4 Poetry-Perking Prompts

Everyone needs a nudge in a new direction every once in a while – and poets are no exception. Sometimes it seems like you’ve been writing the same poems over and over again, and you want something to freshen up your process. A prompt can be a great way to do just that. Here are some simple writing prompts to push your work or get over a slump:

  1. Write an ekphrastic poem. An ekphrastic poem is a poem about a work of art. Visit a museum, attend a First Friday exhibition, or browse through a local art shop and find something that speaks to you. Write a poem about it. You get to write and look at cool art. What could be more of a boost to the creative mind?
  2. Emulate an aspect of a poet you love. Find a poet whose work you love. Think about what they do that you admire, and try to incorporate that into a poem. It could be a technique such as alliteration or rhyme, it could be a topic like memory or space, or it could be grammatical style, like broken or run-on sentences. It may or may not end up a working poem, but you will be amazed at the insight you gain, both to your own work and theirs.
  3. Write back to a poem you love. If there’s a poem that you’ve always wanted to talk about but never had the chance, do it by writing your own poem. You can challenge it, agree with it, lament it, or anything in between, but at least you’re engaging with it. You may be surprised at what you come up with!
  4. Use an online prompt. If none of the above prompts tickle your artistic fancy, there are lots of sites online that offer more options. Here are a few of them:
    1. Poets Online (a line-generation site)
    2. Poets & Writers (offers prompts for prose and poetry)
    3. 365 Creative Writing Prompts (simple, easily-adaptable prompts)

You can also combine or change all or part of any of these to make a new prompt. Now you have some tools, and all you have left to do is get writing!

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