April 3 2017- National Poetry Month: Word Pairings


During April I will try to update daily with new writing exercises and tips, links etc. Go National Poetry Month go!

For today's exercise I will give you two lists of ten words and a few mini-exercises and then we'll write a short poem using some of the exercise products. It will make sense, trust me.

List I: Thistle, Combine, Patrol, Garner, Wipe, Juxtapose (or juxtoposed), Grip, Porch, Crunch, Brew
List II: Zest (or zesty), Knot, Facade, Scoop, Owl, Yesterday, Polish, Loom, Affront, Boulder

The Exercise 

1: Pick five pairs of words that you think will work together, one from list one and one from list 2. For each pair of words write a sentence (make it poetic, but don't think too hard about it, no more than a minute on each one, thirty seconds is better for this exercise).

2: Find a way to make each sentence 1-3 words shorter without sacrificing its meaning or any quality words (or of course either of the pair).

3: Pick a brand new pair of words from the list that you hadn't used yet and repeat exercises 1-2.

4: From your chosen words pick two that hadn't been originally paired and repeat exercises 1-2.


Now you should have have seven relatively pared down lines.

5: Write 2 quatrains (four-lined stanzas) which each utilize the majority of two of your sentences (2 in one quatrain, 2 in the second).

6: Pick your favorite quatrain and expand it as needed until you have either a full piece, or you're satisfied with it as a fragment.