The Joy of Writing: Sonnets

It is my firm belief that anyone can write poetry. It is not an art reserved for the learned or the few. Much like painting it can be taught. I want to walk you through a process today much like Bob Ross did in his series, Joy of Painting. We will have colors on our palette much the same comprising nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Follow along, express yourself, and above all, have fun.

The Joy of Writing

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Image Source: Flickr

It’s a terrific day and I’m glad you’re here to write. Remember, we can all be poets and express ourselves. Because that’s what it’s really about: expressing ourselves. Just stay confident and stay writing.

Today we’re going to try writing a sonnet. Sonnets usually have three verses and a turn or volta at the end. They often have iambic pentameter as well, but we won’t be bothering with that today. What we are creating is something I came up with called a rhyming free-verse sonnet. It keeps the basic rhyme structure of an English sonnet but the meter remains free-verse. If it feels intimidating, don’t worry; I’ll walk you through it. There are four stanzas, and we will treat them as four short poems. So, grab your pencil and some paper. It’s time to sonnet.

Please check out my other tutorials on writing love poems and haiku.

Verse 1

First off, we have some basic nouns:

a. pain, b. hand, c. hair, d. eyes
a. strain, b. gland, c. stare, d. thighs

Did you notice the lines marked a, b, c, d? Each corresponds to a different rhyme we will use later.

Now, that you’ve got those, let’s consider what we might do to these nouns by looking at verbs:

a. feign, b. expand, c. scare, d. cry
a. rain, b. planned, c. blare, d. sigh

And finally, I’d like you to imagine how you will describe these nouns and verbs with adjectives. There are fewer adjectives needed so we will not need to pair them.

Sane, bland, fare, dry

It’s time to start writing! Write out four basic nouns from the first list.

a. pain, b. hand, c. hair, d. eyes
a. strain, b. gland, c. stare, d. thighs

Eyes
Hands
Thighs
Hair

Next you’ll want to pair the nouns with rhyming verbs. I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like.  Just make sure the first and third line rhyme (as well as the second and third). Think: a b a b.

If you need help rhyming you can always pair an a b c d

a. feign, b. expand, c. scare, d. cry
a. rain, b. planned, c. blare, d. sigh

a. Eyes feign,
d. Hands cry
a. Thighs strain,
d. Hair sighs.

Remember our adjectives? We haven’t forgotten about them. Take them from the list and pair them up:

sane, bland, fare, dry.

Dry eyes feign
As hands cry
Thighs sprain,
Hair is dry.

Feeling confident? There’s one more step. Change and rearrange verse in any way you see fit. Every line doesn’t necessarily need an adjective.

Eyes strain hands,
Feign, scare, cry
The pain expands,
Your hair is dry.

And that’s the first verse! Only three more to go. Feel free to take a break whenever necessary.

Verse 2

Now that we have the basics down, we can move to verse two. Verse two is identical in structure to verse one. We just choose different nouns, verbs, and adjectives to continue our poem. Once more, we have our basic nouns (with rhymes):

a. bed, b. wave, c. trust, d. nook
a. thread, b. cave, c. lust, d. hook

Let’s consider what we will do to these nouns by looking at verbs:

a. bled, b. save, c. thrust, d. shook
a. spread, b. crave, c. rust, d. look

And finally, I’d like you to imagine how you will describe these with adjectives:

Lead, shaved, robust, unhooked

Start by typing out some basic nouns from the first list.

a. bed, b. wave, c. trust, d. nook
a. thread, b. cave, c. lust, d. hook

Bed
Waves
Lust
Hook

Next you’ll want to pair the nouns with rhyming verbs. I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like.  Just make sure the first and third line rhyme (as well as the second and third). Think a b a b.

If you need help rhyming you can always pair an a b c d

a. bled, b. save, c. thrust, d. shook
a. spread, b. crave, c. rust, d. look

d. Bed shook,
c. Waves thrust
d. By the look
c. Of lust.

Remember our adjectives? Take them from the list and pair them up:

lead, shaved, robust, unhooked.

Bed shook
Waves thrust
By the robust look
Of lust.

You’ve written the second verse! Congratulations. Let’s look at our progress so far by seeing the first verses together.

Eyes strain hands,
Feign, scare, cry
The pain expands,
Your hair is dry.

Bed shook
Waves thrust
By the robust look
Of lust.

