Archive for the ‘Exercises’ Category:

Winter’s Sun Burning Away the Mist

Written on February 1st, 2023 by adminno shouts

Winter's Sun Burning off the Winter Mist

This is a photo of the sun burning away the mist on a winters morning but it might well be an alien world or just swirls of colour in a paint pot – what is it to you? What do you see? What happen in that sky, in those tree branches or around the roots? What is this landscape and what is its story?

Begin writing for 15 minutes – if you are initially stuck try just describing the image.

Lace Skull

Written on February 22nd, 2019 by adminno shouts

Lace Skull candle

Death can be beautiful too, or the remnant of remembering of a person – what is this candle about? What could happen when it’s flame is lit? Is there magic or just memory at play? Who would buy such a thing?

Spend 30 minutes writing about the above image.

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Broken Things

Written on February 19th, 2019 by adminno shouts

When you observe objects to write about, often they are new or shiny or whole, but this is not the majority of objects (or people for that matter), so instead why not look at broken things.

Think about these questions:

How are they broken? Does it alter how you think about them? What you can see? Does it make it more or less obvious how they work or what function they have? Can they still be useful in this truncated form? And what of repair?

Some cultures prize repaired objects above new ones – why do you think this is? IS there an object or belonging that you just can’t bring yourself to part with even though it is really a piece of useless junk these days? If so why? What are the memories and sentiments attached to it?

Answer these questions taking time to really examine the item you have chosen for scrutiny. Try and make the writing flow from one point to another so that it does not present as a list.

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Chimney of Gloucester

Written on February 18th, 2019 by adminno shouts

chimney Gloucester

Images and photographs can sometimes hook into ideas we have not even been aware of. Examine this image and write for 10 minutes, then see if you can find other similar images either at your library or on the internet. Compare the images and do a further 10 minutes of writing.

No combine the two pieces and see where that takes you.

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Voice to Page

Written on February 17th, 2019 by adminno shouts

If you are struggling with the physical nature of writing if the pen or keyboard hurt you to type or just can’t sit down for that long etc… then you might want to try some speech to text software – many phones and tablet computers (iPads etc) come with basic set ups. The software can be a pain at first but once you work out how to talk to it then the possibilities are amazing!

It also works for dotting down inspiration whilst out and about or doing house work.

Even if you don’t need to use it have a little play. Some people find the way and how they write affects what sort of poetry they produce so it is always a good idea to try something new.

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Piercing Ears

Written on February 16th, 2019 by adminno shouts

pierced ears

Pierced ears – this image is of a freshly pierced ear. Does it look painful? Are your ears pierced? Who does that ear belong too and what sort of earrings do you think they will hoard?

Think on these questions and spend 20 minutes writing about it.

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The Cities Bones

Written on February 14th, 2019 by adminno shouts

the cities bones jut

Look at this image – look at the remnants of a previous time, a time that is ending and decaying and being ripped out of our civilisation, as if it never mattered in the first place. What wonders did these buildings know? What horrors? What of the people who built them? and conversely those who are dismantling them? Are there secrets here to be uncovered? What will be instead?

Take 30 to 45 minutes to write down everything that occurs to you about this scene, even if you just start of describing the images itself – keep writing.

Put the writing away for 6 months and then revisit it, you may find the bones of a poem or two lurking in there!

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Washing up and The House Work Dirty

Written on February 13th, 2019 by adminno shouts

Sometimes the best way to come by a poem is to forget about it, to not actively work on – to go and do something else.

So instead of sitting down to do some writing why not get going with some household chores, or gardening or community clear up projects. The community projects can especially be fun and provide inspiration via the people you meet plus some of the very strange items you often end up having to clear up!

I personally find house work boring and so tend to put on a blast of music or listen to a book but for this exercise try just doing the chores without any music (a bored mind can be a fertile ideas ground!).

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Finding Patterns

Written on February 11th, 2019 by adminno shouts

The world is full of patterns, humans are good at spotting patterns and textures. Go for a walk and see how many you can find, do not make any notes until after the walk when you are sitting down thinking on all you have seen. This walk can be in the city looking at people, buildings, pigeons and lorries or it can be in the country side looking at trees and cows and clouds. It may even have both.

Spend 15 minutes writing about the patterns you saw and how they made you feel.

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A Cat and Her Hoard

Written on February 10th, 2019 by adminno shouts

Dragon Cat and her hoard of keyrings

What is this cat hoarding and why? Does she believe she is secretly a dragon? Is she some shape shifter or daemon from some long ago time or just a little puss kin waiting for her food?

What would it feel like to be this cat? Is she safe and content or worried that her treasure will be stolen?

Think on these questions and set your self 10 minutes to answer them. Then look at the answers and do a further 20 minutes of writing. Try not to get too hung up on the exact poetic structure as one may naturally emerge which you can edit the rest into later.

This is also a good story prompt and can be used for a narrative poem.

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