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Teaching Poetry

Templates and examples of structured poem forms, 15 structured poetry forms - templates and examples, examples of templates to use with students of all ages and experience levels. many different structured poetry forms for grades k-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. when students have a structure to follow, writing poems might feel more manageable. it also allows teachers to share various types of poems with their students..

Tynea Lewis

Structured poems are poems that provide a specific format to follow. They are perfect for those who need a little more help forming a poem. They can easily be implemented in classrooms, no matter the age of the students. Even the youngest of students are able to craft their own poems with the guidance of a teacher.

Before assigning these poems to your students, we encourage you to experiment with the forms as well. You might not see yourself as a poet, but teachers who write help their students become writers who are more willing to share their work.

The poems are arranged by suggested age group. Even if you teach older students, you might want to use the more basic structured poems, especially to get your students more comfortable with crafting their own poems.

Structured poems allow individuals to be creative but still have a safety net that provides help along the way.

Unless otherwise indicated, these poems were written by Tynea Lewis.

HELLO, GOODBYE POEM

Write about a particular season by sharing things you will get to experience during a new season and things that will end from the previous season. To brainstorm, list activities from two different seasons before picking the ideas you will use. Grade Recommendation: K-2, 3-5 Template:

Hello (season). Goodbye (season). Hello… Goodbye… Hello… Goodbye… Hello… Goodbye…
Hello, Spring. Goodbye, Winter. Hello blue sky. Goodbye gray clouds. Hello warm weather. Goodbye snowy nights. Hello playing outside. Goodbye sitting by the fireplace.

Write a poem that describes yourself. Grade Recommendation: K-2, 3-5

I am (one descriptor) I love (something you love) I want (something you want) I play (something you play) I see (something you see each day) I am (one descriptor) I am afraid of (something you’re afraid of) I am happy (something that makes you happy) I am nervous (something that makes you nervous) I am excited (something that makes you excited) I am (one descriptor)
I am playful. I love running. I want a soccer ball. I play outside with friends. I see birds from my window. I am a sister. I am afraid of the dark. I am happy when I sleep in. I am nervous around big dogs. I am excited for summer. I am a friend.

ACROSTIC POEM

Write an acrostic about a specific topic (name, season, subject, sport, etc.) by listing the word vertically and starting each line with a word that begins with each specific letter. Grade Recommendation: K-2 (simple prompt like their name), 3-5

Template: (Write your word/phrase vertically)

A C R O S T I C
Snoring Lullaby Every night Enter dreamland Perfect rest

SEASON IN COLOR POEM

Write a poem about a specific season by describing colors, nouns, and actions associated with that season. Grade Recommendation: K-2, 3-5

Template: 

(Season) (Color) (Noun) (Action) (Action) (Noun) (Color)
Summer Green Grass Running Swimming Pool Blue

The first line of this poem states the topic. The rest of lines include words that describe it, but they all end in -ing.

Grade Recommendation: K-2, 3-6

(Topic) -ing -ing -ing -ing
Sports Playing Running, Jumping, Throwing.

LISTING POEM

Choose a topic to write about, which becomes the first line of the poem. The rest of the poem includes descriptions of that topic. Each line can be one word or a short phrase.

Grade Recommendation: K-2

(Topic) (Description) (Description) (Description) (Description)
Mom Smart Funny Caring Pretty Loves to cook

Write a poem about how a color is perceived through the five senses.

Grade recommendation: 3-5, 6-8

(color) looks like… It sounds like… The color (color) smells like… It tastes like… (color) feels like...

Example: 

Red looks like the embers smoldering in the fire. It sounds like the shrill of an ambulance siren. The color red smells like a fresh cut apple. It tastes like warm cherry pie. Red feels like a fever when you’re sick.

Write a five lined poem that either follows a specific word or syllable count.

Template (word count):

Line 1- noun Line 2- 2 adjectives Line 3- 3 -ing words Line 4- a phrase Line 5- another word for the noun from line 1 (synonym or sums it up)

Example (word count):

Pool Clear, cool Splashing, jumping, swimming Perfect for a hot summer’s day. Fun

Template (Syllable count):

Syllable Count: Line 1-2 syllables Line 2- 4 syllables Line 3- 6 syllables Line 4- 8 syllables Line 5- 2 syllables

A tanka is another form of Japanese poetry that follows a specific syllable count (like a haiku). Grade recommendation: 3-5, 6-8

Line 1- 5 syllables Line 2- 7 syllables Line 3- 5 syllables Line 4- 7 syllables Line 5- 7 syllables
One diamond dewdrop Sparkles in morning sunlight Then, slowly drips down A dandelion's green stem Nourishing its thirsty roots.

(written by Paul Holmes )

Write a poem that uses a string of words to describe one topic or two that are opposing. The end result looks like a diamond. Grade recommendation: 6-8

Line 1: 1 word (subject/noun)  Line 2: 2 adjectives that describe line 1  Line 3: 3 -ing words that relate to line 1  Line 4: 4 nouns (first 2 relate to line 1, last 2 relate to line 7--if you're writing about opposite topics)  Line 5: 3 -ing words that relate to line 7  Line 6: 2 adjectives that describe line 7  Line 7: 1 word (subject/noun)
                     Noise              Loud, Boisterous     Deafening, Earsplitting, Piercing     Clamor, Sound ..... Hush, Quiet     Soothing, Calming, Consoling            Peace, Tranquility                     Silence

(written by Divine Tan )

A nonet is a poem that has nine lines and follows a specific syllable count for each line. The first one starts with nine syllables. The second line has eight syllables. This progression continues until the last line only has one syllable. Grade recommendation: 6-8, 9-12

Line 1 - 9 syllables Line 2 - 8 syllables Line 3 - 7 syllables Line 4 - 6 syllables Line 5 - 5 syllables Line 6 - 4 syllables Line 7 - 3 syllables Line 8 - 2 syllables Line 9 - 1 syllables
I have never felt like this before. He consumes my thoughts every day. He is completely perfect. The way he looks at me Makes my heart do flips. I know it’s true, I hope so. He wants Me.

A sonnet is a 14 line poem that is made up of stanzas of varying lengths and rhyme schemes. Grade recommendation: 9-12

Read more about the sonnet variations and how they are structured.

