April 2011 – Inkseeds Poetry Prompt Month – Personal Mythology

“Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.”

Inspired by a long history of others who have done the same, a few times a year I take it upon myself  to write 30 poems in 30 days and have found various prompts online and in print to be greatly supportive of this huge, sustained (and exhausting) undertaking.

This year I’m inspired by my armchair reading and my own meandering personal path to present a poetry prompt a day for the month of April but with a difference: starting April 1st, through a series of questions, exercises, images, excerpts and ruminations we will write poetry for 30 days to the theme of personal mythology.


Jung once asked us to ask ourselves, What is the myth you are living?

Whether or not you realize it, you have a personal mythology. You probably have many more than one. You may not be conscious of them and I can’t tell you what they are, but there are several traditions and sources we can learn from that may help us get deeper into our own patterns. And, if we don’t like them, we can change them.


Before we jump in:

Start to pay attention to your dreams as of tonight, write them down, even the merest fragments you can recall. Try to get a little more sleep than you think you’ll need.

As always, our subconscious will be informing the art we make and will provide much of the rich imagery that will end up in your poems. Attending your dreams through the vehicle of writing is a way of signalling to that part of you that you are listening and receptive.

Get a poetry notebook to carry with you, and a pen that flows. If you keep one already, a journal is also handy for purposes of observing ourselves, and a regular, daily writing habit will provide the necessary infrastructure.


Note that this will not be a forum for posting our poetry, but I actively encourage commentary, conversation, questions and improvements on the prompts themselves.

Note also that I am neither a therapist nor a depth psychologist. I am a poet who resonates to her own mythology even as she writes it, and as it writes her.

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12 Responses to April 2011 – Inkseeds Poetry Prompt Month – Personal Mythology

  1. wrensong says:

    I love this idea, Jennie and I plan to follow your lead thru April. With Writing as a Spiritual Practice course over I will welcome some guidance for the next month.

  2. Teri says:

    I will be watching and learning… I did this for a class in high school, 35 years ago- I still have the journals– I don’t know how much I can participate but I will be visiting- xo teri

  3. cloud gatherer says:

    i often wonder about the things that come at night in sleep. the whispering of our subconscious mind in the hope(?) that our conscious mind can unravel the riddles.

    looking forward to this.

    sweet dreams…

  4. Just when I was undecided on whether to write a poem-a-day this April – I’ve come across your intention of posting prompts with a personal mythology premise and couldn’t be more enthused now to begin the challenge!

    This is right up my alley as I do see and use my writing as a spiritual practice: poetry is how I observe, experience and process the world, and I also practise Jungian dream work.

    Thank you 🙂 I look forward to meeting you back here for the first prompt!

    Cheers, Kirsten

  5. corvapriya says:

    I’m so pleased — some familiar faces and some new. Welcome welcome!

  6. CatherinE says:

    I’ll be following this! what a great field of inquiry

  7. Looking forward to an excuse to write poems and then tweet about them! Thanks!

  8. Michael Nickels-Wisdom says:

    Can you tell me what would be expected of writers who join your Personal Mythology 30-day prompt group? Writing prompts with the aim of plumbing the unconscious are an interesting idea, but I might want my own experience to stretch beyond April and be somewhat less regular than daily. And how would one go about joining?

    • corvapriya says:

      Great questions, Michael.
      While the prompts will be offered in such a way to support writers who wish to take part in a poem-a-day challenge, the fact is that the exploration of personal mythology can be (should be?) a lifelong undertaking. The inner landscape changes, we shed old stories when they do not serve us any more, and we grow into new ones.

      As such, I have no expectations but am making an offering. If someone takes these prompts and works with one a month, one a year, in a different order or in conjunction with professional therapy, spiritual practice or simply as an occasional online writing resource, then I’ve successfully shared my little bag of seeds with one more person.

      There is no requirement in order to join this project, though if it gathers followers I may set up something more formal for future incarnations.

      Subscribing to this blog will ensure that you get the prompts delivered to your inbox, or simply visit this site when inspiration strikes.

  9. Pingback: To PAD… « Prose Posies

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