Whether you’re writing a poem for your own collection or a significant other, you’re here with one question in mind: “How do I get ideas to write a poem?”
This isn’t some random, “Let’s get this over with” assignment, after all. You want this poem to be worth writing — and worth sharing.
You need the kind of poetry inspiration to help you take your thoughts, memories, and experiences and turn them into something beautiful and memorable.
Fun should be as much a part of the process as feeling.
You’ll find both in this list of 127 poetry prompts.
127 Creative and Fun Poetry Writing Prompts
Make a note of your favorites as you go through this list of poetry prompts. Some will stand out more than others, thanks to your unique perspective and experiences. Jot down some ideas as you go along, and enjoy creating a list of your own to play with.
1. Childhood Home. Describe a particular home you remember from your childhood.
2. Growing Pains. Describe a uniquely painful time of transition.
3. Haiku Challenge. Write a haiku (7 syllables, 5 syllables, 7 syllables) about the perfect morning or evening.
4. The End of Something. Describe an end to a relationship, a job, or something else you remember with regret or satisfaction.
5. Social Misfit. Describe a moment where you felt like the odd one out.
6. Street Signs. Write about a street sign that stood out for you.
7. Statistics. Write about a statistic that surprises you or has personal meaning.
8. Bug’s Eye View. Write from the perspective of an insect at a busy park.
9. Ghostwriter. You wake up to short notes written by a diseased former resident.
10. Insta-ration. Go to a friend’s Instagram and write about a post that stands out.
11. Grandma’s House. Write about your grandmother’s house (or how you imagine it).
12. Ice Cold. Write about the sensation of drinking (or wearing) something cold.
13. Beach Walk. Write about a solitary walk on the beach and what you see and hear.
14. Curio. Write about a souvenir you keep visible and what it means for you.
15. How’s the weather? Describe today’s weather and how it’s affecting you.
16. Neighbors. Describe one of your neighbors in a poetic snapshot.
17. First Crush. Describe the first crush you ever had and what it taught you.
18. First Friend. Describe the first real friend you made and the difference they made.
19. Radio. Turn the radio on and write about a song that makes you stop to listen.
20. Fangirl. Describe a favorite character or celebrity crush from a favorite series.
21. How To. Describe a daily process most people rush through or do without thinking.
22. Under 21. Write a poem of fewer than 21 words about whatever comes to mind.
23. Far From Home. Write about your imaginary home planet (not Earth).
24. A Reality Apart. Write about a separate reality you came from and how it differs.
25. Check Your Privilege. Describe an unearned privilege you enjoy that some do not.
26. Prejudice. Describe what you feel when someone treats you as less than human.
27. Chameleon. Describe a time you changed your persona to fit and how it went.
28. Face to Face. Describe a time you came face to face with a nemesis or mentor.
29. Complete. Describe the feeling of finishing a labor of love (or an arduous project).
30. Uncertainty. Describe a moment when you struggled to make a decision.
31. Tea & Sympathy. Describe a difficult time when someone was there for you.
32. The Elements. Describe the four elements and what each represents to you.
33. Written in the Stars. Describe your daily horoscope or your birth chart.
34. Creature Comforts. Describe something that helps you feel calm and comforted.
35. Wandering. Describe a time when you wandered off and got lost.
36. Phobias. Describe a phobia you have and what you would do without it.
37. Homecoming. Describe a return to a place that once felt like home.
38. Hobbies. Describe a favorite hobby and what you love about it.
39. Compare and Contrast two very different people you know.
40. Storytime. Describe a time when someone told you a story that stayed with you.
41. I’d rather… Describe something you don’t want to do and what you’d rather do.
42. Numb. Describe a time when part or all of you felt numb and what it was like.
43. Dreaded Sound. Describe a sound you’ve come to associate with danger or dread.
44. Anticipation. Describe what you feel when you’re waiting for something.
45. Mistaken Identity. Describe someone you mistook for someone you know.
46. Circus Performer. Describe an experience as the circus performer of your choice.
47. Knowing By Touch. Describe a strange feeling you got from touching an object.
48. Off the (Spice) Rack. Compare a spice to something or someone in your life.
49. Unexpected Test. Describe a test you weren’t prepared for and how you did.
50. Mad Scientist. Describe a real or imagined experiment gone horribly wrong.
51. Doppelganger. Describe an imaginary look-alike who shows up and complicates your life.
52. DIY Repairs. Describe something of yours that’s broken and how you might fix it.
53. Amateur Sleuth. Someone you know is dead, and you’re reviewing the suspects.
54. Political News. Write an opinion letter in poem form (rhyming or not).
55. What’s In A Name. Include words for each letter in your name in a poem.
56. Scentsation. Write about memories or thoughts evoked by a scent.
57. Waiting Alone. Write about a moment spent waiting for someone to show up.
58. Make a List. Describe an unusual list (grocery, to-do, etc.) you made or received.
59. White Elephants. Describe an unwanted or useless gift you received.
60. Recipe. Write a recipe in the form of a poem (rhyming or not).
61. After Party. Describe a party scene after all the guests have left.
62. Stranger Than Fiction. Write about an incident that struck you as bizarre.
