Tag Archives: exercises

Writing 1 with Joe Janes, final day: How to write

Well, this was a very long week for me, we covered quite a lot of ground and the amount of work that I did was substantial for this and the other writing classes. Productive, I would like to continue to write daily, I think it’s a good habit to get into.

We covered quite a lot on the final day, including how to structure a Second City Review, and how to write and get into the writing habit.

Continue reading Writing 1 with Joe Janes, final day: How to write


Annoyance, Level 2 with Rebecca Sohn

This was the most amazing class. Rebecca normally only teaches level 5, and after today’s class I can understand why, it was a splendid class and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Continue reading Annoyance, Level 2 with Rebecca Sohn

Is it better to have loved and lost?

The Pain of Knowledge of Love

The battle lines are drawn in sand today
Love can kill, but love can help you live
The feelings that I’m feeling yet again
Grip my heart with pain I won’t forgive
Small explosions, nerve endings ripped raw
Licking flames reach a heart made of straw.
The young don’t understand the benefit,
Hearts unscarred by war in realms of love;
Where foreign troops’ more vicious arms commit
Crimes so cruel that even God above
Cries in shame at a game played by brutes
Stomping on fragile hearts with their boots.
I almost wish my heart was young again
Lightly walk through minefields unaware
Without the fear of losing oxygen,
Suffocating, lungs empty of air.
I want sun, I want fields, I want light,
Feeling free, flying high as a kite.
Though I remember how it felt so good
I remember how it felt so bad
One moment you are walking through a wood
Struck by beauty, heart so free and glad
But the change makes your heart silhouette
Splits your chest with a chasmic regret
(Why’s a hole so damned hard to forget?!!)

Real sentiments, this was written as an exercise, the rules of which are below…

The poem will consist of 6-line stanzas.

The first and third lines will be iambic pentameter.

The  second and fourth lines will be trochaic, consisting of five stressed and four unstressed syllables.

The fifth and sixth lines will consists of three anapests each.
The rhyme scheme will be a-b-a-b-c-c.

Make the poem at least two stanzas.

d’Dum, d’Dum, d’Dum, d’Dum, d’DAY, 
Dum, d’Dum, d’Dum, d’Dum, d’BEE,
d’Dum, d’Dum, d’Dum, d’Dum, d’DAY,
Dum, d’Dum, d’Dum, d’Dum, d’BEE,
d’d’Dum, d’d’Dum, d’d’CEE,
d’d’Dum, d’d’Dum, d’d’CEE,

The moths are eating my jumpers!

The moths are eating all my woolly jumpers
They’ve already destroyed my favourite two
Munching holes that’ll make them that much plumper
Like tiny flying cows, their cud to chew.
My clothing is the picnic where they mate
Champagne and strawberries, cream on top, divine
With gusto they spread the blanket on the plate
And raise to their lips a woolly glass of wine
But I’ve nice clothing so that I get some
Holier clothing doesn’t work as well
Making me look as if I’m from a slum
A scruffy bit of rough, no pipistrell.
For some bizarre reason the ladies desire tidy
(Although they like a bit of rough sometimes!)
Though my credentials are quite bonafide
The holes contradict and they hear as the bell chimes
So I’ve to springclean, open all my drawers
Pull everything out, give it a good shake
Extinct all the moths, kill them, this is war!
Moth Spanish Armada? I’m Sir Francis Drake!

This was the 3rd poetry exercise

This exercise was to write 16 unrhymed lines of iambic pentameters (rhymed seemed more fun though) – using:

“pyrrhic” substitutions (two unaccented, short syllables) and

“trochaic” substitutions (in a line of verse that normally employs iambic meter, trochaic substitution describes the replacement of an iamb by a trochee), and

weak endings (at the end of the usual heroic (iambic pentameter line) add an unstressed syllable/word)

Poetry exercise two…

I’ve to write 5 pairs of blank (non rhyming) iambic pentameter, in which the first line of each pair is “end stopped” (so each line is a complete thought without spilling over grammatically into the next line) and there are no “cesuras” (breaks in the thought flow within a line of poetry).

Then I’ve to write 5 pairs with the same meaning, in which there is “enjambment” (the running on of one line into the next to complete the meaning) and with at least two cesuras.

The heavy air’s metallic, laden, grey;
It tastes like iron as if from open wound
The sky’s metallic hue sits heavy on
The city like a scab; bloods iron from clouds.
Sun-dried tomato on Italian bread,
Salami, olive oil and chutney spread.
A meal of mediterranean sun; tomatoes
Sun-dried and succulent, on a rocket bed.
I dreamt a dream of eating cucumber
It tasted good, no wonder did I slumber
The great green slug; cucumber represents
All evil vegetables forced on my dreams
I must go through my paperwork today
Forgotten tasks and pain of forms unfilled
The evil pile just watches and sits; my brain
remains the prisoner of a future threat
I once had hair in places I’ve now none
And none in places where I now have hair
Forests to deserts and deserts to forest; my hair
wants only the fertile ground on body and head

Writing Iambics

I’m just listening to Stephen Fry’s audiobook “The Ode Less Travelled”, great fun, I’ll do my exercises here. First one is to write 20 iambic pentameters, so here goes (might be dull, I promise nothing!)

The sky succumbed to blueness without end
My broken mind appreciates the warmth
Computer screen you glow with pregnant rage
An orchid white and pristine on a shelf
Looks down upon my world, my life, benign
No triffid she, keeps silence to herself
While I rewrite another ugly line
My bedroom’s clean, I tidied up today
Bin Laden’s dead (or so they said at work)
How would we know, they won’t show us his head
The screaming masses chant, hooray and sing
Ignoble sight for all the world to see
When really all we want is freedom back
As people round the world protest and die
An Arab spring? Democracy they want
But foreign troops solve no domestic plight
Freedom can be taken but not giv’n
The economic outlook is quite poor
When all our politicians are so weak
It’s jobs for life; we should show them the door
Corruption, graft and spin is their technique,
Ineptitude spills money to the floor
Makes me so angry I can’t even speak
I met a girl with eyes that spoke in verse
I serenaded all with drink and song