Poetry topic idea: exercise

Today’s poetry topic idea is exercise.  There are a lot of different ways a poet could use exercise in poetry.  Below are some ideas.  A poet could write about:

  • Different types of exercises. For example, a poet could write about weight training, jogging, or swimming.
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  • Exercising at different levels of fitness. A poet could examine the difference between what it is like to exercise when a person isn’t very fit and what it is like to exercise when a person is.  They could look at this from the person’s point of view or from the point of view of others.  They could also examine it from a before and after perspective.
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  • Goals of exercise. People exercise for different reasons.  Some people exercise to lose weight.  Other people exercise to gain muscle.  Some people exercise because of sport they play.  Other people exercise to prevent a disease.  There are other examples.  A poet could write about different ones.
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  • A person’s view of exercise. Some people like to exercise and other people don’t.  A poet could examine both points of view.

 

Here is an example poem using exercise:

He heard the comments,
as he labored by,
and knew it was wrong.

But six months,
and two hundred and forty miles later,
he couldn’t hear anything,

he was moving too fast.

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Poem: Roller Coaster

Although they were polite,
they said he could not ride,
the roller coaster,
because the bar,
would not fit on him.

He had to walk,
the entire line back,
as he tried to look,
like nothing was wrong.

He sat at home that night,
and didn’t know what to say.

The next morning,
after he tied his laces,
and started to walk,
he knew next year,
he would ride the ride.

Poem with an explanation: 1320

1320
the statue crumbles

across the desert
in the distance
nothing is seen

the car rolls
on square tires
1320

before the gate
316800
floats in the mind

the pieces of stone
are in a pile
of 1320 pieces

 

This poem is about a person who is not physically fit, trying to become so.  On their first day of exercise they decide to jog.

In the first stanza of the poem, the person jogs a quarter of a mile.  A quarter of a mile is 1320 feet.  This is too much for the person and they become spent (the statue crumbles).

The person is very tired after this short distance.  They decide that they should go back home.  In the second stanza, they look back at the distance they have to go.

Although before they jogged, they thought a quarter of a mile was a short distance to traverse, now it seems very far.  They feel like they are looking out over a desert and are unable to see their destination.

In the third stanza, the person starts to walk home.  They are experiencing physical discomfort after the jog and they have trouble walking.  They move slowly like a car with square tires.  They feel all of the quarter mile.

In the fourth stanza, the person is home.  As they stand by their front door, they gain a new perspective on distance.  They think of 60 mph, which is the speed a car might travel.  This is 316800 feet an hour.  They think of this distance, and how it feels like nothing, and how the 1320 feet of the quarter mile feels like a lot.

In the last stanza, the person sits down on the floor of their house in the air conditioning.  They are tired after the jog.  The distance has become part of them.

Poem with an explanation: Don’t look, just listen, time will pass

Don’t look at the sand,
don’t look at the stone,
don’t look at the fire.

Just listen to bells,
just listen to flutes,
just listen to melodies.

Time will pass,
as eyes are closed.

 

This poem is about walking on a treadmill.  The idea of the poem is about not doing things and doing things to help the time go by faster.

The first stanza, has three don’ts.  It says not to look at the sand, the stone and the fire.  On the treadmill, there is a display.  It shows the time, distance and calories burned.  The idea is that if a person looks at these things as they try to reach some goal, that the time will feel slower.  Focusing on the numbers as they change has the psychological effect of making them seem to move slower.  The first stanza says not to look at them.  The sand, is symbolic of sand in an hour glass, which is representative of time.  Stone is symbolic of a road which represents distance.  Fire refers to burning which represents the calories burned.

The first stanza said what not to do.  The second stanza says what to do.  It is saying to listen to music as a form of distraction.  The first stanza was more symbolic than the second.

The last stanza describes the effect of the actions of the first two stanzas.  It is basically saying that by not looking at the display, and listening to music instead, that a person will be distracted, and their mind may wander.  When the person’s mind wanders, they may not see in a sense.  This can happen when a person daydreams.  The end effect is that the time exercising feels faster.

This poem is written as three stanzas and three sentences.  The first two stanzas are filled with repetition.  The first one repeats “Don’t look at the” and the second one repeats “Just listen to”.

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Do you like poems with explanations?  Do you like to support writers whose work you enjoy?

M. Sakran has a self-published book of poems with explanations. It is called Understanding: poems with explanations and is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. If you like poems with explanations and like to support writers whose work you enjoy, then consider purchasing a copy today.