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Poetic Justice

April 14, 2014

This week you will be working on your descriptive language, while at the same time be given opportunity to really play with the language, and what better way to do this than to write a poem.

Poetry is a really fun way of exploring how we can use the language to convey a message. We can use word play, alliteration, assonance, and many other tricks to give a simple message in a fun and memorable twist. With poetry we can find the important second in the trivial incident. We can look at everything from a different aspect, and we can talk about whatever we like, regardless of how serious or irrelevant it is.

Your task is to write a poem on one of the five broad topics (click on the topic to read a sample poem) :

  1. A memory you have – It can be a happy or sad memory, it can be something which happened quickly or took an entire year to see itself through.
  2. A Person – anyone you know or even don’t know. Someone you saw, or a wished you’d spoken to. A family member you miss or someone you see every day. It can be about any aspect of this person too.
  3. A place – Anywhere, even imaginary, as long as it is somewhere in the world.
  4. A dream – this word has many meanings and interpretations, all of which are as appropriate as they are inappropriate. Try to be
  5. A natural occurrence or feature – If it is made by nature then it is natural. How you define what is made is up to you though.

Your poem should be a minimum of ten lines, and don’t forget a title.

Here are some tips for writing your poem:

  • Contemporary poetry does not rhyme, so you don’t have to (really, don’t rhyme – it’s weird!)
  • Don’t use so-called ‘poetic’ language – phrasing like Shakespeare does not have a place in contemporary poetry.
  • Use simple and straightforward phrasing – the idea is that you should be understood by everyone who reads it
  • Try to find that single moment that your memory clinches – why is this moment so important, and what can we learn from it.
  • Show, don’t tell – explain how things are, not what they are.
  • Use language that focuses on your senses – sight (colours, shapes etc.) touch (texture, weight etc.) hearing (volume, sound, distance) smell (strength, pleasurabilty) taste (type, strength)
  • Use assonance, repetition, alliteration, and metaphor
  • Try to avoid cliche, both as subject matter and language usage.
  • Don’t rhyme
  • Don’t rhyme
  • Don’t rhyme
  • Be different.
  • Shock your reader
  • Have fun

Some good sites to find some poetry to help you get an idea of how poetry actually looks. These three links possess ample resources for a brief look into contemporary and not so contemporary poetry, and you can easily search by theme, location, and even age.

72 Comments leave one →
  1. Channer permalink
    April 14, 2014 11:01 pm


    We were the one,
    You gave me birth,
    We got separated,
    With hardly conceivable pain.

    You only know bitter things,
    sacrificing yourself all the time,
    I only know sweet things,
    taking advantage of you.

    What would happen,
    If we go back to the past,
    Switch our body,
    Then, I could feel how you feel.

    When I see wrinkles in your forehead,
    It makes me regret what I’ve done,
    I will make it up to you,
    Far more than you did for me.

    (It is my very first time to write a poem in English.. so I really am not sure if i did it right. Please tell me if there is a really awkward part. Thank you!)

    • April 15, 2014 9:42 pm

      Looks fine – a little cliche but other than its ok. By the way, I would be wary of describing giving birth as hardly conceivable pain – as someone who has been in the delivery room during the birth of a child I would say it is the complete opposite.

      • Channer permalink
        April 16, 2014 8:56 pm

        Oh, you mean it is not that painful to have a baby? or did I describe it wrong? my mom told me it was really painful to have me. haha thats what I wanted to say in my poem!

      • April 16, 2014 8:59 pm

        What you said was it wasn’t painful, or at least a pain that was hard to feel. Perhaps you meant inconceivable. Conceivable is a good word in this case also as its related to giving birth..

