Archive for the ‘Exercises’ Category:

Light and Luminosity

Written on February 18th, 2015 by adminno shouts

It is the International Year of Light which is something you could spend a good 15 minutes researching and light festivals from previous years produce some amazing images to write from. CERN also has some interesting images here which you might want to check out.

You might also like to create a list of qualities you think light has, or types of light.

Are you afraid of the dark?

Can light be harsh – all of these things can spark a poem.

If you are still stuck after writing the list, then write a sentence for each word and see where that leads.

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Music and the Muse

Written on February 17th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Music and poetry have always been intwined so why not select some music to write too? Some people find that they can only do this to music that has no words so you might need to stop and think about how you work best before you start. Albums with words in can be listened to as a whole before you begin writing. The music helps put you in a certain mood or frame of mind which can then be transposed into the page in words.

How does the music make you feel?

Does it remind you of anything/place/person?

What’s the story behind the music?

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Where the Weeds Grow

Written on February 16th, 2015 by adminno shouts


Take the title of this post and/or the photograph and write solidly for 15 minutes.

Extra info that might spark a thought or two to help – myths include picking these yellow flowers causes you to wet yourself, they were used as a coffee substitute in the Second World War (at least here in Britian), they have what is known as a tap root!

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Love it or Hate it

Written on February 14th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Bead Heart

Love it or hate it, it is that time of year again when all the hearts and flowers and chocolates come out. But what does this date mean to you?

Even if you are apathetic towards the date, you can’t miss this festival of love, so why do you think it is there and why do so many people take part and spend so much money on it?

If you are a parent then you will no doubt receive a sticky fingered glittery valentines day card from your little ones – what do they think of the day?

If answering the above questions does not spark a poem then try researching it – what are the origins of St Valentines Day? How has it been celebrated through out history? What about the man or men named Valentine? What did they do? Is there an increase in births 9 months after the date? Is it really connected to ancient sex cults? What do other countries do? What about love festivals in general? Who and how and when do they celebrate?

Failing all of that just look at the photograph above and use it as a five minute writing prompt!

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Written on February 13th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Hungry for home baked cinnamon swirls

Look at the glee on their faces – what is your favourite food? Why are these two so happy? How do you think the food will taste?

Ask yourself questions about this image and food in general, then spend 10 minutes writing without stop on the subject of food.

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Modernise The Myth

Written on February 12th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Story telling and poetry have been intrinsically linked since the beginning, the oldest European literature are epic poems that were handed down in an oral tradition for centuries. They told great tales of gods and heros.

Romantics put legends of the British Isles into story and poetry with their own mythos added and many a children’s book has done the same.

Now it is your turn.

Except take the myth and look at the underlying story – how would this story work within a modern context? Could it work? If not why and how would it differ?

This exercise is likely to produce a narrative style poem but does not have to and you might want to keep that in mind as you write.

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Collecting Colour

Written on February 11th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Get a cardboard box, decide on a colour – make the box that colour with with paint or glitter or wrapping paper glued onto it or marker pen or gaffer tape etc… this is a colour box. Whilst you are out and about or even within your own home, you might see something of that colour that is particularly striking. Collect such items into your colour box.

Red items into a red box, purple into a purple.

Once you have a full box you should get visitors or house guests to select different items and arrange them on the table for you. What have they selected? Is there a pattern beyond the red? Do the object contrast or compliment each other?

Do they tell a story and are they what you expected, that particular person to pull from the box? If the objects had been different colours, would the selection have been different?

Within the answers of these questions a poem may well lay.

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Written on February 9th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Angry about something? Write about it, put all that vitriol on paper or bash it out on the key board but don’t update a status or blog post with it! Not yet!

Let the mood die down and on a happier day take what you have written, you may want to remove specifics ie peoples names, places and dates and so on. Or scrape the piece of writing but just take a few phrses away from it or the concept. Sometimes these things come out comedic and with a bit of a tweak may make an excellent performance piece.

This is a good way to cool off, see the funny side and capture the strength of feelings that surround strong emotions. Colourful language often comes to the fore when writing such pieces.

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The Power of Shrooms!

Written on February 8th, 2015 by adminno shouts


Mushrooms have a place firmly in folk lore, fiction and the kitchen. Love them or hate them, they crop up through out the year but especially in autumn. What do you think of when the word mushroom is spoken? There is a Mush and a Room aspect to it, it is a very textural word, you can feel what a mushroom is like from it.

Spend 20 minutes writing about mushrooms, if you are stuck then start by describing the photograph above.

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Money Boxes

Written on February 6th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Sometimes you might find little snatches or phrases bombling around in your head. On their own they are not a poem but if you don’t do something with them they may well evaporate out of your brain and be lost altogether. And though they are not poems they are the seeds of poems.

What we here at WoPo find useful is to get an old money box or pick up a cheap one from a charity shop or car boot sale. Place it somewhere easily accessible and put a stack of non sticky post it notes next to it. Then when ever you end up with a phrase or sentence fragment or just two words that sound unusual but right together – write them down on the post its, fold them up and pop them into the money box.

This is similar to the Inspira jar and several other exercises, so if you have such a hoard of little paper scraps or post-its then you might want to raid it for some extra poetry help!

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