Poetry is really fun, and a great way to quickly and effectively express yourself, but sometimes it’s hard to start! However, there are many activities that can help get your creative juices flowing. Below are a variety of different poetry activities to choose from. Choose three activities and try them out!
Use Nature as Inspiration:
Try Flashcard poetry:
- Find or create a deck of words in Quizlet or on real flashcards.
- Put the deck on shuffle (or if you have real flashcards, throw them up into the air, and collect them).
- Write down five - ten words from the deck.
- Now write a poem, using all of the words from your cards in the order you listed them!
Try Blackout poetry:
Use the blackout poetry maker to create a poem.
- Choose your text. Here are some possibilities:
- Paste your text into the blackout poetry maker’s custom text box.
- Click “enter text.”
- With your mouse, click on the words you want to keep, and the rest will be covered with black. The remaining words create a visually intriguing poem.
Further instructions if you want them & inspiration:
Extra Challenge: Try making two different poems from the same block of text! How can the two poems have different meanings, stories, and/or tones?
Try a Poetry Walk:
Go on a walk and describe a very specific detail from your walk (how a bird lands on a tree, or the story of a car driving by). If you want to, explain what that detail reveals about its surroundings or your neighborhood.
Try Concrete Poetry:
Write your poem in a shape! For example, you could write a poem about lemonade with the words written in the shape of a lemon
Try Skip the Word:
Write a poem about a word or phrase without using the word or phrase
Try TV Poetry:
Watch an episode of tv & take notes on how a character is feeling, acting, talking, and reacting. Write a poem about the episode from their perspective.
Try Collage Poetry:
Write a poem based on one of ainsley’s collages
Try Prompt poetry:
Write a poem inspired by one of the following prompts:
- a place that makes you happy
- someone you love
- a feeling you want to capture
- your favourite colour
- use synesthesia! What does this colour taste like? sound like?
- a childhood memory
- the sport or type of movement you most enjoy
- your favourite art piece
- your favourite emoji
- your favourite song
- if you lived in space/on another planet
- you’re a character in a game
- write about your favourite quote or saying/words to live by
- write a 24 line poem about your day, seven line poem about your week, 31 line poem about your month, 12 line poem about the last year
- the last thing you ate
- an injury you had
- something you miss
- a time you were scared
- your astrology sign
- compare it to you. Do you identify with it?
- you’re on a boat
- you’re in a sports game or you’re performing on stage
- a conversation you had with a stranger
- you’re driving a car
- maybe you’re on the highway
- someone is writing you a poem. what does it say?
- turn a school lesson into poetry
- how do you make your bed?
- it’s the first day of kindergarten
- ode to a random body part
Choose one of the following to do next (or go crazy and do both!)
- Do the three poetry activities you tried before one more time. This time, make all three poems about just one subject! Try to write about the subject differently in each poem.
- Of the three poems you just wrote, choose your favorite. Now revise it and flesh it out into a completed poem. Maybe this is the one you’ll want to enter in the Inklings Book Contest?
Below are some poetry terms! You can use them to inspire your poetry style.
allegory deeper double meaning in a poem (eg. Plato’s allegory of the cave)
alliteration repetition of initial consonant sounds (eg. Connor cooked. not Alicia asked)
allusion reference to familiar event/person/place/text
apostrophe speech addressing a [noun] not present
assonance repetition of vowel sounds; no repetition of consonant sounds (eg. deep/leaping)
ballad a poem with a songlike structure that tells a story, often of adventure or romance
caesura a strong pause within a line of verse, often punctuated by a grammatical mark
concrete poetry graphic poetry: words often create a shape
consonance repetition of consonant sounds; no repetition of vowel sounds (eg. Connor’s ball)
couplet a pair of consecutive rhyming lines, either on their own or as part of a larger poem
dramatic poetry poetry containing one or more characters
elegy poem honouring a dead person
enjambment the continuation of a sentence or phrase beyond the line of verse
epic long narrative poem about a hero or a god (eg. The Iliad, The Odyssey)
hyperbole deliberate exaggeration or overstatement
imagery descriptive language used to create a sensory experience
lyric poetry highly musical verse that expresses the feelings of one speaker
metaphor a comparison of two things through stating that the first thing is the second
meter the rhythm of lines or stanzas in a poem (eg. Shakespeare’s use of iambic pentameter)
metonymy substitution of something closely related for the thing actually meant
narrative poetry verse that tells a story
onomatopoeia words that imitate sounds
oxymoron figure of speech that combines two opposing words or ideas
pantoum Malay verse form; a series of quatrains linked by repeated lines
personification non-human subject is given human qualities
refrain regularly repeated line or group of lines
repetition repeated use of any element of language
simile explicit comparison using “like” or “as”
sonnet lyric poem of fourteen lines with fixed rhyme scheme
stanza group of lines in a poem, considered as a unit
symbol anything that stands for or represents something else
synecdoche part of something that stands for the whole
synesthesia one type of sensory stimulation creates perception in another sense
tone manner of expression in speech or writing; implied emotional attitude create my own definitions for the poetry terms