21:03 Mar 14 2012
Times Read: 675
I know all you aspiring writers out there love a challenge. How about a poetry exercise with Auntie Jo?
I've been reading Sandford Lyne's book, Writing Poetry from the Inside Out
and it is excellent. One of his methods for kick-starting the poetic process is called "poetry sketching." Basically, it is taking a group of about 4 words and building the foundation of a poem with them. Artists use sketch books to practice their craft, and this is the same principle, only with words instead of brushes and paint.
By creating a poetry sketch instead of trying to write a finished poem, you may feel more relaxed and the creativity inside you is less likely to hide when it knows we're just having a stroll, not a marathon race. This is the poetry equivalent of picking up a nice stick and making swirling ripples in a pond to see what the shapes look like in combinations of sunlight, shadow, and moon.
There are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind:
1. In using a word-group to make a poem, the words may be used in any order and may be repeated.
2. It is recommended that the poem have at least three sentences so it may have three parts (a beginning, middle, and an end).
3. There may be sentences in the poem which contain none of the word-group words.
4. You may change the forms of the word-group words (silence, silent, silently) and substitute words (river for lake, eagle for crow).
5. You may mix and recombine the word-groups.
6. You may have more than 4 words in your word-group.
7. Sandford Lyne also recommends: DO NOT RHYME!
You can use these word groups or make up a group of your own. Try to choose a group that "tingles" a little at your imagination, maybe beginning to form a picture or a momory in your mind. Remember, you are sketching!
Here are examples done by young students who learned this method:
word group: levee, roux, butterfly, rain
All day the summer rain has made a runoff
A muddy roux beside the levee.
Browns, and deeper browns, and grays,
And all alone, one yellow butterfly.
Word group: trees, roots, death, rain
The trees are crying
So is the girl under them
The roots of both have been torn
A death in her family
And another rainforest gone.
word group: courage, lion, butterflies, father
Like a lion,
My father dozes on the porch.
I was in my room when he came home.
Has he seen the broken window?
Has my mother told him yet?
My stomach’s full of butterflies.
Courage, a lion’s courage –
Do I have it?
Once you have your poetry sketch, you may want to revise it. In a revision, you may want to take away words.
Here’s an example:
I watched the moon sitting in the cloudless sky.
I saw two owls sitting on a branch.
Next to them was a pinecone all alone.
My heart wanted to get out and go home,
But my soul did not want to go home yet.
Here’s the same poem condensed:
The white moon in the cloudless sky –
Two owls on a branch,
A pinecone all alone.
My heart wanted to go home,
But my soul did not.
Or you may want to revise by adding words.
Whatever you decide, enjoy the images you create with words and if you can, share them with me. I'd love to see your poetry sketches.
21:09 Mar 14 2012
Librarys, sunlight, colors, books. I happen to be in the library now. But these came to the top of my head when I saw your words.
I sit in the library
Watching the sunlight
Play on the colors
Of the covers of the books
I am among lifelong friends.
21:12 Mar 14 2012
I used to have that book.
It was helpful.
21:13 Mar 14 2012
Elemental, that is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing it. I identify; they are my old friends, too.
21:14 Mar 14 2012
And that is the reason Birdy does chants so well for us. :)
So yeah...uh... *scratches head*
05:35 Mar 15 2012
Night, Spirit, Traveler, Body
so ... we get ...
In the silver ripples of night, gaunt,
the maunderings of a spirit,
extracurriular of body,
16:07 Mar 15 2012
I love this! Poetry sketching is pretty fun. It makes me feel so much less lame when I just cannot seem to write.
Requiem, that actually gave me a little cold shiver :)
23:09 Mar 19 2012
Stone, Petal, Future, Past
In the past, flowers,
stone petals falling slowly,
released future fruits.
... Not as successful as the other one, I think.
20:28 Mar 20 2012
I agree, but only because of the third line. vv1-2 set up a bit of a mournful tone/slow rhythm, and do it well. The third line is really nice, but if you look at a revision, you may want to play with "release", even if only the tense. I think it changes the pace a little abruptly. I can see your idea :)