The days go by, then a month, then a year, and still through the days I see not a change. No matter what happens, you still aren't here, and how you just disappeared is what's strange. No explanation, no warning, just gone. I wish I had just some of your courage to go leave one rainy morning at dawn, to leave one day without any message. How I long for somewhere to be renewed or to just disappear, just not to be, not to see, not to feel, not to hear you, the ghost that you are, which I long to be. But as many days that I want to go, there are more that I want to stay and know.

(written by GA Thompson )

A sestina is a poem that contains six stanzas that each contain six lines and an ending tercet (3 line stanza). It is based on its repetition of the ending words of the lines.

Grade recommendation: 9-12

The numbers indicate the different stanzas that make up the sestina, and the letters stand for the last word of each line.

As the poem continues, the ending words from the lines of the first stanza are repeated at the end of the lines to follow (using the structure indicated below).

1. ABCDEF 2. FAEBDC 3. CFDABE 4. ECBFAD 5. DEACFB 6. BDFECA 7. (envoi) ECA or ACE

Sestina by Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

September rain falls on the house. In the failing light, the old grandmother sits in the kitchen with the child beside the Little Marvel Stove, reading the jokes from the almanac, laughing and talking to hide her tears. She thinks that her equinoctial tears and the rain that beats on the roof of the house were both foretold by the almanac, but only known to a grandmother. The iron kettle sings on the stove. She cuts some bread and says to the child, It's time for tea now; but the child is watching the teakettle's small hard tears dance like mad on the hot black stove, the way the rain must dance on the house. Tidying up, the old grandmother hangs up the clever almanac on its string. Birdlike, the almanac hovers half open above the child, hovers above the old grandmother and her teacup full of dark brown tears. She shivers and says she thinks the house feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove. It was to be, says the Marvel Stove. I know what I know, says the almanac. With crayons the child draws a rigid house and a winding pathway. Then the child puts in a man with buttons like tears and shows it proudly to the grandmother. But secretly, while the grandmother busies herself about the stove, the little moons fall down like tears from between the pages of the almanac into the flower bed the child has carefully placed in the front of the house. Time to plant tears, says the almanac. The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove and the child draws another inscrutable house.

The basis of a villanelle is created by using two sets of rhyming words and the repetition of two lines. It is made up of five tercets (3 line stanzas) and an ending quatrain (4 line stanza).

A and B stand for the rhyme scheme. All the lines that have an “A” will rhyme with each other, as do all the lines that have a “B.” A1 and A2 are the lines that are repeated throughout the poem.

The rest of the poem is structured around the repeated lines.

A1 B A2 A B A1 A B A2 A B A1 A B A2 A B A1 A2
No one told me about this pain. Everything hurts, even my pride. It's these emotions I am forced to contain. Tears have fallen from my eyes like a steady rain. Nothing can take back those nights I've cried. No one told me about this pain. My feelings I cannot even explain. To you, my heart was open wide. Now it's these emotions I have to contain. I'm at the point where I feel nothing but shame Because I thought you were going to be my guide. If only I was warned about this pain. With you is where I wanted to remain. Now I have to continue on with a long stride, But these emotions I am forced to contain. Please tell me our relationship was not in vain. I hope to not regret having tried. No one told me about this pain. It's these emotions I am forced to contain.

A palindrome is a word, phrase, or poem that reads the same forward or backward.

Template suggestion:

When writing a palindrome, try writing the first and last lines and then working your way toward the middle. This will help you know if the poem is making sense.

Softly gliding Spiraling, twirling, floating Leaves fall Crunching Fall leaves Floating, twirling, spiraling Gliding softly

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Poetry Writing Templates: Tools To Help You Write Your Best Poems

Are you tired of feeling stuck in your poetry writing? Do you find yourself struggling to come up with new ideas or fresh language? Well, fear not! Poetry writing templates may just be the tool you need to take your writing to the next level.

By utilizing the structure and guidelines provided by these templates, you can experiment with different poetic forms and free verse structures, ultimately creating more dynamic and engaging poems.

Whether you consider yourself a seasoned poet or a beginner, these templates can help you improve your craft and inspire new ideas.

So, let’s dive in and explore how poetry writing templates can help you write your best poems yet!

Key Takeaways

  • Poetry writing templates provide structure and guidelines for different poetic forms, making it easier to stay focused on your message and create a clear and concise theme.
  • Traditional poetic forms like Sonnets, Haikus, and Villanelles can help structure your poems and create a more impactful message, but require mastery of meter and rhyme scheme.
  • Contemporary free verse poetry allows for experimentation with form and structure, characterized by its absence of rhyme and meter.
  • Experimenting with different forms and styles, personalization techniques, and creative prompts can help expand your poetic repertoire and take your poetry to the next level.

Traditional Poetic Forms

If you want to improve your poetry writing skills, it’s time to explore traditional poetic forms like Sonnets, Haikus, and Villanelles. These templates will help you structure your poems and create a more impactful message.

With Sonnets, you can follow the 14-line structure to express your emotions and tell a story.

Haikus, on the other hand, are perfect for capturing a moment in time with just 17 syllables.

Lastly, Villanelles can help you repeat a key message throughout your poem while adding lyrical depth.

You’ll find that sonnets can be a challenging but rewarding form of poetry to master. The sonnet is a 14-line poem that originated in Italy and was popularized by Shakespeare in England.

There are two main types of sonnets: Shakespearean, which follows the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, and Petrarchan, which follows the rhyme scheme ABBA ABBA CDCDCD or CDECDE.

The key to writing a successful sonnet is mastering the meter. Sonnets are typically written in iambic pentameter, which means each line has ten syllables and follows a pattern of unstressed/stressed syllables. However, some poets choose to write sonnets in trochaic tetrameter, which follows a pattern of stressed/unstressed syllables.

Regardless of the meter you choose, writing a sonnet requires skill and practice. But once you’ve mastered this form, you’ll have a powerful tool in your poetic arsenal.

Haikus are the perfect way to capture the essence of a moment in just three short lines, creating vivid and powerful imagery in the reader’s mind.

Nature inspired haikus are particularly powerful as they allow us to connect with the natural world on a deeper level. They can transport us to a serene, peaceful place with just a few words.

Haikus can also be used for emotional expression. They’re a powerful tool to convey complex emotions in a concise and impactful way. Whether it’s joy, sadness, or even anger, haikus can help us express our feelings in a way that’s both beautiful and cathartic.

