you’ve taken on), NYWC brings you Prompt-a-Day. All month long we’ll feature the writing prompts that really get us going — morsels of inspiration from staff members, workshop leaders and participants, and even from some of our favorite poets and writers. So good luck, dear poets — and remember to check back tomorrow for another one!


If you’re like Billy Collins (and why not claim to be like one of the most famous contemporary poets), you probably think up brilliant phrases, lines, ideas, and perhaps even entire poems as you go about your day. I personally do my best thinking in the shower, when I am not trying to think at all.  Ideas pop into my head, and fly out as fast as they arrived. And it is the one place I never have anything to write on or type or talk into to preserve my brilliance. (Friends, feel free to buy me bathtub crayons for my birthday.) And it isn’t always about writing — I invent things, dream up reality shows, remember random childhood moments, and solve climate change, only to forget everything by the time I’ve dried off.

For today’s prompt, read Lines Lost Among Trees, and then write a poem addressing the brilliant words and ideas you’ve thought up and forgotten.