Wendy Hind from Lincoln, Nebraska, turned to poetry when her son was born with critical health problems. As her interest developed in poetry as narrative medicine for the soul she started the Tiny Poetry project, writing and sharing poems that deliver small but potent doses of hope, resilience, compassion and empathy. She shares some of the poems and talks about how the power of poetry is being increasingly recognised in the medical world.
Wendy also shares a poem written in response to Abbie Neale‘s writing exercise on clothing.
1. Think of a time when you or a loved one was ill. Take a few moments to write down 5-10 words that come into your mind when you think about that experience. 2. Next write a corresponding word next to each of the words you have just written. Maybe it is a descriptive word, maybe an action word, maybe a metaphor. 3. Now read through the group of words circle those pairs that resonate the loudest with you. Add one more brutally honest word to each pair. 4. Take these words and attempt to compose a poem. The poem may be long at first. Often tiny poems are the result of paring down a longer poem – much like taking your initial list of words and taking out those words that are the least powerful. 5. As concise brevity is the point of a tiny poem, every word must work towards the meaning of your poem.
This is a great exercise for focusing the mind and finding a way to write about experiences that might be difficult to address. As you can see from the notes above the initial list of does not have to be particularly inventive or original. The words may or may not end up in the final poem but can help to pinpoint the one concise thing you want to say about the subject you’re writing about.
As always, submissions are encouraged. Please send you poems here to be featured on the blog or podcast.
Coming up on the podcast Wendy Hind from Lincoln, Nebraska, shares poems from her Tiny Poetry project and talks about how it was inspired by her son who was born with critical health issues. You can find more poems on her website.
White Flag If you think I am going to wave the white flag you are mistaken. If you think I am going to retreat you are wrong. I may have to refortify, I may have to bandage my wounds, but I am not done fighting, and I intend to win this war. I will not surrender to my pain, nor to you.
LA-based poet Michelle Marie Jacquot’s new pamphlet DETERIORATE, which criticizes and questions the digital age and the effects our modern world has had on humanity. She reads from this and her other collections and discusses her no-nonsense DIY approach to publishing and promotion.
Michelle’s predictive text poetry writing exercise
Has technology ever corrected something you meant to write into something completely different? What did it change? How did you react, feel? Maybe not even a word, perhaps a name? Someone you love to someone you hate? Did it make you angry? Make you laugh? Or was it a silly word? One you never use? Did it change the meaning entirely? Maybe it just made you annoyed at your phone? Who knows. Think on one time autocorrect has changed your words without permission. If it hasn’t, congratulate yourself and write about being precise or lucky, or both.
Please share whatever poems the exercise inspires. Submissions can be sent here for possible inclusion on the blog or future episodes.
Here’s a poem from forthcoming podcast guest, LA-based poet, singer, songwriter and actress Michelle Marie Jacquot. Her upcoming pamphlet DETERIORATE, criticizes and questions the digital age and the effects our modern world has had on humanity. Death of a Good Girl, her first collection, was released in the fall of 2019, becoming a Barnes & Noble poetry bestseller in America. She is currently finishing her next full collection, Afterglow, among many other creative projects.
I would pay one million anything to find one human staying sane My soul is going broke from meeting bodies missing brains Robots seeking validation for tickets they refuse to pay Who can’t press a heart shaped button if it’s not of someone’s face
If you’re not on top of someone famous No one cares about your day Shut up and show us what you ate for breakfast Have no opinion on the way Tell us what you look like Not a word of what you think Only tell me what your age is Your sex Your height Your weight
The new training is as follows I haven’t read it, but neither have they
Step one, forget how to live Step two, unlearn how to read
I wonder what they teach in schools these days and what kinds of robots these robots will breed