On Poems, Paper Planes and Playfulness


The other evening, at the regular 451 poetry event run by Apples and Snakes, I re-enforced what I always say about creativity and play.

They ran a little competition to write a poem in the break. It’s a new form of poetry invented by Mr Compere, Rob Casey (see his blog about it here). The rule is, write a poem where each word starts with the letter at the end of the previous word. This kind of ‘restricted’ creation is a powerful tool to push your creative process out of your usual patterns and I’ve used it a lot – from dancing with one foot ‘rooted’ to the ground, to painting with just one colour.
Anyhoo, there I was, the pressure was on (OK not really!) to write a poem in 20 minutes after a rather large glass of wine. I sweated (OK not really!) and eventually crumpled up my paper in disgust, announcing that chain poetry would never catch on.
Picking up another piece of paper, I made a paper aeroplane. As soon as the brain had disengaged from trying to force a poem, VOILA! A poem just popped on out. I wrote one word on each side of the plane, making it a performance poem (Matt, who is a real poet, said it was a CONCRETE poem!).
So, to cut a long story short, I was victorious, home I came with a prize under my arm and a swagger in my step. Awesomeness abounded.
The lesson here is really quite simple – inspiration comes when you chill the heck out, and start to play.
Here is the prizewinning poem. Oh and yes, it was just a little in-the-break competition, but there were some pretty awesome poets in that room, so I’m rather blinkin’ chuffed.
paper
rocketplane
eddies
skyward
drifts
slowing
groundward

It's easier to get to where you want to go, if you know where you are!

Find out where you are in your creative life right now with this handy quiz and playbook

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Comments are closed.