Paint Chip Poem: Playing with Poetry #playingwithpoetryNPM 4/30

This month, I’m joining several writers to play with poetry for National Poetry Writing Month. Today I’m creating another paint chip poem using an exercise from Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words.

For this exercise, Wooldridge asks her workshop participants to collect words–action words as well as answers to questions like What color am I? and What sound am I?–and use them to create an I Am poem.

Just pile on words. Don’t think. See images. Daydream with words. Wander. Go crazy defining yourself…

I set myself the constraint of only using words from my paint chip collection and from Woodridge’s sentence stems, plus articles and prepositions. Paint chips do adjectives and nouns very well, but verbs are in short supply, so I changed some parts of speech to collect enough verbs.

I am likeable sand,
the blue indulgence of a September sea.

The wild mustard seed of my heart
glows always greener.

I am a tarnished trumpet
echoing through the canyon.

I am every cathedral morning,
a clay figurine in the silent fog.

I don’t know slow down or au contraire.

I’m bee balm in the back of beyond,
a morning blossom against a clear summer sky.

I want to be a free spirit, heartfelt dynamo,
a scarlet tanager in cypress grass.

©Elisabeth Ellington (2019)






5 responses to “Paint Chip Poem: Playing with Poetry #playingwithpoetryNPM 4/30”

  1. Juliana Ellington Avatar
    Juliana Ellington

    I love this! I can’t believe you did it with paint chip titles (plus other words as needed)!

  2. margaretsmn Avatar

    I know this exercise and love how the paint chips push to some unusual connections. “The mustard seed of my heart” and “a scarlet tanager” are my favorite images.

  3. readingteachsu Avatar

    This is the best so far. You are getting your stride with these paint chips.

  4. Paint Chip Poetry #playingwithpoetrynpm | Reflections from a Coach Avatar

    […] paint chip poem inspired by Elisabeth Ellington who was inspired by an I am exercise in Susan Goldsmith Woodbridge’s book, Poemcrazy, […]

  5. TammyB Avatar

    I love the internet! I haven’t been to a store that has paint chip cards so I googled Sherman Williams paint collection names! Worked beautifully!

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