So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by emotion, try writing a haiku and see how it helps you process those feelings.

Villanelles

Listen closely to the rhythmic repetition of the refrains in villanelles, allowing the words to wrap around you like a warm embrace.

Villanelles are a form of poetry that originated in France and are known for their intricate repetition of lines. It may seem daunting at first, but revisiting villanelles can help you master the form and break tradition by modernizing it.

To start, familiarize yourself with the structure of a villanelle. It consists of 19 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme and two repeating refrains. The first and third lines of the first stanza become the refrain lines, and they alternate as the last line of each subsequent tercet until the final quatrain where they both appear again.

Once you have grasped this, you can start breaking the rules and experimenting with modernizing villanelles. Try using unconventional refrains or changing the rhyme scheme to make it your own.

With some practice and creativity, you can create a fresh and innovative take on this traditional form.

Contemporary Free Verse Structures

If you’re looking for a way to break free from traditional structures, contemporary free verse poetry can be a canvas where your thoughts flow like a river, unencumbered by rhyme and meter. This type of poetry is characterized by its absence of rhyme and meter, which allows the writer to experiment with form and structure.

Contemporary free verse poetry is all about expressing your thoughts and emotions in a way that feels natural to you, without the constraints of a preconceived structure. One popular form of contemporary free verse poetry is blank verse, which is a form of poetry that uses unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter. This structure allows for a natural flow of language and can be used to create a sense of rhythm and musicality in your poetry.

Another popular form of contemporary free verse poetry is concrete poetry, which uses the physical arrangement of the words on the page to create meaning. This type of poetry allows the writer to experiment with the visual aspect of their work, creating a unique and immersive experience for the reader.

So if you’re looking to break free from traditional structures and experiment with new forms of poetry, contemporary free verse structures may be just what you need.

Using Poetry Writing Templates to Improve Your Craft

You’ve been exploring the various contemporary free verse structures and experimenting with different ways to structure your poems.

But have you ever considered using customizable templates to improve your poetry writing? Templates are an excellent tool for streamlining your creative process, providing a structure for your thoughts, and helping you create more polished poems.

Customizable templates allow you to choose the structure that best suits your style and subject matter. You can select the number of stanzas, lines per stanza, and even the rhyme scheme. This gives you a starting point for your poem and helps you avoid the dreaded writer’s block.

Using a template can also help you stay focused on your message, ensuring that your poem has a clear and concise theme. The benefits of structure are numerous, and customizable templates provide an easy and effective way to incorporate it into your poetry writing.

So why not give it a try and see how it can take your poetry to the next level?

Tips for Experimenting with Poetry Writing Templates

Experimenting with customizable structures allows for greater creativity and flexibility in crafting meaningful verses. Creative prompts are a great way to spark inspiration and can be tailored to fit your personal writing style.

By using templates, you can focus on the content of your poem without worrying too much about structure. This will allow you to experiment with different forms and styles that you may not have considered before. Personalization techniques are another way to make a template your own.

Changing the length of lines, syllable count, or even the order of stanzas can completely transform the meaning of a poem. Don’t be afraid to play around with the template until it feels like it truly embodies your voice and message. The beauty of poetry is that there’s no one right way to do it, so don’t be afraid to take risks.

By using customizable structures and personalization techniques, you can push the boundaries of traditional poetry and create something truly unique.

So there you have it, aspiring poets! With the help of poetry writing templates, you can elevate your writing and explore new forms and structures.

From traditional poetic forms to contemporary free verse, there is a template out there to suit every writer’s style and preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different templates and techniques, and remember that writing poetry is all about expressing yourself and your unique voice.

With the right tools and a bit of practice, you can create truly breathtaking and impactful works of art. So go forth and write, and let your imagination run wild.

Recommended Reading...

Muse of poetry: understanding the inspiration behind poetic creation, onomatopoeia in poetry: exploring the use of sound words in poems, play vs screenplay writing: key differences and similarities, poems that rhyme: understanding and writing rhyming poetry.

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How to Write a Poem

How to Write a Poem: In 7 Practical Steps with Examples

Learn how to write a poem through seven easy to follow steps that will guide you through writing completed poem. Ignite a passion for poetry!

creative writing poem template

This article is a practical guide for writing a poem, and the purpose is to help you  write a poem!  By completing the seven steps below, you will create the first draft of a simple poem. You can go on to refine your poetry in any way you like. The important thing is that you’ve got a poem under your belt. 

At the bottom of the post, I’ll provide more resources on writing poetry. I encourage you to explore different forms and structures and continue writing poetry on your own. Hopefully, writing a poem will spark, in you, a passion for creative writing and language. 

Let’s get started with writing a poem in seven simple steps: 

  • Brainstorm & Free-write
  • Develop a theme
  • Create an extended metaphor
  • Add figurative language
  • Plan your structure
  • Write your first draft
  • Read, re-read & edit

Now we’ll go into each step in-depth. And, if your feeling up to it, you can plan and write your poem as we go.

Step 1: Brainstorm and Free-write 

Find what you want to write about 

how to write poetry brainstorming

Before you begin writing, you need to choose a subject to write about. For our purposes, you’ll want to select a specific topic. Later, you’ll be drawing a comparison between this subject and something else. 

When choosing a subject, you’ll want to write about something you feel passionately about. Your topic can be something you love, like a person, place, or thing. A subject can also be something you struggle with . Don’t get bogged down by all the options; pick something. Poets have written about topics like: 

And of course…  cats   

 Once you have your subject in mind, you’re going to begin freewriting about that subject. Let’s say you picked your pet iguana as your subject. Get out a sheet of paper or open a word processor. Start writing everything that comes to mind about that subject. You could write about your iguana’s name, the color of their skin, the texture of their scales, how they make you feel, a metaphor that comes to mind. Nothing is off-limits. 

Write anything that comes to mind about your subject. Keep writing until you’ve entirely exhausted everything you have to say about the subject. Or, set a timer for several minutes and write until it goes off. Don’t worry about things like spelling, grammar, form, or structure. For now, you want to get all your thoughts down on paper. 

