Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson Creative Writing Prompts

It was on this day in 1803 that Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston.  You can read more about Emerson here. 

Today we are going to use some quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson to inspire our creative writing prompts.  There are so many good ones that it was hard to choose. 

Poetry Prompts:  Emerson said, "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air."  Write a poem that celebrates your life in relation to nature.  You can start your poem with Emerson's quote as an epigraph if you would like. 


Here is my favorite Emerson quote:  "The earth laughs in flowers."  Write a list poem of images of other ways you see the earth in an expression of joy.  Name the flowers, what they do.  Notice other things that are little images that parallel happiness and laughter. 

Creative Nonfiction Prompt:  Emerson said, "In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him."

Think about someone you have learned from and write about what you learned from the person.  Try to pick a person who seems superior in a surprising way.  Perhaps someone younger than you, perhaps someone less fortunate, etc.

Fiction Writing Prompt:  From  his essay "Self Reliance," Emerson writes, "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles."

Write a fiction scene where a character finds peace.

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