Poetry Prompts for Ranting and Raving

poetry prompts

Get loud with these poetry prompts.

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.

Poetry Prompts

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
bad words
slow down

Once you’ve finished your poem, feel free to come back here and share it with us.

Explore More

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!

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).

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.


3 Responses to “Poetry Prompts for Ranting and Raving”


    looks like fun to participate in writing poetry.indeed its’a rich sattanni/author/freelancewriter challenge.

  2. rose says:

    Well, this prompt came at the perfect moment. My husband and I stopped for coffee at Starbucks today. I backed into a parking space. A car was behind me. Suddenly I heard a honk. Long story short, a woman claimed I’d hit her car and broke her license plate holder (which she refused to look at, and which wasn’t broken) and was so out of control she called the police, making a mess of my morning. Here’s my poem:

    The Bully

    I hit a bully today,
    Or so she says-
    Yes, she. It has no sex
    Nor is it poor.
    It owns a Lexus, and it lies.
    It says, “You hit my car.
    Didn’t you hear me honk?”

    I insulted a bully today,
    Or so she claims-
    Robbed her of her dignity
    When I tapped her license plate
    Backing into the parking space.
    I didn’t tap anything.
    I’ve got pictures to prove it.

    I forgot my manners,
    Or so she told the police
    Because I chose to walk away
    From a fight she was brewing,
    Starbucks in one hand,
    Phone in the other,
    Lip stuck out, hip jacked out.
    Dressed to the nines,
    But still no lady.

    Now all I have is a headache
    And a bad poem to show for it,
    And a slow burn
    Of betrayal and a violation
    I didn’t commit.
    I can’t help but wonder,
    Who did commit it then?
    Because nothing
    Comes from nowhere.
    Who bullied her?

    And who will I bully,
    If I forget to forget
    What just happened?