Idyll Paint Chip Poetry Prompt

Welcome to another week of paint chip poetry fun. This week we’re writing idyll poems. This is a new poetry concept for me and I think it will be a lot of fun.

The Challenge

Today your challenge is to write your own idyll, according to any of the three definitions provided by the poetry dictionary.

IDYLL, IDYL (eye’-dul or eye’-dil; Greek, “short descriptive poem” or “little picture”) 1. Short poem depicting rural life or a country scene. The adjective idyllic refers to something that is natural, simple, peaceful, and picturesque.

2. Specifically, the name given to pastorals written by Theocritus (third century B.C.E.), the apparent originator of the genre. Although his poems deal with the lives and loves of shepherds, Theocritus was in fact an academic poet, associated with the critics of Alexandria, Egypt. . . .

3. A longer narrative piece, such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King . . .

the poetry dictionary, page 140-141.

Maybe you’ll write about an idyllic country scene or about the lives of shepherds in ancient times. If you’re very ambitious, you could go for a longer piece.

The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with are sprig of mint, moon walk, waterfall, scarecrow, sea foam, saffron, and forget-me-not. I’d like you to use at least five of these words and phrases in your idyll.

My Poem

I’ve decided to write my idyll about ancient shepherds, with a focus on the country scene they may have been found in. Sort of a combination of definitions one and two. I may not replicate the style of Theocritus, but perhaps my idyll will be its own new genre. Perhaps not.

The Shepherd's Dream

On the hillside with his sheep grazing 
The shepherd dreams of forget-me-not
Offered by his lovely wife only weeks ago.
He reminisces her cooking, saffron rice,
Lamb with a sprig of mint. His belly grumbles.
Gazing over his flock at distant peaks,
A glimpse of a waterfall reminds the shepherd
Of all the Lord has provided: life, love, health,
Food and water to sustain his wife and kids.
The evening sky fades to sea foam green
Before he gathers his sheep close, to lay down
For a long night's sleep. The sheep will dream,
But the shepherd will stand watch for now
To dream another day with his love.

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn to write you very own idyll. You can share it in the comments, or post it on your own blog or website and share a link in the comments. If you decide to write one but don’t want to share, I’d still love to know you were inspired by this prompt. I can’t wait to read all the peaceful scenes you all create with words.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


12 Responses

  1. A Moment to Idle in the Idyllic

    My crocus soon will poke its head
    And wake up in a snowy bed
    No, it won’t have saffron threads
    Just a harbinger of spring ahead

    Summer’s verdant rolling billows
    Bring dandelion puffs like sea foam pillows
    And butterflies with thick villose
    All flit and fly like there’s no one left to owe

    A sprig of mint upon my breath
    Forget-me-nots not here quite yet
    A scarecrow may taunt but is no sure bet
    For birds will take all they can get

    The ocean tide always lures
    Her constant moonwalk toward the shore
    In her retreat she gathers more
    An idyllic scene to bring serene for sure

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