poetry space workshop – four

This coming fortnight I’m taking you to the movies. What favourite line from a film speaks to you in some way, maybe it reflects your view on the world, be that positive or negative. One of my favourites is from Forest Gump:

Life is like a box of chocolates

Try  poem exploring your view of life using a movie quotation as a starting point.


Then have a go at one or more of these. As a way in copy out the quotation and do some free writing, just writing down whatever comes to mind. Then try a poem.


I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright”. Red from Shawshank Redemption

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”,  from Jaws”

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird”, Noah from the Notebook.

“Isn’t it strange to create something that hates you? Ava from From Ex Machina

You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details”, Celine from Before Sunset.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”. Gandalf from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.

“Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first”. Sean Maguire from Good Will Hunting



deadline 17th December


You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off

(inspired by a line from The Italian Job)

The truck is no longer a truck.

The wheels begin refugee journeys,

The windows craze and reflect shards of light from far galaxies,

The seats flatten and deflate like dead coral,

The floor goes to where the roof should be,

The roof flies away, flapping like a scared bird

The wing mirrors turn and mirror its wings.

The bonnet loses its waxed smoothness to a dented disappointment

The engine no longer moves anything, but splutters, then becomes a lump


And inside, whatever it was we wanted, of which we dreamt,

That was not ours but that we had decided to make ours

Is no more; blows among the atoms, burns white hot with an undoing fire


And the world looks on, sighs at destruction, then turns away.


You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off.


Michael Docker

I love this poem Michael almost as much as I loved the original film with Michael Caine. There is so much here; surreal elements as each car part is transformed into something which is no longer recognisable and the human toll of lost dreams: And inside, whatever it was we wanted, of which we dreamt,/That was not ours but that we had decided to make ours,/ Is no more.

This is a thought provoking many layered poem.



 Good Will Hunting

Told she was an accident,
Unwanted, unloved, abused,
she grew up; her mind didn’t.
It sank further into itself,
into a dark place,where belief
in herself was non existent.
Chances denied,doors shut.
They said she couldn’t,
so she didn’t.
Her mind and her heart stood
There was no meeting place,
just a void.
She wasn’t loved,she didn’t know how to,
She was not whole,
something was missing.
Perhaps a soul?
She was lost until he found her.
He saw what others did not,
a person hiding in herself
from herself.
He searched for that dark space
she lived in,
He prised open the door and let the light
filter in,
He walked her out to that light
so she saw her real  self.
He believed in her.
Slowly, so slowly
she grew to believe in herself.


Leela Gautam

This is great too Leela; a poem about a different form of transformation, a woman learning to believe in herself because someone believes in her.

Sent from my iPad