Writing Exercises – An Example from Archives of The Wayward Poets

I have belonged to a poetry writing group, The Wayward Poets, since around 2010. It was formed by Virginia Hays and some other students of the late Helen Throckmorton’s poetry classes for senior citizens at LifeVentures, and named, I believe, by Glen Fisher. The group, with various members over the years, still meets weekly.

In addition to bringing either new poems of ours or works from our archives to share with one another, we usually do a writing exercise. In its most common form, we each contribute one or two words and are then tasked with writing a poem or paragraph of creative writing that incorporates each of the words. We then each read our composition.

Here’s an example, from 14 January 2016.

Words: Roy: shoal, theme; Susan: room, starlight; Pat B: intrepid, tremulous; Pat L: revoke, tyrant; Dixie: chip, pop; Joyce: swirl, spite.

My poem:

“The theme
is starlight,” she laughed,
“the ceiling is
scattered with
diamond chips
and swirls of galaxies.”
The room fizzed
like pop, and,
in spite of himself,
he smiled, imagined
himself intrepid,
facing her tyrant father,
saying “I revoke
your parent’s license,
sir!” No more
tremulous tiptoeing
when he went
to her door to pick her up.
He left his fear
in the shoals, grasped her hand,
and took sail for
the deep waters
of young love.


Posted 28 May, 2019 by Roy Beckemeyer