  2. April 15, 2014 9:26 pm

    1. A memory you have
    (the pain of broken heart)

    I know it’s been a while
    I miss when we are together
    When I think of you
    Sometimes I always smile on my face

    Someone knows I had it rough
    Trying to forget you but
    The more that I look around
    The more I realize

    You’re all of world for me
    What you mean for me
    is you don’t know
    How meaningful you are
    To me

    I did not notice before
    Who you are
    Nobody’s perfect
    But you are
    To me To me

    • Jeremy permalink
      April 17, 2014 2:23 am

      It’s like a lyric of a broken heart. Must have been a bit sentimental when writing it! Great poem!

  3. Creative C permalink
    April 16, 2014 7:59 pm

    Dear giver

    A giver only cares about a receiver
    Not knowing you were a giver
    Not knowing I was a receiver
    Not realizing how rough your hands are
    Not accepting you became a weak
    Not remembering you had nothing

    Just saying you get everything – ‘that’s you’
    Dear giver it is time to be Receiver.
    How dare the receiver give back your love

    Granma, I am your giver now.

    • April 16, 2014 8:54 pm

      This is really good. Really.

      One thing – take out the ‘your’ in the second last line, and I would personaly leave out Granma and say I am the giver now. Let the reader work out who it is youre writing too.

      • Creative C permalink
        April 16, 2014 9:01 pm

        I see. I was considering whether use the word granma or not.

      • April 16, 2014 9:03 pm

        Well it’s your poem, right? But the old hands, the age passing, those love, that image of someone close to us like a grandmother is strong enough if you ask me.

    • Little Kitty C permalink
      April 17, 2014 6:22 pm

      So good….!

    • tnpqnp90 permalink
      April 17, 2014 10:17 pm


    • April 18, 2014 12:27 pm

      This is simple. But it has strong power. Fantastic poem!

    • HakJ C permalink
      April 18, 2014 12:40 pm

      What a nice poem it is!

    • Lauren C permalink
      April 18, 2014 8:32 pm

      At first i wondered what is the giver for you.
      Not writing a real meaning as title can help people be attracted. Nice poem!

    • jay permalink
      April 19, 2014 10:14 am

      it’s really good!

  4. Nabi C permalink
    April 17, 2014 12:45 am

    On an islet

    I closed my eyes getting into the bright darkness
    Only then i could be another myself

    On a tiny islet which no one has named,
    no one has known and no one has aimed for,

    I could be lost in the fragrance of flowers
    to be the littlest butterfly which no one has seen,

    I could feel deep earth under the ground
    to be a root of a tree which no one has planted,

    I could carry stars fallen from the sky to brighten more the islet
    to be gentle waves in the ocean which someone has felt.

    So I close my eyes to get into the dark brightness
    Only then I could not be myself.

    • April 17, 2014 12:54 am

      Fantastic. Beautiful!

      I would leave out the last line though 🙂 To finish on a line like ‘so I close my eye to get into the dark brightness’…..that’s an ending. It just says so much. Well done. Go and pour yourself a drink, you deserved it.

    • Jeremy permalink
      April 17, 2014 2:22 am

      It’s a great poem. I find myself imagining as I follow the lines!

    • Creative C permalink
      April 17, 2014 7:34 pm

      !!! So NICE!@@

    • tnpqnp90 permalink
      April 17, 2014 10:11 pm

      you are already great poet!

      • April 17, 2014 10:17 pm

        I agree!

      • Nabi C permalink
        April 17, 2014 11:25 pm

        Oh i’m so flattered…x) well I’ll invite you all to my islet! 😀

  5. Jeremy permalink
    April 17, 2014 2:21 am

    Unknown death

    Noticing a great picture,
    He decided to fill in the blank.
    A gentle click and some taps were enough,
    With some funny things coiled in his head.
    A soft giggle and somewhat awkward smile,
    Smoothly scatters the shiny letters.
    He got proud and waits for some fans.

    Hanging up her picture on the monitor,
    She wanted to have some fun.
    A gentle click and some scrolls were enough,
    With some curiosity on how people would see.
    Looking at the shiny spearheads below her picture,
    A sudden shock and shivering fingers.
    She starts to bleed as the letters get more peers.

