Poetry For Beginners: Writing a Valentine's/ Anniversary Poem as a DIY Gift | Whitney Strong | Skillshare

Poetry For Beginners: Writing a Valentine's/ Anniversary Poem as a DIY Gift

Whitney Strong, Get Creative. Feel Better. Have Fun.

Poetry For Beginners: Writing a Valentine's/ Anniversary Poem as a DIY Gift

Whitney Strong, Get Creative. Feel Better. Have Fun.

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7 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Identifying your Subject

    • 3. Freewrite : Get Your Juices Flowing

    • 4. Start Writing: A Moment in Time

    • 5. Editing & Tweaking

    • 6. Presentation: How to Gift Your Poem

    • 7. We're Finished: In Conclusion

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About This Class

Learn with creative and marketing writer Whitney Strong how to write the perfect Valentine’s Day poem for that special someone. If you’re looking to try something new this Valentine’s Day (or for an anniversary or birthday), a little bit of sentiment can overshadow the most expensive gift (except airpods, right?).

You’ll follow along, learning how to write a poem straight from the heart, without worrying about meter or rhyme, for a free verse love letter about a special time you shared together.

And, BONUS, we’ll talk a little about how you can present your poem and make it a little more special. No matter if you want to sneak out and scribble your adoration on their car window, frost your words of love onto a cake, or just express tender emotion in your own handwriting, the right presentation will kick your gift up to another level.

Whether you’ve been writing poems for years, or you’re just giving it a try, this is the class for you.

Meet Your Teacher

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Whitney Strong

Get Creative. Feel Better. Have Fun.


