I wrote this poem as part of a competition, using a word prompt. The word I was given was ‘entourage’.
The first thing I did was read a definition of the word:
- a group of people attending or surrounding an important person. “an entourage of loyal courtiers”
Then I created a mind-map around the definition, taking each part in turn.
‘A group of people’ – what if they weren’t people? Who else might they be?
‘surrounding’ – for what reason? Could it be sinister? Funny? How close could they get?
‘an important person’ – Why is the person (or animal) important? Are they only important to the entourage?
I then thought about what entourage meant to me. It meant celebrity culture – adoring fans surrounding a popular singer or actor.
All these questions and thoughts helped me get to the stage where I had the idea for this poem.
‘A group of people’ (fleas) ‘surrounding’ (living on) ‘an important person’ (Lionel). Poor Lionel, who has adoring fans by day who take photos and upload them to social media, but is left alone at night with his real entourage – his fleas.
A writing prompt can be a fun way into a poem – especially if you take the time to really think about all the different ways that word could be interpreted. Have a go with one of the following words: