Family-Inspired Poetry Prompts

poetry prompts

Poetry prompts inspired by family.

Writers are always looking for new ideas. Sometimes we look so far and wide for inspiration that we’re oblivious to what’s right in front of us.

They say, “You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.” In life, we are presented with many choices, but family is not one of them. It’s pretty much luck of the draw.

That’s why family provides excellent inspiration for writing.

Poetry Prompts

Poetry prompts are a great way to do a little writing when you’re not feeling particularly inspired. The prompts provide the subject matter and a few, choice words. Below, you’ll find four lists of words. Each list focuses on a single topic. You can use these poetry prompts in any of the following ways:

  • Choose one list of poetry prompts and write a poem using all the words in the list.
  • Write four separate poems, each based on one of the lists.
  • Mix and match random words from the lists to write a single poem.
  • Write one poem using all the poetry prompts from all the lists.
  • Bonus: Write a form poem (sonnet, haiku, etc.) using any of the words from the lists.

Writing a poem using prompts is a helpful exercise. To take it a step further, set your completed poem aside and come back to it the following day. Spend some time revising and polishing it. Delete any unnecessary words and make sure the poem contains images that readers can easily visualize. If you wrote a poem in form, check that you’ve adhered to the rules of the form. When you feel the poem is complete, add it to your pile of finished writing projects and think about submitting it to a poetry publication.

Parents Grandparents Siblings Children
Womb Roots Brother / Sister Adorable
Birth Old Childhood Responsibility
Nurture Heritage Vacation Tiny
Provide Memories Toys Growing
Protect Doting Rivalry Playground

Feel free to add to these lists by leaving a comment. Of course, each of us can come up with a host of additional words about our own families, many of which would be entirely subjective. I’ve tried to keep the lists fairly general, but as you prepare to write a poem based on these prompts, feel free to add your own words to the lists.

Discover and Share

Once your poem is completed, come back and share your thoughts about using these poetry prompts. Did you find the process easy or challenging? Which list(s) did you use? Did you polish your poem? If you’d like to share your poem, you can post it in the comments or include a link to it.

Keep writing poetry!

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.

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