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Grab a scratch paper, or open a word processor 
  • Pick a subject- something you’re passionate about
  • Write everything that comes to mind about your topic without editing or structuring your writing 
  • Make sure this free-writing is uninterrupted
  • Optional-  set a timer and write continuously for 5 or 10 minutes about your subject 

Step 2: Develop a Theme 

What lesson do you want to teach? 

develop a theme for your poem

Poetry often has a theme or a message the poet would like to convey to the reader. Developing a theme will give your writing purpose and focus your effort. Look back at your freewriting and see if a theme, or lesson, has developed naturally, one that you can refine. 

Maybe, in writing about your iguana, you noticed that you talked about your love for animals and the need to preserve the environment. Or, perhaps you talk about how to care for a reptile pet. Your theme does not need to be groundbreaking. A theme only needs to be a message that you would like to convey. 

Now, what is your theme? Finish the following statement: 

The lesson I want to teach my readers about  (your subject)  is ______

Ex. I want to teach my readers that spring days are lovely and best enjoyed with loving companions or family. 

  • Read over the product of your free-writing exercise.  
  • Brainstorm a lesson you would like to teach readers about your subject. 
  • Decide on one thing that is essential for your reader to know about your topic.
  • Finish the sentence stem above. 

Step 3: Create an (extended) Metaphor 

Compare your subject to another, unlike thing. 

Poem: creating a metaphor

To write this poem, you will compare your subject to something it, seemingly, has nothing in common with. When you directly compare two, unlike things, you’re using a form of figurative language called a metaphor. But, we’re going to take this metaphor and extend it over one or two stanzas- Stanzas are like paragraphs, a block of text in a poem- Doing this will create an extended metaphor. 

Using a metaphor will reinforce your theme by making your poem memorable for your reader. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing the thing you’d like to compare your subject to. Suppose your topic is pet iguanas, and your theme is that they make fantastic pets. In that case, you’ll want to compare iguanas to something positive. Maybe you compare them to sunshine or a calm lake. This metaphor does the work or conveying your poem’s central message. 

  • Identify something that is, seemingly, unlike your subject that you’ll use to compare.
  • On a piece of paper, make two lists or a Venn diagram. 
  • Write down all the ways that you’re subject and the thing you’ll compare it to are alike. 
  • Also, write down all the ways they are unalike.
  • Try and make both lists as comprehensive as possible.  

Step 4: Add more Figurative Language 

Make your writing sound poetic. 

how to write poetry: figurative language

Figurative language is a blanket term that describes several techniques used to impart meaning through words. Figurative language is usually colorful and evocative. We’ve talked about one form of figurative language already- metaphor and extended metaphor. But, here are a few others you can choose from.

This list is, by no means, a comprehensive one. There are many other forms of figurative language for you to research. I’ll link a resource at the bottom of this page. 

Five types of figurative language:

  • Ex. Frank was as giddy as a schoolgirl to find a twenty-dollar bill in his pocket. 
  • Frank’s car engine whined with exhaustion as he drove up the hill.  
  • Frank was so hungry he could eat an entire horse. 
  • Nearing the age of eighty-five, Frank felt as old as Methuselah.  
  • Frank fretted as he frantically searched his forlorn apartment for a missing Ficus tree. 

There are many other types of figurative language, but those are a few common ones. Pick two of the five I’ve listed to include in your poem. Use more if you like, but you only need two for your current poem.   

  • Choose two of the types of figurative language listed above 
  • Brainstorm ways they can fit into a poem 
  • Create example sentences for the two forms of figurative language you chose

Step 5: Plan your Structure 

How do you want your poem to sound and look? 

Poetry stru

If you want to start quickly, then you can choose to write a free-verse poem. Free verse poems are poems that have no rhyme scheme, meter, or structure. In a free verse poem, you’re free to write unrestricted. If you’d like to explore free verse poetry, you can read my article on how to write a prose poem, which is a type of free verse poem. 

Read more about prose poetry here.  

However, some people enjoy the support of structure and rules. So, let’s talk about a few of the tools you can use to add a form to your poem. 

Tools to create poetic structure:

Rhyme Scheme – rhyme scheme refers to the pattern of rhymes used in a poem. The sound at the end of each line determines the rhyme scheme. Writers label words with letters to signify rhyming terms, and this is how rhyme schemes are defined. 

If you had a four-line poem that followed an ABAB scheme, then lines 1 and 3 would rhyme, and lines 2 and 4 would rhyme. Here’s an example of an ABAB rhyme scheme from an excerpt of Robert Frost’s poem,  Neither Out Far Nor In Deep: 

‘The people along the sand (A)

All turn and look one way. (B) 

They turn their back on the land. (A) 

They look at the sea all day. (B) 

Check out the Rhyme Zone.com if you need help coming up with a rhyme!

Read more about the ins and outs of rhyme scheme here.

Meter – a little more advanced than rhyme scheme, meter deals with a poem’s rhythm expressed through stressed and unstressed syllables. Meter can get pretty complicated ,

Check out this article if you’d like to learn more about it.

Stanza – a stanza is a group of lines placed together as a single unit in a poem. A stanza is to a poem what a paragraph is to prose writing. Stanzas don’t have to be the same number of lines throughout a poem, either. They can vary as paragraphs do. 

Line Breaks – these are the breaks between stanzas in a poem. They help to create rhythm and set stanzas apart from one another. 

  • Decide if you want to write a structured poem or use free verse
  • Brainstorm rhyming words that could fit into a simple scheme 
  • Plan out your stanzas and line breaks (small stanzas help emphasize important lines in your poem) 

Step 6: Write Your Poem 

Combine your figurative language, extended metaphor, and structure.

How to Write Poetry

Poetry is always unique to the writer. And, when it comes to poetry, the “rules” are flexible. In 1965 a young poet named Aram Saroyan wrote a poem called  lighght.  It goes like this- 

That’s it. Saroyan was paid $750 for his poem. You may or may not believe that’s poetry, but a lot of people accept it as just that. My point is, write the poem that comes to you. I won’t give you a strict set of guidelines to follow when creating your poetry. But, here are a few things to consider that might help guide you:

  • Compare your subject to something else by creating an extended metaphor 
  • Try to relate a theme or a simple lesson for your reader
  • Use at least two of the figurative language techniques from above 
  • Create a meter or rhyme scheme (if you’re up to it) 
  • Write at least two stanzas and use a line break 

Still, need some help? Here are two well-known poems that are classic examples of an extended metaphor. Read over them, determine what two, unlike things, are being compared, and for what purpose? What theme is the poet trying to convey? What techniques can you steal? (it’s the sincerest form of flattery) 

“Hope” is a thing with feathers  by Emily Dickenson.

