Rewrite Your Old Poems

A Writing Prompt

Harley Bell


by Harley Bell

I decided to rewrite an old poem. I’ve been thinking about the life cycle of content. Everything that I write just sits in a drawer somewhere. But what happens if I iterate on something that used to inspire me?
If I approached the same subject matter, would I write it differently?

This prompt is about revisiting an old piece of writing. Find something that you wrote awhile ago. Reread it. How do you feel about it?
Does it still move you or do parts of it ring flat?
Is there anything you would change?
What were you thinking about at the time?
What were your inspirations?

The invitation is to explore the same territory but with a new map. The destination may be the same but the way you get there may be different.

Find an old poem. Keep a few stanzas and rewrite the rest.

This is about reviving the essence of the piece.
What has changed in your life since you wrote the first poem?
Add in the details of who you are now to the old poem.

This is my attempt at this prompt.
This is a link to my old poem. My new one is below.

P.S I would love some feedback if my prompt makes sense.
Should it be more succinct?
Tag me if you decide to try it.

What are you doing here?


The door is closed. The paint is peeling,
revealing naked planks of Pine. Or are they Rimu?

Can you name the trees
that shelter you?

The hour is nigh to noon.
The breeze has something to tell you.

What are you doing here?

You knock,
not knowing
who will answer.


The doors are about to open.
Have you prepared
by brushing your hair with oil
and checking the invite list and
double checking the starting time?
and have you combed…



Harley Bell

I write about writing, creativity and business. I'm currently working on a poetry book, titled Wild Altar.