The Hermit Poet

February 13, 2007

The Love Poem: Some Warm-up Exercises

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 12:12 pm

A few exercises and writing prompts to get you started:

  1. Against Forgetting: What is something that you once knew or knew how to do, but have forgotten? Write a poem which connects this to the one you love (or the one you once loved). (Here you are drawing on reluctance to intensify longing and active memory)
  2. A Place in Our Memory:What was the most prominent place (a building, park, statue, lake, etc) in the community you were born in (or grew up in). Choose the place that stands out most in memory. Write a poem which links that place with your loved one. Use the details of the place to trigger memory. (The place becomes a mnenomic – a means of recovering or remembering something.) Motivated learners should read The Art of Memory by Frances A. Yates
  3. Love/Hate: Write a list of all the words you associate with someone or something you hate intensely. Now write a poem which uses these words, but in a way that is about someone you love (this pushes you to transform the expected into the unexpected, and redirect one strong emotion into another)

Let me know how these work out. More exercises coming for Valentine’s Day.

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