Moonlight spilled across the page and streetlights twinkled below when I penned my first piece, a poem, at nine years old from the lofty perch of my 14th floor bedroom windowsill. The opening line read: “Tis the time when the north wind doth blow.”
My latest poetic endeavor is a rap song. Yes you read that right. I said I’m writing rap. And no, I’m not sharing it today. And yes, I’m as surprised as you are.
But, “He is not a tame lion.”
Jesus calls us to run toward fear which tries to thwart obedience to our call, to honor Him and serve others with the gifts He gives.Tweet
So, wide eyed and trembling, I showed up to present a poetry workshop with friend and award-winning poet and writer Patricia Tiffany Morris at the kind invitation of Writers Chat in honor of #PoetryMonth.
For those who claim they don’t like poetry—this post is for you too! You just may change your mind with this collection featuring several authors.
All songs are poetry set to music: the words to rap, spoken word, and pop music, the Psalms of the Bible, hymns, and more. Many commercials use poetic elements. Poetic devices bring a richness, a vibrancy, when incorporated in speaking, articles, essays, and in books, no matter the topic or genre.
Please enjoy a variety of creations from some of the attendees of the Writers Chat class which they were generous to share, as well as mine and the opportunity to try your hand and some of these easy, fun techniques.
We hope the examples, explanations and exercises in this post and in the Writers Chat: Come Write With Us: Poetry video presentation will bless writers, educators, and families.
Much of my poetry is my captured prayers—my conversations and time with God. — Praying on paper. Here is one:
Song of My Soul I don’t want to face the morning I don’t want to face the day Until I touch You, Lord Let me wake to the whisper of Your love in my heart Mesmerized, You draw me in You are the light At the dawn of my day Heaven touching earth Breath of life Flood my soul Song of my soul Give me words to praise You Jesus, Your praise on my lips Your Word engraved upon my heart Give me words to praise You Give me words to praise You, Lord — Rachael M. Colby (Free verse poetry)
CINQUAIN POETRY — Word count Pattern
- Line 1 ~ One word: Title
- Line 2 ~ Two words: Describe title
- Line 3 ~ Three words: Describe an action
- Line 4 ~ Four words: Describe a feeling
- Line 5 ~ One word: Refer to the title with a different word.
Branching, swaying, reaching,
Sheltering comfort over all
Yawn wide open
Awaken from cold slumber
Crash, draw back
Soothes soul, deep calm
Writing Captured thoughts Pen scratches Paper Unable to serve justly Exposed — Sophia L. Hansen
[Well done, Sophia! You’ve written a poem which captures the essence, the angst of imposter syndrome. And writers aren’t the only ones who suffer with this.]
Help with Imposter Syndrome From the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Blog: Shut Up Satan! (Overcoming Writer's Doubt and the Voices in My Head) by Rachael M. Colby Truth: You, Writer, Are Not a Fraud by Cherrilynn Bisbano Podcast Episode How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome by Thomas Umstattd, Jr. via The Steve Laube Agency blog and The Christian Publishing Show
Hammering, ordering, fleeting
Relentless constant badgering annoyance
FREE VERSE POETRY with personification.
Time is calling
She marches on
She waits for no one
Come, redeem me, she says
Time is calling
She waits for no one
Make your mark
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. (Collosians 4:5 KJV)
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalms 90:12)
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Today is the day of salvation. (2nd Corinthians 6:2 NKJV)
Rise, Follow The way is shrouded And the road steep, My footing unsure. But I'm a seeker and I follow. Upward, onward, forge forward. Others will follow. One step. Next step. Stumble. Rise. Excelsior! Onward to the call. Victory waits. Tears, sorrow, joy. Carry on and know Him. He is faithful. Breakthrough Watch the eagle soar — Rachael M Colby I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NKJV)
*I created this piece and the one above entitled, Time, during a prior Writers Chat Come Write with Me event where we wrote what came to mind while we listened to dramatic instrumental music. — Give it a try.
CINQUAIN POETRY — Syllable Count Pattern: Pattern of five lines containing 22 syllables.
- Line One ~ 2 syllables
- Line Two ~ 4 syllables
- Line Three ~ 6 syllables
- Line Four ~ 8 syllables
- Line Five ~ 2 syllables
Welcome the warm weather
Bees busy gathering pollen
She held great hope
Arose suspended time
Sang promise for another day
Instructions for Blackout Poetry
Last I walked through bare dust,
I contemplated carvings.
Drawing thin sketches,
my pencil wistfully wondering,
retained artistic ability.
[Words to form Melissa’s blackout poem were culled from the first page of Mary Potter Kenyon’s book, Called to Be Creative]
Capturing the Contents Testing, for the most part, your tools before incident, in theory, sounds simplistic once I’ve talked to people. I’ve attempted to connect, only to process and then disappear, to repeat over again, taking the scene— tools from life. What tools do we want to communicate connections alone? — Patricia Tiffany Morris [Words culled from Windows Forensic Analysis DVD Kit! by Harlan Carvey]
ALLITERATION – A literary technique which uses neighboring words with repeated consonant sounds.
Calm, cacophony Solemn supplication Tearful triumph — Sophia L. Hansen
I love the contrast between Sophia’s choice of the words “calm” and “cacophony”.
Cacophony: an incongruous or chaotic mixture : a striking combination (Definition of cacophony from Merriam-Webster Webster)
This reminds me of how Jesus offers us His peace amidst chaos, in spite of circumstance:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)Tweet
I used alliteration throughout my Poem, Ramshackle Soul, which I read in the Writers Chat episode below.
Ramshackle Soul is also featured in the book Creative Writing Journal: Faith Inspired Writing Prompts & Hope-Filled Poetry of which Patricia Tiffany Morris is the mastermind. Make sure to check out her Journalling Scribbles collection of books.
Ever heard of a reverse poem? Now, that’s a challenge to write and delightfully intense to hear read. This and so much more included in this Writers Chat episode below!
CLICK BELOW FOR VIDEO: Writers Chat | Come Write with Us: Poetry
I noticed some seem to struggle to differentiate between simile, metaphor, and personification. “Show, don’t tell” is a cardinal writing rule, so here goes: IMAGERY (with a splash of personification and onomatopoeia): Dappled daylight winks along the wooded path. Sweet pea, goldenrod, painted meadows touched by autumn’s brush race toward the briny beach Ocean breaks on distant sand bars—boom, boom, boom — Rachael M. Colby, Excerpt from Walking Notes, 1st Place 2020 BRMCWC Foundations II Award recipient for poetry. ~~~*~~~ He stood stone-faced and unmoved despite her pleas. His chilly reception mimicked the icy streets and bitter biting wind that cut through her tattered clothing. PERSONIFICATION: The stones cry out, the trees bow down and worship The Lord. SIMILE: Her words are as smooth as silk, but her heart like stone. METAPHOR: He is a stone. I am a riverbed that cannot contain the rushing water. He rains on me. He reigns in me. I overflow. — Rachael M. Colby, Excerpt from He is Risen, (1st and 3rd Place Place 2019 North Carolina Christian Writers Conference Blue Seal Award & 2020 BRMCWC Foundations II Award recipient for poetry.)
I must be diligent to write when inspiration strikes. — I’ve thought that I would remember and write the words later, but sadly, I usually don’t.
Sometimes I don’t know where the words come from.
They come on the wind.
Praying on paper. — This is capture versus manufacture. It is soul-speak. This is how I think, perhaps it is the truest me. Poetry often seems to happen when I don’t know how else to express something, it comes from deep within, my heart and blood on the page. Sometimes I don’t realize I’m writing poetry until later. Bits and pieces, a sentence, a verse, sprinkled throughout articles, on scraps of paper and notes on napkins over time. Eventually I see and string them together.
He speaks to me, “Write this down.”
Writing, poetry in particular it seems, requires some stillness. Perhaps I’d write more, if I practiced the art of stillness more, of becoming a noticer—a listener for the whisper of my Lord.Tweet
“Still” is my word of the year. I’m working on it—still in the Creator’s presence, in His creation. But I must be ever careful to pursue the giver over the gift.
I looked for inspiration and found none. Then I sought You, Lord, and I was inspired.
Your turn for some word play! Why not try a couple of these fun exercises with friends and family whether you’re a writer or not!
Feel free to share your comments and creations in the reply section below or share via email in the designated field on my Connect page.
Honored to contribute my guest post God-fidence to Dr. Katherine-Hutchinson-Hayes’ Dressing in God’s Love blog.
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Looking for answers in these turbulent times? Wondering what in the world is going on? I pulled these scriptures together last year for my post Peace in Pandemic and Pandemonium. Their truth cries ever louder. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MY FREE COMPILATION OF BIBLE VERSES TO ENCOURAGE AND EQUIP (INCLUDES SCRIPTURES ON THE LAST DAYS).
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