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Poetry from Pieces, Poetry from Experience - Walk Poems to Clear the Head, Soothe the Soul

Updated on October 8, 2015

Pay Attention to Details and Your Walk Poem will be More than a Catalogue

Poetry is a practice and one that can sustain you as a writer for your entire life. Like any art form, it takes repeated work, then stepping away, then work, then stepping away, in order to refine it.

  • One of the simplest and best tips I ever heard was from a British poet named Deborah Richards (some links provided below), who was teaching in the United States for a short time. She advised to go back and focus on details once the initial draft was written. If you mentioned roses, for instance, give us some details about color, height, scent, location, or reason for writing about roses. What significance do they play in the poetic scenery? Are they just background? Or do they have a vivid piece of the puzzle to tell the reader?
  • Another way to enjoy a poem is to read it aloud at least to oneself, to get the cadence, the rhythm down. Some poems "read" better silently, some read better verbally. Which type of poem is the one you're working on now?

Discarded Bits Becoming a Hub

We live in interesting times. In 2011, the east coast lived through Hurricane Irene. In 2012, Mother Nature did us one better, sharing her awesome and terrifying force via Hurricane Sandy. While Hurricane Sandy has done way more damage, Hurricane Irene impacted my neighborhood more. Afterwards, I took a walk around the neighborhood to review the damage. I felt relieved to have survived both hurricanes in safety, but both were frightening for me even though my city was spared, while others were tossed around like checkers on a board.

Walk poems are a specific form of poetry in which one walks and observes, and absorbs, then writes out about later. You can jot down bare bones ideas as you go and add details during the refining and editing process.

I have also included a link to another Hub article I wrote on getting started in poetry, called "Poetry - It's Not Just for Dreamers Anymore" as well as some other poetry links on Hub Pages.

Excerpt from "Neighborhood Watch"

Stepped outside to walk the ground, smooth-brown

strewn with withering, molded leaves when it finally stopped.

Like Key Largo it’s been raining heavily past four days.

And those kids they all played in the hurricane eerie calm dark at 1am.

Thought it was a game.

I watched them from the porch, blended into the eye...

Excerpt (c) 2011 by the author, aka Art Girl 27; published Jan. 2, 2013 on All rights reserved.

Clear the Head, Generate Creative Energey

While walking is a good form of gentle exercise, it is also a nice form of meditation. By really focusing on what your senses are experiencing (sights, sounds, smells, feelings, body sensations, external sensations such as wind, rain or even snow), one can find an unlimited source of material to write about. More and more, it's becoming a rare luxury for Americans to focus on just one thing at a time; we are expected and even required to multi-task until our brains fry and our bodies burn out.

Indeed burn out has become a common thing as we juggle jobs, family, shopping, cooking, cleaning and everything else that goes with post-modern living.

Walk poems, both the walking and writing parts, can be a good way to clear one's head and get centered; to listen to oneself, to renew and recharge.

I highly recommend this form of meditative expression (or, if you will, expressive meditation). I hope you enjoy walking and creating your very own walk poems.

© 2013 Art Girl 27


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