Writing Poems

HOW TO WRITE A POEM from your narratives  by COACH WINCH.

1) Copy and paste your narrative so you have two versions, version A and version B.

2) With version B, put each sentence into a line

I am standing on the sidewalk in front of my grandparents’ house on a sunny July day.

My grandma is in the kitchen cooking some lunch, making some salsa.

While she cooks some mole with chicken, she turns on a radio and sings along to Mariachi songs.

Now that I’m in the United States, I miss this place, the smell of my grandma’s salsa and looking at the window while my grandpa is looking out.

3) Make further line divisions, slowing the reader and creating rhythms, typically making each line just one thing or one action.

I am standing on the sidewalk

in front of my grandparents’ house

on a sunny July day.

My grandma

is in the kitchen

cooking some lunch,

making some salsa.

While she cooks some mole with chicken,

she turns on a radio

and sings along to Mariachi songs.

Now that I’m in the United States,

I miss this place, the smell of my grandma’s salsa

and looking at the window

while my grandma is looking out.

4) Get rid of more lines so only the best remain. It’s like cooking a steak.  Cut out the fat until it’s just a few juicy bites.  (And make sure the last line is a great–perhaps the best.)

My grandma

in the kitchen

making some salsa

she turns on a radio

and sings along to Mariachi songs.

Now that I’m in the United States,

I miss this place,

the smell of my grandma’s salsa

and looking at the window

while my grandma is looking out

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