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1. Introduction : Valentine's Day is coming up, which means that love is in the and with love comes money. Just if you want to try something different this year and maybe skip the super expensive Red Roses or the giant dog that no one knows what to do with it. I think that writing a poem is a really fun way. Teoh Express your love for someone. So through this class I'm going to walk you through the process of writing a poem for your special person, romantic or otherwise. Probably mostly romantic. We're not gonna worry about rhyming or iambic pentameter or anything that makes poetry scary this time around. So don't worry about that. This is a great class for people who have written poems and also for people who've never in a poem before. Like I said, I'm gonna walk you through the entire process, and we're going to keep it pretty straightforward and mostly from the heart. Our class for this project will be pretty straightforward. Just post your progress of your poem. You don't have to post the final version, but you can't a few. I think it's really cool to see how all of these poems end up, and I'd also love to see how you present them. So if you have a picture of that as well, that would be amazing. I think it's really cool when a lot of creative people get together and can share their ideas. Um, I mean, I know there are so many other ways of presenting these poems that I didn't even think of that you guys are probably, like wait ahead. So if you want to give writing a Valentine's poem, try, keep watching. 2. Identifying your Subject: Now, before we start writing, we should identify who you're going to write the poem for. This should be pretty easy for you, but if it's not, that's OK. No judgment. Maybe you're dating a few different people here. You're just a cool player. Maybe you're writing your poem for a crush or for someone that you're not married to or dating um, officially yet. And I think a D I Y little Valentine poem is a great way to kind of show someone that you're serious. But it's all about the content. So don't where you don't have to, like, propose in the home or anything. Take a few minutes, make sure you know who you're reading a poem for, because that does matter and they'll know that you're writing it for them, through the words that you use in the home now will make sense a little bit later, so make sure you know who you're running the phone for em and we'll get started 3. Freewrite : Get Your Juices Flowing: Okay, so I know I told you that we were going to start writing, and we are, But we're not going to start running the exact poem yet. If you aren't a regular writer or if you're just kind of transitioning from doing something else, it doesn't help to take a few minutes to kind of get your brain transitioned over to, like, creative writing mode. But I would say between three minutes and maybe 10 minutes to just write a little bit about the person that you're writing your poem for in order to make the warm up more effective. Think about your person. Think about that person that you writing the Valentine poem for. You could start with things as simple as a list of things that they like or, um, things they don't like. Are they cute? Hopefully, they hopefully find them cute. Finding a specific moment in time is a really good way. Teoh. Keep your poem contained. And also it helps you, right, Because you have really memories tied to that. You're not kind of pulling stuff out of the air. Either think or start writing about a specific moment in time that you shared with them a special moment or a special day. Maybe it was a first date that was just kind of really amazing. And you felt really easy going. Maybe you took a trip together. That was really kind of magical. It could be anything like just a fun time, like running around the grocery store like creating havoc a target. It does help the poem land better when it's obvious that the the poem was written for that . And then once you've written and you feel comfortable and you feel like your creative juices, air flowing will dive into starting the whole. 4. Start Writing: A Moment in Time: Okay, So now that we've been free writing for a few minutes and our creative juices air flowing and were full of love and all of the feelings, it's a great time to start writing. And don't worry about making everything perfect. There's plenty of time to edit in, tweak and make it however you want it to be. So the first draft, like don't worry about too much. Honestly, it just don't get in your own way. A rough draft is just for you. You could throw it away. You can burn it. No one will look at your notebook, so don't over think it. And don't start editing in your mind before you really know what you have. So we've chosen one moment in time, right? That's an easy way to keep things streamlined and keep it organized also, which is something Poems like sometimes poems just aren't organized, and I think people enjoy them because that's part of the freedom of it. But they can also be more difficult to read. And when you're giving a poem as a gift, I feel like you want it to be understandable, or at least understandable enough, right? They should know what you're trying to tell them. So we're going to start with some prompts, um, line by line prompts. We're going to start with concrete image and by concrete. I don't mean go outside and find of, um, sidewalk to take a picture of but concrete in the sense that it's a real thing that you can see Smell, touch here. Taste. So that image kind of creates itself in your mind. Example of concrete images can be a simple As the snow was so white I was momentarily blinded. He smelled like warm blackberry pie, which, OK, it's. So instead of saying he smells good, you're saying what he smells like, right? So it's a little bit more solid, which is why we call it concrete. So after our concrete image, we're going to zoom out. And I like using, um, film terms because I feel like we all watch so many movies and TV that it just makes sense . It's an easier way to figure out exactly what we're doing with words, so we're going to zoom out and also, in a way, give context right to what we're talking about, and this will all make sense later, as we're writing a little bit more, then we're going to go closer in and get personal. Then we're going to out a detail or a story element. Then we're going to add your feelings like a little piece of commentary almost. And then we're going to add another detail or story element. And then you can continue with the details and story elements as far as you need to go. And then the last part will actually be final commentary. Or what's the resolution, also known as What's the point? And in this poem for Valentine's Day, the point is, those were your feelings, your expressing your feelings so we'll just go ahead and start. So a concrete image Snow was falling like a little pieces of confetti. Oops at a party. Eso. Then we zoom out right. So away from the snow. What's bigger than snow? What's further out than snow? It's nighttime, so the stars were just coming out so obviously starts or further out than snow, but now we're going to go closer in, so we're going to zoom back in. If that makes sense, um, bring a more personal bring it back to you who's in the story? Let's say Okay, here's a personal detail. Um, my coat on your shoulders. Okay. I like that. You know, it gives this kind of idea of it was cold. Someone forgot their jacket. The other person was prepared but was nice and shared it. So without