Writing poetry is a powerful way to sharpen our creativity, especially when you find yourself getting stuck in your writing. Because that’s when it’s time to loosen up and become more flexible with your words, ideas and images. That’s when it’s time to use language in unlikely ways. That’s when it’s time to rely on our senses. And that’s when it’s time to play.
Below you’ll find a range of poetry prompts to play with:
- Write a poem about something important to you. When you have your final version, turn to a fresh page, and rewrite it into a different shape—a shape that’s inspired by your words. For instance, you structure your poem in the shape of a mandala or the shape of angel wings or the shape of a vase.
- Write a poem about something that delights you.
- Begin a poem that starts with the phrase, “Tonight, the sky tastes like ….”
- Write a poem that rhymes about a magical adventure.
- Write a poem describing how you’re currently feeling. Use only images.
- Head outside, and find a slice of nature. A blade of grass. A pinecone. A petal. If you have a magnifying glass, bring it with you, and examine your natural object. Focus on its tiniest details. Then write a short poem about these details.
- Write a poem about a sweet moment using your five senses.
- Write a poem about a superhero.
- Write a poem that has mystery written all over it.
- Write a “quiet” poem. Interpret quiet in any way you like.
- Write a “noisy” poem. Also, define noisy in any way you like.
- Write a poem describing the sound of something using words that usually aren’t used to describe sound.
- Write a poem about everything you’re grateful for.
- Sit by the window. Or sit on a park bench. And write a poem about everything you see, hear, and feel.
- Jot down words you hear in conversation. Pick a few of these words to include in your poem.
- Give your imagination a name, and draw her. Then write a poem about this “person.”
- Write a poem while listening to music.
You can even jot down your favorite prompts on different pieces of paper, and keep them in a box. When you need a dose of inspiration, reach into your box, pick a prompt at random and get started.
Ultimately, one of the best things we can do for our creativity is to look at everything as though it were a poem. Which also might be one of the best things we can do for our lives.
This post was written in honor of National Poetry Month.