1.The Untouchable: Something that will always be out of reach

2. 7 Days, 7 Lines: Write a poem where each line/sentence is about each day of last week

3. Grandma’s Kitchen: Focus on a single memory, or describe what you might imagine the typical grandmother’s kitchen to be like

4. Taste the Rainbow: What does your favorite color taste like?

5. Misfits: How it feels when you don’t belong in a group of others.

6. Stranger Conversations: Start the first line of your poem with a word or phrase from a recent passing conversation between you and someone you don’t know.

7. On the Field: Write from the perspective of a sports ball {Baseball, Soccer, American Football, Lacrosse, etc.} – think about what the sports ball might feel, see, hear, think, and experience with this poetry idea!

8. Street Signs: Take note of the words on signs and street names you pass while driving, walking, or riding the bus. Write a poem starting with one of these words you notice.

9. Cold water: What feelings do you associate with cold water? Maybe it’s a refreshing cold glass of water on a hot day, or maybe you imagine the feelings associated with being plunged into the icy river in the winter.

10. Ghostwriter: Imagine an invisible ghost picks up a pen and starts writing to you.

11. Lessons From Math Class: Write about a math concept, such as “you cannot divide by zero” or never-ending irrational numbers.

12. Instagram Wall: Open up either your own Instagram account or one of a friend/celebrity and write poetry based on the first picture you see.

13. Radio: Tune in to a radio station you don’t normally listen to, and write a poem inspired by the the first song or message you hear.

14. How To: Write a poem on how to do something mundane most people take for granted, such as how to tie your shoes, how to turn on a lamp, how to pour a cup of coffee.

15. Under 25 Words: Challenge yourself to write a poem that is no more than 25 words long.

16. Out of Order: Write about your feelings when there is an out of order sign on a vending machine.

17. Home Planet: Imagine you are from another planet, stuck on earth and longing for home.

18. Uncertainty: Think about a time in your life when you couldn’t make a decision, and write based on this.

19. Complete: Be inspired by a project or task be completed – whether it’s crossing something off the never-ending to-do list, or a project you have worked on for a long time.

20. Compare and Contrast Personality: What are some key differences and similarities between two people you know?

21. Goodbyes: Write about a time in your life you said goodbye to someone – this could be as simple as ending a mundane phone conversation, or harder goodbyes to close friends, family members, or former partners.

22. Imagine Weather Indoors: Perhaps a thunderstorm in the attic? A tornado in the kitchen?

23. Would You Rather? Write about something you don’t want to do, and what you would rather do instead.

24. Sound of Silence: Take some inspiration from the classic Simon & Garfunkel song and describe what silence sounds like.

25. Numbness: What’s it like to feel nothing at all?

26. Fabric Textures: Use different fiber textures, such as wool, silk, and cotton as a poetry writing prompt.

27. Anticipation: Write about the feelings you experience or things you notice while waiting for something.

28. Poison: Describe something toxic and its effects on a person.

29. Circus Performers: Write your poetry inspired by a circus performer – a trapeze artist, the clowns, the ringmaster, the animal trainers, etc.

30. Riding on the Bus: Write a poem based on a time you’ve traveled by bus – whether a school bus, around town, or a long distance trip to visit a certain destination.

31. Time Freeze: Imagine wherever you are right now that the clock stops and all the people in the world are frozen in place. What are they doing?

32. The Spice of Life: Choose a spice from your kitchen cabinet, and relate its flavor to an event that has happened recently in your daily life.

33. Parallel Universe: Imagine you, but in a completely different life based on making a different decision that impacted everything else.

34. Mad Scientist: Create a piece based on a science experiment going terribly, terribly wrong.

35. People You Have Known: Make each line about different people you have met but lost contact with over the years. These could be old friends, passed on family, etc.

36. Last Words: Use the last sentence from the nearest book as the inspiration for the first line of your poem.

37. Fix This: Think about something you own that is broken, and write about possible ways to fix it. Duct tape? A hammer and nails?

hammer poetry prompt idea
Use this hammer as inspiration for a poetry prompt idea!

38. Suspicion: Pretend you are a detective and you have to narrow down the suspects.

39. Political News: Many famous poets found inspiration from the current politics in their time. Open up a newspaper or news website, and create inspired by the first news article you find.

40. The Letter D: Make a list of 5 words that start with all with the same letter, and then use these items throughout the lines of your verse. {This can be any letter, but for example sake: Daisy, Dishes, Desk, Darkness, Doubt}

41. Quite the Collection: Go to a museum, or look at museum galleries online. Draw your inspiration from collections of objects and artifacts from your favorite display. Examples: Pre-historic days, Egyptians, Art Galleries, etc.

42. Standing in Line: Think of a time you had to stand in line for something. Maybe you were waiting in a check-out line at the store, or you had to stand in line to enter a concert or event.

43. Junk Mail Prose: Take some inspiration from your latest junk mail. Maybe it’s a grocery store flyer announcing a sale on grapes, or an offer for a credit card.

44. Recipe: Write your poem in the form of a recipe. This can be for something tangible, such as a cake, or it can be a more abstract concept such as love or happiness. List ingredients and directions for mixing and tips for cooking up your concept to perfection.

45. Do you like sweaters? Some people love their coziness, others find them scratchy and too hot. Use your feelings about sweaters in a poem.

