Writing Prose Poetry Paragraphs like Cisneros in "My Name"

Jul 29, 2015
Guide types

What is your first name, the one everybody knows you by: 

Five similes or metaphors (using "like") I can make about my name:

(Think like a poet and write some creative similes and metaphors about your name. Cisneros uses a metaphor and two similles in the first paragraph of "My Name" with an extra metaphor thrown in at the end of a long, vivid simile that talks about her father's records.)

(Which are your best similes or metaphors? Consider using it in your next draft.)

Five sentences using strong adjectives to describe a family member or friend whose name you've inherited or a person you are supposed to be like in the past:

(Think like a poet and brainstorm imaginative adjectives that could be applied to a person. Notice how many adjectives and metaphors Cisneros uses to describe her great-grandmother in the second and third paragraphs of "My Name.")

(Which are your best adjectives? Consider using the sentences with those words in your next draft.)


Create interesting personifications around your name by finishing these sentence frames.

1. When other people say my name it's as if <___________________________________>.

(Write like a poet, with hyperbole, exaggerating or overemphasizing how your name sounds or feels on the tongue or the face people make when saying it. Notice the imagery Cisneros uses in the fourth paragraph of "My Name," describing the different weights of tin and silver.)

2. My name is nothing like <Person's Name>'s, which <grows/explodes/sits/bubbles... Think of an active verb> like a <___________________________________.>

(Write like a poet again, this time using hyperbole to exagerate the difference between your name and the name of someone else in your family or group of friends, the way Cinsneros describes her sister's name in the fourth paragraph of "My Name.")

3. My nickname <_________> jumps up and <________________________________.>

(Write your nickname--if you have one--on this blank, then describe that name as if it were a person. What is it jumping up to do?)  

(Could one of these sentences find its way into your next draft? Consider it but don’t force it in if it doesn’t feel right.)



Create an original simile/metaphor/hyperbole sentence about your name that might serve as your introduction. (Use your best adjectives from above to help.):


Create an original sentence about what you might change your name to, in order to show something important about your inner self. This might serve as your conclusion, (the way Cisneros ends "My Name."):