Poem Ideas to Write About

Can’t think of what to write about? Try one of these ideas.

Many of these ideas below are from Immersed in Verse (p. 86-89)

  • Going inside poem: Going.Inside.Poems
  • Lunes
  • Sports_Poetry_Tips
  • Tritinas
  • Pantoums
  • Random Poetry Starters
  • Riddle Poem
  • Tell a story with a poem
  • A memory poem, Remember, Joy Harjo
  • A blessing poem
  • poem showing the passage of time, example, “Death of a Snowman”
  • poem about food, “The Bagel”
  • poem about a sacred /special place, “The Sacred” Stephen Dunn
  • a poem about an animal or a living thing, see “The Summer of Black Widow Spiders” and “A Dog on His Master”  Billy Collins, “Seal,” William Jay Smith
  • a poem about sports, example, “Baseball,” Bill Zavatsky, Poetry Slalom, Mary Jo Salter
  • a poem about a tree, “Tree House”
  • a poem about a grandparent or a relative, Instead of Her Own, by  Molly Peacock, Tia Chucha , Luis J. Rodriguez
  • A poem that teaches
  • A quiet poem
  • A poem focusing on loudness
  • A poem that focuses on smell
  • A poem using words from another language you know
  • A poem about fast things
  • A poem that includes dialogue
  • A love poem
  • A letter poem
  • A self-portrait of yourself where you compare yourself to something in nature.
  • An inquisition poem where you ask questions to someone or something you encounter.
  • A mystery poem where you give descriptive clues to what it is that lead the reader to understand what the object is
  • A tribute poem to an object
  • A tribute poem that uplifts one of your heroes, a person worthy of praise–not just for the big reasons, but for the small reasons too. Think of their skills, attitude, a deed. Use a metaphor
  • A poem that starts “If only I’d known…”
  • a poem “On Being ___( write your age here).”
  • a poem about an animal (real or imaginary) that you would like as a pet.
  • respond to a poem you like or dislike. Your poem is an answer to the topic the other poet wrote about.
  • a poem in praise of yourself as a hero.
  • mark of a square foot of space somewhere–in your yard, your room, in the sky, and write a poem about what you see there.
  • a poem inspired by a color
  • a poem about a painting
  • Look through your local newspaper and find a story that catches your interest. Use it as a jumping off point for your poem.
  • Write about a gift.
  • Write a poem in the form of the tour of your house, school, or other place you are familiar with. What is important to point out. How can you shape what is seen by what you choose.
  • Choose a place and write a poem about how it will change over time. You might start your lines like this: In 10 years… In 25 years… in 50 years… Try the same thing coing back ing time: 10 years ago… 50 years ago… 100 years ago.
  • Write an “I was” or “I will be” poem.
  • Write a poem in the form of a recipe. It can be a recipe for anything: happiness, surviving grade seven, whatever.
  • Use the phrase, “All right, I may have lied…” to inspire a poem. The line can be used as an opener, a closer or a refrain.
  • Sit down somewhere outside and write what you see, experience, smell, and touch. Focus on something, and turn it into a poem.
  • Focus on something really small: an ant walking through grass, a crack in the road, night light, and talke about it and what it suggests.
  • Take an everyday object and give it some magic in a poem.
  • Focus on one of your senses and write the poem with a focus on that sense. Try the same thing but using a sense that isn’t ordinarily used to describe the object. For example, describe the taste of a tree or the sound of cooking dinner.
  • Write a poem about a favorite piece of clothing.
  • Write a poem in someone else’s voice.
  • Write a poem form the point of view of someone different from yourself.
  • Write a poem from the point of view of  your pet.
  • Write a poem that is all dialogue. Use at least two voices.
  • Choose a profession, a chef, a doctor, a painter, etc. Make a list of verbs used in that job. Use the list of verbs to writ a poem about something that has nothing to do with the job you chose. For example, write use the words for a veterinarian to describe your ride on a bus.
  • A he said/she said poem: one stanza is what he said, the second stanza is what the other person said on a topic such as cars, clothes, love, friendship, sports, fun, etc.
  • Write about one moment in your life such as when you broke your wrist, your first day at a school, a birthday.

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