Today’s poetry prompts come from my book, 1200 Creative Writing Prompts, which is jam-packed with ideas and inspiration for writers and includes fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction writing prompts.
Some of the poetry prompts in the book ask you to use a list of specific words in a poem. Some give you a topic to write about. Some ask you to draw on your life experience. Some give you images to use as inspiration for a poem.
All of the prompts are designed to spark ideas and inspire you to write. And you don’t have to use the prompts to write poems. Use a prompt to write an essay or a blog post. If you get a prompt that contains a list of words but one of the words isn’t working in your poem, delete it from the list. If one of the images gives you an idea for a story, write a story. Use the prompts in whatever way you see fit.
25 Poetry Prompts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts
- Write a descriptive poem about a banana split: three scoops of ice cream with banana halves on either side and a big mound of whipped cream on top laced with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with chopped nuts—all topped off with a plump red cherry.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: tapestry, sings, eye, din, collide, slippery, fantasy, casting, chameleon, lives.
- Write a poem about somebody who betrayed you, or write a poem about betrayal.
- Write a poem using the following image: a smashed flower on the sidewalk.
- The hallmark of great poetry is imagery. A truly compelling poem paints a picture and invites the reader into a vivid scene. Choose an image or scene from one of your favorite poems and write a poem of your own based on that image.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: scythe, fresh, bloody, dainty, screaming, deadly, discovery, harrowing.
- Write a poem about one (or both) of your parents. It could be a tribute poem, but it doesn’t have to be.
- Write a poem using the following images: a “no smoking” sign and a pair of fishnet stockings.
- You’re feeling under the weather, so you put the teapot on. Soon it starts to scream. Write a poem about the sound of a whistling teapot.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: stem, canvas, grain, ground, leather, furrow.
- The beach, the mountains, the vast sea, and deep space are all great for tributary poems about places. Write about the city you love, the town you call home, or your favorite vacation destination.
- Write a poem using the following image: a pair of baby shoes.
- Some poems are more than just poems. They tell stories. Try writing a poem that is also a story, a play, or an essay.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: elegant, hips, fern, listless, twisting, bind, surprise.
- Write a poem about the first time you experienced something.
- Write a poem using the following image: a torn photograph.
- Although holidays have deeper meanings, we like to truss them up with a lot of decadence and nostalgia. All that food! All those presents! Oh, what fun it is…Write a poem about the holidays.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: burnt, spacious, metropolis, pacing, fiery, cannon.
- Write a poem about an inanimate object. You can write a silly poem about how much you admire your toaster or you can write a serious piece declaring the magnificence of a book.
- Write a poem using the following image: a small rowboat tied to a pier, bobbing in the water under darkening skies.
- Now that time has healed the wounds, write a poem to someone who broke your heart long ago.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: deadline, boom, children, shallow, dirt, creep, instigate.
- Write a poem about streets, highways, and bridges.
- Write a poem using the following images: a broken bottle and a guitar pick.
- Write a poem about the smell of cheesy, doughy, saucy, spicy pizza baking in the oven.
Did any of these poetry prompts inspire you to write? Which one stoked your creative flames? Did you write a poem, or were you inspired to write something else? Where do you get your best creative inspiration? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing!