Writing poetry can be a deeply rewarding and cathartic experience, but sometimes it's tough to find inspiration. Poetry prompts are an excellent way to jumpstart your creativity and begin crafting your own poems. In this article, we'll explore 155 poetry writing prompts that will help you create good poems and hone your writing skills.
Starting with Simple Poetry Prompts
An easy way to start writing poetry is to think about the first time you did something. This could be your first day at school, your first love, or the first time you rode a bike. These experiences often evoke strong emotions and vivid memories, making them great sources of inspiration for writing a good poem.
- Your first day at a new job or school
- The first time you met your best friend
- Your first experience with snow or rain
- The first time you traveled abroad or to a new city
- Your first encounter with a wild animal
- The first time you cooked a meal by yourself
- The first time you faced a fear or challenged yourself
- The first time you saw the ocean, a mountain, or another natural wonder
- The first time you felt truly proud of an accomplishment
- Your first memory of childhood
Another great way to find inspiration is by writing about inanimate objects. Choose an everyday item, like a coffee cup or a pen, and write a poem from its perspective. This approach can help you explore unique perspectives and develop a deeper understanding of the world around you.
- Write a poem from the perspective of an old photograph, capturing a specific memory and the emotions attached to it.
- Write about a cherished piece of jewelry, exploring its sentimental value and the stories it holds.
- Write from the viewpoint of a musical instrument, describing the emotions it feels when played and the connection it shares with its owner.
- Write about a childhood toy, exploring the feelings of nostalgia it evokes and the memories it represents.
- Write from the perspective of a book, describing its journey through time and the impact it has had on its readers.
- Write about a worn-out pair of shoes, reflecting on the adventures they've been a part of and the hope they represent for future journeys.
- Write from the viewpoint of a smartphone, discussing its role in modern life and the various connections it facilitates.
- Write about a family heirloom, exploring its history and the legacy it carries from generation to generation.
- Write from the perspective of a painting, describing the emotions it captures and the thoughts it inspires in its viewers.
- Write about an everyday item, such as a coffee cup or a pen, that symbolizes hope or a specific memory, exploring how this object holds meaning and power in your life.
Drawing inspiration from historical events can make your poem more engaging and thought-provoking. You can choose a specific moment in history, such as a famous battle or a scientific discovery, and write a poem that captures its essence.
- Write a poem about a time when a significant historical event happened during your childhood, exploring the impact it had on you and your understanding of the world.
- Compose a poem from the perspective of a child witnessing a historic event, capturing their innocence and curiosity in the face of monumental change.
- Create a poem about a historical event that has shaped your own family's history, incorporating as much detail as possible to bring the story to life.
- Write a poem that explores the emotions and thoughts of a historical figure during a pivotal moment in their life.
- Compose a poem that reimagines a famous historical event through the eyes of an ordinary person who was there, capturing their unique perspective on the unfolding events.
- Write a poem about a time in history when hope prevailed over adversity, highlighting the resilience and strength of the human spirit.
- Create a poem that delves into the experiences of a child growing up during a specific era, exploring the joys, challenges, and lessons they faced.
- Write a poem about a historical event that had a profound impact on the course of history, exploring the lasting consequences and legacy it left behind.
- Compose a poem that captures the emotions and experiences of people during a time of great societal change, highlighting the challenges and triumphs they faced.
- Write a poem about a time in history when children played a significant role in an event or movement, exploring their courage, determination, and impact on the world around them.
Exploring Emotions and Relationships
Love and relationships are timeless themes in poetry. Dive into the complexities of the human heart by writing about the joys and sorrows of love, whether it's the exhilaration of a new romance or the pain of unrequited affection.
- Write a poem about the moment you realized you were in love with someone, capturing the emotions and thoughts that flooded your mind.
- Compose a poem about the feeling of walking barefoot with your beloved, hand in hand, on a warm summer day, expressing the intimacy and connection between you.
- Create a poem about a person who is falling asleep in their lover's arms, exploring the comfort and security they find in each other's presence.
- Write a love poem from the perspective of someone who has loved and lost, reflecting on the beauty and pain that love can bring.
- Compose a poem about the ways love can inspire and transform us, enabling us to grow and become better versions of ourselves.
