Writing poetry does not come easy for me, but that does not mean I don’t occasionally try my hand at penning a few verses.
My poetry collection numbers close to 100 books. It intrigues me so some of those books are on the craft of writing poetry.
This week’s “how to write a better poem” suggestion comes from Georgia Heard’s Awakening the Heart. It is a technique she uses with students called the Six-Room-Poem that I found amazingly helpful.
You take a sheet of paper and fold it into six boxes and position the paper landscape, three boxes on top and three boxes on the bottom.
In box 1: describe thoroughly an image or a memory you want to use as the subject of your poem. You are not writing a poem yet, so just fill this box with description. If you are stuck, hold on, since you might get more ideas as you fill the other boxes.
In box 2: describe the quality of light or shadow or colors about your topic.
In box 3: describe your topic/image using the following senses: smell, taste, sound or lack of, and touch.
In box 4: what questions does your image elicit, or what questions might it ask you? You could also use this square to note quotes or verses from other sources that fit your image/topic.
In box 5: what feelings/imagery come from observing or describing your topic?
In box 6: go over the five boxes and find an image, word, verse, sentence that stands out. Write it in this box three times.
Go back over the six boxes and fill in more descriptions and images, build imagery using similes and metaphors or other figures of speech.
If you have been successful, you now have enough material to write your poem.
The sun gathers her skirts
pinks and purples.
Her song over
she steps off the stage.
shafts of light
cling to the end of her dance.
A magnificent spectacle
Her beauty on mute.
She throws her arms into the air,
And darkness follows.