Lesson 5:  What Are We Looking For?

What are we looking for in a poem?


When we read it: An experience.

Perhaps we long and hope for connection or to have our hearts touched. Maybe we seek a picture of what is or what could be that resonates with our souls in a deep place- often beyond explanation. We are possibly looking for mystery or identity.


When we write it: Expression.


What makes it different from other writing is how it is condensed into portraying a certain picture, feeling, struggle, epiphany, sensation, etc. in a very few words.

We embody a story in one savory morsel.

We create a channel where we do not direct the reader's imagination, we give it a hidden path to explore.


What else?

  • What are you looking for?

  • What are you expressing?

Journal about this through a stream-of-consciousness exercise. Write for 3-5 minutes, (or longer if you wish.)



Your First Assignment:

  • What can you express through poetry that might be difficult to communicate otherwise? Think about it.

  • Make a list of these things


  1. I dream of pilgrimage: labored treks down a well-loved path. Poetry can help me express the story behind this longing.

  2. Special needs in the family carry an emotion all their own, and maybe this can be expressed through imagery in a way that allows others to understand and connect.

  3. I can share about the times where entering the forest seems to open a window to another space and time.

  4. I can observe the many facets of love, trust, hope, and grace, and how they are woven into relationships.

  5. It helps when wrestling with a story that doesn’t quite make sense in everyday language .

  6. Sometimes a conversation needs processing.

  7. It's a way to put something down that the heart has been carrying: wish it well, and let it go in peace.


Now it's your turn!



Your Second Assignment:

  • How can you leave a little mystery in your words to create curiosity for the reader’s journey?

When you write down your thoughts, consider arranging them according to the pattern discussed earlier:

Begin a new line with each sentence or after each comma,
so your lines are arranged like a standard poem.



Tomorrow I will speak.
I feel words building, burning,
gnawing their way to the surface.
I must, I must be heard
no matter how hard it is to use my voice.
I long to break the silence.

Now you try it!



Your One Word Prompt:

- Expression -