Prompt: Reinventing the Stanford Pain Scale

This prompt has been kicking around facebook this month around the circles doing NaPoWriMo (national poetry writing month, which most people use as an excuse to do some version of 30 poems in 30 days.) Although I saw it on my Atlanta poet friend Karen G’s page, who got it from Liv Mammone:

“Reinventing the Stanford Pain Scale:
Doctors use a variety of pain scales to help people assess their pain. The most common of these is the Stanford, or “number 1-10 pain scale”, where 1 means “no pain,” and 10 means “so much pain you’re practically unconscious””

This gets fun, and possibly really revelatory in that way poetry can be, when you apply it to a subject it wouldn’t necessarily be obvious to use for. For example, a good friend of mine used it to write a poem about her relationship, about loving her partner and their relationship, and wrote it as this gorgeous list poem where each item was very image heavy and lyrical. Again, a gorgeous poem.

So that’s my prompt for you. Again, if you’re doing forms, which my Gainesville poetry family is (30 distinct forms in 30 days. Oy) then this jives really well as a list poem. You could also jive this list pain scale poem with haikus, if you’re feeling really ornery. (and you know I usually do.)

So, have fun! And post below if you feel like sharing.

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