August Writing Challenge 2: Squid Poem

2-CC-midiman-550photo by MidiMan

We are challenging you to write your own mini anthology of poems this August! To help you, every two days poet Jon Stone will set a new challenge on the Young Poets Network site to spark off a new poem.

Challenge 2:  Squid Poem

One short to normal-length line, followed by ten long tentacle-like lines, each of which could follow on from the first.

Jon’s example of a Squid Poem:


In my dream, I dove into a sea of
plump nutty radishes turning to pink as they boiled in the sun’s sweat
frothed coffee-chocolate milk creatured with marshmallow jellyfish
expensive suits of varying dournesses, all swimming against each other
loose riffling pages that curled into a glowing ash when I brushed them
selves I could have been if I’d been a Tudor or conquistador or Amazon
winds with smoke scents, who spoke a language of shot-down planes
marmalady resin, which set into an amber block all around me
words, many of which I swallowed as I sank into a bottomless paragraph
waving hands, whose arms’ roots were obscured in further hands
colours. So many I couldn’t name them all, even with a Dulux chart.

Submitting your poem

Jon has now chosen his favourite response to the Squid poem challenge, but you can still use his workshop to spark a new poem and send to one of the opportunities on our Poetry Opportunities Page! Have a read of this Squid poem for inspiration:

Alarms by Christie Suyanto


Jon Stone

Jon Stone was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel, London. He is co-creator of the multi-format arts journal Fuselit and micro-anthology publishers Sidekick Books. He won a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and his collection, School of Forgery (Salt, 2012) is a Poetry Book Society Summer Recommendation. He works as a court transcript editor.

Published August, 2012

10 thoughts on “August Writing Challenge 2: Squid Poem

    1. Long, long lines, long like tenticles. So you have one short first line (call it the head) and then ten long lines of the same length (for ten legs).

  1. I love your challenges! Do there have to be one word verses to break the ten ‘tentacles’? Like in Jon’s poem?

    1. Hi Angelique, I’m thinking maybe the poem hasn’t formatted right on your computer? In Jon’s example there is one short/normal line and then ten very long ones – there are no single word dividing lines. Maybe the computer screen can’t show the whole width of the poem and is bumping the last word down onto it’s own line to make it fit?

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