63. Drive-through. Describe a memorable experience with a fast-food restaurant.
64. Unemployed. Describe the feeling of being laid off or fired from a job.
65. Hired. Describe the feeling of being hired for the job you know you’ll love.
66. Box of Memories. Describe a sealed box (and its contents) from your parents’ attic.
67. Trapped. Describe an experience that made you feel pinned down or trapped.
68. Inner Voice. Describe a time when your inner wisdom led you to a better choice.
69. Medical Advice. Describe a piece of advice you received from a doctor or nurse.
70. Unplanned. Describe an unexpected gift and/or challenge that changed your life.
71. Ode to a First Car. Write an ode to the first car you ever owned or drove.
72. Queen. Write a poem from the perspective of a queen (#BornLikeThis).
73. From the First Taste. Describe a first taste experience that was a revelation to you.
74. First Pet. Describe your first pet or the closest thing you’ve ever had to a pet.
75. Near Miss. Describe a moment when you nearly missed your target and how it felt.
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76. Candlelight Memories. Describe a pleasant memory involving candles.
77. “Does This Spark Joy?” Write a poem about decluttering your inner or outer life.
78. Sarcasm. Write a sarcastic poem to drive a particular point home.
79. “You’re Wrong.” Describe a moment when you spoke up in defense of the truth.
80. Don’t cry. Write a poem about a moment when you did your utmost not to cry.
81. Silver Linings. Write about the good you can see in something terrible.
82. You got this! Write a poem to build up someone’s confidence.
83. Jingle Bells. Write a poem involving a bell or chime and what it meant for you.
84. Best Wishes, Warmest Regards. Write about a fond farewell or welcome back.
85. Because Reasons. Write a poem about the reasons you might have for strange behavior.
86. Jello Shots. Write about something regrettable you did under the influence.
87. Losing It. Describe a moment when you felt you were losing your mind.
88. What a Ride! Write about a carnival ride you enjoyed or regretted more than you anticipated.
89. No, Virginia… Describe how you felt when someone crushed a childhood belief.
90. Lost Opportunity. Describe a moment when you had to say no to something that lit you up inside.
91. New Opportunity. Describe a moment when you said yes to an opportunity with a cost.
92. All or Nothing. Write a poem about black-and-white thinking.
93. Catastrophizing. Write a poem where you imagine things going from bad to worse.
94. Paranoia. Write about a suspicion you had that others dismissed as paranoia.
95. Spirit Animal. Write about your spirit animal and what you have in common.
96. Memento. Write about a special memento, where you got it, and what it means to you.
97. Pants on Fire. Write about a lie someone told you and how you learned the truth.
98. Procrastination. Write about an especially costly example of procrastination.
99. Sleepless. Write a poem about a sleepless night, and what kept you awake.
100. I Quit! Write about a job you quit or wanted to quit and why.
101. I Surrender. Write a moment of surrender to someone or something.
102. You’ve Changed! Write about someone who changed — and not in a good way.
103. Numbers. Write about a number or numbers that have special meaning for you.
104. The Good Place. Write about your vision of the afterlife — or life between lives.
105. Shelter. Write about a person or place that gave you shelter from a storm.
106. Cafeteria. Write about a memorable experience in a school or hospital cafeteria.
107. Dusty Instruments. Write about a musician who hasn’t touched their instrument in years (and why).
108. Betrayal. Write a poem about someone who betrayed your trust.
109. Ladder to the Sky. Write about an imaginary ladder you take through the clouds.
110. Dear Reader. Write a letter in poem form to your future readers.
111. Synchronicity. Describe a meaningful coincidence and any feelings connected to it.
112. Catch the Baby. Describe childbirth in a poem.
113. Burning at Both Ends. Write a poem about burnout.
114. What is your quest? Write a poem about a bridge or crossroads in your life?
115. Your mother was a hamster… Write a poem about a devastating insult.
116. Everything is Awesome. Write a poem about relentless optimism.
117. Bad News. Write a poem about a diagnosis that changed your plans.
118. Bad Ending. Write about a disappointing end to a story you were enjoying.
119. Innocuous. Write about something “harmless” that does tremendous harm.
120. Stuck in Traffic. Write about something you witnessed or experienced while stuck in traffic.
121. Self-Discovery. Write a poem about learning something surprising about yourself.
122. Outdoorsy. Write a poem about your first experience of camping or hiking.
123. First Heartbreak. Write a poem about the first time someone broke your heart.
124. First Credit Card Debt. Write about the moment you became a debtor.
125. Hidden Self. Write about something you’ve kept hidden from most, if not everyone.
126. First Enemy. Write about the moment you realized someone disliked you for you.
127. Discovering Poetry. Write a poem about the poet who made you love poetry.
Are you ready to use these poetry writing prompts?
Now that you’ve looked through this list of poem topics, which ones stood out for you? Make your own shorter list of ideas and keep it handy for inspiration. You could even start a poetry journal and make the first page your list of favorite poetry prompts.
Whatever gets you writing at least a few lines of poetry every day will help you develop your skills. Imagine holding a book of published poetry with your name on it!
Until then, practice getting those thoughts onto the page. Who knows where they’ll lead?