Writing a Poem

Your Assignment (15 Marks) Write a poem with: at least ten lines in which you use metaphor and other figurative language to enhance your writing’s meaning and atmosphere.  Review the section on controlling metaphor and incorporate this into your poem. Pay attention to: your setting and characters’ responses to that setting. line and stanza breaks.  Will there be enjambment?  Will there be any indentations? punctuation. capitalization: does every line need to begin with a capital letter?  Be sure to give your poem a title.  Tips on getting started Think about an event that happened in your life – can you write a story-poem about it? Think about words that you like or words that sound interesting. How can you use those in a poem? Write a poem about a picture that you like, or a piece of art that you like.  Choose a subject – say, LOVE – and study the conventions of that sort of poetry. Love poetry talks a lot about roses and stars and eyes, etc. Challenge some of those conventions. Be old-fashioned – not a lot of poets use rhyme anymore, but maybe you want to be different? Try to find words that rhyme and create your poem out around those rhymes.  Steal the first line from another poet, and write your own version of their poem. For instance, look at Jim Harrison’s poem entitled “I Believe”: “I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorm across the lake/ in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools,/ the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic,/used tires, taverns, saloons….” The poem goes on to list the THINGS he believes in. You might do the same.  Bonus Marks:  I will award a maximum of five bonus marks for an illustration that accompanies your poem. The illustration should complement the poem and give some clue as to what the controlling metaphor is, and what the theme of the poem is.

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