Verse 3

Verse three is again identical in structure to the previous. We just choose different nouns, verbs, and adjectives to continue our poem. We have our basic nouns:

a. ghost, b. steel, c. chill, d. sound
a. coast, b. wheel, c. still, d. ground

Now, that you’ve got those, let’s consider what we might do to these nouns by looking at rhyming verbs. Notice the first set is an off-rhyme. It is something different from the norm if you would like to try it.

a. lost, b. feel, c. fill, d. surround
a. cost, b. steal, c. distill, d. compound

And finally, I’d like you to imagine how you will describe these with adjectives:

Tossed, ideal, downhill, drowned

Start by typing out some basic nouns from the first list.

a. ghost, b. steel, c. chill, d. sound
a. coast, b. wheel, c. still, d. ground

Coast
Steel
Still
Sound

Next you’ll want to pair the nouns with rhyming verbs. I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like. Just make sure the first and third line rhyme (as well as the second and third). Think a b a b.

a. lost, b. feel, c. fill, d. surround
a. cost, b. steal, c. distill, d. compound

c. The still
b. Surrounds steel
c. as sound distills
b. The coast feels

We haven’t forgotten about adjectives. Take them from the list and pair them up:

engrossed, ideal, downhill, drowned.

The downhill still
Surrounds steel
As sound distills
The drowned coast feels

Only one more verse to go. Let’s check what we’ve written.

Eyes strain hands,
Feign, scare, cry
The pain expands,
Your hair is dry.

Bed shook
Waves thrust
By the robust look
Of lust.

The downhill still
Surrounds steel
As sound distills
The drowned coast feels

Verse 4

Now that we have the basics down, we can move to the final verse. Verse four is identical in structure to verse three, except for having two lines and a volta.

Remember what we said about a turn or volta? Consider the energy from the previous stanza. Mine involved drowning but yours may have turned out very different. To contrast the idea of drowning, I will use nouns and verbs which involve swimming. Feel free to substitute your own.

Once more, we have our basic nouns:

a. rim, b. water, c. breast
a. limb, b. daughter, c. dressed

Now, that you’ve got those, let’s consider what we might do to these nouns by looking at rhyming verbs:

a. skim, b. slaughter, c. rest
a. swim, b. totter, c. jest

We still need our adjectives:

Dim, hotter, pressed

Start by typing out two basic nouns from the first list.

a. rim, b. water, c. breast
a. limb, b. daughter, c. dressed

Breasts
Water

Next you’ll want to pair the nouns with rhyming verbs. I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like. Just make sure the first and second line rhyme. Think a a.

a. skim, b. slaughter, c. rest
a. swim, b. totter, c. jest

a. Breasts swim
a. Water skims

Remember our adjectives? We haven’t forgotten about them. Take them from the list and pair them up:

dim, hotter, pressed

Breasts swim,
Pressed hot while water skims.

Now we can put all of our verses together:

Eyes strain hands,
Feign, scare, cry
The pain expands,
Your hair is dry.

Bed shook
Waves thrust
By the robust look
Of lust.

The downhill still
Surrounds steel
As sound distills
The drowned coast feels

Breasts swim,
Pressed hot while water skims.

*****

And that’s all there is to it. You are officially a sonnet writer.

Remember to believe in your abilities and let me know how it turned out. Please share your poems in the comment section or on your own blogs with a tag back.

Until next time: stay confident and stay writing!

The Joy of Writing: Haiku

It is my firm belief that anyone can write poetry. It is not an art reserved for the learned or the few. Much like painting it can be taught. I want to walk you through a process today much like Bob Ross did in his series, Joy of Painting. We will have colors on our palette much the same comprising nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Follow along, express yourself, and above all, have fun.

The Joy of Writing

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Image Source: Flickr

It’s a wonderful day to write poetry and today is about haiku. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about it.  It has to have 5-7-5 syllables or it must be about nature.  These are guidelines at best. Modern haiku can be any combination of three verses under 17 syllables.

Let’s start out and run all the words across the screen that you need to write along.

First off, we have some basic nouns. Let’s make them about nature, though it is not a requirement:

Snow; flower; midnight; moon

Now, that you’ve got those, let’s consider what nature is doing by looking at verbs:

Whisper; sleep; fall; gaze

And finally, I’d like you to imagine how you will describe nature with adjectives:

brilliant; white; effervescent; swift

The first thing you’ll want to do with these nouns is pair them with verbs. Think: how am I like nature? I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like.

Sleeping flowers

Whisper Midnight

Falling snow

Remember our adjectives? We haven’t forgotten about them. Take them from the list and pair them up: brilliant, white, effervescent, swift.

Sleeping white flowers

Whisper swift Midnights

Effervescent snow

Feeling confident? There’s one more step. Feel free to change and rearrange verse in any way you see fit. Every line doesn’t necessarily need an adjective.

Whispering moons

Gaze on swift snowfall

Sleeping white flowers

Now, you’re a haiku poet. That’s all there is to it. Let me know how it turned out and be sure and share poems on your blog or in the comment section.

Until next time: stay confident and stay writing!

The Joy of Writing: Recap

Last week I shared another edition of my poetry workshop Joy of Writing. The topic was love poems, and I had some great responses . Here is an incredible poem written from the exercise by Kim Stapf.

