Become A Poet In Ten Minutes

Have you ever sat there staring at the paper, ready to write, but unsure where to begin? Want a solution that will overcome even the worst writer's block? Anyone can start writing poetry today using a few simple techniques.

One, two, ...?

Did you say or think three when you saw the above? If not, you certainly would when I asked you to fill in the blank. Your mind is a powerful machine that recognises or creates patterns. To make this work for you as a poet, you simply have to lay out the materials in an implied pattern, and let your mind do its thing.

The "materials," in this case, of course, are words or ideas. So let's round up some materials for an example. If you want to write a poem about thunderstorms, you might start by writing down relevant words, and then choose the more evocative ones: flash, blowing, rumble, night, deadly and rain, perhaps.

Now you set the pattern. In this case, we'll write a four-line poem, using one of our words in each line. We'll only decide if we want a ryming poem after we start. This is what I came up with after five minutes:

Rain stands still in the sky

Trees dance as in a painting

In a flash it is here and gone

And night grumbles at being revealed

It doesn't matter if most aren't good poems. You just have to write a lot of them, and then work on re-writing the ones with potential. With a little practice, you can write a dozen poems in an hour, then pick out the gems. My wife has had poetry published using Deal-a-Poem, a game we created based on this technique, so we know that it works, and it's fun as well.

More Tips For Fast Poetry

The technique above works because when your mind focuses on a word with the intent to use it in a line, it is stimulated into action. It wants to find the pattern - or create it. To make this work even better, try the following:

1. Start with words that are evocative and metaphorically rich. You'll be more inspired and probably write a richer poem with "howled," "torn open," and "festering," than with "said," "broken," and "rotten."

2. Use this or any other technique as a starting point only. If you have a great line already in mind, don't force one of the words from your list into it. If a poem starts to write itself, and becomes ten six-line verses, forget about the technique. Treat it as a tool to be used when you need it.

3. Don't sit there waiting for inspiration. Write anything NOW. Start with any topic, or even random words. The surest way to get inspired in your poetry is to start writing a poem.

Steve Gillman has been playing with poetry for thirty years. He and his wife Ana created the game "Deal-A-Poem," which can be accessed for free at: http://www.dealapoem.com

In The News:


Martinsburg resident finds new niche in performance poetry
The Idaho Statesman
A new addition to the Book Faire and Chocolate Fest activities, the performance poetry program will feature Hairston and about five other poets presenting their work during two 90-minute performances at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., April 25, on the square in ...

and more »

NJ.com

Caldwell to celebrate National Poetry Month
NJ.com
CALDWELL — On April 22, Caldwell University will host "Saints, Sinners, Mothers & Lovers: Readings from Poetry & Memoir" featuring Angela Alaimo O'Donnell, a writer and a professor at Fordham University. O'Donnell will read from her poetry books ...


From love to grief to gaiety
The Economist
Merrill, who would grow into one of the great American poets of the 20th century, spent his life practising a strange kind of alchemy, as Langdon Hammer shows in his new biography: he turned love and memory, both short-lived and lifelong, into poetry ...
National Poetry Month: Langdon Hammer's James Merrill: Life and ArtCommonweal (blog)

all 2 news articles »

USA TODAY

Obama's day: A visit from Italy (and poetry)
USA TODAY
President Obama ends the week Friday by meeting with a major ally and paying tribute to poetry. In the morning, Obama welcomes Italy Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to the Oval Office. Among their topics: The battle against the Islamic State, Russian ...
Obama guidance, press schedule April 17, 2015. Itay PM Prime Minister Renzi ...Chicago Sun-Times

all 509 news articles »

Albany Democrat Herald

Think Too Much: For the power in poetry, read it aloud
Albany Democrat Herald
The last day of National Poetry Month, Thursday, April 30, is “Poem in Your Pocket Day.” It plays out just like it sounds: Take the time to remember and find your favorite poem. Print it out and put it in your pocket on that Thursday. Share it with ...
Seventh-grade poets share their understanding of worldSTLtoday.com (blog)
Celebrating National Poetry MonthEmertainment Monthly (registration) (blog)
Poems That Make Your Skin BristleIt Makes Your Skin BristleWall Street Journal
Irish Times -Fremont Tribune -KEVN Black Hills Fox
all 24 news articles »

Deseret News

Obama: World would be 'pretty barren' without poetry
Deseret News
Obama and his wife, Michelle, celebrated National Poetry Month at the White House by inviting student poets to a workshop and reading by Elizabeth Alexander, the American poet who wrote and delivered a poem at Obama's frigid inauguration in January ...

and more »

Los Porteños Presents POETRY FROM THE INTERIOR: William Stafford ...
Broadway World
"Poetry from the Interior: William Stafford & Miguel Hernandez" is an evening of original prose and poetry inspired by the words of American poet William Stafford and Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez, produced by Los Porteños at Literary Arts May 12th.


