Tuesday Tryouts: Summer Style

19 Jun

7:17 a.m. — San Antonio

Well, hello, all! I haven’t had my first cup, so if this post is not quite so articulate and I don’t spot every typo, forgive me. I will try, blurry-eyed, to triple check before sending it out.

By now you will have written imagistic poems all over the place and tried cinquains… although I’m not too sure giving us the ones you wrote a year ago counts, hmmm? This week I am going to chat a bit about a topic that is wide open: write a summer poem. The question is, can you write one and not sound clichΓ©? That’s my challenge.

Let me suggest a couple of possible approaches. The first one: Grab a piece of paper, or a keyboard; jot down every single thing you associate with summer, everything. I’ll wait… really, now. Stop reading this and write down every single thing you associate with summer. This works better if you do not read on, so stop. Now. Jot. I’ll wait…

Okay, are you back? You have your list? Good. Write a poem about summer without mentioning a single thing on your list. Nope, nada. An exercise like this makes us stretch our brains in terms of image and metaphor. It also acts as an antidote to clichΓ©.

Alternatively, you might write a list poem, now that you have a list. Go through everything you wrote down and toss the things that don’t fit, rearrange what does, add and subtract words and give your list a title.

A third possibility is a ‘Summer is not…’ poem, where the poem’s focus is on things summer isn’t to illustrate what summer is. ‘Summer is not coats and hot chocolate; summer is not blue fingers and boots.’Check Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 for a not poem.

Or, you can write a summer poem about a summer that stands out in your life, or a summer poem about a summer you would like to have. If you are tired of you, create a speaker. What’s a summer the speaker dreams of?

Taking things up a level, check the words you choose. Do they fit the poem’s focus? Do they sound like what you are writing about? Does the speaker’s tone [even if it’s you] match what the speaker is saying? Is there a form you consider summery? Try it. Does your poem[s] breathe summer?

You will note I am avoiding using pictures as a possibility. Mostly, that’s because that’s what I will talk about next week. You may certainly use an image as a way into a summer poem. Enough to be going on?

I am looking forward to reading your summer poems revved up a notch. Remember that you may post links to your poems at anytime, and if you want to go backwards or forwards with my list of Tuesday Tryouts, do. Should you write a cinquain this week, you can post it this week and tell us you are giving us a cinquain. If you want to wander ahead, the same holds, post and tell us what you have done.

I am giving you the link to the original post for Tuesday Tryouts summer style, in case you have just joined us, or because you want to reread the post. If you have questions, ask, either in comments, or at: Otherwise, I shall see you Friday for this week’s roundup.

Happy writing, everyone, and yes, you can try all the summer poem possibilities and post them πŸ™‚


Posted by on 19/06/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

34 responses to “Tuesday Tryouts: Summer Style

  1. The Happy Amateur

    19/06/2012 at 11:34 am

    Just a haiku in the spirit of summer:

    I dream of shaking
    Stars – giant apples – off the
    August skies branches

    • Hannah Gosselin

      19/06/2012 at 2:55 pm

      Happy-Sasha-Poet!!! I love your summer haiku!

      • The Happy Amateur

        19/06/2012 at 3:20 pm

        Thank you, Hannah! Your exclamation marks perked me up πŸ™‚ (I cannot wake up today despite all the sugar and caffeine)

        • Hannah Gosselin

          19/06/2012 at 4:56 pm

          Oh, good, Happy-Sasha!!! It makes my day that I could do that…despite the appearance of energy I’m with you, kinda lagging! :)’s to you!!

    • margo roby

      19/06/2012 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you, Sasha! Our first summer poem. The image and the haiku form suit!

    • Misky

      20/06/2012 at 4:30 am

      Sasha, that’s wonderfully vivid! Nicely done.

    • purplepeninportland

      23/06/2012 at 2:58 pm

      I like this one, Hap.

  2. Hannah Gosselin

    19/06/2012 at 4:50 pm

    Well!!! This took me on a verbose journey!!! Thanks always my poetic inspiring friend!! Smiles!

    • margo roby

      19/06/2012 at 5:19 pm

      My pleasure, always, Hannah! After all, I get smiles. I’m heading over.

  3. Veronica Roth

    19/06/2012 at 5:21 pm

    That was fun Margo. I’ve never written a list and then avoided everything on it. Turned out very surrealistic. Linked back to you.

    • margo roby

      19/06/2012 at 5:22 pm

      Can’t wait to read it, Veronica. Be over shortly.

  4. Misky

    19/06/2012 at 5:39 pm

    Off to bed but here’s an haiku aperitif, or nightcap.

    Drifting north
    Bought myself icebergs
    I hate heat.

    • margo roby

      19/06/2012 at 5:40 pm

      Oh, Misky, I laughed right out loud. I am sitting in the aircon.

    • Hannah Gosselin

      19/06/2012 at 9:40 pm

      Nice!!! I can picture you, Misky, drifting in on icebergs!! :)’s

  5. teri

    20/06/2012 at 12:30 am

    Ah look now – all those great things about summer. I had elevators on my list! There is a story in that- and I will have to keep it for another time.

    For now here is my summer style contribution.

    AND I confess right here… open windows was on my list… but I had to write of open windows. I did however leave off the laundry on the line, and ice cream. Thanks Margo- I needed a focus and this was just the thing.

    • Misky

      20/06/2012 at 4:44 am

      Posted to your blog, Teri. πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      20/06/2012 at 11:02 am

      Elevators! I look forward to the story.

      This method of writing about something that is overwritten about, works well to bring fresh imagery and associations. I’m on my way to see yours.

  6. Misky

    20/06/2012 at 11:53 am

    • margo roby

      20/06/2012 at 12:01 pm

      Went there first. Hit the wrong link, so I have visited… and enjoyed.

  7. Annette Mickelson

    21/06/2012 at 8:22 pm

    Here’s mine. I tried to avoid cliche but I’m afraid that the title is a big one (Happy Hour)

    • margo roby

      22/06/2012 at 11:17 am

      Annette, I think we’ll let that cliche slide! I’m on my way.

  8. purplepeninportland

    21/06/2012 at 11:05 pm

    I found this prompt very difficult, however, I did post something.

    • margo roby

      22/06/2012 at 11:18 am

      Sara, I’m glad you gave this a try anyway. I am on my way to read.

  9. Mr. Walker

    24/06/2012 at 12:24 pm

    Okay, here’s my poem: June. I have a feeling I’ll be writing more summer poems over the next few weeks.


  10. Karin Wiberg

    24/06/2012 at 2:11 pm

    Can’t say I followed all the rules, but here’s what I came up with! Fun exercise! Thanks, Margo!

    • margo roby

      27/06/2012 at 11:26 am

      Sorry for the delayed reply, Karin. I was away from the computer for three days. I’m coming over to visit you, now.


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