One of the most exciting ways to explore your creative potential is by leveraging poetry prompts.
I have compiled 52 creative writing ideas that l hope will inspire you to write your next magical poem. Perhaps these poetry prompts will help you with your work/school project or better yet combat writers’ block.
Challenge yourself to work your way down this list and tackle a poem every week, and If you are feeling generous, you may post some of your work down in the comments section below or check out our Facebook group: The Poetry Network to join our writing community.
52 poetry prompts:
- The taste of sunshine.
- Write a poem that is a series of questions.
- Write a poem to your past, present and future self.
- Describe your first kiss without using the words: lips, hands, kiss, touch, love or tongue.
- Write a poem/prose about a walk on a snowy moonlit night.
- This morning, I find myself surrounded by
- Write a love letter to your body.
- Pick one emotion and write a poem about it.
- When strangers meet
- If we all had to walk around with a warning label, what would yours say?
- Write a poem inspired by the midnight sun.
- Write a poem to 2020.
- Challenge yourself to write a poem that is no more than 25 words long.
- Write a poem where the first letter of each line spells: Manifesting.
- Write a haiku inspired by your current surroundings.
- Reimagine an African Thunderstorm.
- Write an adventure poem as your favourite movie or sitcom character.
- Write a poem with a refrain: a line or a few lines that repeat, like a song’s chorus.
- Think about why you love your favourite snack. Now write a poem endorsing it like a television commercial.
- Write a eulogy to an inanimate object you recently lost.
- Write a poem to the last slice of pizza.
- Write a poem where the first line is also the last.
- Write a magical poem about the day you were born.
- Write about a lesson you will never forget.
- Write about a dream you wanted to last forever.
- Write about some advice you wish you took.
- Write a letter to writers’ block.
- Write a poem inspired by the wallpaper on your phone.
- Write a letter to Santa Clause (Father Christmas).
- Describe the smell of the first raindrops on parched soil.
- Write a poem in which every line is a metaphor.
- Open Google search and type ‘words I have never used’. Write 10 of them down. Now write a poem that is seven lines long and use at least one of the words you wrote down in each line.
- Describe your worst day of the week as if they were a person.
- Write a poem to an event you’re anticipating called: I’ve been waiting for you.
- Why do you write?
- Ouch, that hurts
- Write a poem that can be read from the bottom up and still make sense.
- Tell your life story in 9 words or less.
- Write a poem about yourself from the perspective of the food you eat.
- Write your future wedding vows.
- Write a poem about the poem you never wish to write.
- The pros and cons of allowing yourself to fall in love. Your poem may not include the word ‘love’.
- An ode to Covid-19.
- Write prose describing your relationship with money.
- Write 12-line elementary rhyming poem for a six-year-old.
- A relationship built on paperclips
- Write a letter from the future to someone in 1920.
- A day in the life
- Write a Pyramid poem in which your first line has one word, the second line has two and so forth until the last 16th line has 16 words.
- Locate a book that you love. Find a short line that touches you and make that line your poem’s title. Write a poem inspired by that line. Once complete, change the title entirely.
- Write a poem about Google.
- Write a prose poem about your bucket list. Revise it down to 8 lines long.
Why do we need poetry prompts?
I’m willing to bet that you have experienced writer’s block at one point or another in your creative journey. These occasional dry spells are quite common,, and sometimes we require some intervention to get over them.
Poetry prompts are palette cleansers that allow us to see or view specific topics from a fresh perspective and jump-start our creative process. Sometimes we just need a little push to get us writing again.
When should I write on a poetry prompt?
Anytime! Whether it’s for a school project, work or personal development, these ideas are simply there to get you back to doing what you love the most, and that’s writing. Some people have the innate ability to write on a whim; however, If you’re anything like me, sometimes you may require a bit of a jump start to get the juices flowing.
Which poetry prompt should I choose.
Go for the poetry prompt that speaks to you the most. You will find that the prompts above come in different shapes and sizes- this is by design. Some of you may be looking for something short and sweet to get you back on the horse as quickly as possible while others may rely heavily on these for creative inspiration every time.
Either way, there’s something here for everyone.
Where can I submit or publish my poetry?
We all have different reasons for writing poetry. For some, writing is personal and therapeutic for the soul. For others, writing is a creative itch that they cannot afford not to scratch. Some people are full-time writers, and therefore they must stay on top of their craft which provides food on their table.
If you are looking to get paid for your writing, I will discuss the different avenues to explore in a future article but if you are just starting or you have been secretly writing for yourself here are a few ways to get your poetry seen:
There is a good chance that you have a couple of hundred friends on your WhatsApp contact list that already views your stories regularly. Consider introducing them to your poetry. Statuses are a great place to start and get some initial feedback from family and friends because they disappear in 24 hours.
Facebook and Instagram stories can also be leveraged and great places to get the wheel rolling. When you are ready, you may also utilise your Facebook wall and your Instagram feed.
Facebook and Instagram Business pages:
Once you are ready to get a little serious, consider starting a Facebook or Instagram business page- a great way to show your readers that you are prepared to take your writing more seriously.
Social media is a great ( and free) way to cultivate an initial following. While you’re at it, this is also an excellent time to start following and checking out other writers in your community. Building a network of like-minded people in your industry will motivate you and keep you focusing on what’s important.
Social Media allows you to stay up on top of your industry and helps keep an eye on your competition.
Many free tools allow you to publish your work on the internet—platforms such as Tumblr, WordPress and Wix to mention but a few. You do not need to pay a cent to get started, and there are tons of YouTube tutorials that can show you how to set up your page just the way you like it.
Feel free to let me know what tutorials you would like to see in the future, and I would be thrilled to break them down for you.
Next, we will discuss how you can monetise your poetry by setting up a professional domain name. We ill discuss how to monetise your Facebook and Instagram pages and explore how you can get your work published by organisations such as Poets and Writers, Poetry Magazine and The New Yorker.
Remember to subscribe and never miss an update. Happy writing!
About The Author
Webster is the founder and managing director at Pick Me Up Poetry. His creative journey began at an early age as an aspiring musician, and by 2013, he was the arts & culture facilitator for the University of Johannesburg. He is currently pursuing a Business Management degree with The University of South Africa and aspires to make PMUP a household name by 2025.