Poem Starters and Creative Writing Ideas

Here are lots of poem starters that you can use for your own poetry writing. (If you're looking for story starters instead, click here). At the bottom of the page, you'll find links to more pages with creative writing ideas.
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Poetry ideas - Write a poem about:

  1. Night-time
  2. A particular color
  3. Being underwater
  4. A person whose life you're curious about
  5. Your mother's perfume
  6. Falling asleep or waking up
  7. Growing older
  8. The feeling of getting lost in a book
  9. How to know if you're in love
  10. A bad dream
  11. A ghost
  12. Your city, town, or neighborhood
  13. An important life choice you've made
  14. Spring, summer, fall, or winter
  15. Something most people see as ugly but which you see as beautiful
  16. Jealousy
  17. Becoming a parent
  18. An event that changed you
  19. A place you visited -- how you imagined it beforehand, and what it was actually like
  20. The ocean
  21. Forgetting
  22. The speed of light
  23. A voodoo doll
  24. Reflections on a window
  25. A newspaper headline
  26. Your greatest fear
  27. Your grandmother's hands
  28. A particular toy you had as a child
  29. Being invisible
  30. A time you felt homesick
  31. Having an affair, or discovering your partner is having one
  32. Birthdays
  33. A favorite food and a specific memory of eating it
  34. An imaginary city
  35. Driving with the radio on
  36. Life in an aquarium
  37. Dancing
  38. Walking with your eyes closed
  39. What a computer might daydream about
  40. Time travel
  41. Brothers or sisters
  42. Your job, or a job you've had
  43. Weddings
  44. Leaving home
  45. Camping
  46. A zoo
  47. A historical event from the perspective of someone who saw it firsthand (You will have to do some research for this).
  48. Holding your breath
  49. Intimacy and privacy
  50. A time you were tempted to do something you feel is wrong
  51. Physical attraction to someone
  52. A superstition you have
  53. Someone you admire

Poem starters- the five senses

  1. Write about the taste of: an egg, an orange, medicine, cinnamon
  2. Write about the smell of: burning food, melting snow, the ocean, your grandparents' home, the inside of a bus, pavement after the rain
  3. Write about the sound of: a radio changing channels, a dog howling, a football or baseball game, your parents talking in another room
  4. Write about the sight of: lit windows in a house when you're standing outside at night, someone you love when he or she doesn't know you're watching, a dying plant, shadows on snow
  5. Write about the feeling of: grass under bare feet, a really bad kiss, the headrush when you stand up too fast, sore muscles, falling asleep in the back seat of a moving car.

Poem starters- three elements

Write a poem that contains all three of the elements in any of the lists below:

  1. a dessert, a memory, and someone in your family
  2. dancing, a pitch-black room, and the smell of lilacs
  3. a balloon, smoke, and a keyhole
  4. a secret box, an ice cube tray, and a velvet ribbon
  5. a betrayal, soap, and a plane ticket

Poem starters - keep writing

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