Poetry Prompts for Ranting and Raving
It’s easy to think of poetry as soft, flowery, and convoluted. It’s the stuff of Shakespeare, greeting cards, and children’s books. It’s precious, sweet, and erudite.
But some of the most exciting modern poetry defies all those stereotypes, and you need look no further than the slam poetry and spoken word communities to see how poetry can be infused with rage, passion, and humor.
These poets have mastered the art of ranting and raving via performance poetry. It’s no wonder that during live recordings of some of their most impassioned poems, the crowd can be heard hooting and hollering.
Today’s poetry prompts encourage you to write a poem ranting and raving about something that really chaps your hide.
You can use these poetry prompts to write any kind of poem you want. But for some reason, poems that rant and rave work exceptionally well in performance. These pieces have luster on the page, but they explode when the poet reads them aloud, so I recommend working on a poem that is meant to be performed. There is a list of links to some excellent recordings of rant poems at the end of this post.
How to use these poetry prompts:
Choose one of the lists below and write a poem using all of the words in the list. You can also write a poem mixing and matching words from these lists or using all of the words from all of the lists.
|Social Consciousness||Personal Affronts||Road Rage & Pet Peeves|
Once you’ve finished your poem, feel free to come back here and share it with us.
Need some ideas to help you get started with these poetry prompts? Below are links to a few examples of rant poems that are beautifully executed–well written and brilliantly performed. Once you follow the link, you’ll need to click the pod icon to listen to the performances.
WARNING: some of these poems may contain offensive language. But they show the breadth of subject matter that a rant poem can tackle. Some are full of anger, others are imbibed with grace, and a couple are sprinkled with humor. Enjoy!
- How to Write a Political Poem – Taylor Mali
- Lit; or To The Scientist I Am Not Speaking To Anymore – Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
- A Modest Proposal – Jack McCarthy
- Anti-War Rant - Jamie Kilstein
- Advice to Rihanna – Mahogany Browne
All these poems and many more can be found on IndieFeed Performance Poetry, which is one of my favorite podcasts. I highly recommend checking it out (you can also subscribe via iTunes).