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Poetry in practice

An image can spark a new poem, says Doris Corti. Then you need to make word choices

Sometimes a picture can bring the idea for a poem. Any picture can help. It might be of a scene or a character, perhaps a favourite animal. It may be a picture in a frame on your desk or shelf. It may be a painting of something or someone in a gallery.

First of all, write down your instant impression of what you observe. Make notes of colours and unusual aspects – for instance, a dog leaping in midair. Make a note, too, if the picture makes you feel happy, sad or nostalgic. All of these notes can be manipulated poetically later on.

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About Writing Magazine

In this month's issue of the UK's bestselling magazine for writers, we show you how to sell your book, with tips on how to get your book into bookshops and why, and how, you need to assemble a press pack. In the June issue, you can find out how facing up to failure as a writer can be the first step to success. Learn how to use a second person 'you' narrator in your fiction, and explore the opening of seminal adventure novel King Solomon's Mines. Our star interview is Alison Weir, discussing combining historical rigour with fiction vigour in her Six Tudor Queens series of novels. Keep up to date with the latest competitions and opportunities to get into print in the packed pages of the latest Writers News.

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