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Hello dVerse Poets and welcome to Tuesday Poetics, hosted this week by me, Kim. You can find me at writinginnorthnorfolk.com.

If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that my favourite radio programmes and podcasts are on BBC Sounds, which is where I got the inspiration for today’s Poetics.

On 2nd February, the poet Rachel Long, in conversation with Caroline Bird, Richard Scott and Fleur Adcock, explored the craft of writing a kiss, “How might we hold the wordless intimacy of the act – its blurring of selves and disrupted time.” It began with a question: “Are you haunted by any kisses?” and continued with a wonderful journey through sensual, erotic and funny kisses, the ones that “we describe over and over” and “the kisses we keep a secret”. A kiss was described as “both the hardest thing to write a poem about, but also the most like a poem experience”. It was commented that a kiss is wordless; you know it’s a bad kiss if you think in sentences, while a good kiss removes all the words from your head, and writing a poem about a kiss is like putting the words back in. 

I enjoyed the poems featured in the programme, especially the following: ‘Kissing’ by Fleur Adcock and ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese 38: First time he kissed me, he but only kissed’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt 1907-8

And I found a few more: ‘The Kiss’ by Sarah Teasdale and ‘Kiss Me Slowly’ by Sylvia Chidi.

A week too late for Valentine’s Day, the challenge is to write a poem about kissing, a special kiss that still haunts you, a peck, a snog, a kiss hello or a kiss goodbye. Whatever it is, try to capture the wordless intimacy of the act.


If you are new, here’s how to join in:

  • Write a poem in response to the challenge;
  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below;
  • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join so check back to see more poems;
  • Read and comment on other poets’ work, we all come here to have our poems read;
  • Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog;
  • Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.   We are a friendly bunch of poets.
  • Have fun.