getting into it, there's already a story here. Let's bring it in a little bit more personal. Uh, we ran to the car. Let's say screaming. Maybe it's that cold. So now we're taking a moment like we're narrating the scene in a way. Think of it as the narrator commenting on the scene. Um, so they have a little bit more insight than what the audience sees, and obviously your audience is one person, but you never know. So the you in this case is is you not not your person. So I Let's say that I gave someone my coat. You looked like a dork in money, too small coat, right. More details. We sat in the car shivering and laughing. You were stuck right? Stuck in the coat. Oh, dear. And just keep it simple. We're just gonna end it right there. Obviously, you can go further if you want to detail a little bit more. Um, but we're just gonna go right here to our resolution. So he's stuck in the coat. She's stuck in the coat, Whoever they are, they're stuck in the coat. And I didn't tell you, but that's when I knew I love to you. Okay, so this is just kind of an outline. Obviously you can expand or contract as much as you like play with it, But right now, our poem reads, snow fell like pieces of confetti. It a party. The stars were just appearing in the dark, my coat on your shoulders. We ran to the car screaming. I thought you looked like a dork in my too small coat. We sat in the car, shivering and laughing. You were stuck and I didn't tell you. But that's when I knew I loved you. The pieces are all there, and you can tweak as you like, and we'll talk about editing in the next section. 5. Editing & Tweaking: nothing. You feel like you're getting closer to a poem that you can really sharing gift to this person. It's important to go over the home with a few edits in mind. Things like replacing weak words with stronger words. Injecting your personality into the poem is important as well. So if you have a really specific kind of sense of humor, put that in the poem as well. You know, use your voice to your advantage. Incorporate words that you feel like add to the mood of the poem and all add some tips below, especially with weak words that could be a little difficult sometimes. And while editing can get a little nit picky, sometimes I feel like with this poem, the overall goal is your emotion and you sharing that emotion with someone else. So don't get too hung up on specific words and line choice and what word you're ending a line with. Overall, it's supposed to be a little bit more free form a little bit more from the heart. Okay, so now that we have a pretty good rough draft of our poem, I want to go in and edit a little bit and Obviously you can do this as long as you like. Poetry can sometimes take forever, so don't feel like you have to spend, like, a 1,000,000 hours. But there were just a few things that I didn't I love about this. So we're just gonna go in and tweak? I did like that first line. So we're gonna keep that snow. Oh, like pieces of at a party, though. We right alone. And obviously I'm breaking a little bit of the rules that I just made. I have introduced we and us already, but that is fine, you know, break the rules if it makes sense. And if you want to. I did like the stars appearing, but we were alone. But then the stars What if the stars were watching? OK, the stars just gathering to much. I did like this line too. We raced. How about that? The car? Maybe they weren't screaming so much. Maybe they were calling to each other. Hurry up. Maybe I'm freezing now. Here. I don't love the word dork, even though if you use that word and you used it in that instance, that's totally fine. But it's not the most poetic word, so I'm gonna change it. You looked like on over grown small count in the car. We laughed and shivered. You stuck in the coat and let's just finish it right there with the same line and I didn't tell you. But that's when I knew. Let's leave it at that. Obviously you can leave it with. I knew I loved you. If it's true, it's not true. Don't do it well, He was a little bit of mystery, but it's not like that's what I knew. I forgot to buy milk at the grocery store. You know, like this story doesn't go that way. So that would be like a weird thing to assume, as you add it, Look for details in the story that don't make sense or are wrong replaced weak and vague words, especially vague words. Details help trigger memory. So if it was a Sunday and you knew it was a Sunday, go ahead and add that. That's great other edits. You can watch out for things like mood and feeling. So, um, the stars, for example, can add a little bit of mood, right? It's very its nature. It's kind of romantic and then consider your personality as well and feel free to inject humor. Um, if you want to, you know that it doesn't have to be a super serious poem if you don't want it to be. You can use that sense of humor, especially if that's something they love about you. Once you're done, editing will talk a little bit about presentation and then you'll be good to go, okay? 6. Presentation: How to Gift Your Poem: presentation might seem like the last thing you want to worry about now that you've written like the whole poem for someone. But it's those little touches that make a gift even that more special. So take a minute and think about how you want to gift your poem. You could do something as simple as writing on a nice piece of paper and framing it. You could print it out on a piece of paper. Um, that's huge and make it like poster size. You could make it really small and laminated, you know, type it up, maybe shrink it down in size, have it laminated and then kind of make it wallet size so they could fit in their wallet, which I think is pretty cute as well. Think about what they like. You can even add it to another gift if you want. So, for example, if they really love writing, you could give them a new blank journal. Write the poem in the front page. But think about the last gift that you were given. You know, maybe for your birthday or Christmas. Um, the wrapping does show a little bit more about how you care Some people wrap gifts and they take a lot of time and they make them like, really beautiful, like art pieces that you feel bad unwrapping and then other people. I feel like you're a little bit more relaxed, you know, Um, I've gotten presence where it's just kind of like the Amazon box that it came in, and it's like, Yeah, you know, that's it. The gift and it's the thought that matters. But wrapping it is also part of the thought. So take him in and think about how do you want to present that gift? 7. We're Finished: In Conclusion: I hope you enjoyed writing a poem for Valentine's Day. It's not really a Zhar does you think free verse makes poetry a lot more successful, which I think is really exciting. And I hope you took away a few things from this class. Like poetry is fun. Andi not is overwhelming, and scary is maybe you thought it waas d i Y. Gifts are an awesome idea, and you don't have to spend a lot of money to show someone that you care. Please post your projects down below. I know if their personal it can be hard to, um, really share if you're not inclined to share, that's totally fine. Maybe just right up a few words about what you wrote about how you present to that. I think it's really good way to just share ideas with each other, and I'd love to see what you guys do if you want to be alerted when I post more classes, just hit the subscribe button and you'll get a message when I upload more classes and I'm really excited. Teoh keep learning and sharing with you guys