Getting into poetry without thinking too much.
Choose an abstract ‘feeling’ word: LOVE, ANGER, SADNESS, THOUGHTFULNESS, GUILT, DISAPPOINTMENT, JOY… etc. If you cannot choose put a bundle of words into a ‘hat’ and pull one out.
The beauty of abstract words is that they mean something different to everybody. The following questions are a way of teasing out a unique and individual response to that word, (whilst avoiding clichés) and encouraging strong and original descriptions.
However sometimes unexpected similarities appear. One particularly moving occasion was in my role as a Creative Practitioner working with a consultant in a hospital and a long-term terminally ill patient. Their responses to this workshop produced surprisingly similar ways of expressing pain which allowed them to bond in a way that went beyond their doctor/patient interactions and cemented a deeper connection.
Respond to the following questions once you have made your abstract word choice:
Where does your word live (this may be a specific place or an impression)
What does it feel like if you touched it?
What does it smell like?
What does it look like? Size….
What does it sound like?
How does it move?
What colour is it?
What does it taste like?
Where does it go if anywhere?
Does it have any friends?
If it was a season what would it be and why?
If it was an animal what would it be and why?
What does it dislike and why?
What is its greatest desire?
What would make it cry?
What is its perfect moment?
If your word could say something what would that be?
Explore your answers, edit, play, change…. then create haiku, one or different versions, or a sequence… As always use 3 lines, 5/7/5 syllables if that helps but remember this is only a guide, anything below 17 syllables overall is good. Japanese haiku are often 3/5/3.
Then try exploring another emotion that contrasts with your first choice.