One of the prompts my 400 level poetry teacher gave my class while I was attending the U of A, was to “steal” the title of a poem. We were reading “The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry,” and she asked us all to find a poem there that we found interesting, and borrow its contents: not only the title but themes, images, language, etc.
I chose a tender poem by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, called Gifts of Love (if you click the above “Ecco Anthology” link, you can read this poem in the preview!), and used that to jump into my own poem of the same title. What I ended up with was my own poem about “gifts” of love – however, where Yehuda talks of adorning his love in jewelry, my gifts were less literal. My poem transformed into something of a tribute to my past relationships – to failed and lost love, to the awkwardness of teenage affection.
So, this is your prompt: steal the title (and perhaps some other things, too) from another poem. It could be a poem that you connect with, or likewise a poem that you hate. Don’t be afraid to let your poem deviate from its inspiration: make the poem yours. Please post and share your results along with the original poem!