On Friday 12 June, we hosted our first ever 'how to write poetry' workshop here at WW HQ. Run by poet and tutor Alison Chisholm, Junior Writer Ella Dove attended and had a wonderful time
Our readers love to spend time with a rhyme – and so do we. Fiction Editor Gaynor Davies and I joined an enthusiastic group of budding poets for a very special coaching session. And well, what can we say…
Fuelled by tea, coffee and more biscuits than we care to admit, we spent a fabulous day learning how to write poetry and all aspects of the craft, from the different types of poetry to the search for inspiration and how to go about getting your work seen by others.
Alison set us various writing tasks, designed to get our juices flowing and help us make a start with some poems of our own.
These included writing something based on a childhood memory, and a persona poem, where we put ourselves into the shoes of someone or something recognisable, either fictional, historical or an inanimate object.
Here are some examples of the poems produced…
Wedding Cake by Anna-Maria O’Donnell
I came together richly,
after a squealed response to a much rehearsed question;
fruit was soaked for long hours,
and varied ingredients were stirred into an abundance of sweetness.
I am proudly tiered and blanketed
in a canvas of pure expectation.
Decorated with your hopes and dreams,
I will soon be shared in communal relish,
for a moment.
If you keep your promises,
I will not become bitter.
The Day Out by Sylvia Palmer
Sylvia Palmer decided to write about her memories of the workman’s train to Brighton at 6am, and a day out with her brother, sister and cousins.
Off to Brighton for the day,
‘We will have a fabulous time,’ our mum did say,
Auntie Jessie, our cousins too,
We trotted off at 5 a.m., what a tadoo!
‘The fair is cheaper at that time of the day’
Is another thing our mum did say.
At the station we all met,
Picnic in our bags – you bet!
Scrambling on the train,
Our excitement we could not retain,
Travelling through the countryside,
It was so thrilling – what a fast ride!
Leaning out of the window is bad,
If you lose your head you will feel sad.
On the beach we went for a swim,
Hope it doesn’t rain – that will be grim!
Fun and laughter, cries of joy,
Everyone happy, Boy Oh Boy.
The day ended,
On the train we descended,
Back home we went,
Our energy spent,
A wonderful day was had by all,
A better day we could not recall.
Princess Margaret’s Wedding by Christine Dowsett
There she is!
Squeeze through here
What’s that on her head?
I can’t see!
Looks like a small brown teapot with lace round it!
I stretch up on tiptoes for a better view
It’s a veil silly! her hair’s in a bun.
Hold my hand, let’s get near the horses
Are you cold?
I think it’s raining!
Put your jumper over your head
Don’t let go!
Carol, come back!
The crowd cheers
I’m in tears! No one hears
They push me against cold wet metal
The prickly feel of a policeman’s wet jacket
Strong arms lift me up and over the barrier
I’m at the front
The sun’s coming out
I can see the Queen!
Bambi by Ella Dove
All through the woods it is silent,
The winter wind
Hurries through the glen.
I am alone
She has gone. She has left. I am here.
I walk through the trees as the night falls,
A blanket of black descends
The stars now seem dimmer
Their blinking has faded
There’s another one up there
I was running, breathless
I was frightened.
I hid from the men and their boots
The panic was rising
The temperature falling
Unable to call
I was lost.
The leaves crunch beneath my heavy gait,
Sleep should be coming,
It did yesterday,
Warm and safe
With her I lay
But today is today
And there’s no peace today
And that single short gunshot
Echoing endlessly through the trees.
If you fancy learning how to write poetry – or trying your hand at one of our other workshops, sign up now!