Thursday, July 27, 2017

Poetry Friday 7/28/17 First Line Swap

Hello and welcome to Poetry Friday.  
Click to learn about Poetry Friday

It's so good to see you here. 

I will let you in on a not-so-secret SECRET.  

Come a little closer...
I really love life when Poetry Friday begins Thursday somebody saying, It's five o'clock somewhere while pouring.

Today, I wanted to use my turn as host to spark new writing.

My critique group has been working from 

First Line Auction*
Adapted to Poetry Friday = First Line Swap

I'm providing a bunch of first lines and image prompts from my writer's notebook.....and electronic journal. 
 Page of my current notebook

Take as many as you like from the ones I give in this post or from comments left by others--- in exchange for your prompts. Please give an equal number as you take in a comment below

Share what you do with the prompt when you are ready.  Or, if you would like to keep it to yourself, that's OK too. Just have fun and let the writing happen.

READY? Each bullet point is a first line prompt....each image is a prompt on its own. 

  • So many steps down
  • Someday, I’ll laugh
  • I am obsessed with
  • Peaches, ripe and sun warmed were the only items on the table.
  • Clouds swam past.

  • What is a house dress?
  • The sign, in the shape of a…
  • I met Glory after a long day and one long night.
  • Crow could not find her daughter
  • This poem wants writing

  • Mother Nature lost her slippers
  • A librarian can be
  • Coffee, I need coffee like…
  • I’m not going to lie
  • In the sliver between twilight and night

  • That’s some kind of poem
  • Pieces of sea glass
  • One…two….counting steps
  • Inconsequential, insignificant, irrelevant…
  • Peanut butter and jealous…

  • Don’t worry—there are ladders
  • Silver backed maple leaves
  • Roxy was Mama’s best sister
  • Buskers stood at the edges of the crowd
  • The face of our house
  • Whale Dancer

Any of these prompt stems or images are yours

Remember to leave as many prompts as you take in the comments below.

*Action: First Lines -- by the book directions

If we were face-to-face we would take turns reading a line aloud to the group. 

The group would then discuss the line in terms of what sort of poem they see coming from that opening line and why.

The person offering the line becomes an auctioneer. 

Group members make bids for the line. Each suggestion about the line and/or how it could be used becomes a bid.

The auctioneer agrees to give the line -- no strings attached -- to the person with the best bid. Best, might be a level of enthusiasm, creativity, the number of ideas....whatEVer the auctioneer likes. 

It's time to link up! 


  1. What an interesting thing, a first line swap! I'll take "The sign, in the shape of a…" and leave "The book smuggler"
    Thanks for hosting!!

    1. Ooooh, the Book Smuggler. I will listen to the Smith's as I ponder that prompt. You are such a poetry cheerleader. It's so nice to know you!

  2. Thanks for hosting! What a fun crazy "first line" exercise!

  3. I'm not going to lie,
    I've very little time.
    But give me one line -
    I'll give you a rhyme!

    In return for taking that line, I'll leave you with, "They said it wouldn't." (I love a little mystery!) Thanks for hosting, Linda. I can't find any way to leave my link, so I'll leave it here in my comments...A short little ditty about a feathered family that lives with us and another great review for 'Flashlight Night':

  4. I snorted at "Someday I'll laugh." What clever first lines and creative ideas! Since you made me snort, I'll take "Someday I'll laugh," and leave, "If my eyes were . . ." Thanks for hosting. (Now to do my post and come back and link up!)

    1. Snorting is a perfect bid, I would guess!

    2. winner, winner, chicken dinner? Love your sense of humor and our wanderings through poetry. Thanks for playing!

  5. Oh my gosh - this is so FUN. Thank you, Linda, for hosting this week and for all this crazy inspiration.
    I'm terrible at following directions. I'll take one, smoosh it with part of another, and spit it back out as a new prompt... "The face of our house, in her house dress..."

    1. Wait, can I bid for those? I was going to take two or more, and now that I've seen these two combined...oooooooh! That's (going to be) some kind of poem! I want to see it/read it when you are done!

    2. All smooshing and bidding are allowed! I love that something by Robyn has sparked Donna. That's the FUN of this!

  6. Yes! I also love it when Poetry Friday starts on Thursday night, it's like a gentle push to get us through Friday.

    Oh, these are so fun! I love using first lines with my writing students, it's so neat to see the different ways that different poets interpret the same lines in such different ways!

    1. I'm totally taking your words swoon worthy from your post as my prompt.

  7. I'm taking "This poem wants writing" and leaving "Maybe love's an accident, or destiny is true, but you and I were born beneath a star of dazzling blue" (Paul Simon). See you tomorrow on Poetry Friday!

  8. What fun you all must have with this poetry time, Linda. Thanks for hosting and giving a new challenge for everyone! I choose "Mother Nature lost her slippers" and return "At the corner store,"

    1. I love the poetic conversation between you and Buffy.....and At the corner store is now in my magic pile of lines to play with. Many thanks!

  9. Thanks for hosting and throwing out the challenge! I'll take the "peaches" line and leave you with, "One perfect crescent toenail clipping."

  10. Linda, your post is loaded with fun tonight. You give; I take; I return in the form of a post and your offering to my summer gallery, Sunkissed Summer. I am definitely taking "In the sliver between twilight and night" because I am visiting my granddaughter and nighttime in Reston is so different than in my hometown. The streets in Reston are so dark. I will give you from the 10 Best Lines in Fiction, "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink" (Dodie Smith, "I Capture the Castle"). Now isn't that a wonderful line?

  11. Such a good idea! I love "peanut butter and jealous." In my little pocket notebook, I found this to contribute: "what rain washes away." Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. ooooh. I can't wait to see what you do with peanut butter and jealous. I've got ideas for that too. And, thank you for what rain washes away. I wish you three straight days of sunshine at least!