    A body gets buried in a mountain,
    with some white flowers over the coffin.
    Some say it was an accident,
    Some say it was a suicide with an overload of burden.
    But the shiny letters confess it was a crime,
    it was them who stabbed the child.
    They said their name is malicious comments,
    that also can be born from your minds.

  6. Little Kitty C permalink
    April 17, 2014 6:21 pm


    In January
    Full of people
    Full of sweat
    Full of pain
    Where never can’t stop running

    In December
    Full of vacancy
    Full of wishes
    Full of hopes
    Where turn out to be in vain

    The (place), where we never leave.

    can you guess it?

  7. April 17, 2014 8:01 pm

    I have something for you too:

    I was writing this before class, maybe the reason I was a little late today 😛

  8. Solomon C permalink
    April 17, 2014 9:51 pm

    King of regret

    After night we were broken. 
    I feel stuffy every nights from that night. 
    Really I bethink and decide our seperation.
    Really I believe in we are ill-matched. 

    I found out myself it was absurd idea .
    I can’t count nights I was in regret. 
    Regret again and again. 
    With wavering before my eyes. 
    Wishing you back 
    Wishing the time back
    When we were together. 

    • tnpqnp90 permalink
      April 17, 2014 10:11 pm

      I can feel so powerful sympahty,,,

    • April 17, 2014 10:17 pm

      Nicely done, but avoid “poetic” language 🙂

    • Nabi C permalink
      April 17, 2014 11:28 pm

      So they say ‘be nice when one’s around.’ 🙂

    • omg permalink
      April 18, 2014 5:06 pm

      little bit touching

  9. tnpqnp90 permalink
    April 17, 2014 10:09 pm

    Uncomfortable comfort

    Sorry, it was an accident
    Sorry, I’m just doing what I should do
    And sorry, but I can feel comfortable

    Oh, a silly adult whose broken heart would never reach to you
    Though my earthly body remains here,
    My heavenly body would reside in there

    But I can still feel comfortable
    No, I have already sat in the comfy chair
    Yes, I have already sat on the fence

    By waiting for more evidence
    Sorry, I’m just doing what I should do
    And sorry, but I can feel comfortable

  10. Gordon permalink
    April 17, 2014 11:27 pm

    – God’s God –

    People believe the God.
    The God believes their belief.

    People want to meet the God.
    The God wants to grant their wish.

    When people meet the God really,
    People confess, I don’t want to meet the God.

    The God really doesn’t understand own creations.
    The God decide to ask to his own God.
    God’s God also doesn’t understand his creation of creations.
    God’s God ask to his own God.
    Endlessly, the question is asked.

    Finally, one of the God of God conclude the answer.
    Nobody knows the people exactly.

    • Nabi C permalink
      April 17, 2014 11:33 pm

      Though I am not sure if i got this poem right, it sounds profound.. I mean, cool. I never thought about a god of the god.

  11. April 17, 2014 11:37 pm


    Sky was blue.
    And I was blue.
    But I am not blue.

    Then, I went outside.

    Clouds were white.
    And I were white
    as well as my drink.

    Then, I looked up the sky.

    There were flowers,
    pink cherry blossoms.
    And I was pink.

    Now, sky is getting dark.
    And my face is dark
    as my memories fade out.

    2 weeks ago, in one of my classes, a professor led students outside as weather was so good. He bought us 막걸리, Korean traditional drink, and we had a great time. This poem is about me getting tipsy, and I tried to describe it with colors.

  12. CURRAHEE permalink
    April 18, 2014 7:10 am

    Khaki’s Dream

    Come on men! Rise and shine!

    I have to start to the day.
    I have to wear khaki uniform.
    I have to call roll call.
    I have to receive ranger training.

    When daily life’s end come?
    When my life’s shine come?
    When I come back home?

    I wanna leave old barracks.
    I wanna leave shabby guardhouse.
    I wanna leave obsolete army life.

