Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Echo Poems

At the last salon, we got out our ink bottles, turned on our thinking taps, and composed Echo Poems. This is a loose creative exercise that frees the poet from disappointingly predictable results. It's a poem in two stanzas.

You start by coming up with a first line. Then, by echoing the sounds, words, or meanings of that first line (or using their opposites), you compose another line, which becomes the first line of the second stanza. Then you echo that line and make it the second line of the first stanza, back and forth, until you feel finished. The last line that you invent becomes the title of the poem.

The really freeing thing about this method is that you can interpret "echo" any way you wish--and that interpretation can change mid-line if it tickles you. Here are some of the poems spawned by the latest gathering:


Twinges Lost and Soaring

To leave it all behind,
Derange the leaves of mind,
Obey the body's whim.
To go whither beak leads
I'll fly led by what I seek,
Leaking all my worry,
Lacking all but wings.


Test the Monstrosity

She breathes shallowly and soft;
Sleep and shards of lostness
Laugh unrestrained in tangles of thought,
Lie rainy rambles rambled long,
Cavort with blessed cacophony.

He dies deep and sharp,
Weep and wards of thoughtlessness,
Brainy brambles sigh;
A short wet rest from wandering.


Trees bloom to perish
Start never but hesitate
With only one iteration

Stop forever and cherish
There is no compassion
At a time when in its creation


My heart is six feet underground
Below my frown I crawl
I won't swim through the throes
Or write ward ways
Falling downs and soft
Trapped in vetiver frost.

Understand how below I am
A thrall to soon drown
Thrown wrongways at 
The Rites of Falling Down
Crushed velvet freefall
Tapping our frozen cells.


  1. what a fascinating concept. i can see myself trying this out on my own just to free up my creative thinking as well as trying it out with friends. thanks for sharing.

  2. Yes, it's a fun creative stimulant.