- Write a poem about the quiet moments in a relationship, such as sharing a cup of coffee or reading together, that make love truly special.
- Create a poem about the challenges of maintaining a long-distance relationship and the strength it takes to keep love alive despite the distance.
- Write a poem about the bittersweet feeling of saying goodbye to a lover, knowing that your paths may not cross again but cherishing the memories you shared.
- Compose a poem about unrequited love, exploring the pain and longing that comes with loving someone who does not return your feelings.
- Write a poem about the unconditional love between a parent and a child, capturing the bond that transcends time and distance.
Writing about a family member is another powerful way to explore emotions in your poetry. You can write a tribute to a beloved relative or reflect on the challenges and growth that come from family relationships.
- Write a poem based on a series of journal entries that document the emotions and experiences of someone going through a significant life event or transition.
- Compose a poem about a family gathering, weaving in the voices, emotions, and perspectives of various family members to create a vivid and engaging narrative.
- Create a poem describing the complex web of emotions that can arise during family conflicts and the journey towards reconciliation and understanding.
- Write a poem about the experience of reading old letters or journal entries from your ancestors, exploring the emotions and connections you feel to your family history.
- Compose a poem from the perspective of a family member who has passed away, offering insights, wisdom, and love to those they left behind.
- Write a poem describing the emotions and memories associated with a family heirloom or keepsake, exploring the significance it holds in your family's story.
- Create a poem about the emotions that surface when reuniting with family after a long absence, capturing the joy, nostalgia, and bittersweet feelings that accompany such moments.
- Write a poem that weaves together the stories and emotions of different family members during a shared experience, such as a wedding or a funeral.
- Compose a poem describing the emotions and dynamics of a family vacation or road trip, capturing both the humorous and poignant moments.
- Write a poem that delves into the feelings and experiences of a family member who has faced significant challenges or adversity, exploring their resilience and strength.
Friendship can be a rich source of inspiration for poetry. Write about the bonds you've formed with friends, the support they've offered, or the memories you've shared with friends.
- Reflect on a moment of laughter or joy shared with a close friend.
- Describe the feeling of comfort and support when a friend helps you through a difficult time.
- Write about a memorable adventure or trip you took with a friend.
- Capture the emotions of reconnecting with a long-lost friend.
- Write about the growth and evolution of a friendship over the years.
- Explore the feelings of gratitude and appreciation for a friend who's always been there for you.
- Share a story about a time when you and a friend overcame a challenge or conflict together.
- Write about the moment you knew someone would become a lifelong friend.
- Reflect on the bittersweet feelings of saying goodbye to a friend who is moving away or embarking on a new journey.
- Describe the unique qualities and traits that make your friend so special and dear to you.
Engaging with Popular Culture
Using a favorite song as a starting point for a poem can help spark inspiration and make the writing process more enjoyable. Choose a line or theme from the song and use it as the basis for your own poem, or write a poem that captures the mood or emotions the song evokes.
- Explore the emotions and images that arise when listening to your favorite song.
- Choose a line from the song and use it as the first line of your poem.
- Write about a memory or experience that comes to mind when hearing the song.
- Create a poem that tells the story of the song from a different perspective or point of view.
- Write about the impact the song has had on your life or emotions.
- Use the melody or rhythm of the song to inspire the meter and structure of your poem.
- Write a poem that responds to or continues the narrative of the song.
- Choose a character from the song and write a poem from their perspective.
- Write a poem that captures the atmosphere or setting the song evokes.
- Use the song's title as the title of your poem and let it guide your writing.
Video games can provide rich and imaginative settings for your poetry. Write a poem set in the world of your favorite video game, or explore the emotions and experiences of the game's characters.
- Write a poem about the excitement and anticipation of starting a new video game for the first time.
- Create a poem that explores the camaraderie and connections formed when playing multiplayer games with friends.
- Compose a poem from the perspective of a video game character, delving into their thoughts and emotions.
- Write a poem inspired by the breathtaking landscapes and environments found in your favorite video game.
- Craft a poem about the thrill of victory or the frustration of defeat in a competitive gaming scenario.
- Write a poem that reflects on the impact video games have had on your life, whether it's personal growth or the relationships you've formed.