    Do you think my dreams will come true?

  13. April 18, 2014 12:24 pm

    Dear brother

    By the time we was young, we saw TV together
    By the time I was tormented by bad fellows, you got even for me
    By the time you was gloomy, I tried to be a comedian
    By the time we played computer game quietly when there were no parent, we shared the same feeling of thrill

    When you went army, I was at home
    And when I went army, you were at home
    Even if there were just 4 years empty period between us, maybe it had an strong effect on our familiarity

    Now we do not talk to much each other
    Now we cannot see TV together
    Now you cannot get even for me
    But now we can sometimes drink beer on Friday
    And now we can share our worries about our future
    And now we can try to be good sons for our parent

    Thank you brother, and good luck
    I will always respect you

  14. Vanilla permalink
    April 18, 2014 12:42 pm

    In The Dark Room

    In the dark room,
    sitting down alone,
    hoping for the light comes inside.

    With grim humidity,
    with holding memories which start to vanish,
    with murmuring to the ground.

    I’m waiting,
    just waiting
    for the faintish promises
    to the half fogortten memories
    in the dark room.

  15. LCA c permalink
    April 18, 2014 1:50 pm

    If it be me

    Did you endure timeless time?
    Did you stand with tearless eyes?
    What a hard time to live in

    If you want to get things off, smiling.
    If you are afraid of lonesome.
    The person who walks with you
    Will be me.

    Did you stop walking to look around where you are
    Dreams get farther away from you
    It will be filled with another dream

    If you want to get things off, smiling.
    If you are afraid of lonesome
    The person who walks with you
    Will be me

  16. Kate C permalink
    April 18, 2014 1:55 pm


    Winter is passing
    Spring is coming

    Ice-cold body and heart
    melting togeher with white snow

    When the ground strecth
    I can hear the sound of spring

    fresh green bud will appear
    gentle spring breeze will blow

    Making petals smile with soft wind,
    making my mind flutter with flowery smell

    Spring is coming
    Winter is passing

  17. HakJ C permalink
    April 18, 2014 2:57 pm


    The sun is rising in the morning.
    The moon is rising in the evening.

    When the sun rises,
    People wake up
    Animal moves
    Smiles show up.

    When the moon rises,
    Black light turned on
    Silence comes
    Lack of breath are there.

    The sun is rising in the morning.
    The moon is rising in the evening.

  18. omg permalink
    April 18, 2014 5:06 pm


    When I met you in summer
    Frst chocolate you gave
    Melting in my heart
    Glittering as petals of sunflowers
    As the leaves turned brown
    Seasons test us to grow
    Falling didn’t matter
    Raining didn’t bother
    As second fall stepped forward to us
    You stepped backward to summer
    Time stopped as I walk alone in fall
    Like a nap at cozy noon
    Like a light from bright moon
    Gone as a scent of sweety choolate

  19. Angrybird(C) permalink
    April 18, 2014 5:06 pm

    1.A memory you have

    I didn’t know
    How dangerous it is
    Those black intention
    Hidden behind solid body

    Father said to me
    I am too young to go up there.
    Yes, father.
    I was too young to see that horrible sight.

    When you slipped over
    My heart also crashed down.
    The moment
    You who is the strongest man in my world came down,
    I became the feeblest girl in the world.

    I didn’t know
    How powerful it is
    Those mighty grab
    Hidden behind black, solid body.

    • Angrybird(C) permalink
      April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

      The title is I dIdn’t Know. I don’t know why my poem is written by italic…

  20. mike C permalink
    April 18, 2014 5:41 pm


    The star came up in the cloudy night sky
    Glowing brightly, it stays there still
    giving a dim light upon people

    For a boy waiting for his mother’s return
    The star is a hope
    For an old gentleman who lose his wife
    The star is memory of her
    For a father finished his late work
    The star is face of family

    The star is still up in the cloudy night sky
    Glowing brightly, it stays there still
    giving a dim light upon people

  21. Coffe C permalink
    April 18, 2014 7:40 pm

    My highschool

    Unlike skyscraper, My highschool had featureless surface like an eraser.
    However when spring comes, Cherry blossoms blow around and lots of students were chatting around there.

