Write a free verse poem about "Summer."

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In e.e. cummings "A Poet's Advice to Students," he explains that a poet is somebody who feels, and who uses words to express his feelings.  The poet must express him/herself in an individual way; to use the words of others is not to truly write a poem.  Therefore, you must choose your unique, individual way of expressing your feelings about summertime.

Since a poem almost always has a controlling metaphor, you will wish to compose an unstated comparison of summer with something else about which you have feelings.  For instance, think of what sensory images come to mind when you contemplate Summer.  Take the strongest of these images and build your poem around them.

Returning to Cummings, there is a catchy poem called "Maggie and Milly and Molly and Mae" which is about what happens when the girls "went down to the beach (to play one day) that you may wish to read to generate some ideas for you.  Since the poem can be free verse, there is not the restriction placed upon line that may hinder your ideas.  But, the use of such poetic devices as alliteration and assonance, simile, imagery, are useful and add strength to the controlling metaphor. ( In Cummings poem, obviously, the trip to the beach is a metaphor for more than a trip to the beach.)

The great modern poet Wallace Stevens composed many of his poems as he walked to his office from the commuter station.  Walking is a wonderful way to generate ideas as one taps into the creative side of the brain while walking.  Give it a try!

Also, see the guide to literary terms here on enotes.