List poems can help you break into a challenging idea or lead you down unexpected routes. This one is no different, inspired by a list poem aficionado, Simon Armitage.
1) First off, check out Armitage’s About His Person. The poem lists items found on a dead man, allowing a reader to slowly piece together an impression of their life from the most intricate of details.
2) Choose your objects! List 20 items that could fit in a person’s pockets. Think unusual, weird, rare… things that make you want to ask about them.
3) Whittle your list down to just 10.
4) Build each object into a stanza, developing them into enticing items that make a reader curious to find out more.
5) Re-order your stanzas. Think of how you might build a narrative by slowly releasing details of your person.