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Writing exercise: Things I Can’t Wait to Celebrate

Creative writing exercises based on the theme of Celebration

Language: English
Genre: Inspiration
Age group: Adults
Audience: Adults

Last updated: 14 June 2021

Though the ways we celebrate may look a little different at the moment, there are still ways we can share in celebration. Life has been so strange over the last year and the future so unknown, that many of us have been concentrating only on getting through the short-term. We have concentrated on the pavement directly in front of our feet, rather than lifting our heads to stare at the horizon.

For this writing prompt we would like you to think about what you are looking forward to, what future milestones do you want to celebrate, what activities from less fenced-in life will make you whoop or dance with joy?

We have three poetical forms you might like to turn your imagination to:

Warm up: What are you wishing for?

What are the things that have kept you going through the last year? This may be a place you want to visit, someone you want to see, an event you would like to attend or it may be as simple as an everyday occurrence – visiting the library, chatting with a stranger in a bus queue, drinking tea at a loved one’s table, giving a friend a hug.

Brainstorm:

Acrostic Poem

In an acrostic poem the first, last or middle letter of every line can be read vertically to make a word or phrase the poem is about.

Make a list of single words or short phrases that capture the thing you are wishing for. This could be:

List Poem

List poems capture an image or idea by making a list of all the elements about it that the poet wants to highlight. They can be funny, or immersive or really deliver an emotional punch depending on what the list is focused on and how it develops through the poem.

Make a list of all the different aspects of your wish that you are looking forward to – this could include:

Concrete Poem

Concrete poems carry their meaning in their form – the words are written on the page to make a picture. This can very simple – like a triangle, circle or square – or more complicated like a house, or tree, or animal.

Think about the simple shapes or pictures that you associate with the thing you are wishing for. Write down a few that you think might be a good shape for a poem. Could these be something like:

Start writing

Take a look at all the notes you made during the warm-up and brainstorm exercises and pick the form you are most excited to write your poem in. Below are a few things to think about and some poems for inspiration.

Acrostic poem

This format allows you to be the most abstract in your writing – once you have your letters to start and end your lines, how you get between them is up to you. An acrostic poem allows you to add layers to the meaning of your poem, you don’t have to mention the subject of poem explicitly, which allows you to play around with your description and images.

Pick the word or phrase you want to build your poem around and then look at some of the other things you wrote down in your brainstorm and see how you can incorporate them in your poem

Inspiration

Acrostics can be used in all forms of writing – to convey an extra message. Take a look at the resignation letter, written in the wake of Charlottesville, from The President’s Committee of Arts and the Humanities(this will open in a new window) – where the first letter of each paragraph spells out “RESIST”.

Or this poem from John Cage, Overpopulation and Art(this will open in a new window).

List poem

List poems are exactly that – a list of things, observations, thoughts. They can be deceptively simple; the trick to writing them is in how you order and connect the elements of your list.

Inspiration

A Procrastinator’s To Do List by Brian Bilston(this will open in a new window). This funny and very relateable poem by Brian Bilston demonstrates the power of adding a rhyme scheme to your list poem, and of repeating key words and phrases.

How to be Hunted as a Witch; part 1 by Catherine Simpson(this will open in a new window)

How to be Hunted as a Witch; part 2 (2017) by Catherine Simpson(this will open in a new window)

These two poems show how powerful list poems can be.

Concrete Poem

Concrete poems can be very intricate, drawing lines of a picture with the words of a poem, or the shape can be something very simple, achieved just by using the space bar. Look at the images you have listed and think about how you could achieve those shapes using words. You could:

Inspiration

Fox by Julia Gomez(this will open in a new window)

The Mouse’s Tail by Lewis Carroll(this will open in a new window)

40 Love by Roger McGough(this will open in a new window)