Poetry Writing Exercises 519: Wednesday 7th January

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.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

519 cuppa 857867Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: yourself, I, trust, middle, afternoon
  2. Random: a blue car
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Sentence start: Where you go…

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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).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

2 responses to “Poetry Writing Exercises 519: Wednesday 7th January

  1. Hmm, it’s a bit hard to figure out exactly where to publish the poem you write based on a prompt. I’ll just stick it here and see if it gets moved, shall I?

    What It Says…

    What it says on the tin is McGurdies Lemon Drops
    What’s inside’s another matter altogether.
    Dad’s pert near always ready to go fishin’.
    He’d pay my brother and me a penny for each worm we’d catch him.
    The empty tin holds five cents worth of fat earthworms.
    I’d run home and put it on the counter and later, a shiny nickle’d sparkle inside.
    I thought everybody knew this.
    Turns out Mrs. Hasper didn’t.
    She nearly screamed the curtains off the walls when she found out.

  2. In the middle of the afternoon
    when the lunch hour break
    winds down,
    I pretend I am painting
    abstract words with
    ink paint
    and sipping earl grey
    instead of quickly writing
    composing or
    clicking random keys
    entering words at random
    and hoping for creation
    or at least a start a drive off
    into the sunset in a sapphire blue limo into your dream

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.