Young Writers, social media
 
Young Writers
Young Writers

World Book Day Activity

Writing Poetry from Prose!

Definition

This is a fun writing activity that challenges you to write a poem based on your favourite book or story! Prose is another name for a story, or piece of writing, that doesn't have a rhythmic structure like poetry.

Explaination

To write a poem from prose all you need is your favourite story or book, a computer or pens and paper! We've picked a paragraph from ‘George's Marvellous Medicine' by Roald Dahl.

Step 1

Find a paragraph of your story that is filled with descriptive writing, and copy it out on to your piece of paper, or type on your computer.

"George thought it best not to answer this one. He found a long wooden spoon in a kitchen drawer and began stirring hard. The stuff in the pot got hotter and hotter. Soon the marvellous mixture began to froth and foam. A rich blue smoke, the colour of peacocks, rose from the surface of the liquid, and a fiery fearsome smell filled the kitchen. It made George choke and splutter. It was a smell unlike any he had smelled before. It was a brutal and bewitching smell, spicy and staggering, fierce and frenzied, full of wizardry, and magic. Whenever he got a whiff of it up his nose, firecrackers went off in his skull and electric prickles ran along the backs of his legs. It was wonderful to stand there stirring this amazing mixture and to watch it smoking blue and bubbling and frothing and foaming as though it were alive. At one point, he could have sworn he saw bright sparks flashing in the swirling foam."


Step 2

Read the paragraph you have copied, but this time circle or make bold any words and phrases that strike you as being powerful and that will work well in your poem. See our example below!

"George thought it best not to answer this one. He found a long wooden spoon in a kitchen drawer and began stirring hard. The stuff in the pot got hotter and hotter.  Soon the marvellous mixture began to froth and foam. A rich blue smoke, the colour of peacocks, rose from the surface of the liquid, and a fiery fearsome smell filled the kitchen. It made George choke and splutter. It was a smell unlike any he had smelled before. It was a brutal and bewitching smell, spicy and staggering, fierce and frenzied, full of wizardry, and magic. Whenever he got a whiff of it up his nose, firecrackers went off in his skull and electric prickles ran along the backs of his legs. It was wonderful to stand there stirring this amazing mixture and to watch it smoking blue and bubbling and frothing and foaming as though it were alive. At one point, he could have sworn he saw bright sparks flashing in the swirling foam."


Step 3

Now delete or cross out all the words you did not pick. This can be done quickly on a computer, but if using paper, it's probably best to write out the words you are keeping on a new piece of paper. Write the phrases and words you are keeping below one another but keep them in order, so earliest at the top!

George
Long wooden spoon
Began stirring hard
Hotter and hotter
Froth and foam
Rich blue smoke
Fiery fearsome smell
Choke and splutter
Brutal and bewitching
Spicy and staggering
Fierce and frenzied
Wizardy
Magic
Whiff
Firecrackers
Electric prickles
Amazing mixture
Smoking blue
Bubbling
Frothing
Foaming
Bright sparks
Swirling Foam


Step 4

Now you need a bit of imagination and to test your creative skills to create your poem. Now you can add words, move words round and even delete words you initially picked! See our example below, inspired by George's Marvellous Medicine!

Examples

George grabbed the long wooden spoon
Plunged in to the pan and began stirring hard
Hotter and hotter the concoction got
Froth and foam spewed from the pan
Followed by rich blue smoke
Wisps of the smoke puffed a
Fiery fearsome smell
That made George
Choke and splutter
The scent was brutal and bewitching
Spicy and staggering
Fierce and frenzied
George thought ‘Such wizardy
Such magic, I am creating!’
He took another whiff
It was like Bonfire Night
The smell of firecrackers
The blue haze
Bubbling
Frothing
Foaming
The eye-catching bright sparks
The foam like the wild ocean
George gave the thick, pungent gloop
A final stir before leaving it to cool.

Your Turn

Finished? Why not submit your poem to Young Writers and we will enter it into one of our competitions.

Alternatively send your poem to:

Young Writers, Remus House, Coltsfoot Drive, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 9BF or email it to info@youngwriters.co.uk