Saturday, 5 November 2011

Style and subject of writing poetry - what's yours?

Had a great class meeting on Thursday.  We each took along a portfolio of between ten and twenty poems and then we did little exercises.  We looked at which subjects we mainly wrote about, the senses we used and how often we used verbs or adjectives etc.  We then looked at the structure of our poems, whether they were all in one long stanza or several and whether the lines were long or short.  These proved to be a most enlightening exercises and it seemed that we all tended to write about life and relationships most often followed by nature!  The senses we mainly used were sight and touch. We then got into a deep discussion on poetry writing and gender (we have two men in our group which helped) and the time flew by.  I found the discussions most helpful.  It is a useful thing to try yourself.  Our tutor said that the subjects we wrote about most often were the ones we tended to come back to when we were stuck. Sometimes it is a case of reworking an old idea in a different way.

Next week we are going to be working in the Morley Gallery over the road from the main college.  I am really looking forward to it.


  • Use the guide above to sort your poems - to do this make headings such as relationships, nature and every time a poem mentions a subject put a tick under that heading.  At the end a pattern will have formed. Do the same for senses and types of words you use in your poems
  • Try writing poems in different forms/styles to add variation
  • Describe in a poem a sense you rarely or never write about
  • Is there a subject you would never write about? Why?

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