Tuesday, 24 June 2008

How to write a poem

Drop Tail Lizard

Drop tail lizard
on the grey leaves
and grey bark
garden mulch,
swimming like a sardine
like a tadpole
silver pin with a jeweled eye.
Tells me the day is warmer,
summer that much closer

until that white cat running
running with a small under belly and back legs
of lizard humming
from its hunter's throat.


© Lorraine Marwood

Idea for writing a poem

Using a poem as a format or starting point for writing a class poem or an individual poem is a great idea.

'Drop tail Lizard' is just such a starting point.

A poem is often a simple observation of life, a detailed observation. A poet looks and mulls and captures such a detail in a word picture.

So grab a word camera and observe.
Look outside.
Watch a car, a neighbour, a tree, a bird, the clouds, the way the dog chases a squeaky toy.
Now you have your subject matter – here's a simple format.

Line 1 Name the object of the poem- use my poem as a template

Line 2 and 3 Bring in location or setting ' on the grey leaves/grey bark/garden mulch'

Line 4 and 5 action that the object is doing

Line 6 and 7 Tells us something about the world around me

Line 8 and 9 now for the conflict- what happens to upset this slice of life?

Line 10 and 11- make the last words of resolution have more impact by sitting one word on one line, like stepping stones.

(c) Lorraine Marwood

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