Poetry Challenge #127

Tell Me How it Feels, How it Really Really Feels?

Poetry often deals with emotions: how we feel, what emotions an incident evokes, and too, how words—the placement of words, word choices/combinations—make us feel. But now, today, let’s go beyond those feeling and get really touchy feely.

Take out one of your already written poems. Don’t spend more than 30 seconds of your 7 minutes choosing—it’s not really about that poem, this challenge is about what feelings can do to/for that poem. When writing, we often focus on describing things through dialogue and action. We also often set the scene by describing what can be seen in a scene. However, we often overlook the physical, even though our tactile memories are strongest and reactions evoked shared. Try “chewing glass” for example.


Reread your poem, and ask yourself, “What does it feel like?” And by “feel” think literally: What does each image actually feel like? Is it rough? Squishy? Smooth? Glassy or sandy? Does it slosh?

Try changing/adding feeling words to that image to conjure those tactile feelings.

If your poem doesn’t seem to have a tactile feeling to it, can you add one? Even more, try adding a tactile feeling to every line.

Now reread your poem. How does it feel now?

Set your timer for 7 minutes

Don’t think about it too much; just do it!

Start writing!

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1400 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.