Tag Archives: summer

Poem Tryouts: Poets Dreaming

1:23 p.m. — San Antonio

listening to the rustle of paper, as Skip unpacks another box of stuff from mom’s that I can’t live without

Aieee! WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S TUESDAY? The uppercase is to replicate what I actually said and which I cannot say here, when I realised, in the middle of unpacking boxes, that today might be Tuesday. Hello, everyone.

As I was noodling around coming up with the summer prompts, I came across a number of images of poets sleeping or dreaming. Long pause. Margo can be heard using language she does not usually use. There is a faint echo in the blogosphere.

So. My dropbox has decided to stop syncing; thus the images are sitting on my other computer, the one in Atlanta. Needing a couple of weeks to regroup, I will throw a curveball and we will all shift gears to the prompt for week 6: What does summer mean to you?

List all the things that summer means to you or for you. Pick one to focus on or, if you spot a thread, more. Don’t forget sensory details so we also feel what you feel, understand what summer means to you.

You can also find an image that shows what summer means and write a poem that parallels or embodies the image.

My apologies if I am not terribly lucid. My mind is mush. I shall see you next Tuesday for some oulipo-ing.

Happy writing, everyone.

P.S. Barb C.? Are you there? I need that photo of Rehoboth. I need an escape!


Posted by on 24/06/2014 in exercises, poetry, Summer


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Summer Tryouts — It Must Be Tuesday

9:00 a.m. — San Antonio

Alright new people, time to pony up. I know you’re out there. My inbox tells me so. While many of you aren’t poets, many of you are. Both can use these exercises and adapt them to what suits. Unless I am stressing a verse form, fiction writers should be able to participate in every exercise I post, yes? Check. Granted, with the summer rotation, I have several forms. Ignore them and do two of something else, or, for the heck of it try; see what the poetic side of your fictional brain does.

Wow! Pretty strict for summer. I just want to make sure no one is out there waiting for a nudge to dive into what is clearly a close-knit group. We are friendly, laid back, and don’t bite much. We can be bribed with margaritas. Join in. However, if it makes you happy following, follow. I am happy to have you along.

Summer images from which to create poetry… You can go in many directions with this. Unlike last week which asks for poems full of summer imagery, this week asks you to find an image — a photograph, a piece of clip art, a painting — that says summer to you, and to take your poem from that image. It does not have to have a positive connotation because it’s summer. For me, summer = heat. I loathe heat. I might look for something that shows that.

To take this up a notch, I would look for something less obvious than fans, airconditioners, cool drinks, or the beach, all of which imply heat. I might even avoid sweating labourers. The image I would look for is of crops wilting, browned, dry, dying. I know how they feel. I can write about summer through them. Like last week, where I had you list all your summer associations and then said you can’t use them, abandon the usual and look for the unusual. You will find yourself stretching your creative muscles.

You can start by browsing images and letting them speak to you, or you can start with an image in your head that you want to find. You can choose a symbol and reflect upon it, or a landscape that embodies summer, or a scene that tells a summer story, or… Once you find the illustration that speaks summer to you, in some form, decide whether the image itself [the painting, photograph…] will be part of the poem, or whether you will use it as a kickstart, only. In either case, let us know what you choose to use. Sometimes, knowing the source adds to the enjoyment by the reader.

Decide what truth about summer you want to communicate and what form will best communicate it. Write. Maybe do another one 🙂 Post.

I will see you Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday for more summer writing. I will be in Walnut Creek, California , at that point, with my mother’s internet connection that does not love me. If I don’t appear Tuesday, I am struggling mightily with the cyber-gods.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 26/06/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


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Tuesday Tryouts: Summer Style

7:17 a.m. — San Antonio

Well, hello, all! I haven’t had my first cup, so if this post is not quite so articulate and I don’t spot every typo, forgive me. I will try, blurry-eyed, to triple check before sending it out.

By now you will have written imagistic poems all over the place and tried cinquains… although I’m not too sure giving us the ones you wrote a year ago counts, hmmm? This week I am going to chat a bit about a topic that is wide open: write a summer poem. The question is, can you write one and not sound cliché? That’s my challenge.

Let me suggest a couple of possible approaches. The first one: Grab a piece of paper, or a keyboard; jot down every single thing you associate with summer, everything. I’ll wait… really, now. Stop reading this and write down every single thing you associate with summer. This works better if you do not read on, so stop. Now. Jot. I’ll wait…

Okay, are you back? You have your list? Good. Write a poem about summer without mentioning a single thing on your list. Nope, nada. An exercise like this makes us stretch our brains in terms of image and metaphor. It also acts as an antidote to cliché.

Alternatively, you might write a list poem, now that you have a list. Go through everything you wrote down and toss the things that don’t fit, rearrange what does, add and subtract words and give your list a title.

A third possibility is a ‘Summer is not…’ poem, where the poem’s focus is on things summer isn’t to illustrate what summer is. ‘Summer is not coats and hot chocolate; summer is not blue fingers and boots.’Check Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 for a not poem.

Or, you can write a summer poem about a summer that stands out in your life, or a summer poem about a summer you would like to have. If you are tired of you, create a speaker. What’s a summer the speaker dreams of?

Taking things up a level, check the words you choose. Do they fit the poem’s focus? Do they sound like what you are writing about? Does the speaker’s tone [even if it’s you] match what the speaker is saying? Is there a form you consider summery? Try it. Does your poem[s] breathe summer?

You will note I am avoiding using pictures as a possibility. Mostly, that’s because that’s what I will talk about next week. You may certainly use an image as a way into a summer poem. Enough to be going on?

I am looking forward to reading your summer poems revved up a notch. Remember that you may post links to your poems at anytime, and if you want to go backwards or forwards with my list of Tuesday Tryouts, do. Should you write a cinquain this week, you can post it this week and tell us you are giving us a cinquain. If you want to wander ahead, the same holds, post and tell us what you have done.

I am giving you the link to the original post for Tuesday Tryouts summer style, in case you have just joined us, or because you want to reread the post. If you have questions, ask, either in comments, or at: Otherwise, I shall see you Friday for this week’s roundup.

Happy writing, everyone, and yes, you can try all the summer poem possibilities and post them 🙂


Posted by on 19/06/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


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