Updated: Jan 7, 2022
Eyes, our organ of sight. Through our eyes, we see the world for what it is and for more than what it is. We see little ants, butterflies and vicious looking insects. We see flowers and raindrops, the ribs of leaves, and paint poetry out of them.
These 7 prompts are curated to help inspire poetry in theme with vision and eyes. Feel free to explore what these prompts mean to you and interpret them as you wish. There is also a moodboard to give you some visual cues.
1. Compose an entire poem heavy on sensory details except that of vision. Describe what you smell, hear, taste and can touch.
2. Phosphenes are the coloured designs we see when we close our eyes. Write a poem with this word included in it. What shapes do these phosphenes take? What are the colours you see? What are the colours you don't see?
3. Write a poem exploring the reason for the existence of our eyes. What would happen to the flowers and the full moon if not for eyes that admire them? Stolen glances, pearls of tears stuck in between eyelashes, the slight crinkling of skin when someone smiles--we'd have none of that. Delve into the many reasons for the existence of our eyes or do the same just for your own.
4. Close your eyes for a few seconds. In those few seconds, how did the world around you feel? Imagine a world where both light and dark are the same to you. How would you describe a universe like that? Is it dismal or is there some beauty in that too?
Trivia: The reason for vision themed prompts is because October 8th will be World Sight Day. It is a day observed to spread awareness on blindness and vision impairment. This year's theme is Hope in Sight. Research and educate yourself on visual impairment and write something raising awareness for this special day!
5. Write a poem about someone's eyes without using the word 'eye'.
In my native language, they are often described as being 'feather like', 'streamlined/fish-like or 'flower like'. These are unique ways of looking at eyes. Play with metaphors and similes as you find something unique you could describe eyes with and use it in one of your poems.
6. When you're on a road trip and hungry, you may begin to notice all the restaurants you pass by. If you need a refill of diesel, you may look for a petrol bunk with the rest of the buildings blurring away. Sometimes, we see what we want to see and if it isn't in the line of our sight, we hunt for it. Write a poem exploring this idea.
7. Our eyes hold tears and little twinkles. They capture the rays of the sun, sketching them into the lines in our irises. They're home to skies and galaxies and every world in between. The artist's eyes will hold colours the rest of us haven't heard of. Next time you describe someone's eyes, think of what they hold within them. I also encourage you to slip in a few metaphors or similes when performing this exercise.
Please note that you own the rights to the poems that you write inspired by these prompts. It's your craft. I would be delighted if you could share them on the Poetry Cove Forum. It makes me happy to see these prompts being interpreted. You may ask for critique or share it with other poets to read!