But the truth is that despite what poetry can be, it is most often used as a form of emotional self-expression, especially by young and new poets. When we’re feeling sad, angry, or elated, it’s easy to sit down and mold our emotions into words. It’s cathartic.
Poets also tend toward writing about nature. Tributes, politics, religion, family, and romance are some of the most common topics that poets tackle.
Why not try something different?
Poetry Writing ExercisesToday’s poetry writing exercises encourage you to get out of your head and explore time and space. Try one or try them all. Engage your imagination, and have fun.
Think about the space where you exist: your room, your office, your home, neighborhood–the country in which you reside. Think about the planet you live on. Now go beyond the familiar. Write a poem set in a distant space. It could be a foreign land or a far-off planet. It could be an ode to interstellar travel or a poem about your favorite science fiction flick. The idea is to write a poem about a place you’ve never been to, a place that’s far away from your known reality.
Poetry Writing Exercise: Out of Time
Stepping out of time is, in some ways, easier than stepping out of a place. You’ve studied history in school, seen movies and books that were set in the past or in the future. Your parents and grandparents have probably told you plenty of stories about the “good old days.” Poems from the past are plentiful, but most of them were written in the past. And poems from the future are scarce. Write a poem set in the past, during a time you did not experience firsthand, or write a poem set in the future. Either way, let your imagination and knowledge about the past and present guide your thoughts.
The Time-Space Continuum
According to Wikipedia, the time-space continuum is “any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single interwoven continuum.” Are time and space separate or are they intertwined? Is it possible to move through time by traveling through space? Does time exist at all or is it just our way of understanding the way we exist and move through space? Write a poem about time and space, or write a poem about shifting through time and space.