Writing ideas from Indigo Williams

Write a 'meditation' poem

Why not tweet us a line from your poem?



A ‘meditation’ in poetry is when you reflect deeply on something and you use a place in time and (or) your surroundings to show meaning and feeling.


In the poem Meditations on the A30, John Betjeman writes a poem about a man whose thoughts are racing and jumping between traffic and the anger he feels towards his wife. The poem reflects the character's jumpy thoughts and Betjeman achieves this by using the character’s surroundings. Another example of this can be found in the poem, At Great Pond by Mary Oliver. Have a read of both poems and then write your own meditative poem that shows your thoughts about a place or thing. Remember your poem should give thoughtful detail about a place in time.


Step one

 Click here to read this month sample poems and pay close attention to how detailed the poets are about what they can see, what they can hear and what they are doing. Are there any past memories that the poet reflects on? What new things does the poet learn and see?


Step two

Once you’ve read the poems, choose a place you can sit down, it could be in your garden, the park or in the playground and freewrite what you see around you. What do you hear, smell and notice about your surroundings.


You can use the structure of one of the sample poems to help guide your own if you’d like. Mary Oliver’s poem At Great Pond, is a great template.

Copyright © 2019 Betjeman Poetry Prize   |  All Rights Reserved

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