The Poetry Place

Open Studio

A writer's blog

Trevor Millum, Teachit poet in residenceThe aim of the blog is to try to show the process of writing. It's a bit artificial because you can't reproduce all the thoughts and crossings out that take place either metaphorically or literally.   

However, it might help to show students that poems do not spring fully-formed onto the page. 

Previous blogs are archived: see the list at the right of the page.  Quite a few have been inspired by existing poems (by Edward Thomas, Duffy, Heaney, Armitage and others) and there are also villanelles, sonnets and lots of light verse.  I enjoy this - and it keeps me writing!


Lies and so on

Monday, 20 July 2015 15:34:15

Monday, 20 July 2015 15:34:15

An excuse..


Avoiding the light

A worm

Wanting the haven of deep dark soil

Away from the pecking beaks

Of close questioning


Lies etc

Thursday, 16 July 2015 10:59:37

Thursday, 16 July 2015 10:59:37

Testing the blog system... - it works!

Service now resumed. Now, where was I....?

A Lie, a promise, a reminder

Thursday, 11 June 2015 16:59:59

Thursday, 11 June 2015 16:59:59

A reminder...
A buzzing fly
banging at the window pane
of your mind
flies off around the room
out of sight, out of mind
And returns
bangs against the pane again

Somehow, this searching for the right creature, the right action seems satisfying. Not just looking for a metphor for the sake of it - which can happen...  But a necessary comparison which makes the subject real.  Having discovered the fly as the image it works for me, spot on.  However, there are tweaks to be made.  Is the 'out of mind' necessary?  And I want a different word for 'bangs'.

A Lie

Wednesday, 3 June 2015 11:08:43

Wednesday, 3 June 2015 11:08:43

I hope half term was good. Here we are again, thinking about words...   And if we can make a lie into something alive, what would a promise be?

A promise made
Emerging like a butterfly
From its coccoon
Tests it wings
Takes flight
Settles... moves on...
Can it be trusted?

This is very much an experiment.  A butterfly is a flighty thing - seen as unreliable perhaps?  What would a firm commitment be like?  I want to avoid something as obvious as a dog.  


A Lie

Thursday, 21 May 2015 11:55:07

Thursday, 21 May 2015 11:55:07

Listening to something - I can't even recall what it was now - I had a thought about words as living things. I let my thoughts wander...

A lie
set free
like a fly
where will it settle 
where will it go 
will it mate
and reproduce
produce maggots
of untruth?

I must admit I liked 'maggots of untruth' when it occurred to me.  But does this have legs? (or wings?)  Is there any more to be said or is this it?  So many poems (and other writings) seem to go on past their Made Your Point Date. 


Archived blogs

   [OPEN/CLOSE]  Parodies and homages

   [OPEN/CLOSE]  Topics and themes

   [OPEN/CLOSE]  How to...

   [OPEN/CLOSE]  Sonnets

   [OPEN/CLOSE]  Different types of poem


  • Poetry Archive
  • Poetry by Heart
  • Forward Poetry
  • British Library
  • Poetryclass
  • National Poetry Day
  • The Poetry Society
  • Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award
  • Tower Poetry
  • English Teaching Online - the one with all the poetry
  • Teachit editors' favourite poetry resources
  • Poetry Shuffle Teachit KS3 Interactive Pack