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One of my favorite techniques to write poetry is the use of lists. I find it amazing how you can create meaning from different parts simply listed after each other.

For example, if you just write:

an apple
a pear
and flowers
my dear

the reader (me) draws up something quite other than just a simple shopping list simply by adding the last line. To me, it’s a little bit like finding constellations from a random set of stars.

I often start my poetry writing random lists and then try to connect them, both using technique of sounds (for instance alliteration) or rhymes (as in pear and dear above).

Often I have a general thought about what the poem should be about. It can, for instance, be used when writing a love poem, like in my latest Quadrille.


You are the wind-kiss, my goosebumps
the stirrer of silver; moon-spilled in water.

You are the surf-sound, the sand,
and the sage-scent at dusk

You are the river and grass,
the thunderheads lazily racing over the plains.

You are my water, my solitude thirst.

Which is in the essence of the many ways I could describe love in terms of nature-lyrics. I have tried to use both my senses, visuals, scents and sounds. There are some alliteration and repetitions, but at its core, it’s just a simple list.

I also recommend you to use contrasts and even opposites. It often makes the list even more interesting if you let the eye move between opposites.

Don’t say it’s lukewarm when you’re moving between fire and ice.

Remember that the list can be only a part of your poem, or you might combine several lists.
We have many poets at the bar using lists. Why not check out some of Glenn’s poetry for instance.
So be creative, use any type of lists. I recommend writing the first list freely, and then write your poem from that first list. Let it grow, and be inspired by rhymes and metaphors.

When you are done, link up below, read and comment on what others might have written.