Stretch & Strengthen Writing Challenge – Cold Water

If you are up for the challenge, here’s your STRETCH & STRENGTHEN EXERCISE!


Cold water: What feelings do you associate with cold water? Maybe it’s a refreshing cold glass of water on a hot day, or maybe you imagine the feelings associated with being plunged into the icy river in the winter.

1. Dulcet – melodious, harmonious
2. Harrow – to distress, create stress
3. Yarn – fibers for knitting

Write it as a free verse.

Free verse is the type of poetry most favoured by contemporary poets; it has no set metre, rhyme scheme, or structure, but allows the poet to feel out the content of the poem as they go.

Poets will often still use rhythmic literary devices such as assonance and internal rhymes, but it won’t be bound up with the same creative restraints as more structured poetry. However, even poets that work solely in free verse will usually argue that it’s beneficial to first work up your mastery of language through exercises in more structured poetry forms.

Here’s an example of free verse poetry, an excerpt from “On Turning Ten,” by Billy Collins:

“The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light—
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.”

Submit your poem to for consideration for publication in this year’s Rhyme N Chatt Poetry Anthology. Also, consider sharing your poem at an upcoming RNC open mic session!


“Changing Lives One Rhyme At A Time”

2 thoughts on “Stretch & Strengthen Writing Challenge – Cold Water

  1. “Swim Team Tryouts”

    “The DULCET echoes of my teeth said your up next..

    I feel like just wrapping back up in my warm wovened YARN towel..

    The sun’s bright, I feel so stiff

    It would HARROW me to start swimming again..

    The water is still very cold

    I’d just end up freezing..nope not getting back in.”
    Free verse poem by
    Jacqueline 6ne1 Starks


  2. Cold Water Trifecta

    Splashing it on my face as an escape from the somber reality,
    I let the drops trickle down numbing the pain of my thoughts’ duality,
    On one side those sordid images tried playing in my minds’ eye,
    While on the other a wave of cold water shut down those thoughts – let them lie.

    The dulcet tones of the birds were the harbinger of spring,
    And I, with my thoughts sipped the cold water numbing any thoughts to sing,
    Wake up from the slumber bestowed by the tyranny of being different,
    And forget the harrowing experience that some ignored by being indifferent.

    Take a dip in the cold water of the ages to wash away the pieces impure,
    That will leave you pure, smoothening the societal ragged edges that made you different,
    But you come out refreshed, ready to tackle your differences boldly,
    That aura of confidence, the ability to take setback in your stride are godly.

    Now you realize the clothes hewn from confidence are the ones you must wear,
    To face the cold reality that waters thoughts of non-tolerance that you must bear,
    Regardless of the outcome that may not come easy and will be yours to fight,
    You know now that the cold waters that refreshed you, is for another day, your might.

    Neelanjan Patri


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