April is National Poetry Month

So let’s put some poetry in our journals!

There are several ways for you to enjoy poetry this month and have fun with your journal as you do. You can try any or all of the 5 different poetry related activities mentioned below. Why not? After all, April Is National Poetry Month.

Copying others’ words

There are times when you find a poem which simply has meaning for you. It is perfectly alright to copy that poem in your journal. One I like is:

FRIGHTENED by Shel Silverstein

“There are kids underneath my bed,”

Cried little baby monster Fred.

Momma monster smiled, “Oh, Fred,

There’s no such thing as kids,” she said.

Writing your own

Then there are other times when it is a good idea to put some of your own poetry in your journal. Here is one I wrote this morning.

Ever amongst my friends

There has been a saying,

“Yvonne laughs long and loud

You know where she is staying.”

 

But also, within those friends

There is yet another stating,

“Yvonne laughs long and loud

You think that’s a donkey braying?”

 

So too, between my friends

There has now begun a texting,

“Yvonne laughs long and loud

Use ear plugs,” they’re conveying.

OK, I didn’t say it had to be great poetry. But, you can see that while I’ve found a way to laugh at myself (yes, long and loud) I’ve also left a clue as to who I am. Several clues actually. I’m a loud person who likes to have fun. I’m not afraid to try things at which I’m not so good. I’m also alright with the idea of showing others my weaknesses. Sometimes.

You might want to try this

If you still aren’t sure about writing your own poetry here is a fun way to put a poem in your journal. It is called a “First Word” poem.

Go back through your journal and using this structure – adjective, noun, verb, adjective, noun create a poem. Here is how it works – on page one of your journal find the first adjective, on page two find the first noun, on page three find the first verb and so on until you have created the first line of your poem. Continue this procedure until you have written a poem with the line number of your choice.

You may want to add articles and verb tenses to strengthen the lines once your words are collected. I pulled out one of my old journals and this is what I came up with.

Long road sitting, distinct routine.

Smooth days sleeping, early pebble.

Concentric baby, telling new chapter.

 

Full hand grasp, pregnant daughter.

Various home purchased professional house.

Last body talked bumpy prophet.

Some information about the poem:

  • I decided not to add articles or change any verb tenses.
  • The journal I chose (at random) was from 2005
  • The circumstances concerning the writing were – I was sitting with my uncle who had been admitted to a hospice facility and our youngest daughter had just given us the joyous news that she was having her first baby.

Now read the poem again.

Try your hand at this kind of poetry. It really can take some interesting turns.

Another poetry writing exercise

After reading about a particular poet write about the poet or his poetry in your journal.

Here is one more thing to do

Watch a poetry movie and write about what you thought, learned, liked, disliked, and so on. Here is a list of various movies which will fit the bill.

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How have you used poetry in your journal in the past? Have you tried one of the above ideas before? Have you learned something new you would like to try in your journal?

 

As a lover of words, pens, paper and the dictionary I'm a natural for journal writing. But, I wasn't always faithful to the task and had to learn the hard way. Some trial and error as well as input from my journal writing friends helped move me along. I have a burning desire to help people who want to use and get the most out of their journals and diaries. I see journal writing as a self improvement tool and a way to avoid costly mistakes, bad relationships and my stinky-self. Finding my kindly self is part of the journey which keeps me writing. I Journalate and so can you.

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