Etymology and entomology are easy to confuse: both study origins and evolutions and the way small changes scuttle across time and sometimes disappear in the cracks. Make a list of five words that have always interested you and look each of them up in the dictionary. Dig a little and find the history of the word. Note how it has evolved and how it has resisted change and write a poem using that information. For inspiration, read “Etymological Note” by Kelly Davio.
If that prompt doesn’t work for you and you need another, let’s do a word-list prompt. I find them helpful when I seem to be stuck writing the same poem over and over. So for the second prompt, use the following list of words from Kelly Davio’s poem in your own: “plank,” “texture,” “strengthen,” “censer,” “splitting,” “gestures,” “wedge,” and “raking”
Let’s try a similar prompt, but using homonyms (words that sound alike but do not share meaning) and homophones (homonyms that sound alike but share neither meaning nor spelling) of some of the words in the poem: “state”/state, “bare”/“bear” (both included in the poem), “body”/bawdy, “censer”/censor, “way”/weigh, “creep”/creep, and “rites”/rights. Let’s throw in some heteronyms (words that are share spelling but neither meaning nor pronunciation): “wound”/wound and “lead”/lead. Add more if you wish: present/present, content/content, bow/bow, convert/convert, desert/desert, incense/incense, crooked/crooked, deliberate/deliberate, minute/minute, buffet/buffet, object/object, refuse/refuse, tear/tear, wind/wind.