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Image Source: Flickr

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You kiss my lips
I tremble down deep
I can feel my heart pumping
With every touch I burn
I’m trapped with no way out

The Joy of Writing: Love Poems

It is my firm belief that anyone can write poetry. It is not an art reserved for the learned or the few. Much like painting it can be taught. I want to walk you through a process today much like Bob Ross did in his series, Joy of Painting. We will have colors on our palette much the same comprising nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Follow along, express yourself, and above all, have fun.

The Joy of Writing

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image Source: Flickr

It’s another fantastic day and I’m happy you’re here to write with me.  Remember, we can all be poets and express ourselves. Because that’s what it’s really about: expressing ourselves. Just stay confident and stay writing.

Today we’re going to try something a little different.  I’m going to walk you through writing a love poem. First off, we have some basic nouns, or body parts:

Face; lips; hands; hearts

Now, that you’ve got those, let’s consider what we might do to these different body parts by looking at verbs:

Brush; kiss; burn; break

And finally, I’d like you to imagine how you will describe these body parts with adjectives:

Pale; dark; trembling; firm

The first thing you’ll want to do with these nouns is pair them with verbs. Think: how will I interact with the person I love? I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like.

Brush face

Kiss lips

Burn hands

Break hearts

After this we can determine who is kissing lips and breaking hearts.

The simplest form to take for all of these is you, the writer:

I brush your face

I kiss your lips

I burn your hands

I break your heart

But you can just as easily enjoy these things with the person you love:

We brush faces

We kiss lips

We burn hands

We break hearts

Remember your adjectives? We haven’t forgotten them. Take them from the list and pair them up: pale, dark, trembling, firm.

I brush pale faces

I kiss dark lips

I burn trembling hands

I break firm hearts

I hope you’re writing along because there’s one more step. Let’s try different perspectives in the same poem: I, you, or we.

We brush dark faces

We kiss pale lips

I burn trembling hands

You break firm hearts

Feel free to change and rearrange these in any way you see fit.  Every line doesn’t necessarily need an adjective.

I burn your hands

as we kiss lips

brushing dark faces and

breaking pale hearts

That’s it for today. Thank you so much for writing with me.

Remember to believe in your abilities and let me know how it turned out. I encourage you to share poems in the comment section or on your own blogs. Email me with any questions or concerns: beeditty@gmail.com

Until next time: stay confident and stay writing!

The Joy of Writing: Recap

About two weeks ago I posted a poetry workshop called Joy of Writing. I had some great responses and plan to post another this Sunday. Here are two poems written from the previous exercise by Kim Stapf and Brock Gates.

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Image Source: Flickr

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by Kim Stapf

I touch the sky
With my eye
Watching the clouds go bye
Snapping a picture
The clouds move quicker
With just one clicker
I catch the picture

.

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Image Source: Flickr

My lover from another realm

by Brock Gates

She loves the blue earth
The elegant blue marble we float away on in the cosmic
sea
We love the skies in the twilight and at midnight
With bountiful heavenly bodies so illustriously close and yet
so vast and far away
We oscillate our voices with natures rhythmic tone
Of crickets and night song
I remember that hill
That we met on that summer night
Hidden love bright moon light
That was in another life

The Joy of Writing

It is my firm belief that anyone can write poetry. It is not an art reserved for the learned or the few. Much like painting it can be taught. I want to walk you through a process today much like Bob Ross did in his series, Joy of Painting. We will have colors on our palette much the same comprising nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Follow along, express yourself, and above all, have fun.

The Joy of Writing

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Image Source: Flickr

It’s a fantastic day and I’m glad you could join me. Let’s start out and run all the words across the screen that you need to write along with me.

First off, we have some basic nouns:

Sunset; sky; earth; people

Now, that you’ve got those, let’s look at some verbs:

Touch; taste; feel; love

And finally adjectives:

Alluring; elegant; red; blue;

The first thing you’ll want to do with these nouns is pair them with verbs. I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like.

Touch sky

Taste earth

Feel people

Love sunset

After this we can determine who is touching sky and loving sunsets.

The simplest form to take for all of these is you, the writer:

I touch the sky

I taste earth

I feel people

I love the sunset

But you can just as easily enjoy these things with someone else, perhaps a close friend or even lover.

We touch the sky

We taste earth

We feel people

We love the sunset

Remember our adjectives? We haven’t forgotten about them. Take them from the list and pair them up: alluring; elegant; red; blue.

I touch blue sky

I taste red earth

I feel alluring people

I love the elegant sunrise

Feeling confident? There’s one more step. Let’s try it from different perspectives in the same poem: I, you, or we.

I touch blue sky

You taste red earth

I feel alluring people

We love the elegant sunrise

Feel free to change and rearrange these in any way you see fit:

You taste red earth

I touch blue sky

We feel the elegant sunrise

We love alluring people

That’s it for today’s tutorial. Let me know how it turned out and be sure and share poems on your blog or in the comment section.