Poetry Writing Exercises 400: Friday 18th July

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.

400 fair 751796You can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: anticipate, virtue, vagabond, listen, save
  2. Random: nothing for me today
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: wait

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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).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.


One response to “Poetry Writing Exercises 400: Friday 18th July

  1. Tovli Simiryan

    (a haibun)

    I was waiting for you. So much time fled, our language flattered the dead like misguided noise. Not wanting to become worthless, I stopped talking. No. Not speechless, voiceless. It meant nothing. I am nothing. It’s not what you say, but how you sound. Never mind the town is gone and a piece of each generation with it. Sunlight passed by a corner, its yellow trail of saliva spitting out a few grey clouds instead of dawn. So what? The soldier following us is connected to an oil stain on the ground. He knows what fails, so why keep hunting. Why look down. Later, the moon became your finger nail shining like a light. I waited. No one came. Someday, our memories will begin to rise and then converge. Right now, I don’t trust a leaking yellow sky; I don’t hear the sound of air breaking inside thoughts….

    All over my face,
    throughout my entire body
    I await silence.

    by Tovli Simiryan (c) 2014

We'd be very grateful for your comments...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.