Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

I Am Poetry

on April 20, 2011

Today’s post on the Denney Poetry Blog is entitled, “I Am,” and was first published in our book, Call it Courage. 

There are many ways to write “I Am” poems, but my favorite comes from Susan Wooldridge’s book, Poem Crazy. The exercise asks that you jot down the first word which comes to mind. When I am working with the teens at the detention center, I read the questions aloud:

If you were a….

color, what color would you be?

shape, what shape would you be?






car piece of furniture


musical instrument


element in nature

type of tree

something you are afraid of

Once the students have their list of words, I ask them to string the words together using the start line, “I am…” In the exercise, Susan says you can start lines with:

I will be…

I want to be…

I used to be…

I let go of…

I’ve forgotten..

I remember…

I tell the kids they don’t have to use all the words, and they can be in random order. Writers can also add words if they need.What emerges is always a fun, unique “I Am” poem. I have often thought that this exercise would also work well for a character in a story.

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