A Handful of Soil – Poetry Exercise

I was talking about the possibility of teaching poetry to people of all ages as I am soon to be published  and this exercise came to me suddenly and out of the blue.


If I were to give you a handful of soil what would you do with it?

It seems to be ripe with possible meanings, the essence of poetry. These could be words, feelings, thoughts, ideas.

You could write it, say it, demonstrate it…..

If you find it useful then please let me know or just give it a go and tell your thought poem to a friend or family member.

It could go something like this


Give me a handful of soil

And I will say my goodbye

And plant in it a seed

that for future generations will grow.


A family member might never have known you had poetical leanings or aspirations in that area!

There are no rules that you have to follow but if you want a guide then try to keep your poem it under twenty lines, to begin with, and to ask why? when you try to rhyme. Show don’t tell. Relax, it’s not an exam!

You might find it easier if you make a space to work in where you will not be disturbed. If you are worried about turning off your phone for an extended period then give yourself ten minutes only when you divert your calls to voicemail and have pen and paper ready or alternatively use your computers notepad or word processor. When FIRST STARTING OUT I RECCOMEND USING PEN AND PAPER AND DON’T BE AFRAID OF SCRUBBING OUT.

When you have an idea write it down. It’s only for you . Try not to worry about what others would/might think. A poem might come in five/ten minutes or it might take longer. Don’t be disheartened. Take breaks. Read other people’s poetry.

Keep trying.

If you want to read poetry then you will find many poets of all shapes and sizes at Allpoetry.com

Unfortunately, I can’t be there when you have your poem and have something you want to show someone but you could try instead a trusted friend or someone you look up to or if you are feeling confident someone  at school or work. Chances are they won’t be an expert either.

And don’t worry if you are not writing like Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Maya Angelou or any of the greats to begin with. You have your whole life to improve and enjoy poetry.

So Good luck and have fun!



Published by Andrew Mark Watkins

Join our competition!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: