Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Write: Exercise from The Poets Companion

One of the first guides to poetry I read (outside of school) was The Poet's Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux.  After all these years, I still remember that it was a great book that helped me get going in poetry.  Recently, I received the book from Paperback Swap and started reading it again.

At the end of each chapter are a list of questions/exercises to get you thinking about poetry.  The authors call these, Ideas for Writing.  Lots of 'guide' books use this technique, and I think it's a great one. 

The exercise I chose to do last night was about writing an instructional poem.  Take the steps to something you know how to do and turn it into a poem.  I've felt like I'm missing something in my poetry lately, I'm not opening up the poem.  So this exercise is a great one to work with. 

I've got the steps down but I don't think I'm conveying the emotion I'm looking for yet.  I feel it, because I'm writing it, but I'm going to have to let it sit for a day or two and reread it. 

Do you have any exercises to ease you into writing?  How do you open up a poem?

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