This site is full of creative poetry/art exercises that aim to bring pleasure back into using words and writing. We welcome the participation of you and your child, please have a look at the list of contents, or the blog archive and try out any of the exercises that you like the look of. We welcome your comments on the success (or otherwise) of the idea…

Saturday 11 September 2010

concrete poems

My son has just had his first go at Concrete poetry or shape poetry. Inspired by his first trip to the local football club, he drew the shape of a ball and filled it with his diary entry.
Football Club
How to make your own concrete poem:

1. Think about what you would like to draw/write, maybe something you've done today, or your favourite game, or toy.
2. Draw it. A simple outline drawing is fine, but you can make it as detailed as you want.
3. Talk about why you like it, or what it looks like.
4. Practice your spellings on a separate piece of paper
5. Inflate the shape with your own words. You can turn the paper round, follow the lines, play with the lettering, make up your own rules, go generally insane.

We've frequently used Concrete poetry  in the past with our arthur+martha projects, when we worked in the hospitals with older people.  Concrete poetry uses the typographical arrangement of words as an important factor in conveying the meaning.  Below are a couple of examples of concrete poems made by older people in Stockport.

Joyce Thomas, a recipe for Liver and Onions, written into a slice of onion

W.D Cayton, War memorial

So was the concrete poem a success for Joe? a resounding yes, with a big smile on his face, Joe said: 'I liked making it into a shape.' There were no complaints and no need to cajole or encourage, once I had explained the idea, he just got on with it.

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