    When summer comes, Teacher and students were exercising at the ground.
    After P.E. class, students fell asleep like a bear.

    When autumn comes, Students could see colorful maple.
    At the end of fall, they stepped on parti-colored leaf.

    When winter comes, Students had a snowball fight and made a snowman like Olaf of frozen.

    Unlike skyscraper, My highschool had featureless surface like an eraser.
    However, season put life into this featureless space.

  22. Lunchtime C permalink
    April 18, 2014 8:24 pm

    2. A person

    For me, you are a miracle
    It can be never dark when I see you.
    Your smile, your acts, your voice
    Everything about you shine me.

    For me, you are a sorrow.
    I can’t be with you
    Even I can’t touch you
    The only thing allowed for me is to love you

    For me, you are my whole world.

    For me, you are.

  23. HELEN permalink
    April 18, 2014 9:10 pm

    If you let me

    It’s been a long time
    hoping for something for you.

    If you let me stand by you
    I will give you my hands.

    If you let me have some time
    I will surely find laughter for you

    If you let me use my energy
    I will cook one joyful meal

    If you let me help you
    I will make your life better

    The only thing you can do is
    letting me do something for you.

    Let me share
    my energy, hope and dream with you.
    Let you be happy is let me be happy

  24. Lauren(C) permalink
    April 18, 2014 10:31 pm

    What a bad smell is
    Why are you bullying my nose

    The more high a temperature
    the more an awful crashing my headache is keen
    My nose is felling a pain
    I say “sorry, my nose.”
    And start to breath thorough my mouse

    Continually I check whether I arrived or not
    I want to get off
    Escapism would be the answer now

    A man standing in front of me
    giving an offensive smell in the bus
    Maybe this smell is his swear
    I want to go bak come
    and wash my face for nose

    • Lauren(C) permalink
      April 18, 2014 10:32 pm

      sorry, “I want to go bak come –> I want to go back home”

    • Lauren C permalink
      April 19, 2014 3:39 pm

      Title is ” Dear. my nose “

  25. April 18, 2014 10:59 pm

    Friday night

    the crowded night
    I was alone
    the loud night
    I was alone
    the bright night
    I was alone
    when I was alone,
    something shines me

    chicken, Ooh fried chicken
    you are the only my friend
    we will be one soon though.

    • April 18, 2014 11:01 pm

      This poem speaks to me on so many levels. Have we met in another life?

    • Rosemary C permalink
      April 18, 2014 11:50 pm

      Wow. I love this poem soooooo much!!! It’s my style X)

    • Nabi C permalink
      April 19, 2014 1:28 pm

      Oh yeah, this is a real poem.

    • Solomon C permalink
      April 20, 2014 7:29 pm

      oh…great poem, only chiken takes me to the heave.

  26. Angela C permalink
    April 18, 2014 11:05 pm

    Topic 1_A memory _ The First Date

    Today, first date with you

    I woke up already, before alarm goes off
    Take a warm bath, and hum a merry little tune
    Wash my face with a bashful smile

    Isn’t my lipstick too dark? What about this color?
    I am hoping you to tell me
    I look lovely in my new dress

    The warm sunshine cheers for me
    Birds are singing for you

    Now, I’m walking to you

  27. Beeyomi permalink
    April 18, 2014 11:58 pm

    A click and all was gone.

    The deadline for an essay assignment was around the corner.
    Professor’s voice echoing in my mind
    “I would not read if overdue”

    Typing speed could not keep up
    changing window glare
    from black to white

    Finally, 8 am
    the last line was written
    The last thing to do
    highlighting the title and name bold.

