Poetry is a well-established way of expressing your love for someone, but what if your feelings are more complicated?

ICEBREAKER: Poison Pen (love) Letter

Bring in a selection of Valentine’s cards or love poems, cut out individual words and have students scramble them to come up with alternative verses.

EXERCISE: Bad Romance

Ask students to compile a list of clichéd objects they would expect to find in a Valentine’s card, e.g. roses, hearts, teddy bears, puppies. They then create a corresponding list of unusual and/or disgusting equivalents, e.g. nettles, intestines, pebbles, headless dolls, eels. Using their list, each student then writes the verse of a ‘bad’ Valentine card, e.g. ‘My feelings for you are like the sting of a nettle / I love you with all the force of my intestines.’’


Ask if any students would like to read their pieces aloud. Are there any lines which stand out? Ask students to try and build on the imagery from that line.