“The Rose that Grew From Concrete”  by Tupac Shakur. 

  • Write the first draft of your poem.
  • Don’t stress. Just get the poem on paper. 

Step 7: Read, Re-read, Edit 

Read your poem, and edit for clarity and focus .

Edit your poem

When you’re finished, read over your poem. Do this out loud to get a feel for the poem’s rhythm. Have a friend or peer read your poem, edit for grammar and spelling. You can also stretch grammar rules, but do it with a purpose. 

You can also ask your editor what they think the theme is to determine if you’ve communicated it well enough. 

Now you can rewrite your poem. And, remember, all writing is rewriting. This editing process will longer than it did to write your first draft. 

  • Re-read your poem out loud. 
  • Find a trusted friend to read over your poem.
  • Be open to critique, new ideas, and unique perspectives. 
  • Edit for mistakes or style.

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Continued reading on Poetry

creative writing poem template

A Poetry Handbook

“With passion, wit, and good common sense, the celebrated poet Mary Oliver tells of the basic ways a poem is built—meter and rhyme, form and diction, sound and sense. She talks of iambs and trochees, couplets and sonnets, and how  and why  this should matter to anyone writing or reading poetry.”

Masterclass.com- Poetry 101: What is Meter?

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creative writing poem template

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Poetry Worksheet Templates

Customize poetry templates.

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If you're assigning this to your students, copy the worksheet to your account and save. When creating an assignment, just select it as a template!

Poetry Worksheets | Poetry Templates

What are Poem Templates?

Poem templates are creative tools that can enhance their writing skills and encourage them to experiment with different poetic forms. These templates are predesigned forms that provide a structured framework for writing poems. Using poem templates is a great way to introduce different poetic forms such as sonnets, haikus, acrostics, and limericks. With the help of a poem template, students can focus on the creative aspect of writing poems, such as choosing the right words, playing with metaphors and similes, and developing their own unique writing style.

What Are the Different Types of Poetry Templates Available for Your Classroom?

Poetry is a creative and fun way for students to express themselves through words. One way to encourage this is by using poem templates, which are designed to help writers come up with their own poems. At Storyboard That, we have various types of poetry worksheets available for your classroom, each with its own unique style and structure.

  • Acrostic poem planners are a great way to get students thinking creatively while also teaching them about words and language. They can be used for any subject, such as science or social studies, and encourage students to write a poem using the letters of a particular word or phrase.
  • Poetry template planners are another type of worksheet that can be used to guide students through the process of writing poems. These templates typically include prompts and space for students to brainstorm and jot down their ideas before drafting their final poem.
  • Haikus are a classic form of Japanese poetry that are great for practicing brevity and creativity. They consist of three lines with a 5-7-5 syllable count, making them a great way to teach students about syllables and rhythm in language.
  • Sonnets are a more complex form of poetry that consist of 14 lines and a specific rhyme scheme. They are a great way to challenge more advanced students and teach them about the structure and form of traditional poetry.
  • Villanelles are another type of poetry worksheet that can be used to challenge writers. They consist of 19 lines and a specific rhyme scheme, making them a more complex form of poetry to write. They are an excellent tool for teachers looking to help their class master this intricate form of poetry. The template provides a clear outline of the structure and rhyme scheme of a villanelle poem, making it easier to understand and follow.
  • Limericks are a fun and playful type of poetry that can be used to encourage writers to be creative and silly. They typically consist of five lines with a specific rhyming pattern and are a great way to introduce kids to the fun and imaginative side of writing their own poems.

No matter which type of poetry template you choose, using them in the classroom is a great way to teach language, creativity, and self-expression. With these templates, students can write their own poems and gain a deeper appreciation for the power and beauty of words.

Using our Poetry Maker Tool

Are you looking for a creative way to teach poetry in your classroom? Look no further than Storyboard That! With our wide selection of printable poetry templates and poetry maker tools, you can help learners develop their writing skills and create their own unique poems.

Our poetry creator allows you to choose from a variety of templates for poems, including acrostic poems, haikus, sonnets, villanelles, and more. You can also use our write your own poem worksheet to give your students the freedom to create their own poetry from scratch.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a poem worksheet. using Storyboard That's poetry maker:

  • Choose a template: Select a from a wide range of free poetry templates above that fits your needs. You can choose from a variety of examples such as haikus, sonnets, limericks, acrostic poems, villanelles, and more.
  • Customize your template: Once you have chosen a template, you can customize it to your liking. You can change the colors to match your preferences, font styles to make it visually appealing, add images, or any other design element that you want to include in your color poem. Experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect fit for your poem.
  • Add your content: Begin writing your poem by filling in the spaces provided in the template. Use your creativity to write unique and engaging content that reflects your thoughts and ideas.
  • Edit and refine: After you have completed your poem, review it and make any necessary changes. Use the poetry maker tool to edit the format, layout, and design of your poem until you have a final product to publish.
  • Download and share: Once you have completed your custom poem, download it in your preferred format and share it with your friends, family, or colleagues online. You can also print it out and display it in your classroom or workspace using Google Slides, PowerPoint, and more.

With Storyboard That's poetry maker tool and our wide selection of printable poetry templates, creating custom poems has never been easier. Get creative and start exploring the endless possibilities of poetry-making today!

Engaging Classroom Activities Using A Poetry Template to Improve Creative Writing Skills

Poetry templates are a great resource to engage your class in creative writing and improve their writing skills. Here are some activities that you can do in your classroom using poetry templates:

  • Acrostic Poem Challenge: Give your class a topic or a word, and ask them to create an acrostic poem using the letters of the word. Use the acrostic poem template to help them structure their poem.
  • Poetry Elements Analysis: Use poetry elements worksheets to teach about the different elements of poetry, such as rhyme, meter, and figurative language. Then, have them apply their knowledge by creating a poem using a poetry template. You can take the analysis of poetry a step further by introducing writers to SMILE Poetry Analysis . This method encourages kids to analyze the Subject, Mood, Imagery, Language, and Emotion in a poem to gain a deeper understanding of the author's message.
  • Write Your Own Poem: We have a variety of free templates for poems, such as the color poem template, to give learners a fun and creative way to write their own poems. Encourage them to experiment with different poetry forms and techniques.
  • Poetry Performance: Have your students select a poem from a poetry worksheet and practice performing it in front of the class. This activity helps them build confidence in public speaking and interpretation of poetry.
  • Collaborative Poetry Writing: Divide your class into small groups and assign each group a different type of poetry worksheet, such as a sonnet or a villanelle poem template. Have each group create their own poem and then combine the poems to create a collaborative class poem.