    With trembling hands by three cans of Redbull
    dragged my name, made it bold and click to save.
    Though my eyes stinging and my head swimming,
    my heart filling with pride.

    the last click to seal the deal
    15 sheets of writing was gone but my name
    erased all my effort but despair
    wiped my pride but only C+.

  28. Rosemary C permalink
    April 19, 2014 9:40 am

    “The Day”

    Tic Toc the time is ticking
    Everybody says the time is ticking
    Tic Toc the time is ticking
    I also had said my time is ticking

    Since that Tuesday,
    I could not hear any ticking of mine
    You were wearing a pellucid blue shirt,
    Just like your bracing bright smile

    Though I had my hair cut very short,
    Though a year had been passed,
    There was nothing has changed
    You were there and I was there too

    There was nothing has changed
    Except for the spring came again
    The cherry blossoms flowered again
    And you came back again

    Tic Toc the time is ticking
    Everybody says the time is ticking
    Tic Toc the other’s time is ticking
    But my time is still there

  29. jay permalink
    April 19, 2014 12:11 pm

    Missing you

    At night
    Check my phone
    But there is no message

    At midnight
    Again check my phone
    But still there is no message

    At dawn
    Once more check my phone
    Finally there is no message

    I am confused by what I feel
    Whether it comes from the time
    Or it comes from my heart

  30. itsme c permalink
    April 20, 2014 2:56 pm

    Sweet smell of spring
    All around the school.
    Everywhere in the school is
    Full of cherry blossom.
    We are in the pink world.

    Cherry blossom always
    bring her friend.
    When cherry bloosom entice us with her
    Sweet smell and beautiful appearance
    That is the time I notice
    The monster comes.

    Cherry blossom , the beauty
    Infatuate me and
    Make me miserable.
    I can not go to bed
    Because she bring her friend.
    Plese come alone.

    Sweet smell of spring
    All around the school
    We are torally distracted.
    Here he comes.
    He is right infront of me

  31. Korean permalink
    April 20, 2014 3:34 pm

    3. a place

    I want to go home

    When I am leaving lovely home to go to school
    I think I want to go back home and wrap blanket around me.

    When I am riding empty elevator to go to school
    I think I want to go back home and wrap blanket around me.

    When I am getting on the big bus to go to school
    I think I want to go back home and wrap blanket around me.

    When I am running fast not to be late for class
    I think I want to go back home and wrap blanket around me.

    When I eat lunch after class
    I think it’s delicious.

  32. yessok C permalink
    April 20, 2014 11:22 pm

    1. a memory I have – in relating to my swimming accident

    Falling in the deep

    Like deep in the night
    I fall off in the dark
    It was so hard
    And It was so severe
    For the young to keep breath in the calm water

    Like deep in the sky
    I drop down into the ground
    It was so worse
    And It was so awful
    For the young to suffer from this disaster

    Like deep in the space
    He face with the silence
    It was so sad
    And It was so pity
    For the young to blossom his youth nevermore

  33. chr4231 permalink
    April 21, 2014 6:15 am

    1. happy memory or 3.high school

    Cherry blossom

    Behind the high school,
    through the street and the hill,
    there were plentiful cherry trees.
    In every spring,
    looking over the red brick wall,
    girls raised their sweet and romantic dreams.
    When the cherry blossoms were borne,
    it was blossom-rain all over the world.
    Girls got dyed powder pink flower.
    Girls were the flower, soaking in the rain.

  34. Melissa permalink
    April 21, 2014 10:02 pm

    The end of 12 years
    – The day of Korean SAT –

    First class, linguistic section
    All parents outside mumble a few words of prayer
    Second class, mathematic section
    All parents outside hold their hands together
    Third class, English section
    All parents outside hope there are no mistakes
    Fourth class, social studies section
    All parents outside wish they do their best till the end

    Lastly, students finish all sections
    Finally, students complete all studies for 12 years
    All parents outside and students embrace each other
    All parents outside and students drop tears together

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