Happy Global Poetry Prompt Appreciation Day!
I love prompts. I don't think my best stuff comes from prompts, as usually I am rushing to meet the deadline, but they are very useful. I have learned new poetry forms and processes. They also give me a reason to write a lil more often and a lil more regularly. Yes, I am one of those people who needs a reason.
However, the best thing about prompts is reading other poet's work with the same prompt that I have been working with. I love to see the different ways people interpret one drawing or even one word! The poetry prompts that give you a handful of words to include are especially fun. It is like rune reading. One person takes the words, shakes them up, lays them out, and sees certain thoughts, emotions, and circumstances appear. Then I take them, and toss them out into a totally different story.
I see prompts as exercises for the poetic muscles, which need to stretch different ways to truly be healthy and strong. It is impossible for one person to come up with every which way on their own.