By using poetry templates in the classroom, you can enhance your students' creative writing skills and provide them with a fun and engaging way to learn about poetry. So why not start incorporating poetry templates into your classroom activities today? With the variety of templates available, you can easily find ones that fit your students' interests and skill levels. Give learners the opportunity to express themselves creatively and develop their writing skills through poetry.

More Template Options to Enhance Learning

Looking for creative ways to enhance writing skills? Check out our journal cover worksheet templates ! These templates not only serve as a fun activity, but they also encourage writers to express their thoughts and ideas through writing. Once your students have completed their journal covers, use the opportunity to teach point of view in literature . By analyzing different points of view in literature, kids can develop a deeper understanding of the narrative and how it is shaped by the perspective of the characters. Take the fun even further by having your class turn their poems into a graphic novel with one of our graphic novel templates ! Finally, if you are looking for a way to help students organize their time and work, check out a printable student planner template today!

How to Make a Poetry Worksheet

Choose one of the premade templates.

We have color, black and white, portrait, or landscape templates. Take a look at our example for inspiration!

Click on "Copy Template"

Once you do this, you will be directed to the storyboard creator.

Give Your Worksheet a Name!

Be sure to call it something related to the topic so that you can easily find it in the future.

Edit Your Worksheet

This is where you will include directions, specific questions and images, and make any aesthetic changes that you would like. The options are endless!

Click "Save and Exit"

When you are finished with your worksheet, click this button in the lower right hand corner to exit your storyboard.

From here you can print, download as a PDF, attach it to an assignment and use it digitally, and more!

Happy Creating!

Frequently Asked Questions about Poetry Worksheets

What is a poem template.

A poem template is a pre-designed structure or format that provides guidance and direction to students when creating their own poems. These templates may include elements such as rhyme scheme, stanza length, and line length.

Do you have free poetry templates?

Yes, at Storyboard That, we offer a wide selection of free poetry templates that you can use to create your own customized poems. To access these templates, all you need to do is sign up for our two-week free trial. During this trial period, you'll have access to all of our templates and design tools, allowing you to create and edit your poetry templates to your heart's content.

What is a poetry creator?

A poetry creator is an online tool offered by Storyboard That. It allows users to edit and customize their poetry templates. With this tool, users can change the colors, font styles, add images, or any other design element they want to include in their poem worksheet.

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Create your original poem below using Poetry Machine! Click on any of the poetry forms below to create that type of poetry. A (*) by the title means it is an editor's favorite!

  • All About Me
  • *Animal Poem
  • Best Friend Simile Poem
  • Biography Poem
  • Bio(logical) Poem
  • Concrete Poem
  • * Emotional Animal Poem
  • Famous Biography Poem
  • Five W Poem
  • *Hold On Poem
  • Holiday Poem
  • I Don't Understand Poem
  • * I Remember
  • I Used To...
  • If I'm In Charge of the World
  • Lantern Poem
  • My Shadow Poem
  • *Nature Personified
  • *Noun Adjective Phrase Poem
  • One Inch Tall Poem
  • Phone Number Poem
  • * Title Poem
  • What If Poem
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I just entered this poem in a national poetry contest at www.poeticpower.com. I wanted to share it with you.

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Rhyme Schemes

On this page, you'll find an introduction to rhyme schemes, as well as links to learn about other poetry writing topics. For more creative writing tips, join our writers' email group .

There are many reasons why you might choose to use rhyme:

  • To give pleasure. Rhyme, done well, is pleasing to the ear. It adds a musical element to the poem, and creates a feeling of "rightness," of pieces fitting together. It also makes a poem easier to memorize, since the rhyme echoes in the reader's mind afterward, like a melody.
  • To deepen meaning. Rhyming two or more words draws attention to them and connects them in the reader's mind.
  • To strengthen form. In many traditional forms, a regular pattern of rhymes are at the ends of the lines. This means that even if the poem is being read out loud, listeners can easily hear where the lines end, can hear the shape of the poem.

Internal rhymes and end rhymes

When the last word in a line of poetry rhymes with the last word in another line, this is called an end rhyme. Many traditional poetry forms use end rhymes. When words in the middle of a line of poetry rhyme with each other, this is called an internal rhyme. Below is part of a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Can you find the internal rhymes and end rhymes? The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The furrow followed free; We were the first that ever burst Into that silent sea. In this example, "blew"-"flew," and "first"-"burst" are internal rhymes. "Free" and "sea" are end rhymes.

True rhymes and off-rhymes

"Smart" and "art"; "fellow" and "yellow"; "surgery" and perjury" -- these are all examples of true rhymes , or exact rhymes because the final vowel and consonant sounds (or the final syllables in the longer words) are exact matches to the ear. "Fate" and "saint"; "work" and "spark"; are examples of off-rhymes , or slant-rhymes . In each case, part of the sound matches exactly, but part of it doesn't. Off-rhymes use assonance and consonance:

  • Assonance is a similarity between vowel sounds (the sounds made by your breath, written with the letters a,e,i,o,u,and sometimes y) "Sing,"lean", and "beet" are an example of assonance because they all have a similar "e" sound. Another example is "boat,"bone", and "mole," which all have a similiar "o" sound.
  • Consonance is a similarity between consonant sounds (consonants are the letters that you pronounce with your lips or tongue, not with your breath: b,c,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,m,n,p,q,r,s,t,v,w,x,z and sometimes y). "Lake,"book", and "back" are an example of consonance because they all have the same "K" sounds, even though the vowel sounds in these words are different. When the same consonants are used at the beginning of the word (for example, the words "sing" and "sell"), that is called alliteration.

You might choose to use off-rhymes instead of true rhymes, or in addition to them, to create a subtler effect. Using off-rhymes also gives you more choices of words to rhyme. This often makes it possible to create more original or surprising rhymes. How many pop songs can you think of that rhyme "heart" with "apart?" And when you hear the words "heaven above" in a song, you can bet that the word "love" is lurking nearby. There are only a few words that rhyme with "love," so they are used over and over again. Off-rhymes can help to remove some of that predictability so that you can come up with more interesting rhyme. Learn to write both rhymed and unrhymed poems in our online course, Essentials of Poetry Writing.

