Friday, September 7, 2012

Writing Poetry Challenge - Tip 4

One of the best methods to draw your readers into your poem is to take a strong sensory approach to your writing. That way your poem becomes a shared experience, it connects you – viscerally – poet to reader, reader to poet.

Most people have the dominant sense of sight. When I teach beginning poets I will share a photo for example or a work of art and say, “What do you see?” We collect those words and phrases and use them in the same way a painter uses her palette to create her work of art.

I discovered simply by experience that I have a strong tendency to write sound poems. I put in words like schwaaaa schwaaaa schwaaaa or clickety clackety clickety clack and for whatever reason, people love it. They can hear what I am describing – even abstract concepts, by the sounds I pour into the poetry mix.

Tip Four: Begin observing your days through the lense of your senses. Use what you observe in random lines of poetry as a way to begin building some of your OctPoWriMo poems.

Bonus Idea: Start carrying a notebook to jot phrases to share “What I see, hear, touch, taste, smell.” Sometimes I use my smart phone in the same way. This will begin to help you fill your palette with images as material to write from once October arrives. 

To specifically see how some sensory poems are constructed and get further how-to's for your future poems, I have added a link from that is very helpful and a sort of sensory fill in the blank from a college website. 

Just thinking about reading and experiencing your poetry makes me smile with anticipation. I am so grateful you will be joining us for OctPoWriMo.

Julie Jordan Scott


  1. Oh I love how you use the senses! I have done that in the past to some extent but adding unusual sounds is new to me and a fantastic idea! Love it! Thank you Julie for your beautiful insights and wonderful tips!

  2. These are such helpful tips! Thank you. I'm a very sensory person and I will try to be mindful of using that more in my poetry.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and checking out our tips and prompts. Glad you found this so helpful.