Poetry Writing Exercises 171: Monday 2nd September

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

Processed by: Helicon Filter;You can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: iron, awe, sing, whip, nose
  2. Random: symphony
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monologue Monday: Write a first-person poem – first day back at work

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!


  • Don’t forget your five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Show don’t tell: if your character is angry, don’t tell us he is, have him thumping his fist on the table.
  • Colours: Include at least one colour in your story. It does add depth.
  • Use strong verbs and avoid adverbs: Have a character striding instead of walking confidently.
  • Only use repetition to emphasise.
  • When you’ve finished the first draft, read the story out loud. It’s surprising how many ‘mistakes’ leap out at you when you read out loud… assuming you have any of course!

Pictures courtesy of morguefile.com

I love to talk about writing so feel free to email me. I’ll be pasting these prompts in this blog’s Facebook Group so you may find some other comments there.

If you’d like to submit a poem for critique on this site, see Submissions. The other critique writing groups are:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.

6 responses to “Poetry Writing Exercises 171: Monday 2nd September


    Might like to be a bird,

    Might like to sing to from a branch,

    Might like to to soar… with you in awe,

    Might like you below,

    Might like you to hold me in your hands,

    Might like you to smooth my feathers,

    Might like to fly away,

    Might like to have a mind of iron,

    Might like to squawk your name,

    Might like to whip you with my wings,

    Might like to do a nose dive,

    Might not do any of this…

    might like to stay as I am.

  2. Pingback: Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 2 September 2013 | Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog

  3. Thank you for sharing this, Britannia, and of course for writing it in the first place. I’m a freelance editor as well as a writer and am often picking other writers for repetition, saying it has to repeat for a reason, and this certain does. It’s great.

  4. liked reading this but after reflection decided not to post what I wrote lets just say for a sort poem had words of the blue type and will remain a not shared poem but boy was it fun getting some stuff out of my system.

  5. oops short poem

  6. 🙂 Thank you, Megan. It’s not a problem not to share. Sometimes there may well also be poems that you want to submit to competitions etc. and as I’ve put above: “Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).”

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