Some Tips for Writing Poetry

Have you always wanted to express yourself in poetry and didn’t know where to
start?

Well, you can start by writing down your ideas in a notebook. Your notebook is
the heart of your writing. Here you can record dreams, memories, funny
happenings and wild ideas. You have the freedom to write in different directions
and colours. You can draw in your notebook; press a leaf or a flower in the pages,
or a train ticket to your hometown.

It can be a place where you write things that you can’t (or don’t want to) write for
a school assignment.

Your notebook can record the story of your life or the history of your family and
friends.

It can be a place to collect quotations that are funny or inspirational. Here, you
can record something a friend said and you would like to remember. You can write
down a confession or a letter to someone you admire or one to yourself.

Spelling doesn’t count and neither does neatness. Date every entry you make.

Your notebook is yours. You are free to share your entries, but only if you want to.
Finally, you have to become an observer. You have to engage all your senses-
seeing, touching, listening, smelling and tasting.

Details are the beginnings of poetry and the doors to your secret kingdom.

Write down at least 10 words or phrases that you can think of to describe the
following. Don’t think very hard. Just write down whatever comes to your mind.

An example: The sounds I hear outside my window

A dog barking
Someone washing dishes nearby. I can hear the running water and also the clank
of the pots and pans.
The sound of children running upstairs
The chorus of chirping of birds nearby. A koel calling far away
The child who lives upstairs is calling out to her aunty who is standing on her
balcony opposite.
I am trying to make out the words of the song that I hear on someone”s
cellphone.
A man is coughing.

Now it’s your turn.

Please write down the word or phrase at the top of the page.
Write down whatever you remember and associate with the word or phrase. Try
and remember what a monsoon sky looks like or the way a thunderstorm sounds
and everything you associate with it. Remember to engage all your senses.

1. Your mother
2. The monsoon sky
3. Your best friend in your old school
4. A dog that you see every day on your way to school
5. A bird you notice for the first time
6. A dish your aunt made for the family
7. The boy who lives across the street. (You don’t know him)
8. Rain pouring down
9. An orange
10. The squirrel at your window