Intro to Poetry – Day 1

Hello everyone. It seems I have enrolled into Blogging Univerisity.  This is an interactive series of online blogging classes provided by WordPress, who are my hosts.   The info appeared in my inbox the other day and I thought why not give it a try, after I found out it didn’t cost anything.  All I needed was a WordPress account and the “lessons” would be sent to my email address.   So rather than choosing a blogging one first of all, I have chosen a writing one.   I know I’m not exactly a beginner to poetry, but I do have a lot to learn, so I thought I’d check out their Intro to Poetry course.  It is a series of 10 prompts, one a day, so in 10 days time, I will have 10 more poems published on my blog.

I’m not going to lie to you, it hasn’t been easy so far. You see, the sort of poems I write are very much about life and family, as you know.  I don’t write about nature as I don’t seem to have a strength for descriptive writing.  It’s an area of my writing I’m hoping to develop but that is a blog for another day.    Anyway, it’s normally not an issue,  but today it was.  The reason for this was that today’s prompt seemed to call for a bit of descriptive language.   And today’s prompt was


Ok so it’s quite an open prompt and you can choose your own slant on it.   First I decided to focus on the fact that being near water was my favourite place to be, but what followed was not brilliant and I had to really force it.  My hubby said he could tell this when reading it, so I left it as a work in progress and moved on. I could take the positive point that I’d had a good go at descriptive writing and made some progress.

I decided to take the nostalgia angle.  I used to have a thing about fountains and water features when I was little and can remember a few locally I used to love. There used to be lots around shopping centres but that seemed to phase out in the late 90s.  I took to the internet for inspiration but the sad thing is that few of these wonders of my childhood have been captured on camera, or at least, they haven’t been published online.

So if you are local to me, you will be familiar with the places I mention but I apologise if you are not and I hope that you enjoy my trip down memory lane anyway.  The poem took a while to take shape, because a lot of the rhymes felt forced or didn’t work, but the end result is something I’m happy with but not my best work, so please don’t be put off.

Fountains of Youth 

How I Ioved the Woodville Halls fountains of old
When lit up at night they were a sight to behold
And the water features at Hempstead Valley
Around them I would play happily
There was a fountain in the Pentagon many years ago
And several in Lakeside, why they removed them, I don’t know!
As a child, to see a fountain was  such a delight
To see the water cascading was a pretty sight
It’s sad that in shopping centres they seem to be no more
They always made shopping such a pleasure, not a chore
And all that is left for me to say
Is I hope that they bring them back some day

Jen Elvy


Just to reference the places:

Woodville Halls is a theatre in Gravesend, Kent.  The fountains were outside but within the grounds.

Hempstead Valley is a shopping centre in Gillingham, Kent.  I knew it as Savacentre when I was growing up as the Sainsburys that is there now, used to be a Savacentre. (Sainsbury’s and BHS)

The Pentagon is a shopping Centre in Chatham, Kent.  I often used to visit as a child and when I was very little my Grandparents lived nearby.

Lakeside is a large shopping centre in West Thurrock, Essex.  I used to go all the time when I was younger and before they built Bluewater on my side of the Thames (so no need to use the Dartford crossing)

So there you go, my first poem as part of this course.   Next time: Day 2 – Face

Bye for now and thanks for reading.

Jen x





2 thoughts on “Intro to Poetry – Day 1

  1. Thanks for explaining the setting and background to your poem. It made a big difference on the second reading in terms by giving a better idea of the setting, especially to those of us who do not know enough about the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

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