Lesson 6 Exercises & Assignment

Exercise 1:  Create your own paragraph that includes at least five examples of internal rhyme.  (My ideas were beginning to dry up.  I decided what a great theme for a poem.)


Writer’s Block

Ideas have left me and run away.

Pesky poetic premises gone to play

With some other prophetic writer.

I could chase these endless meters.

Why keep pace…Sigh…

I’ve got nothing to say.


Read more: Lesson 6 Exercises & Assignment

Lesson 5 Assignment

Assignment:  Read through my list of place-names, and choose one that interests you. Develop your responses into a poem of twenty-five lines.  (I chose the name Bronte, Sicily.  I became fascinated by the idea of two Bronte’s.  I used the chain verse method of last word in the line is the first word(s) in the next line.)

A literary tale connected by a surname,
A surname of four beings united. 
United together in more than letters, 
Letters arranged and tragic lives combined; 
Combined to create this story. 

This story begins with a Cyclops, Bronte.
Bronte is part of brothers three, 
Three Titan children victorious in a battle.
A battle won with weapons forged.
Forged beneath a smoldering volcano.

Volcano belches flume and fire.
Fire rises from a Sicilian mountain.
Mountain forever contains Bronte’s swords;
Swords fashioned into lasting weapon -
Weapon more mighty than a pen.

A Pen moves across holy, paper altar,
Altar of pastor father, poor and desolate.
Desolate despair over cyclical family deaths.
Deaths shutting out mortality, but for breath - 
Breath of fire into fictitious giants – sisters.

Sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne, bonded.
Bonded with poverty’s dearth, but rich in words.
Words birthed from a need to escape.
Escape into luminous illusions created.
Created for our lasting amusement.


Lesson 4 Exercises and Assignment

Exercise 1:  Describe the place you select, using your five senses. The only stipulation is that you write your descriptions using one sense at a time.  I want you to describe the place using sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch, but you will be writing five separate descriptions. 


Convenience Mart at Midnight


1.  Sad souls meandering the aisles
2.  Woman in tattered blue bathrobe with Sexy Queen emblazoned across her back.
3.  Jittery cashier watching the immovable hands of the clock.
4.  Rows of processed food, cataloging sweet and savory tastes.
5.  Neon lights harsh against the black of night.


1.  Jingle of bells signal the opening of the door.
2.  Slurred giggles of stumbling sorority girls.
3.  Mumbles of erratic homeless person hanging outside of the door.
4.  Shuffle and clink of aimless coins pushed across a dirty counter.
5.  The rip and crackle of a cellophane potato chip bag.


1.  Stale coffee burning on the pot’s hot pad.
2.  Cigarettes wafting from pores and clothes of the truck driver.
3.  Strong smell of oil and gas floating in a cloud around the man in leather.
4.  Fresh doughnuts, sugared and doughy trucked across the dingy white floor.
5.  Opening of bathroom door, overflowed toilet leaking out fetid waste.


1.  Salty peanut butter mingling with cardboard crackers
2.  Frozen red slurpy freezing my throat and stomach, simultaneously stabbing my forehead.
3.  Plastic tasting sandwiches, not revealing promised contents.
4.  Metal tasting blood from a cut lip.
5.  Salty tears and bitter black mascara running into sad lips of broken hearts.

1.  The rush of freezer air hitting face and chest/
2.  Checking firmness of the waxy apples in the lone fruit basket.
3.  Bumpy pork rinds popped between yellow teeth.
4.  Jagged beer bottle cap twisted off.
5.  Tickle of shavings beneath fingers scratching off lottery boxes.

Read more: Lesson 4 Exercises and Assignment

Lesson Three Exercises 1 & 2

I have several exercises.  I did all three prompts, again as practice.  Each is done with a different poetic style.  I followed the original instructions with writing a "prose" poem, then editing down the content.  The order published will follow:  finished poem, poem in syllable form, and original prose poem. Teacher prompts are as follows:
1.  Write about a coffee shop you drive by each day.  (Poem written iambic pentameter blank verse)
2.  Describe your neighborhood as you walk your dog each evening after dinner.  (Ballad form, aab, ccd, etc, repeat chorus, & first two lines:  iambic tetrameter, third line: iambic trimeter.) 
3.  Describe a person you remember.  (Acrostic poem with trochaic tetrameter.)

