Day Poems?

Day Poems is a structured practice that hones listening and observation skills by creating a daily poem for a set period of time.

Want to try Day Poems on your own? Do! Day Poems offer a process, a practice of paying attention, recording and reflecting. The more we notice about the world, the more caring and engaged we become. Kindness is good.

Keep in mind the collage-like quality of the process. Day Poems juxtapose categories of facts and observations that I call variables, recordable elements of your immediate world that are capable of varying. Setting variables requires a Day Poet to commit to observing. Habit and ritual cue the Day Poet to note perceptions that become a poem

Three Weeks Before Summer (TWBS) costs about $6. The chapbook includes poems and tips; it will be helpful if you want to try this process on your own or with a writing pal.

Below are three pages from TWBS.

Get started by choosing variables. Choose:

  1. A set number of days to write. I recommend starting with a week.
  2. A set time of day (at least 20 minutes) or spot to write in. Or both.
  3. A form. I recommend four lines, a quatrain. 
  4. A source text for titles. Possibilities include: 
    1. newspaper headlines
    2. menus
    3. email subject lines
    4. billboards
    5. song titles
  5.  An element of the natural world to include on the page. Possibilities include:
    1. tide tables
    2. a bird (look up the species name)
    3. temperature
    4. moon phase
    5. cloud patterns
  1. Record the date for each Day Poem.
  2. Let rhyme happen, but don't go looking for it.
  3. Consider adding additional cues. For example:
    1. walking the same route before writing
    2. listening to the same song or album before writing
    3. writing after stretching
    4. pouring and enjoying tea, coffee, wine, juice
    5. dedicating a journal for this project
Remember that Day Poems is a creative process to practice curiosity and foster your poetic mind. You may not end up with polished poems or even drafts you want to keep. You will gain insights. Have fun! It's easy as growing dandelions.

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