Despite my complaints, I’ve managed to write a poem a day for the first two days of N aPoWriMo. If you’re not so comfortable with outright cheating, here are a few ideas to help you break through writer’s block.
- Use magnetic poetry. Magnetic poetry actually takes me a lot longer to write than regular poetry, but it’s “easier” because the words are already there for me. If you don’t have any magnetic poetry, what better time than National Poetry Month to get some?
- Use fortune cookies, Dove chocolates, or other items with “words of wisdom.” My favorite way to write a fortune cookie poem is to line up the fortune either top to bottom or bottom to top, and then use each word to start that line of the poem. Others write the fortune at the top and write a poem about that idea.
- Write whatever you feel like writing . . . in stanzas. This is how I’ve been getting through my first two poems. At bedtime, I write in my journal as usual . . . except I’ve been using metaphors rather than plain speech, and I’ve been writing in stanzas. Just writing in stanzas seems to unlock the hidden poetry potential in a subject.
- Imitate a favorite (or not-so-favorite) poet’s style. To do this copy down a poem by this poet. Then, replace every one of her words with one of yours. Where she uses a verb, you use a verb; where she uses a noun, you use a noun. To be safe, you can use poems in the public domain, many of which are available here.
- Make it a point to experiment with different poetry forms such as the pantoum, the haiku, the limerick, or the sonnet. (You can find lots of poetry types here).
I will try to post example poems following each of these 5 tips during April.