1. Line break.
Add line breaks to the following sentence (the entire text of a poem by Nelson Ball)
Like a painting of itself in wide short brush strokes its smooth grey bark turns dark and scaly
Nelson Ball's original: http://samizdatpress.typepad.com/hal_chapbook_a_rattle_of_/hal-poems-a-chapbook-of-poetry-by-nelson-ball-12.html
2. Write the worst poem you can think of.
In what ways can you make it bad (and not just gross or with awful content)?
What is the poem trying to do?
Are there elements that are interfering with that?
Are there ways to make what it is trying to do more effective? More focussed, dramatic, complex, engaging?
Are there other things that the poem could do, possibilities or opportunities that it is missing?
Consider: extra words (redundant, sloppy, unneeded), precise words, clichés, surprises vs. lack of surprises, "energy drops" of content form or image.
How can the poem better establish or embody its own aesthetic?
Can you sculpt the better poem out the existing one?
What can be moved around to make it better? (Reordering stanzas, lines, reversing the whole poem, changing stanza breaks, deleting, adding, cutting own opening or ending for more charge.)