Poetry Writing Exercises 618: Monday 1st June

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.

618 pug 819200Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: offered, TV, place, fall, fantasy
  2. Random: share an experience
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monologue Monday: Write a first-person poem – someone who has to do something for the first time

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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).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 618: Monday 1st June

  1. 1. Because I Can
    I offered you a place to fall into fantasy
    But your solution to my suggestion was the TV
    How sad, but true it’s all you see
    Just a virtual world with no reality
    Only pre-planned plays of spoken garb
    And painted faces selling carb
    But since you’re happy with a moving screen
    Of constant changes – not the same ‘ol scene
    I’ll leave you be impressed with them
    While I run away because I can
    Participation is all I asked
    But you’d rather sit on your lame ass
    So who’s the bum? The homeless one?
    Perhaps we all are – this poem’s done

    2. Bag Ladies & Men
    As I witnessed the many people at once
    It occurred to me they’re clueless and such
    Some search for happiness in the stores
    While others just stand in line for more
    Ironically, we’re all bag ladies & men
    Wandering earth ’til our time ends
    Kindness and co-existence may exist
    But the smile does not protect what is
    As if life isn’t challenging enough
    We throw on more weight to rebuff
    It isn’t a competition
    As we make a new petition
    And it isn’t a game
    To see who can remain
    It could be like a school
    That leaves us acting like a fool
    But no matter our life decisions
    Someone’s there in our derision
    Therefore, don’t dress to impress
    Since the road to success
    Is always under duress
    And that’s why there’s constant construction
    We can’t always live by instruction

    3. Pug
    The pug is quite smug
    It ate a wiener dog’s grub
    Fur is shiny bug

    4. Learn how to Travel
    We get on our bikes
    Or we ride in our cars
    Either way, we don’t get very far
    As we learn how to travel
    And let go of our stuff
    Then time can unravel
    Since we can’t get enough
    Although we may fall
    Although we may crash
    We can’t take it with us
    This fabulous trash
    We really only change
    Our looks and location
    So live life searching
    A new destination
    The variation will seem
    Like a permanent vacation

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