Concrete poetry is an artistic expression of
written language. Concrete poets make
designs out of letters and words. Even
though the visual pattern (shape) can
really catch our eye, it is the language itself
that makes a poem poetic.
A picture of forsythia A poem entitled “Forsythia”
The Song of a Dandelion Seed
Old Man Tree
I met a man who was a tree. Did I see him or he see me? Standing there majestically. Tree and me…The smell of sun on autumn
leaves. He said: Take good care of all you see. Praise the earth down on your knees. That’s what the old man sang to me.
Swan and Shadow
By John Hollanders
What will your concrete poem be about?
Video game? Beach?
Lollipop? Soccer ball?
Justin Bieber? Friend? Leaves?
The choice is YOURS! Be creative and have fun!
1. List objects with simple or distinctive shapes, like a baseball bat or an
2. Sketch the object you’d like to write about.
3. List its characteristics and consider what it does or how it is used.
4. List things you associate with the object. (A baseball bat, for example, might
make you think of a game you saw with a friend.) Look at your lists and, without
thinking too hard, circle the ones you like best.
5. Write these words alongside your sketch. (For example, if you are writing a
poem about a rainstorm, you might write puddles, wet feet, and downpour at an
angle to imitate driving rain.) More words might come to mind.
6. Look at your concrete poem. How can you make it better? Maybe share it with
a friend. Does it catch his/her eye? When you revise your poem, think about the
size and style of the letters, the color and shape of the letters, and the space in
and around the shape.
Make sure you give your concrete poem a title!