Seattle Globalist

Voicing truths through poetry at Youth Speaks Seattle
Seattle Globalist
Since 2003, Youth Speaks Seattle (YSS) has been synonymous with the youth-led poetry movement. It's an organization that has brought poetry to classrooms, coffee shops, and community centers around the city through writing circles, workshops, open mics ...

and more »

bestofneworleans.com (blog)

Tonight: Order pizza with a side of poetry
bestofneworleans.com (blog)
Big Class, the writing and tutoring arm of Press Street that brings free creative writing programs to underserved youth, is attaching student poetry to pizza boxes for pickup and delivery from G's Pizza, Garage Pizza, Magazine Pizza, Mid City Pizza ...


The Providence Journal

Poetry project helps hikers see Block Island's beauty
The Providence Journal
Poetry of the Wild, started by Rhode Islander and ecological artist Ana Flores, highlights the natural beauty of the island and its inspiration for artistic expression. Through Poetry of the Wild, hikers exploring the island will come upon "poetry ...

and more »
Google News

The Art of Receiving Poetic Critique

You can show your poem to your mom, your spouse,... Read More

Top 20 Poetry Quotations

Explore the meaning of poetry and the motivation of poets... Read More

Famous Poets Quotations - Top 30 Poetry Quotations by Famous Poets

"For this reason poetry is something more philosophical and more... Read More

Commuting Hell!

It's dark, it's cold, its' just six thirty,thoughts of sleep... Read More

Stone Beds [A Poem and an Advance]

Stone Beds [Pompeii's surge]Advance: after the great eruption of Pompeii's... Read More

Arizona Blue--Gunfighter: The Wolves Nest [Chapter One of Seven: The North]

[Episode Five]Arizona Blue-GunfighterThe Wolves Nest-in the North[Episode Five]Northern Minnesota Area?Winter... Read More

My Final Defeat - Fixed Competition

She probably can't remember and I know I can never... Read More

Hindu Poet - Kamalakanta

Kamalakanta was born in Burdwan India in the late 18th... Read More

San Francisco [Almost a Sonnet]

(The city by the bay of Northern California, near which... Read More

A Hundred and Fifty Dead [Korean War--l952]

There I sat, ninety-five degree weatherOutside; the bookstore caf, was... Read More

Five Poems from Home [And a view on the planet vs. the poet]

Five Poems from Home1) Remembering: Dorothy Parker [Dedicated to the... Read More

I Shall Wait...

I Shall Wait..On all the new mornings, and every singking... Read More

Ole Bulky Jeeps & Paper, Ink and Rain [two Peoms]

Ole Bulky JeepsThrough late summer's heat These bulky shaped jeeps... Read More

Breathing-in, Minnesota [a poem: now in Spanish and English]

In early fall, in Minnesota, the rain falls, falls, In... Read More

Since Youve Been Gone...

My life has changedin so so many waysIt seems to... Read More

Stones

As I picked up some of the polished gemstones in... Read More

Lima, City with the Stretched out Wings [In English and Spanish]

Lima, City with the Stretched out WingsIt's an ink-black... Read More

Find the Magic

FIND the MAGICFind the Magic As you release old bondage... Read More

Contract of Death [Now: in SPANISH and English]

Contract of DeathI heard today, the preacher say: "Daniel has... Read More

Whats A Prisoner to Do?

What's a prisoner to do when justice fails and... Read More

Recollections

I AM SO GRATEFUL for simpler times. Stores were closed... Read More

Mother, I Dont Mind The Pain

I am among those who know that one never recovers... Read More

Three Poems: Dona Leonors Revenge; The Old Moon; Common Sides [All in Spanish/all in English]

1) Doa Leonor's Revenge [1627 AD]Rafael Ortiz's fate Was... Read More

I Hate The Wait (Weight)

I get up in the morningAnd want to stay in... Read More

Expressing an Emotion - The Art of Writing Poetry

Writing poetry is an art, a way of expression, finding... Read More