- Create a poem about a memorable boss battle or game level, capturing the challenge and satisfaction of overcoming it.
- Write a poem inspired by the soundtrack or theme music from your favorite video game.
- Compose a poem that explores the emotional journey of a video game character as they face obstacles and grow throughout the game.
- Write a poem about the nostalgia of playing a beloved childhood video game and the memories it brings back.
Write a poem about your favorite things, whether it's a cherished book, a favorite food, or a treasured memory. This can be a lighthearted and personal way to express yourself and celebrate the things that bring you joy.
- Write a poem about your favorite comfort food and the emotions it evokes when you indulge in it.
- Create a poem celebrating your favorite form of art, whether it's painting, dance, or sculpture, and the inspiration it provides.
- Compose a poem about a cherished memory, describing the feelings and details that make it so special.
- Write a poem about your favorite childhood toy, capturing its unique characteristics and the connection you feel with it.
- Craft a poem about your favorite place to relax, whether it's a cozy nook at home or a serene spot in nature.
- Write a poem about your favorite hobby or pastime, expressing the joy and satisfaction it brings you.
- Create a poem that explores your favorite color and the feelings and associations it carries for you.
- Write a poem about your favorite book or movie, capturing the essence of the story and the impact it has had on your life.
- Compose a poem about your favorite piece of music, describing the emotions it stirs and the memories it brings to mind.
- Write a poem about a treasured keepsake or heirloom and the history and significance it holds for you.
Inspiration from the Natural World
Explore the beauty and wonder of the natural world in your poetry. Write a poem about a breathtaking sunrise, a majestic waterfall, or the awe-inspiring vastness of the night sky.
- Write a poem about a quiet forest, focusing on the sounds and sights you might encounter.
- Create a poem from the perspective of a tree, observing the passage of time and its surroundings.
- Write a poem about fireflies on a summer night and the emotions they evoke.
- Describe a flower growing through a crack in the pavement in a poem.
- Write a poem about the ocean's depths and the creatures that live there.
- Create a poem about witnessing the Northern Lights in the sky.
- Write a poem about a thunderstorm, capturing the energy and force of nature.
- Write a poem detailing the life cycle of a butterfly and the lessons it can teach us.
- Compose a poem about a snow-covered landscape and the peacefulness it brings.
- Describe the balance of an ecosystem and the interconnectedness of living things within it in a poem.
Some of the best poetry ever written deals with the realm of fantasy. Try to think of a fantastical situation you can write about for your next poem.
- Write a poem about a fantastical creature, letting your imagination run wild with its appearance and abilities.
- Create a poem set in a magical world where the laws of na ` ture don't apply, and explore the wonders within.
- Write a poem about an unexpected encounter with a mythical being in the modern world.
- Compose a poem about a dream you had, allowing your imagination to expand upon the details and emotions.
- Write a poem about a hidden, enchanted garden that can only be accessed by those who truly believe in magic.
- Craft a poem in which an inanimate object comes to life, and describe its adventures and discoveries.
- Write a poem about a day when everything you imagine becomes a reality, and how that changes the world around you.
- Create a poem about a conversation between the sun and the moon, personifying them and giving them unique personalities.
- Write a poem about a journey to the center of the Earth, detailing the strange and marvelous sights you encounter.
- Compose a poem about discovering a hidden door in your home that leads to a magical land, and describe your experiences there.
The changing seasons can provide a wealth of poetry topics. Write a poem that captures the essence of spring's renewal, the warmth of summer, the vibrant colors of autumn, or the stillness of winter.
- Write a poem about the first blossoms of spring, focusing on the beauty and hope they bring after a long winter.
- Compose a poem about the warmth and freedom of a summer day, exploring the joy of outdoor activities and long, sunlit hours. In the second line, describe the sensation of sunlight on your skin.
- Create a poem about the harvest season, capturing the colors, scents, and abundance of autumn. Convey the feeling of crisp, cool air on your face.
- Write a poem about the serene beauty of a snow-covered landscape, reflecting on the quiet stillness of winter. Evoke the sound of crunching snow beneath your feet.
- Compose a poem about the transition from winter to spring, capturing the excitement of new life emerging from the thawing ground. Describe the first signs of greenery.
