Poetry Prompts for Language Lovers

poetry prompts

Love language? These poetry prompts are for you.

Poets have a unique relationship with language. For a poet, language is more than a tool for communication; it’s a set of paints and paintbrushes that can be used to create scenes and images that resonate with readers.

A poet must then foster a loving relationship with language, learning its secrets, understanding its idiosyncrasies, and mastering its structure, then bending it to the poet’s will.

Today’s poetry prompts pay credence to language and encourage a more thorough mastery of grammar, sentence structure, and all things wordy.

Poetry Prompts

Select at least five words or phrases from the list below. Use them to write a poem about language and poetry. If you want to challenge yourself, choose more than five; go for ten or fifteen, or see how many you can squeeze into one poem.

You can also challenge yourself by writing a poem that is not strictly about language, writing, or poetry. Use these words as symbols or metaphors, or personify them to give them new meaning.

You’ll find that some of these words lend themselves quite well to alternative meanings. For example, dash could mean running quickly rather than a punctuation mark that looks like a hyphen. Give yourself room to be creative with these poetry prompts.


Feel free to come back and tell us how you liked these poetry prompts. And keep writing!

Got any poetry prompts or writing exercises to share? Leave a comment!

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.


12 Responses to “Poetry Prompts for Language Lovers”

  1. Greer says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I am so intrigued by this idea, I wish someone had left one in the comments. Do you have any examples?

    It’s been a long time since I’ve left a comment- I hope you’re well.

  2. Greer says:

    I really enjoyed reading those, thank you :). Reading this and rereading one of your posts on freewrites has made me long to get back to this kind of thing. You’re always an inspiration.

  3. t.sterling says:

    This definitely seems like a good challenge I’m game enough to try. I think it’d really help jumpstart the poetry writing process for me while helping express some things I have to get out of my system anyway (since writing is my #1 form of self expression and its the easiest way for me to talk about someone/something without everone or maybe that someone knowing exactly who or what I’m talking about). Thanks.

  4. K.Anuradha says:

    Hi Milissa,

    I was checking out creative writing sites and found this amazing website.Writing is my hobby and have been writing, but I like poetry prompts and am enjoying trying out.

    Its now inspiring me to write with better skills. Thanks a lot.


  5. Billie says:

    I am a poetryphobe who is new to trying to appreciate poetry. I have shied away from poetry, fearing I would do it wrong and it would not make sense or have improper structure. Thank you for this post and for Five Poetry Prompts. I read the poetry left by commenters and enjoyed what I read. I want to learn to write poetry as I believe it will enhance my fiction and creative writing projects. Happy writing to you.

    • Anyone who’s written poetry will probably tell you that their first attempts were terrible. Like anything, skills are developed with study and practice. Poetry is magical in that it can be written in so many ways–you don’t have to worry about structure, because unstructured poems are perfectly acceptable. I noticed that you didn’t mention reading–you will find that reading poetry will both boost your confidence and give you a foundation to build on. I wish you the best of luck with your journey into poetry!

  6. Peggy Jo says:

    Words dash,
    A period gives definition.
    PJFARR 2017

    The five words I choose are as follows: words, dash, run-on, period, and definition.