Looking for something fun and poetry-related to spice up your summer? Why not try writing some poetry? Now, before you sigh in exasperation with a sarcastic why didn’t I think of that? – hear me out.
Writing poetry doesn’t always have to involve putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and just going at it. There are some really entertaining ways of writing poetry out there. Here are three that I’ve enjoyed:
This is probably the easiest of the three I’m going to mention. It requires a few more materials than the usual pen and paper, but you most likely have all of the materials already in your house. The aforementioned materials are newspapers or magazines that you don’t mind cutting up, scissors, paper, and glue (or tape, if you prefer).
Start by looking through the magazines or newspapers and cutting out words that catch your eye. If you really want to challenge yourself, set limits, such as each cut-out has to be at least three words long, or you have to use the full word – no chopping them up to fit the poem.
Then, start arranging the words you’ve cut out to form a poem. Once you’re happy with the configuration, glue or tape the words to the page.
And voila! You are now a poet (and perhaps you didn’t even know it).
In its simplest form, this method of creating poetry only needs two things: a marker and a page of text written by someone else. It can be a page that’s fallen out of an old discarded book, or it can be a scan/photocopy of a page from your favourite novel. Personally, I prefer the latter – you can make several drafts before you decide what the final version of your poem will look like (or, if you’re like me, have several backups in case you mess up).
The most basic way to create poetry with these materials is to use the marker to black out any words you won’t be using in your poem. Alternatively, you can use whiteout instead of a marker. Or really anything that can cover up words, for that matter.
Some people decide to get even more creative and add an artistic aspect – a design or relevant illustration – to the page rather than just blacking out the unused words.
First Line/Last Line Poetry
I don’t actually know what this type of poetry is called, but it was a fun assignment when we did it in one of my creative writing classes.
First, find a novel you enjoy. Take the last line of the novel, and use it as the first line of your poem. Then take the first line of the novel and use it as the last line of your poem. Fill in the rest of the poem to connect the two lines. If you really want to challenge yourself, try to make the poem completely unrelated to what the novel is about.
If you decide to try any of these, I hope you have fun!
Until next time,
a.k.a. the girl who kind of wants to go write some poetry now (but unfortunately has other things that need to be done)
Common misconceptions: a poem
There are some things you may not know
when it comes to poetry –
a few misconceptions
that may discourage some from reading
So let me set the record straight
on just a few of these –
You don’t have to be
or W. B. Yeats
to write a bit of poetry.
You don’t have to be
or a romantic sap
to read poetry.
Poetry doesn’t have to be
an endless column of lines
that just reach
thick chunks of text, lengthy lines of prose-like poetry that
flow in one long uninterrupted stanza of flourishing, flowery
language that can make it hard to figure out
what exactly is being said.
(Which is yet another misapprehension:
the conviction that poesy demands to be composed
using grandiloquent vocabulary –
in that regard, thou art mistaken.)
Nor does poetry need
Poetry can speak directly –
say exactly what’s meant.
Or a chicken can speak
for a donkey
(I’ll let the ants speak
Not all poetry has to rhyme –
or, at least, not all the time.
(Once you start you’ll have no peace
because once you start it’s hard to cease!)
A haiku doesn’t
have to be three separate
ideas or phrases.
You can have more than
one, as well, put together
to make one poem.
“There once was a man from Nantucket...”
(Does anyone actually know
the rest of this poem?
Now let’s talk about the poem above – a limerick.
The fact that they’re dirty is a frequent gimmick;
but they don’t have to be,
they’re often just funny,
whichever you choose to create is your pick.
I’ve rambled on
too far, I know –
I’m surprised you’ve
stuck with me this far.
For that I say “Thanks!”
and I hope you enjoyed
learning the truth about poetry
from the method I employed.
(See! I’m rhyming again!
It’s hard to stop!)
a.k.a. the girl who had a lot of fun writing this poem (but had a very hard time not rhyming the entire thing)
A Writer's Dream in Purple: Sheree Fitch's 'Dreamery' Bookstore is Officially Open!
If you happened to catch the CBC afternoon news on Tuesday, then you already know all about Sheree Fitch's latest project. But for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about (or that there even is such a thing as afternoon news on a weekday), July 3rd saw the official opening of Mabel Murple's Book Shoppe and Dreamery.
In 2015, Fitch became heavily involved in a local effort to prevent the closure of the River John Consolidated School, which sadly was unsuccessful. Out of frustration at losing an important source of literacy in their community, Fitch and her husband Gilles Plante came up with the idea of the Dreamery. Since then the couple have worked hard to convert the old granary on their beautiful farm in River John, Nova Scotia into a rustic bookstore where people of all ages can access books by Atlantic Canadian authors, while getting away from the bustle of everyday life and enjoying the beauty of nature.
Although Fitch is best known for her children's books, including the infamous Toes in My Nose and Sleeping Dragons All Around, the Dreamery will sell Atlantic Canadian books from all genres. In addition to the bookstore, the couple have also created an all-purple house inspired by Fitch's beloved character Mabel Murple, and Plante hopes to build more model homes based on Fitch's books. The Dreamery will also act as a meeting place for literature lovers by hosting writing workshops, readings by local writers, and by simply providing a quiet space to think and write.
To someone who comes from a similarly small community which is now facing the same terrifying possibility of school closure (Chipman, NB), Fitch and Plante's efforts to support literacy in their community are not simply heartwarming, but essential. It is no secret that small communities survive because of the strong bonds shared by those who have roots there, but it takes leaders like Fitch and Plante to really create change.
The Dreamery is located at 286 Allen Road in River John, Pictou County, Nova Scotia, and is open from Tuesday through Saturday until Labour Day.
Check out the Dreamery's Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/mabelmurples/
Thanks for reading!
- Katlin Copeland.
As the ACPA Editors, we wish to keep you up to date with new entries and exciting poetry news.