Writing from Echoes

A prompt featuring Anna Maria Hong's "Romanze"

Romanze” by Anna Maria Hong is a twisty poem full of echoes—and full of allusions. I recognize fragments of Wallace Stevens: “imperishable bliss” from “Sunday Morning,” plus those “bawds of euphony” crying out against Stevens’ blackbirds. And it’s euphonious, driven by cascades of slant rhyme like blissed/lust and prolapse/ellipses.

Write a poem experimenting with this kind of euphony. Begin by listing four favorite words with different end-sounds at the top of a sheet of paper. These words can be drawn from the works of a favorite writer or not, and they don’t all have to be English words. Free-associate with each, listing rhyming and slant-rhyming words in columns. When these lists are rich and weird, choose two end-rhymes for the final couplet. Let the subject of your poem flow from that pairing. Then write three preceding quatrains, each laden with words from a different column. Rhymes don’t have to occur at the ends of lines, nor do sentences have to proceed logically.

Write with bliss!