All-Natural Poetry Prompts

poetry prompts

Poetry prompts inspired by nature.

Throughout the centuries, poets have composed meditations on seasons, landscapes, and constellations. Vegetation and animals have been the subjects of countless poems, and even when poetry is not centered around nature, it often makes references to it.

In poetry, nature may function as the backdrop–the setting in which the action takes place. Nature, and various elements of nature, may also hold center stage. Why are so many poets compelled to write about nature?

Consider the closing stanza from “Crossings” by Ravi Shankar:

Suspended in this ephemeral moment
after leaving a forest, before entering
a field, the nature of reality is revealed.

Source: poets.org


Words like forest and field hint at nature’s presence in this piece, but the closing line cleverly reminds us that nature is not present in individual words. Nature is reality, and it’s everywhere, all the time.

Poetry Prompts

Poetry prompts are a great way to start a writing session when you’re feeling uninspired or when you simply want to try something new. Maybe you’ve never written a poem before. Maybe you’ve never written about nature. Maybe you’ve never tackled a writing exercise. Whatever your reason, these poetry prompts are meant to provide loose guidelines for kick-starting your creativity and get you pushing your pen across the page.

Below, you’ll find a list of words that relate to nature. These words are your poetry prompts. You can use these prompts in several different ways. You could choose a single word and build a poem around it as a concept. You can choose a handful of words (about five would be good) and use those words to kick off different lines or verses. Or, you could challenge yourself to write a single poem with all of the words included in it.

As you read through the list and choose which words will act as prompts for your poem, relax. Engage your imagination and visualize different images that these words might describe. Build actions with them. String them together with words from your own vocabulary. Put them in lines and verses. And make a poem.

lava
droplet
gazelle
bloom
nest
snake
moon
chirp
field
stream
grasshopper
hiss
seed
fur
forest
sunlight
energy
metamorphosis
prey
birth

Once you’ve written a poem, feel free to share it in the comments section, either by copying and pasting it or by posting a link to it. If you have any ideas or suggestions for poetry prompts, share your thoughts by leaving a comment. And keep writing!

Creative Writing Prompts

About Melissa Donovan
Melissa Donovan is a website designer and copywriter. She writes fiction and poetry and is the founder and editor of Writing Forward, a blog packed with creative writing tips and ideas.

Comments

20 Responses to “All-Natural Poetry Prompts”

  1. Evelyn says:

    Thank you for making lava your first word. :)

    Mr. Shankar is so right. Where I am, there are areas where you just step off the paved road, walk a few feet and, yes, “the quality of air alters, an eclipse lifts.” I kid you not! Escape!

    The forest takes center stage then and in my wanna-be novel.

    • LOL, I’m not sure where lava came from, but once that word popped into my head, I tried going for unexpected words–not words like flowers, birds, and bees. Also, I was aiming for words that could function as various parts of speech (snake can be a noun or a verb). I lived on Maui for a few months many years ago, and I know what you mean. The air is different when you are beyond the city or the suburbs. It’s beautiful, refreshing, healthy, and inspiring.

  2. Mikel says:

    The first thing that popped into my head while I was reading the list was “The lava snake mooned the grasshopper.” I’m not sure where to go from there, except to cut down on my sugar intake.

  3. Mikel says:

    This isn’t new, but the snake word reminded me of it.

    A silent ribbon gently flows
    from where my garden usually grows.
    Winding through the now dead rows
    back to hiding, sliding, it goes.

  4. Betty says:

    I love prompts, they help me clear my thoughts.

  5. Stacy Doney says:

    Oops…had time to write but not to proof read, apparently. Here we go again:

    Stalking November

    Death arrived in a white room,
    under stethoscope and fluorescent light.
    Sunlight failing, hope failed.
    I carried his body home to rest and wait.

    Morning bloomed despite the darkness.
    In the forest I cut roots and dug earth.
    Made room for fur and bone.

    Bringing him there,
    we spoke his name under moonlight and flashlight.
    Walked home empty, looking back too often.

    Today, Sarah wakes me in tears,
    his absence snakes into us in dreams.

    At the back door, only grasshoppers and leaves.
    In his earthen nest, he is beyond last goodbyes.
    There are none.

    The birds have become bold.
    They chirp his absence to one another.
    Cracking seeds without pity.

  6. Andrea Z says:

    ~kittens~

    two blue eyes, droplet-sized
    blink open, and look up at me
    as the kitten attempts to stand.
    Realizing he cannot,
    he drags his tiny body
    toward his mother, who awaits
    the newborn and his siblings
    to feed;
    I reach out with gentle hands
    and pick up the struggling kitten,
    depositing him next to his mother
    as the rest of the litter
    feeds on mother’s milk.

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