One of my favorite ways to express myself has always been through poetry. Because penning poetry is freeing. It feels much less intimidating than writing pages and pages of thoughts and feelings and worries. There’s something accessible and (almost) effortless about knowing that you’re just jotting down a few sentences, a few images, a few words.
Like a piece of art, poetry thrives on emotion, and the abstract. It is visceral and urgent. It is our senses coming alive. It is a cup of coffee for our imagination.
There are many types of poetry. One (modern) type is micropoetry. According to Rayna Hutchinson and Samuel Blake in their inspiring, inventive, encouraging book You/Poet: Learn the Art. Speak Your Truth. Share Your Voice., “a micropoem is simply a short poem of no more than one hundred words and two verses.”
Hutchinson is the founder of Her Heart Poetry, an online poetry community, digital zine and poetry press, and Blake is the editor-in-chief. You/Poet features insights on tapping into our creative voices, including a rich variety of prompts and poetry writing basics.
Below you’ll find seven prompts from the book for creating micropoetry. These prompts are helpful for warming and loosening up our creative muscles. And they remind us to play—to play with language, to reconnect to our imagination.
- A six-word story for a kiss.
- Seventeen syllables to describe the creature that lurks under your bed.
- Seven words for your heaven.
- Make the reader tremble in three lines.
- An eight-word love letter.
- Describe a stranger in fifteen words.
- Get ten pieces of white paper, three pieces of blue paper, and twenty pieces of yellow paper. On the white paper, write numbers one to ten. On the blue, write “words, “lines” and “syllables.” On the yellow, write twenty different themes or topics that resonate with you. When you’re done, pick one white, one blue and one yellow sheet of paper. Use them to spark a micropoem.
Writing can be playful and silly and whimsical, and writing poetry reminds us of that. It reminds us to take a lighthearted approach with not only our writing, but perhaps, too, with ourselves—with how we treat and approach ourselves, with how patient we are with ourselves, with how we think about our emotions, with how we view our errors and mistakes, with how we view our worlds.
Writing poetry reminds us of the power of our imagination. It reminds us that we have a few minutes even every day to reconnect to it—and to ours hearts. And it just might remind us that it’s also very vital.