46. After Party: What is it like after all party guests go home?

47. Overgrown: Use Little Shop of Horrors for inspiration, or let your imagination run wild on what might happen if a plant or flower came to life or started spreading rapidly to take over the world.

48. Interference: Write a poem that is about someone or something coming in between you and your goals.

49. On Shaky Ground: Use an earthquake reference or metaphor in your poem.

50. Trust Issues: Can you trust someone you have doubted in the past?

51. Locked in a Jar: Imagine you are a tiny person, who has been captured and put into a jar for display or science.

52. Weirder Than Fiction: Think of the most unbelievable moment in your life, and write a poem about the experience.

53. Fast Food: Write a poem about fast food restaurants and experiences.

fast food writing prompt hamburger
Do you like fast food? Write about a recent fast food experience in a poem – good or bad!

54. Unemployed: Write a poem about quitting or being fired from a job you depended on.

55. Boxes: What kinds of family secrets or stories might be hiding in that untouched box in the attic?

56. No One Understands: Write about what it feels like when no one understands or agrees with your opinion.

57. Criminal Minds: Write a poem from the perspective of a high-profile criminal who is always on the run from law enforcement.

58. Marathon Runner: Write a poem about what training you might be doing to accomplish a difficult challenge in your life.

59. Trapped: Write about an experience that made you feel trapped.

60. Passing the Church: Write a poem about noticing something interesting while passing by a church near your home.

61. Backseat Driver: Write about what it’s like to be doing something in your life and constantly being criticized while trying to move ahead.

62. Luster: Create a descriptive poem about something that has a soft glow or sheen to it.

63. Clipboard: Write a poem about someone who is all business like and set in their ways of following a system.

64. Doctor: Write a poem about receiving advice from a doctor.

65. First Car: Write an ode to your first car

66. Life Didn’t Go As a Planned: Write about a recent or memorable experience when nothing went according to plan.

67. Architect: Imagine you are hired to design a building for a humanitarian cause you are passionate about.

68. The Crazy Cat Hoarder: Write about someone who owns far too many cats.

69. Queen: Write a poem from the perspective of a queen.

70. Movie Character: Think of a recent movie you watched, and create a poem about one character specifically, or an interaction between two characters that was memorable.

71. Potential Energy: Write about an experience where you had a lot of potential for success, but failed.

72. Moonlight: Write about an experience in the moonlight.

73. Perfection: Write about trying to always keep everything perfect.

74. You Are Wrong: Write a poem where you tell someone they are wrong and why.

75. Sarcasm: Write a poem using sarcasm as a form of illustrating your point.

76. Don’t Cry: Write a poem about how not to cry when it’s hard to hold back the tears.

77. Listen Up: Write a poem telling someone they are better than they think they are.

78. Flipside: Find the good in something terrible.

79. Maybe They Had a Reason: Write a poem about someone doing something you don’t understand, and try to explain what reasons they might have had.

80. How to Drive: Write a poem that explains how to drive to a teenager.

81. Up & Down the Steps: Write a poem that includes the motion of going up or down a staircase

82. Basket Case: Has there ever been a time when you thought you might lose your mind? Jot your feelings and thoughts down in verse form.

83. Lucky Guess: Many times in our life we have to make a good guess for what is the best decision. Use this poetry idea to write about feelings related to guessing something right – or wrong.

84. Dear Reader: What audience enjoys reading the type of poetry you like to write? Craft a note to your potential audience that addresses their biggest fears, hopes, and dreams.

85. All or Nothing: Share your thoughts on absolutist thinking: when one’s beliefs are so set in stone there are exceptions.

86. Ladders in the Sky: Imagine there are ladders that take you up to the clouds. What could be up there? What feelings do you have about climbing the ladders, or is their a mystery as to how they got there in the first place?

ladder poetry prompt
Where might this ladder to the sky lead? Write about it!

87. Always On My Mind: Compose a poem about what it’s like to always be thinking about someone or something.

88. Paranoia: What would it be like if you felt like someone was watching you but no one believed you?

89. Liar, Liar: How would you react to someone who lied to you?

90. Secret Word: What’s the magic word to unlock someone’s access to something?

91. For What It’s Worth: Use a valuable object in your home as inspiration as a poetry prompt idea.

92. Coming Home to Secrets: Imagine a person who puts on a good act to cover up a secret they deal with at home.

93. Productivity: Talk about your greatest struggles with time management and organization.

94. Defying Gravity: Use words that relate to being weightless and floating.

95. Signs of the Times: How has a place you are familiar with changed over the past 10 years?

96. Sleepless Nights: What ideas and feelings keep you up at night? What’s it like when you have to wake up in the morning on a night you can’t sleep?

97. You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit: Use one of the worst job related memories you can think of as a creative writing prompt.

98. By George: You can choose any name, but think of 3-5 notable figures or celebrities who share a common first name, and combine their personalities and physical characteristics into one piece of poetry. For example: George Washington, George Clooney, George Harrison.

99. Shelter: Write a poem about a time you were thankful for shelter from a storm.

100. Cafeteria: Create a poem inspired by the people who might be eating lunch in a cafeteria at school or at a hospital.

101. Dusty Musical Instruments: Base your poem around the plight of a musician who hasn’t picked up the guitar or touched a piano in years.