Who gave you your name?
Do you know what it means?
Do you like it?
If your name was a shape, what shape would it be?
Would you prefer to have a different name? Why?
Have you ever been called by another name, or names?
Do different people have different names for you?
If your name was the title of a novel what kind of novel would it be? What would the main character be like?
Have you ever had any nick-names?
Free write around your name for about 15 minutes, responding to these questions and anything else that enters your mind.
Let the writing sit for a couple of days, without reading back over it, though continue to think and make notes about any other ideas that come to you.
When you're ready, read back over all your notes to see if you have the material for a poem.
You'll see a poem of mine below, written some years ago when I was alone in a small spanish village on a writing retreat.
How Are You?
After twelve anonymous days
I walk into the supermercado and someone says
my name and my heart
ignites with something that feels like heat, light.
No matter that rain is pushing its cold smoke
down the mountains,
that I can smell it coming,
the damp evening air sticking to my skin.
What more is there? My place in the world
confirmed, still hearing it in the street –
Lynne! Que tal? Like a blessing. And I am fine.
I am so fine.