Lorraine Marwood is a fellow Australian children’s author and poet – and also an excellent verse novelist. Enjoy her post – an exercise in poetry writing. Welcome Lorraine.
Patterning a poem
This is often a great technique to both read poems from other poets and also to provide a way into a new poem of your own.
Here is one of my poems:
Drop Tail Lizard
on the grey leaves
and grey bark
swimming like a sardine
like a tadpole
silver pin with a jeweled eye.
Tells me the day is warmer,
summer that much closer
until that white cat running
running with a small under belly and back legs
of lizard humming
from its hunter’s throat.
© Lorraine Marwood
‘Drop tail Lizard’ is just such a starting point.
A poem is often a simple observation of life, a detailed observation. A poet looks and mulls and captures such a detail in a word picture.So grab a word camera and observe.
Watch a car, a neighbour, a tree, a bird, the clouds, the way the dog chases a squeaky toy.
Now you have your subject matter – here’s a simple format.
Line 1 Name the object of the poem- use my poem as a template
Line 2 and 3 Bring in location or setting ‘ on the grey leaves/grey bark/garden mulch’
Line 4 and 5 action that the object is doing
Line 6 and 7 Tells us something about the world around me
Line 8 and 9 now for the conflict- what happens to upset this slice of life?
Line 10 and 11- make the last words of resolution have more impact by sitting one word on one line, like stepping stones.