How to create a poem with 10 people in 10 minutes…

4 Feb

Debris here,

Whilst I was having the best breakfast in my life at a poetry meeting in Boston, lots of poetry writing exercises were being shared and this was one of them …

In groups, ask the participants to get into groups (of whatever number you want and however creatively you want) once they are in them instruct them to do the following:

-Without talking create a physical shape respesentative of: (any abstract noun) I gave them Envy.

-Once they are in the freezes ask one to stay in freeze and the rest to analyse the freeze from all angles ask them; what do they look like? Why do they look like that? What do they resemble? Zoom in, what are they doing with their hands, their fingers their mouth.

-Whilst they are describing, scribe what they are saying onto a flip chart with every line beginging (Abstract noun) is like (their description of freeze)

-This works with sound too! i.e. in groups create a soundscape of (abstract noun) I did Anger with Mouthy.

Here is a Mouthy poem from this exercise …

Envy is a weave.

Envy is clenched fists and narrow eyes.

Envy is disgust.

Envy is both legs apat, arms folded and looking away.

Envy is an unfurled spiral.

Envy is wanting to leave the situation.

Envy is cats claws.

Envy is watching a documentary about death.

Envy is driving a bumper car.

Envy is another triangle.

Anger is constipation.

Anger is a clock ticking and teeth bashing.

Anger is a car engine.

Anger is someone dying.

Anger is chewing gum.

Anger is acceleration

Anger is formula one.

Anger is uncomfortable.

Anger is trying to catch your breath …

Anger is poorly opened juice.


Sadness is a spade against a garden shed,

it’s hibernation

it’s so close together its obstructive,

it’s tree’s entangled fighting to get to the light.

It’s a broken DNA diagram.

It’s dancing lessons with someone who can’t lead.

It’s a falling firework.

It hasn’t got a clue.

A failed chat up line.

A teapot with a broken spout.

Would be great to see someone try and edit these into a complete end result.


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