- Create a poem about a summer thunderstorm, exploring the power and beauty of nature's fury. Capture the tension between the storm and the calm that follows.
- Write a poem about the gradual change of colors in autumn, reflecting on the passage of time and the impermanence of life. Describe the falling leaves.
- Compose a poem about the coziness of a winter evening, exploring the warmth and comfort of being indoors while the cold winds blow outside. Describe a flickering fire.
- Create a poem about the feeling of anticipation as summer approaches, capturing the energy and excitement of the coming season. Include the sensation of the first warm breeze in your lines.
- Write a poem about the melancholy beauty of a late autumn day, reflecting on the inevitable arrival of winter. Capture the stark contrast between the vibrant leaves and the gray sky in your verses.
Using Prompt Ideas for Various Types of Poems
In an acrostic poem, the first line of every letter spells out a word. For example, the first letter in every line of this poem spells out LOVE:
Lingering moments, tender and sweet,
Overwhelmed by emotions, a heart skips a beat.
Vast like the ocean, endless and deep,
Enduring through time, a promise to keep.
Here are some ideas for writing an acrostic poem:
- Create an acrostic poem using the name of your favorite animal, describing its characteristics, habitat, or behaviors.
- Write a poem using your own name, exploring your personality traits, experiences, or memories.
- Choose a season (spring, summer, autumn, or winter) and create an acrostic poem that captures its essence and atmosphere.
- Write an acrostic poem about your favorite hobby or pastime, describing the emotions and experiences associated with it.
- Use a single emotion, like happiness or sadness, as the basis for an acrostic poem that delves into its various aspects and complexities.
- Create an acrostic poem about a specific place you've visited, capturing its unique atmosphere, culture, or history.
- Choose a word or concept related to nature, such as “forest” or “ocean,” and write an acrostic poem exploring its various elements and beauty.
- Write an acrostic poem using the title of your favorite book, movie, or song, incorporating its themes, characters, or emotions.
- Create an acrostic poem using a word related to a significant event in your life, exploring your feelings and memories surrounding it.
- Choose an abstract concept, like “freedom” or “love,” and write an acrostic poem that delves into its various meanings and interpretations.
Haikus are short, three-line poems with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5. They often focus on nature and the changing seasons. For example, here is a haiku about a cat:
Whiskers twitch, eyes gleam,
Silent hunter in moonlight,
Graceful feline prowls.
Here are several poem ideas that will serve you well:
- You can find things to write poetry about almost anywhere. Look around you, and choose something to write about, such as your desk, your shoes, or what you hear right now.
- Compose a haiku about a majestic mountain landscape, exploring the awe and wonder it evokes.
- Create a haiku inspired by a first news article you read today, reflecting on its impact and significance.
- Write a haiku that captures the fleeting beauty of a sunset, conveying the emotions and colors it evokes.
- Compose a haiku about a thunderstorm, focusing on the power and intensity of nature's fury.
- Write a haiku about the tranquility of a forest, capturing the sights, sounds, and emotions of this serene setting.
- Create a haiku about the changing colors of the leaves in autumn, reflecting on the beauty and impermanence of life.
- Write a haiku about the ocean, exploring the vastness, mystery, and power of the sea.
- Compose a haiku about the first snowfall of winter, capturing the stillness and beauty of this moment.
- Write a haiku about the night sky, reflecting on the vastness of the universe and the beauty of the stars.
Prose poems are a unique form of poetry that combines the expressive freedom and imagery of traditional poetry with the structural elements of prose. They are written in paragraph form rather than using line breaks, and they often rely on the use of vivid language, sensory details, and a strong narrative voice. Prose poems can explore a wide range of topics, emotions, and themes, making them a versatile and engaging form of creative writing.
Here are 10 prose poem prompts to spark your imagination:
- Describe a dream you had in vivid detail, capturing the emotions, imagery, and surreal aspects of the experience.
- Write about a seemingly mundane moment or everyday routine, but infuse it with deeper meaning and symbolism.
- Explore a memory from your past, focusing on the sensory details and emotions that make it stand out in your mind.
- Create a fictional character and write a prose poem from their perspective, immersing yourself in their thoughts and experiences.
- Write a prose poem that captures the essence of a season, using vivid imagery and sensory details to evoke the sights, sounds, and feelings associated with it.
