Last Updated on January 20, 2022
One of the common struggles that poets often face is a lack of inspiration caused by the dreaded writer’s block.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or seasoned poet, there will always be moments when you can’t find a suitable topic to base your poem on. Other times you may have the topic but not enough motivation to start writing.
Writer’s block isn’t unique to poets. It affects other kinds of writers too, including article writers, academic writers, creative writers, etc. In fact, anyone in a career of serious communication, such as journalists and public relations officers, face writer’s block from time to time. However, the intricate nature of poems makes it especially difficult for poets to deal with writer’s block.
Most people would prefer taking a break and resuming their poem writing on a later date. But writer’s block can last weeks, months, and even years. So, this strategy may not always be effective.
Fortunately, there are numerous valuable poetry prompts that can help get your creative juices flowing.
Poetry prompts are basically cues that help you decide on the best poetry topic to write about or the right words to use. The prompts can be anything, ranging from a short passage from a book to an image, memory, etc.
In this post, we highlight the best poetry prompts that will surely bring out the wordsmith in you.
30 Poetry Prompt Ideas
1. Write a poem on a general topic
It’s a lot easier to come up with a nice poem on a general idea. Some of the popular topics you can consider include life, death, love, trust, Mother Nature, etc.
2. Write a poem about yourself
Nobody understands you better than yourself. So, writing a poem about yourself should pretty much come naturally. The poem can be about any aspect of your life, such as your physical features, personality, aspirations, dislikes, etc.
3. Choose a quirky topic
Humans have always been fascinated by quirky topics like ghosts, vampires, angels, and the afterlife. The best thing about paranormal poems is the freedom to ventilate your personal opinions.
4. Write about your greatest achievement/aspiration
Think of the greatest thing you’ve accomplished or aspire to achieve in life. Then write a poem about how it happened or how you intend to make it happen.
5. Write about your worst failure
Poetry makes it easy to narrate our failures without shame and reservation. And there’s hardly any human being who hasn’t failed a couple of times.
6. Write about your biggest regret
Whether it’s passing up a lucrative job offer or breaking up with your partner, there’s definitely one thing that if given a chance, you’d go back in time and do differently.
7. Write about the greatest dream you’ve ever had
Recall the greatest dream you’ve ever had and how you felt when you woke up, then write a poem based on that.
8. Focus on your senses
Each of the human senses is associated with certain attributes. If you’re struggling to find a topic to base your poem off, just choose one of your five senses and write a poem that focuses on that sense.
9. Look around the room
Take a random look around your house or the office. Note the first thing that catches your fancy. Now, start writing a poem describing that thing.
10. Think of a great color
We all have our favorite colors – mine are grey and orange. You can think of your favorite color and write a poem inspired by it. If you happen not to have a favorite color, just write on any random color you can think of.
11. Write about a photograph
You can also write a poem based on a picture or painting. This can be your own photo/painting or that of someone else, such as the iconic painting of the Mona Lisa.
12. Think of your favorite song
Music is one of the greatest sources of inspiration. If you have a favorite song (and I bet you do), listen to it and take note of the feelings and emotions it inspires in you. Now, write a poem based on those emotions.
13. Think of the first time something exciting or embarrassing happened to you
Do you remember the day you went on your maiden date? What about the day you first got laid? These first memories can make a suitable topic for your next poem.
14. Think of a recent event
Go back one week or one month and pick the most extraordinary thing that happened to you. It doesn’t matter whether the experience was fulfilling or embarrassing, just use it as the basis for your next poem.
15. Pay tribute to a friend or family member
I bet there’s that friend or relative who left a significant impact in your life. How about you write a poem specifically dedicated to them!
16. Become an animal or inanimate object
Adopt the persona of an animal like the donkey or an inanimate object like the tombstone. Now, write a poem about your daily struggles.
17. Become your favorite pet
Imagine you were your canine or feline friend and write a poem from their own perspective. This is a perfect opportunity to address your human owner (who happens to be you) on how best to take care of your needs.
18. Become the most notorious criminal
Write a poem about a criminal who’s always on the run. Highlight how you’ve managed to avoid numerous police dragnets and why you think the boys in blue may never catch up with you.
19. Use the 7 Days – 7 Lines rule
In the 7 Days – 7 Lines rule, you write a poem where each line or sentence portrays a specific day of the week.
20. Tap into a strange conversation
Think of the most random conversation you’ve had with someone this week. Use a word or phrase from that conversation to start the first line of your poem.
21. Write a how-to poem
You can also write a poem in the form of an instructional guide. Consider things that most people take for granted, including how to pour a cup of coffee or how to jumpstart a car.
22. Take a walk down the memory lane
Try to relive your childhood and write a poem about the best advice you’d give to your younger version. Or, write a poem about your best childhood memory.
23. Address a poem to the future version of you
Picture yourself thirty years from now and write a poem addressing the future you.
24. Write a time freeze poem
Imagine a situation where the clock stopped and everyone you know was frozen in place. Write a poem about what they would likely be doing.
25. Write about traveling
Traveling is one of the most therapeutic human experiences. So, travel-based poems can provide the creative breakthrough you’re looking for.
26. Write about your phobias
We all have phobias. Whether it’s the fear of height, spiders, or darkness, you can whip a stellar poem based on what you’re most afraid of.
27. Write a ‘Would You Rather’ poem
This is basically a poem about something you don’t want to do, with the focus on what you’d rather do instead.
28. Experiment with a new poetry form
You could be struggling with writer’s block because you’re always writing in one poetry form. Experimenting with a new form might help unlock your creativity.
29. Write an apology poem
The emotion of guilt is known to provoke a strong response. So, think of a past mistake and write a sincere apology poem as though you’re addressing the person you offended.
30. Write a poem in second-grade language
Sometimes, our greatest hindrance to writing is finding suitable words to use. Writing in second-grade language will allow your mind to focus more on the ideas as opposed to the coherence or fluency of your sentences.
The above collection of poetry prompts will go a long way in clearing your mind of inspiration barriers. Whether you’re an aspiring poet or a seasoned one, you can bookmark this post for future reference whenever you’ll be battling writer’s block. And if you have some cool poetry prompts you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments section below.