Writing Exercise

Ban on Adverbs & Adjectives
Write a poem that contains no adjectives or adverbs whatsoever. This means no colour names, no qualifiers (“soft,” “very”), none of the words we tend to think of as “poetic.” Instead, take the time to embody the adjective within a noun or a verb. “The thin, pale tree” could become “the birch,” or “he walked slowly,” might be replaced with “he dawdled.” It’s not necessarily to omit all adjectives on the first draft, but with each successive draft you should remove adjectives until you have a poem that is adjective-free.

Kristin’s Entry:

a beat-box
    trips up
on the curb

   sunward when it rises
the beat
Man is
          Halt!  Wait!
Not yet
        not ready
can't seem to get beyond morning
        the beat starts
and is silenced when the sun hits noon
  the chorus ending

Tabby’s Entry:

my life is this:
it is summer.
it is wind.
it is fun.
it is cold.
it is silly.
it is warm.
it is now.


11 Responses to “Writing Exercise”

  1. Gina Says:

    I’m envious of how well you both write! Ever think of making a book? =o

  2. Denise Says:

    Im having a minor brain fart today, ill have to come back to this one at a later time. 🙂 good job though I like them

  3. Lydia Says:

    I agree with Gina, you are very good writers and I feel priviliged that I can read your work and participate in these exercises.

    This is difficult (even in Dutch). If anyone sees errors, please let me know. Thanks.

    The mornings,
    family and friends,
    dreams and accomplishments,
    music and books,
    peace of mind and tranquility,
    animals and the beauty of nature
    the simplest pleasures and wonders of life
    make my heart smile.

  4. Lydia Says:

    Ooops…I think ‘simplest’ is an adjective.

    I change the last part in ‘the pleasures and wonders of life make my heart smile.’

  5. Emma Says:

    Rain washes mountains
    The sun hides
    People scatter
    Birds monitor tree-tops and chimneys
    Insects explore the underworld
    Darkness prevails

    The world is hibernating……..


    A star..

    a glimpse
    a glimmer
    a sign

    All is not lost…

  6. skahahoo Says:

    the lemons
    the top of
    my head
    and then
    from the pit of me
    an epitome
    i’ve got
    the sugar
    the spice
    so let
    the lemons
    i’ll make

  7. Emma Says:

    Kristin your poem is really catchy! It sounds like you could ‘mc’/rap it …. good lyrics. nice one!

  8. prad robert Says:

    hi’ , It’s amazing , It remain me the “oulipo” movment , Do you know that ???

    “Oulipo” stands for “Ouvroir de littĂ©rature potentielle”, which can be translated as “workshop of potential literature”. It is a loose gathering of French-speaking writers and mathematicians, and seeks to create works using constrained writing techniques.
    The group defines the term ‘littĂ©rature potentielle’ as “the seeking of new structures and patterns which may be used by writers in any way they enjoy”.
    In elemantary school , we had to study that and do this kind of thing.

  9. prad robert Says:

    So , I will do it again ^^ (good remains , not enough time for creation at school )

    “Melodies sever
    Seasons and years,
    Notes which flowed
    On your cheeks
    Bubbled on my brain
    And your chest
    Now darken In
    The juke-box which
    Lull like my heart .”

  10. Rain Says:

    Deep Kristin! lol. Love your poem!

  11. sarah kadinsky Says:

    Thinking in Images: Wrinkled Hands

    Two hands reach down to me,
    as if I were just born and about to be plucked up,
    by an angel in uniform- sister.

    Wrinkled hands older than my own,
    almost withered by comparison,
    beyond an ointment’s help.

    Was I ever really that small?
    Sometimes I feel like a tortoise in a shell
    but always about to break free;
    about to break free and easy
    to see how I could deceive- myself.
    I am bound in life’s struggle and will wither as a leaf. I was never that small.

    She gazed down at me and I realized
    I had not just been born but rather had awoken
    from a coma and it was my mother
    standing over me like a statue of Helen
    aged but beautiful
    and I thought to myself and feeling to her, I cried.

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