- Describe a city or landscape in a way that reveals its hidden beauty or secrets, capturing the atmosphere and emotions it evokes.
- Write a prose poem that plays with language, using wordplay, puns, or neologisms to create a unique and engaging piece.
- Write a prose poem that uses a specific color as a central theme, exploring its various shades, meanings, and associations.
- Describe a fleeting moment or emotion, capturing its intensity and transience through vivid language and imagery.
- Write a prose poem inspired by a piece of art, music, or literature, using your own creative interpretation to explore its themes and emotions.
A sonnet is a 14-line poem with a strict meter and rhyme scheme. There are two main types of sonnets, each with its own rhyme scheme:
- Shakespearean (or English) Sonnet: The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. This means that the first and third lines rhyme with each other (A), the second and fourth lines rhyme with each other (B), and so on. The sonnet ends with a rhymed couplet (GG), which often serves as a conclusion or a summary of the poem's theme.
- Petrarchan (or Italian) Sonnet: The rhyme scheme of a Petrarchan sonnet is ABBA ABBA CDECDE or ABBA ABBA CDCDCD. The first eight lines, called the octave, follow the ABBA ABBA pattern, while the last six lines, called the sestet, follow either CDECDE or CDCDCD. The Petrarchan sonnet often presents a problem or question in the octave and offers a resolution or answer in the sestet.
Many English-language sonnets are written in iambic tetrameter or iambic pentameter. They sound different, but both can be lovely:
Iambic tetrameter consists of four iambs per line. Each iamb has two syllables: the first one is unstressed, and the second one is stressed. This results in a total of eight syllables per line with a rhythm that sounds like “da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM.”
Here's an example of iambic tetrameter from Lord Byron's poem, “She Walks in Beauty.” It's not a sonnet, but it's a very famous love poem. I've bolded the stressed parts so you can see the pattern:
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Iambic pentameter consists of five iambs per line. Each iamb also has two syllables: the first one is unstressed, and the second one is stressed. This results in a total of ten syllables per line with a rhythm that sounds like “da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM.” This is more commonly used in English sonnets.
Here's an example of iambic pentameter from Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare:
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Sonnets can be difficult, but rewarding when finished. Writing a sonnet can be a great way to practice your skills in crafting structured poetry and explore themes such as love, beauty, or the passage of time.
- Write a sonnet about the changing seasons, exploring the beauty and symbolism associated with each one. Include details from all five senses.
- Compose a sonnet about a place that holds special meaning for you, describing its unique features and the emotions it evokes.
- Write a love sonnet dedicated to a significant other, expressing your deepest feelings and the reasons why you cherish your relationship.
- Create a sonnet that discusses the concept of time, reflecting on its fleeting nature and the impact it has on our lives.
- Write a sonnet about a historical figure or event that has inspired you, exploring the lessons and insights you've gained from it.
- Compose a sonnet that delves into the inner workings of the human mind, exploring emotions, thoughts, and the complexity of our mental landscape.
- Write a sonnet about the power of art, discussing the transformative nature of creative expression and its impact on both the artist and the audience.
- Create a sonnet that examines the beauty of nature, focusing on a specific element such as the ocean, a forest, or a mountain range.
- Write a sonnet about the challenges and rewards of personal growth, exploring the journey towards self-discovery and the obstacles we must overcome.
- Compose a sonnet about the value of friendship, celebrating the connections we forge with others and the support they provide during life's ups and downs.
Expanding Creativity through Creative Writing Prompts
Your own life experiences can be a treasure trove of inspiration for poetry and creative writing. Reflect on the moments that have shaped you, the emotions you've felt, and the lessons you've learned. Use these experiences as a starting point for your writing, allowing you to explore your own personal growth and understanding.
One of the most powerful aspects of poetry is its ability to evoke emotions and create vivid images in the reader's mind. Practice using sensory descriptions in your writing, focusing on sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and touch to bring your poetry to life.
I hope these creative poetry writing prompts and ideas will inspire you in your own writing. Whether you're a seasoned poet or just starting, these prompts offer a wealth of possibilities to help you develop your skills, experiment with different poetry genres, and find your own unique voice. So pick up your pen, explore these prompts, and let your creativity soar. Happy writing!