Rhyme schemes

The pattern of rhymes in a poem is written with the letters a, b, c, d, etc. The first set of lines that rhyme at the end are marked with a. The second set are marked with b. So, in a poem with the rhyme scheme abab, the first line rhymes with the third line, and the second line rhymes with the fourth line. In a poem with the rhyme scheme abcb, the second line rhymes with the fourth line, but the first and third lines don't rhyme with each other. Here's an example of an abab rhyme scheme from a poem by Robert Herrick: GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying. Here's an example of an abcb rhyme scheme. The itsy bitsy spider (a) Went up the water spout (b) Down came the rain (c) And washed the spider out (b) This one's aabccb: Little Miss Muffet Sat on a tuffet Eating her curds and whey. Along came a spider And sat down beside her And frightened Miss Muffett away. Here's a sonnet by Shakespeare. The rhyme scheme is abab cdcd efef gg. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; (a) Coral is far more red than her lips' red; (b) If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;(a) If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.(b) I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,(c) But no such roses see I in her cheeks;(d) And in some perfumes is there more delight(c) Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.(d) I love to hear her speak, yet well I know (e) That music hath a far more pleasing sound; (f) I grant I never saw a goddess go; (e) My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: (f) And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare (g) As any she belied with false compare. (g) Can you figure out the rhyme scheme in this limerick by Edward Lear (1812-1888)? (Answer below): There was an old man of the coast Who placidly sat on a post But when it was cold He relinquished his hold And called for some hot buttered toast. (Answer: aabba)

creative writing poem template

Rhyme Schemes - Next Steps

Choose one of the links below. Click here for poem starters you can use for your own poetry. Click here to read about different poetry forms. Join our online course, Essentials of Poetry Writing. Click here to read about poetry meter and rhythm. Click here for a menu of CWN pages about how to write poetry.

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101 Poetry Prompts & Ideas for Writing Poems

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Not sure what to write a poem about? Here’s 101 poetry prompts to get you started!

poetry writing prompts

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These poetry prompts are designed to help you keep a creative writing practice. If you’re staring at a blank page and the words aren’t flowing, the creative writing prompts for poems can be a great way to get started!

New for 2023! Due to popular demand, I created a printable, ad-free version of these poetry prompts you can download to use at home or even in the classroom! Get them at our Etsy Shop .

Even if poetry isn’t your thing, you could always use these things to inspire other writing projects. Essays, journal entries, short stories, and flash fiction are just a few examples of ways this list can be used.

You may even find this list of creative poetry writing prompts helpful as an exercise to build your skills in descriptive writing and using metaphors!

Let’s get onto the list, shall we?

Here are 101 Poetry Prompts for Creative Writing

Most of these creative writing ideas are simple and open-ended. This allows you total creative freedom to write from these poetry prompts in your own unique style, tone, and voice.

If one poetry idea doesn’t appeal to you, challenge yourself to find parallels between the prompt and things that you do enjoy writing about!

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, Football, Basketball, 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

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

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 no 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

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.

Love these prompts? The printable, ad-free version of these poetry prompts can be used offline or in the classroom! Get them at our Etsy Shop .

There are unlimited possibilities for ways you can use these poem ideas to write poetry. Using a list like this can greatly help you with getting into the habit of writing daily – even when you don’t feel inspired to write.

While not every poem you write will be an award-winning masterpiece, using these poem starters as a regular exercise can help you better your craft as a writer.

I hope you enjoy these poetry prompts – and if you write anything you’d like to share inspired by these creative poetry writing prompts, let us know in the comments below – we love to see how others use writing ideas to create their own work!

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Chelle Stein wrote her first embarrassingly bad novel at the age of 14 and hasn't stopped writing since. As the founder of ThinkWritten, she enjoys encouraging writers and creatives of all types.

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96 comments.

I had a wonderful inspiration from prompt number 49 “On Shaky Ground,” although it’s not exactly about an earthquake. I wanted to share it on here, so I hope you enjoy it!

Title: “Shaking Ground”

The ground’s shaking My heart’s aching I’m getting dizzy My mind’s crazy

On shaking ground It’s like I’m on a battleground We’re all fighting for love Dirtying our white glove

The ground’s shaking My body’s quaking Love is so cruel Making me a fool

On shaking ground We are all love-bound Stuck in a crate Nobody can avoid this fate

The ground’s shaking We are all waking Opening our eyes Everyone dies

On shaking ground Our love is profound Although we are separate Better places await

The ground’s shaking Death’s overtaking Heaven is descending The world’s ending

On shaking ground In love we are drowned

Awesome interpretation Amanda! Thanks for sharing!

heyyy, I have written something regarding prompt 27 and 96 The Night Charms.

Do you dread the dark; Or do you adore the stars? Do you really think the fire place is that warm; Or you just envy the night charms? The skyline tries to match the stars’ sparkle, The sky gets dark, the vicinity gets darker. The “sun” has set for the day being loyal; These are now the lamps burning the midnight oil. The Eve so busy, that everyone forgets to praise its beauty. The sun has set without anyone bidding him an adieu, Failed to demonstrate its scintillating view. The moon being the epitome of perfection, Has the black spots, Depicting an episode of it’s dark past.

And I sit; I sit and wonder till the dawn. What a peaceful time it is, To have a small world of your own. Away from the chaos, I found a soul that was lost. So tired, yet radiant, Trying to be someone she’s not in the end. That bewitching smile held my hand, Carried me back to shore, letting me feel my feet in the sand. The waves moved to and fro, Whispering to me as they go, “Oh girl, my girl This is the soul you have within you, Never let it vanish, For it alters you into something good and something new, Don’t let the cruel world decide, Don’t let anyone kill that merry vibe.”

Then I saw my own soul fade, Fly into my heart, For what it was made. Oh dear lord, The night’s silence became my solace, My life lessons were made by the waves. Who am I? What have I done to myself? Many questions were answered in self reproach, The answers were still unspoken with no depth. Oh dear night, What have you done to me? Or should I thank you for putting a soul that I see. The nights spent later were now spectacular, My darkness somehow added some light to my life, Making it fuller… Everyday after a day, walking through the scorching lawns, I wait for the the dusk to arrive, and then explore myself till the dawn.

