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Poetry Puzzler

Battle back chemobrain with your pen

What's that word? You know, the one that means that thing? C'mon, you use it all the time, but you just can't seem to find it. But you know it. Of course you know it.

Ergh, chemobrain!

Cancer survivors often use the word chemobrain to describe a lack of concentration and mental clarity. Researchers are still working to understand whether this phenomenon is caused by treatment, the general stress and anxiety related to a cancer diagnosis or other factors.

In the meantime, though, a good mental workout can't hurt. Kodi Scheer, the coordinator of creative writing workshops at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, put together these poetry exercises. Grab a pen and have fun!

Persona Poem

An example of the "Persona Poem".

Choose a person and compose a poem according to these instructions:

On line one: person's first name

On line two: Four adjectives that describe that person; separated by commas

On the next lines (fill in and arrange as you wish): Friend of [name one], Loves [name three], Scared of [name three -- separate with commas and "and"] Wants to see [list three -- separate with commas and "and"]

On its own line: fill in "resident of ...?"

Finish with the person's last name.

Sausage Poem

A "sausage poem" is a string of words becomes linked by the beginning and ending letters (or sounds). For a challenge, compose a poem with similar sounds and letters, including the first and last words, to make a complete circle. [see example at left].

Diamante Poem

This type takes the shape of a diamond. We've turned the instructions into a printable document [pdf] so you can take it with you, or share.

Continue learning about the side effects of chemotherapy

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Thrive Issue: 
Summer, 2010