Tag Archives: summer writing

Summer Tryouts — It Must Be Tuesday

9:00 a.m. — San Antonio

Alright new people, time to pony up. I know you’re out there. My inbox tells me so. While many of you aren’t poets, many of you are. Both can use these exercises and adapt them to what suits. Unless I am stressing a verse form, fiction writers should be able to participate in every exercise I post, yes? Check. Granted, with the summer rotation, I have several forms. Ignore them and do two of something else, or, for the heck of it try; see what the poetic side of your fictional brain does.

Wow! Pretty strict for summer. I just want to make sure no one is out there waiting for a nudge to dive into what is clearly a close-knit group. We are friendly, laid back, and don’t bite much. We can be bribed with margaritas. Join in. However, if it makes you happy following, follow. I am happy to have you along.

Summer images from which to create poetry… You can go in many directions with this. Unlike last week which asks for poems full of summer imagery, this week asks you to find an image — a photograph, a piece of clip art, a painting — that says summer to you, and to take your poem from that image. It does not have to have a positive connotation because it’s summer. For me, summer = heat. I loathe heat. I might look for something that shows that.

To take this up a notch, I would look for something less obvious than fans, airconditioners, cool drinks, or the beach, all of which imply heat. I might even avoid sweating labourers. The image I would look for is of crops wilting, browned, dry, dying. I know how they feel. I can write about summer through them. Like last week, where I had you list all your summer associations and then said you can’t use them, abandon the usual and look for the unusual. You will find yourself stretching your creative muscles.

You can start by browsing images and letting them speak to you, or you can start with an image in your head that you want to find. You can choose a symbol and reflect upon it, or a landscape that embodies summer, or a scene that tells a summer story, or… Once you find the illustration that speaks summer to you, in some form, decide whether the image itself [the painting, photograph…] will be part of the poem, or whether you will use it as a kickstart, only. In either case, let us know what you choose to use. Sometimes, knowing the source adds to the enjoyment by the reader.

Decide what truth about summer you want to communicate and what form will best communicate it. Write. Maybe do another one 🙂 Post.

I will see you Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday for more summer writing. I will be in Walnut Creek, California , at that point, with my mother’s internet connection that does not love me. If I don’t appear Tuesday, I am struggling mightily with the cyber-gods.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 26/06/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


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A Summerful of Tuesday Tryouts

7:50 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, everyone. There has been a flurry of newcomers, so welcome to all of you. I hope all is well.

Today, I am posting a list of prompts, with all the prompts for the Summer Tuesday Tryouts. I will focus on a different prompt each week, in the order I have them. The order is irrelevant for you.  Any prompt can be done at any time and posted anywhere — a link to your post, left in comments, is probably preferable, but, if you don’t have a blog, or want to keep the poem off your grid, post it in comments. My mini-discourses and the poems you post don’t have to match [if they don’t, let us know which prompt you are writing to].

The list is bare bones. You can look at an entry and interpret it how you will, should you wish to write in a different order than my expositions. Are you thoroughly confused? I know. I’m trying to say things in as many ways as possible, in the hopes of clarity. Example: Say I follow this list in order. This week I shall write about imagistic poetry, but you may decide you want to write a list poem. No problem. Have at it. Where do you post it? In this week’s comments, just as you always have. The poems and the exercises do not have to match during the summer. The following week, I shall write on cinquains. You may write… As always, there are no due dates. You post when you have a poem.

What’s that you say? Margo, it’s just going to be easier to follow your order. I know, but I wanted you to know you don’t have to. If you are away one week, but that’s the poem you want to write, fine, write it in place of another. Do two.

If you aren’t sure what I mean by one of the titles below, but that’s the one you want to write, make it up. You are allowed. What’s the worst that can happen? You have something different. Uh huh, and? Alright then.

Imagistic Poetry

Although all poems are built with images and words, poems that depend almost exclusively on image are called “imagistic poems.” They tend to be short, or a series of linking images.

By Elizabeth Searle Lamb

onto her body
in the ditch
white butterflies.

by Leo Romero

For miles no one
just the clay road
the rain
the swerving car
the adoring houses
gathering about the church.

Spend a couple of days collecting images or, use your collection of images. Write one or more poems.

You may add as many other words as you need to make the poem work.

You may use punctuation or, you may (as in the examples) let the line breaks serve as punctuation.

Try to write at least twenty lines of poetry – in one poem or, in a collection of smaller poems.

You might write something along the lines of Joseph’s Reverie 21, but here, a charm bracelet of imagistic poems.

As next week is a travel week and I will be on the road — leaving New Orleans, for San Antonio — I will give you a link to an older posting of mine on cinquains.

Next week: Cinquains — with or without the syllable count. This form can be done without a syllable count, if you have a good ear for rhythm and follow the basic idea.

Summer Poem

Summer Image

List Poem

Diamante — Can you take it up a notch?

Long, or Line, Acrostic

Winter Poem — Because not all of us are sweltering! Or, because it will be a relief for those of us who are.

Winter Image

Form — your choice of subject and form

What I did on my vacation [no, no, this can be original as a topic; that’s the challenge]— pick one aspect, or, write about the season, or write a list poem.

What if you write and post a poem before I discuss the exercise, and after I talk about it, you have a different poem? Write it! Post it!

The blog will be dark the week of June 12th and August 7th, my travel weeks. One big caveat: my mother’s internet connection and my laptop don’t get along. I may disappear. If that happens, you will have the list and you can post in any available comments — and I will go into seclusion with a computer and your poems, when I find a good connection, or return home.. Should I remain disappeared after the 15th of August, send out the dogs. Last summer it took me almost two months to get back to the computer. I’d rather not go through that again!

Ask as many questions as you need, to be happy in your understanding of this possibly 🙂 confusing post. I will see you on Friday for the roundup, then not until Tuesday the 19th of June.

I can’t wait to see the assortment of poems that spill from you this summer. Take the ideas wherever you want, then bring them back as poetry. Happy writing, all.



Posted by on 05/06/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


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