Saturday, January 24, 2015

Poetry Prompt #12: Postcard Poetry

If you've ever traveled at all (or ever spun those little circular racks of cards and memorabilia found in convenient stores or the local apothecary) chances are you know exactly what a postcard is.  It's a snapshot, a photo that gives a tiny glimpse into some corner of the world.

Now, imagine you can create these 'snapshots' with words.  Take your reader somewhere exotic, somewhere they've never traveled, perhaps show them your hometown or a photo of your favorite vacationing spot.  Maybe your postcard poem is a description of something you see outside your window, a favorite memory, a childhood home, something of the natural world (the sky, the night, the ocean, a breeze) or even a description of an interesting person (as mine was when I wrote it this morning).

Here are my three guidelines for creating postcard poetry:

1.  Most postcards depict a vacationing spot or a unique region/area one has visited.  However, with postcard poetry, you are unlimited in what you wish to write/say/show.  You can go anywhere, describe anything.

2.  The poem must be small enough to fit onto a postcard.  Perhaps 20 to 30 lines max.  This is for those of us who don't have an actual postcard or image to use, the poem has to be short enough to fit across a 4x6 postcard.

3.  You can also take an actual postcard/image and place your poem across that.  This is probably easier done digitally, simply take a photo you feel is a good depiction of what you're writing about and type your poem across the image using a program like PIXLR (don't worry, the link is safe, it's a simple web program that works much like Photoshop and will allow you to type and customize text across an image).  However, an actual postcard can be written across in marker or pen if you prefer a simpler route.

For some great examples (or ideas) simply do a google search of the words 'postcard poetry.'  

Happy Saturday writing, friends, and may your postcard take you (and your readers) to somewhere fantastic!