Alas, the time for ghosts and goblins is past, but I was too busy procrastinating to post in October. Nonetheless, let’s talk about ghost lines. A ghost line is a line from a poem or novel or really anywhere that is the jumping off point for your own poem. It is the first line of your poem written in invisible ink. You omit it once you are finished. If you feel the line is necessary, make sure you indicate the line is not yours and attribute it to the author. You could make the line an epigraph if you wish. Even after omitting the line, many poets will acknowledge the poem’s inspiration by adding “after Tarfia Faizullah” or whoever provided that first step.
Because my habitual procrastination has continued into the next month (and probably until my last, put-off breath) but mostly since I enjoy fangirling fantastic poets, I would like you to jump to the site of the amazing Rachel McKibbens for her ghost line prompt.