Thursday, 12 March 2015

How to write Poetry the quick and fun way: 'The Ten Minute Poetry Challenge'!

Writing Poetry the quick and fun way:

The Ten Minute Poetry Challenge!


I stumbled upon a poem called ‘Good Books’ by Edgar Guest while sitting in my dentist’s waiting room this morning and it made me realise something: I haven’t written - or even read - a single poem in ages!

So, while I was sitting there I invented the ‘Ten Minute Poetry Challenge’ (well, I’m sure I’m not the person first to really invent it, but anyway ;-):

It involves having 30 seconds to quickly think of a topic and decide on which type of poem you’re going to write, and then use the rest of the ten minutes to actually write the poem. Try to give yourself at least a full minute before the end to read through and check for any grammatical errors. Then think of a title and hey presto, your poem is born!
And remember, while you are writing poetry, you are a poet. Maybe not a professional one, but at that moment you’re a poet nonetheless!

Here is my effort from the waiting room earlier today, called ‘Remember Your Shadow’:

Shadows are scary when you don’t know
What they belong to or where they’ll go
They change shape throughout the day
They have no name but they never stray
Yet they disappear in the dark
And it’s difficult to see one from a shark
Shadows follow you around the park
But they never ever leave a mark
You’re never alone when you’re with your shadow
But people forget, or just don’t know
Sometimes they walk right over it
Even if they didn’t mean to do it
You can make your shadow climb the wall
Or use it to make your hands into a ball
Watch it grow across the hall
Rise up to the ceiling, then quickly fall
Shadows can change
You can watch them rearrange
They can warn you
They can cover you
They can shelter you
They can scare you
Some have two heads
They can even have three legs
Others look like giant birds
Or like buffalo travelling in herds
Well, my ten minutes have now passed
No more shadow poetry will I cast
After reading this, please remember your shadow
It’s the one thing that sticks with you, wherever you go...

If you think this one isn't so bad, there a couple of 'bonus poems' I spent more than ten minutes on in my 'Smell of Poo' Children's Story Book Collection, here:

'The Smell of Poo' poems: 'Your Poo & You' + 'Who Dunnit?'
'The Smell of Poo' poems: 'Your Poo & You' + 'Who Dunnit?'

Coming from Liverpool, I’ve always been aware of poetry and a ‘poetry scene’, but it takes courage to recite your own work in public, which many talented people do here. Here’s what happened when writer Marcel Theroux – son of acclaimed travel author PaulTheroux and brother of brilliant TV journalist Louis Theroux – came to Liverpool to write and perform some poetry:
Marcel Theroux tries live Poetry in Liverpool
Marcel Theroux tries live Poetry in Liverpool


liverpool poets poetry scene
Liverpool Poets

Here are some other links that might help inspire you:




Why not have a go at the ‘Ten Minute Poetry Challenge’ and share your work here? You can do it anywhere, whether in your break at work or school, while sitting on the sofa at home, or even when you stop along the way outside wherever you are, be it a park, cafe, stadium, you name it!

Let your surroundings inspire you. You don’t even have to read it to anyone, just have fun with it, it’s a great creative outlet – though the trickiest thing can be rhyming, in which case you can cheat a little by visiting here:

poetry poems rhyme zone
Find a rhyme at the Rhyme Zone

If you want a few hints and tips, go to the ‘For Poets’ page to help start you off...

writer's guide to Poetry
The writer's guide to Poetry

Take care, enjoy, and happy writing!!!


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