Spark a Poem Idea

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:

  1. Find or create a deck of words in Quizlet or on real flashcards.
  2. Put the deck on shuffle (or if you have real flashcards, throw them up into the air, and collect them).
  3. Write down five - ten words from the deck.
  4. 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.

  1. Choose your text. Here are some possibilities:
  1. Paste your text into the blackout poetry maker’s custom text box.
  2. Click “enter text.”
  3. 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:

  1. a place that makes you happy
  2. someone you love
  3. a feeling you want to capture
  4. your favourite colour
  5. use synesthesia! What does this colour taste like? sound like?
  6. a childhood memory
  7. the sport or type of movement you most enjoy
  8. your favourite art piece
  9. your favourite emoji
  10. your favourite song
  11. if you lived in space/on another planet
  12. you’re a character in a game
  13. write about your favourite quote or saying/words to live by
  14. 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
  15. the last thing you ate
  16. an injury you had
  17. something you miss
  18. a time you were scared
  19. your astrology sign
    1. compare it to you. Do you identify with it?
  20. you’re on a boat
  21. you’re in a sports game or you’re performing on stage
  22. a conversation you had with a stranger
  23. you’re driving a car
  24. maybe you’re on the highway
  25. someone is writing you a poem. what does it say?
  26. turn a school lesson into poetry
  27. how do you make your bed?
  28. it’s the first day of kindergarten
  29. ode to a random body part

Hey! now you have three completed poems! that’s amazing :)

Choose one of the following to do next (or go crazy and do both!)

  1. 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.
  2. 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