Morning Service
Believers beseech the goddess.  Corner church
Release the incense; roasted perfume fills
The air.  Espresso’s name entice a call 
To welcome lovers of brewed delights.  With fast
And twisting bursts of steam, the brew is rich.
A jolt of penance paid.  “Disciples drink
Up!  Savor oneness, feel complete with god.”
The chalice finished, tossed and crumpled.  Walk
Away apostles, pray another day.

Read more: Lesson Three Exercises 1 & 2

Lesson Three Assignment: It's time to write a Shakespearean sonnet!

Assignment:  Even though the sonnet form is quite old, I want your subject matter to be contemporary.  You must follow the form without any variation:  Fourteen lines, Rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg, Iambic pentameter.  (The two poems are the same, but the second one shows how the words break into syllables and accents.  The unbold and bold print following the iambic form:  unstress / stress.)


Obsession present with seductive switch.

Ablaze or absent rises bitter foe.

Demanding drug, the lucence calls, “Bewitch

The slave!”  I moan, “Can light be hopeless woe?”

The life of matter slips through porous speech

Of worthless words.  I cast aside and look

Away.  My self denied the rights of peace.

“I am unfettered, loose...” the doctor’s hook

Has fleeting cover.  Caught, I need to clutch

I must remain aloof.  Enchanter wins.

Disorder demons manage trigger touch.

I flip; I slipped by flipping.  Chant chagrined

My feeble fling at normal.  Beacon fixed.

Compulsion thrives, my pointless try eclipsed.


Read more: Lesson Three Assignment: It's time to write a Shakespearean sonnet!

Lesson Two Assignment and Exercises

Lesson 2 Assignment:  I want you to look at a newspaper and choose an account of some incident that recently occurred.  Write a poem in the first person as if you witnessed the entire account.  Structure your poem in six stanzas with five lines in each stanza.  (I’m trying to work on my syllable recognition.  I did the following meter pattern:  5 lines progressing, 2 syl's, 4 syl's, 6 syl's, 8 syl's then back to 2 syl's.


The Love Path
Love path

Free of tumult.

Majestically Green, it

Slowly darkens my tender soul.

Youth flees.




From dangers is severed,

Cleaved from noble humanity

Forged foul.



Huddled beneath

Bird bullets, are cajoled

From safety to insanity.

Shot down.


I am

Alone in fear.

Sisters and brothers bound

Upon separate, terror beach.

We weep.


This chance

For brief freedom

Swims past.  I clutch the raft,

Ignoring the guiltless wreckage.

I drift.



Utoeye lambs

Left on grisly scarred shores.

Their memory not massacred

With me.


Read more: Lesson Two Assignment and Exercises

Revised Lesson One for Pleasures of Poetry

Per several interesting comments from my poetry discussion group, family, friends, and instructor, I have revised my three poems.  I feel they are tighter and the clarity for my intention is more obvious.  I’m leaving up the originals, so readers can compare the differences.  For other writers and readers, the process of how a work evolves is often deleted from posterity.  I’m throwing back the curtain and revealing the inner workings of a struggling poet.


Velvet Cake

My mind swims with thoughts of velvety cake.

Taking a bite, blood specks dribble down my chest

And over my heart.  The life we have crumbles,

Before my plate.  Can it be too late for us and our children?


No, I won’t think of me or the us of lore, but only of cake –

Sweet, salty, and for me - sadly cheerless.

Drowning in cream cheese frosting, I cling

Upon the raft of what we were before we ate sour comments.


The dike upon my plate is slowly weakening, crippling

Beneath the weight of my desperate commemoration.

All that remains are bitter morsels of confection.

We have drifted away and so has the velvety cake.

Read more: Revised Lesson One for Pleasures of Poetry

Lesson One Pleasure of Poetry

Assignment:  Write a poem of no more than fifteen lines. There is only one stipulation and that is you must begin your poem with one of these first lines: My mind swims with thoughts of, It would be much too dangerous to talk about, or lizards and cupcakes on my mind.  (I wrote three for the fun of it.)

 Velvet Cake

My mind swims with thoughts of velvety cake.

Taking a bite, blood specks dribble down my chest

And over my heart.  The life we have crumbles,

Before my plate.  Can it be too late for us and our children?

No, I won’t think of me, or the us of lore, but only of cake –

Sweet, salty, and for me - sadly cheerless.



Read more: Lesson One Pleasure of Poetry

Copyright 2012 Kristen Kindoll. All rights reserved.