Poetry Ideas and Creative Writing Prompts

Here you'll find lots of poetry ideas you can use for your creative writing. (Were you looking instead for short story ideas?) At the bottom of this page, you'll find links to even more poem starters and to creative writing lessons on how to write poems.

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Poetry prompts - Write a poem about:

  • Rain, snow, or a storm
  • An animal you think is beautiful or strange
  • Your parents or children
  • How a kiss feels
  • The house where you were born
  • A smell that brings back memories
  • Being a teenager, becoming an adult, middle age, old age
  • Feeling lonely
  • The moon
  • Getting lost
  • Marriage or divorce
  • An imaginary friend
  • Life in the future
  • The hottest, coldest, or most exhausted you have ever felt
  • Having a fever
  • A new version of a fairy-tale
  • The shapes you see in clouds

Write a poem in the form of any of the following:

  • A letter
  • A recipe
  • A horoscope
  • A fragment from an unusual dictionary
  • A prayer
  • A shopping list
  • A magic spell.

Write a poem from the point of view of:

  • One of your parents
  • Your child (real or imagined)
  • A historical figure (You will have to do research for this one.)
  • A very old person
  • An athlete who has just lost the big game
  • The most popular/unpopular kid from your school
  • An inanimate object in your home.

Where to get more ideas for poems:

  • Listen to a piece of music and write about the images that it brings into your mind.
  • People-watch, eavesdrop, and write about your observations and imaginings.
  • Sit in a park and close your eyes. Notice all of the sounds and smells. Write about them afterward.
  • Keep a notebook next to your bed and write down your dreams at night to turn them into poems later.
  • Make a list of words you think are unusual, then try to use them in poems.
  • Watch an animal and write a poem about what it looks like and what it does.
  • Smell different spices in your kitchen and write about the memories that they inspire.
  • Look through old family photographs and choose some to write poems about.
  • Go on a "field trip" -- a museum, the zoo, a greenhouse -- to hunt for poetry ideas.
  • Get inspiration from books on an area of science or history that interests you.

Keep the poetry ideas flowing

Don't let the creativity stop! Choose one of the links below.

Click here for more poetry prompts.

Click here for advice on how to write poems.

Click here for short story topics and ideas.

Click here for a list of CWN pages with poetry prompts.

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