Writing poetry is weightlifting for writers

Writing poetry is weightlifting for writers. A quote accredited to a few writers across twitter but one I couldn’t agree with more…

(Go on Zoe!)

(Go on Zoe!)

Do let me clarify-  I am NOT a poet. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I’ve seen performance poets in action- Tom Mansfield- a London based performer for example, who spins an intricate rhythmical spiral of words that captures you up and in that moment, takes you wherever he wants you to go- he’s a poet. The people who stand up at Spoken Word London and pour out their hearts in stanzas, they’re poets. Carol Ann Duffy, she’s a poet.

All poets are writers but not all writers are poets.

I can make things rhyme. I recently helped to adapt Traum Theatre’s 'Penguinpig', creating a rhyming narrative for their puppets to follow, but I’m classing that as playwriting. For me, poetry is an exercise in creativity. A chance for me, in a short space of time, to create something lively, irreverent and fun... Maybe writing is less like weightlifting for me and more like a quickie…

Maybe poetry is more like archery for writers?

It’s all about precision. You can’t have too many words in a poem, you have to pick carefully, the word has to fit with the rhythm and convey everything you need it to in a few syllables… It’s not like a blog where you can ramble on and on and on…

Actually maybe poetry is more like scrabble for writers?

Because whilst you’re looking for that perfect word you run through every synonym. The words I learnt whilst I was looking for something to rhyme with purple!

Or poetry is like skydiving for writers?

It’s freeing. You write about whatever you want, because a poem is as long as it is. You’re not aiming for the 68,000 word mark of a novel. If I want to write a poem about an avocado I can absolutely write a poem about an avocado and know that after the sixth line I can put a stop to the madness…

Poetry is mental gymnastics- but the good kind, the one with more flips and kicks and less ribbons on sticks.

Anyway, writers, poets, people, I encourage you to go out and write whatever you want. Everything you write makes you a better writer be it poetry or a wordy blog about not being a poet.

So, just for fun, here is a couple of fruits my weightlifting.

VDAY – February 2015

You can forget your roses

& marked up fancy meals

& stilted conversation

& theatre, hotel deals.

Tonight I've got a real treat,

My date's too cool to care

Have stuck 'em in the freezer

& found slippers to wear.

Yep, tonight I'm gonna raise a glass

Then chow down and be merry,

This year I have two Valentines-

The gorgeous Ben and Jerry



And my favourite-



I am the kamikaze pigeon,

No wandering for me,

No pecking at vague vomit,

I'm in the air, I'm free.

I am the kamikaze pigeon,

Look at me, I soar.

See me blur towards you

You should probably hit the floor.

I am the kamikaze pigeon,

And you are in my place.

Where your head was is where I am,

This is my air space.

I am the kamikaze pigeon,

I am London through and through,

Shoppers and tourists cower

And really so should you.

I am the kamikaze pigeon

And this is mine, my day.

Life's intense or what's the point?

So fuck off out the way.