  12. Fun collection of first lines Linda, thanks for all these challenges! I've taken the one below and leaving this one: "butterflies billow skies" Love the butterfly drawing by Van Gogh.

    "I'm obsessed with"
    milkweeds life cycle
    nature's nurturer

    Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday too!

  13. What a fun party to throw. How can I resist? Here is my ditty, inspired here and now, long past my bedtime:

    Party in Dreamland

    Whale dancer,
    wind walker,
    sunset stalker,
    spell chanter,
    come to banter,
    come to play,
    come what may.
    Balloons pop.
    Hearts stop.
    Count to ten,
    they beat again.
    Bend and groove,
    until limbs don't move.
    Put on the brake
    or I'll never wake.

    As I took a first line, I'll leave another. "One hundred too many cookies"

    1. I am in awe.....what a beat, what a bounce, what a beauty! Off to see your Poetry Friday entry. I'm always delighted with your offerings.

    2. Thanks for stopping by. I wrote you a response, too, on my blog that I hope you have time to see. XOXO

  14. Ooo! This was fun. I'll take "I'm obsessed with..." and leave "On raven's wings..."

  15. This is too much fun to resist...nabbing
    "I met Glory after a long day and one long night."
    And dropping off a line from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
    "full of sparkles the livelong day".

    1. I wrote a poem from this line this morning - even before coffee! I debated whether to share my poem from this line. I am not going to. I couldn't barely read it aloud to my husband. I am not publishing it on my blog, but I will email you a copy to read. Thank you for this prompt today. It created a poem that I needed to write.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Uh-oh, I don't think I have your email...mine is djtsmith then the at g(mail), etc.

  16. Linda, what an inspired and inspiring list of prompts! Thank you! And thanks for hosting today. Happy writing! xo

    1. I so enjoyed your post that I went back to it again. And, I listened to your son's rap. Poetry can run in a family? Awesome! You share good questions and good answers....the start of good thinking too.

  17. I should have come here FIRST this morning when I woke up on a Friday with NO IDEA for a PF post! This will be a post to mark and come back to -- fun, fun, fun! Thanks for hosting!

    1. Oh, but I love the cherita and the sculpture. I'm glad I got to see that today.

  18. What a fun post, Linda. I love all these lines. I am a sucker for story, so I'll take "Roxy was mama's best sister." And leave you with a line from one of my grands yesterday. "The birds are your friends. They keep you company when you're by yourself."

  19. What a fun idea! I want to play! I'm taking "Mother Nature lost her slippers..." I will leave the first line from one of my stanzas in this week's poem: "Flickering firelight lures..."

  20. Thanks for hosting Linda and for getting the creative juices flowing!

    I’m taking the line: “Mother nature lost her slippers”

    and leaving:

    "Ah, but It wasn’t coffee in the cup"

    1. Oh, that coffee cup and I are going to have fun.

      What an amazing poetry package to have received....we are unfolded maps....that line. Irene, you are amazing.

  21. I came back as promised, and posted what I did with the first line I took! Thanks for hosting. Happy Poetry Friday!

  22. Thanks for hosting! Those swans are too cute.

    1. four one-hundred, five.....
      the rhythm is still in my head. I hope you have fun with the swans!

  23. I am a fan of Thursday night especially since the work day can be so unpredictable with busy.

    I seriously think we need to organize a poetry writing retreat where we meet up and write for a weekend and the coast is our transportation, food, and lodging

    Here are some lines for the ones I took, from several of my own poems

    gone from this world, your soul at peace
    while swallows dart here and there
    each town blends into the next
    in the tidepools teeming with life
    library books stand silent

    On Sunday, I am going to a writing event that will feature writing about libraries and books.

    1. Oh! Tingle. "library books stand silent." Love to hear about your Sunday libraries & books event, Jone.

  24. Wow! This is a keeper post of prompts, Linda. Appreciations.

    I'll have to return to read over again & take a coupla, thank you,
    but here are some first line prompts that I shared with summer writers, recently concluding:

    She said it was a gift

    Inside the willow

    Garlic is

    The rip in the screened porch

    The cat held in its mouth

    The page lay blank

    1. Oh, my! This is a jackpot! Thank you. I will definitely take library books stand silent.

  25. What a wonderful batch of prompts! I took one for my contribution post but I want to save them all for later too!!!! Thanks for hosting!

  26. Love this, Linda! Bringing all of this to my NH Literacy Institute writing class with Shawna Coppola this week at UNH! Having just done a lot of hiking I'll swap my "so many steps up" for your "so many steps down." LOL! Can't wait to mess around with these. -- Christie @

  27. Wow! This wasn't a week to miss PF, but I did. However, I still feel like I've hit the jackpot with your amazing post and the comments that follow! What a bundle of inspiration to explore over the next few languid summer days! Thanks so much for sparking this outflowing of prompts and first lines, Linda. You're a "hostess with the mostest!"

  28. What fun to read through everyone's "I'll take that line and leave this one...." I'm too late to do it for PF, but I'll take a line anyway and play wih it on my own this week. Might post it next week (can't resist "Pieces of sea glass....") If anyone is still looking for a first line, how about "It was today, not yesterday, she saw...."

  29. OK. Just used "I'm not going to lie" to launch a slice on Slice of Life!

  30. I am just so sorry that last weekend turned out to be one where I had to let PF pass me by! However, this post is bookmarked and I'll let you know (and share a first line with you) each time I come back here for inspiration. Thanks, Linda--it's fun to critique with you and I feel like we should make an effort to meet up in person. Let's work on it!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!