April is National Poetry Month. For all of you out there who enjoy writing poems in response to writing exercises, here is a good one to try. It was taken from the Jacaranda Press website. You will find more interesting poem-starters there if you click on this link: http://www.jacarandapress.org/writing/poetry/look.shtml.
This exercise is called “Look Closely”:
Remember Georgia O'Keeffe’s paintings. Think about the way she looked so carefully at the segments of a flower. You can do the same thing for your poetry.
Go wandering around your house. Your yard, too, if you like. If you are lucky enough to live by the sea, go down by the beach and wander along. Wherever it is you are wandering, look carefully at everything you see.
Eventually something will call to you. We hope it is something small enough for you to pick up. A shell, say. A little flower. An interesting looking stick. An electronic circuit. Whatever.
Take that thing in your hand and turn it. Smell it. Feel it. Then sit with it a while.
Start making descriptive notes about it. It is small. In my hand it feels cool. It reminds me of something or someone. Write about that.
After a while, you may find that you have made connection with something you had forgotten that you love, or something that happened that needs your love to heal it. Something that needs attention at any rate. That little item called out to you for some reason. There is something interesting about it. Find that out and you have a poem.
In addition, I would highly recommend The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises by Poets Who Teach, edited by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell. To find this excellent title when it is in, check the Library’s adult nonfiction stacks for the number 808.1 PRA. You’ll find other books on writing poetry in this same general area in the collection.