This is so amazing I ran out of words. Very lit thoughts beautifully penned. Keep writing like this dude.❤🌻

That is beautiful, it inspired me to write about my fears, thank you!!

Thank you for the inspiration! 😀 This was based of 21 and 77 (I think those were the numbers lol)

Goodbye to the days when we played together in the sun Goodbye to the smile on your face and to all of the fun I look at you, so dull and blue How long before I can say hello to the real you You are worth more than you think At the very least, you are to me Though there are greater things that wait for you than the least You are worthy of the most, the greatest of things If only goodbye could be ‘see you later’ I want to see the real you again To your suffering I don’t want to be just a spectator I want it all to end Goodbye to my only friend I want to heal you but I don’t know how I wish I had this all figured out Please come back to me I just want you to be free

Thank u so much im more inspired after seeing these creative ideas. 🤗

Glad they inspired you!

Thanks for sharing Amanda!

That was beautiful! I am a writer too! I actually just finished writing one but, it wasn’t from this website, just kind of something that’s been on my head for a while you know? Anyways, again, that was awesome! I am a Christian, and I love seeing people write about that kind of stuff! 🙂

I am jim from Oregon. I am also a writer, not very good but active. I am a Christian as well as you are. Sometimes it is hard to come up with something to write about.

All of a sudden, I have started to write poetry. Do you like all forms of writing? I would enjoy reading some of you work if you would you would like to s if you would like to send me some.

i have written one about frozen time:

my brother will be drawing, his pencil wont leave the sheet, my mother hearing the radio, today’s news on repeat. my sister, in fact, is making her bed, she’ll be making it still, till the last bug is dead. me, on the other hand, i’ll be visiting you, i’ll see you in action, doing the things that you do, i’ll be happy to see you, just a last time, i’ll kiss your still lips, and hold for a while. then i’ll take a plane to saudi, where i’ll see my dad, he’ll be swimming with turtles, he will not seem sad. i have lived on this earth, for 15 whole years, time for goodbye, with not a single tear.

hey beautifully expressed…!!!

Beautifully penned 🌼

I love it I tried one out myself as well Change

She sat looking out the window. The sound of the piano’s cheerful tune ringing out throughout the room. The sweet smell of burnt pine emanating from her fireplace. The sky is blue and the sun shines bright. She closes her eyes for a second. She opens them again. The window is broken and scattered on the ground. The piano sits covered in ashes, every symphony played now just a distant memory replaced with a discordant melody. The room smells of smoke and ash. The sky is dark and rain falls on the remnants of her home. Not a living thing in sight,not even her.

Nice one Amanda. kind of tells me the chronology of love and its eventualities.

such a dilightful poem, thanks for the word that made the day for me. you are such a good poet.

Omg! What!! This is amazing! I’d love to feature this piece on my blog monasteryjm.com. I also love this blog post by thinkwritten.com, planning on putting the link in my next blog post so others can come over here to check it out! So helpful!

this is so great! I’ve been needing inspiration. this might work

Thank you so much for this article! I love the profundity and open-endedness of the prompts. Here is a poem I wrote, drawing inspiration from #56, “No One Understands.” I wrote this from the perspective of a psychic Arcturian Starseed in her teenage years and how the world perceives her spiritual connection; while at the same time hinting at the true meaning of her various baffling actions. Enjoy 🙂

Starseed – a poem on perspective

In the snow She stands alone Wrapped in shrouds of mystery Her gentle hand gloved with giving Caressing A violet stone

Math class is dismissed But there still she sits Speaking to the ceiling in tender tones A soft and healing resonance Murmuring sweetly of ascension to Another, dearer dimension

In homeroom Her classmate weeps Of missed planes and shattered dreams Quietly She strokes the hand of the suffering And whispers then of channeling Some celestial utopia called Arcturus Where she claims to have been.

Please feel free to let me know where I need to improve! I’m fourteen years old and only an amateur, so a few suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, love and light 🙂

#79 I don’t know why he was so mad Did he not get his mail Was he already mad Or did he only get bills

He swung his arm with force He caused a loud bang He hurt his own hand He left with some blood

He is the man that punched the mailbox His hand dripped blood on it He left it with a dent He left it alone after that

That’s great Michael, thank you for sharing your response to one of the prompts!

Awesome! That was simple and yet creative

Interesting tips and keywords for boosting inspiration. I’ve found some good topic for start writing. Thanks

sleepless nights (#96)

it’s never a strangled cry that drags me from my dreams, but a gentle whisper, there to nudge the socks off my feet, and settle me back into the sheets. i seem to wake before i’ve had a chance to fall to rest.

why is it that i can never sleep, but always dream?

sleepless nights rule my life and drag me by my toes, throwing me into a sky of black and blue. not a single star can break through this spillage. and i sit and wonder in a sea of sheets, rippling around me, why my mind can swim these dark, tangling waters and i never need to take a breath.

have you ever noticed how static-filled the dark is? because when i lay buried under these burdens and blankets, the world seems ready to crumble under my grasp.

i can’t sleep, but i can dream, of days when i wasn’t pulled struggling from bed but awoken into the light. i wonder how i ever survived the grainy sky’s midnight troubles, the oil spill of its thunderclouds, the sandpaper raspiness of the three a.m. earth against my throat.

oh, how i can never sleep in a world that threatens to fall apart.

this is amazing! i hope i can be this good one day

once again beautiful <3

Thank you so much for these prompts! They’re so thought-provoking.

You’re welcome! Glad you enjoy them!

Take me back to those days, When I was allowed to dream, Where no one use to scream. Take me back to those days, When I was a child, Where I never use to find reasons to smile. Take me Take back to those days, When I never used to lie, Where I never used to shy. Take me back those carefreee days, When I was far away from school days. Take me back to those days , where every one used to prase, no matter how foolish i behave. Take me back to those days, when i wasn’t stuck between fake people. Take me back to the day I was born, So that I could live those days again………….

so mine is basically a mix between 76 and 77… I made it for my literature club i recently began trying to make.

‘Listen to me’ Listen to me your words mean more than you think your opinion is worthy to be shared your songs are capable of being sung

Listen to me

your smile is bright your frown shows nothing more than you should be cared for like you care for us.

your laughter is delightful and so is everything else

dont let the past go hurt you find strength in the experience

are you listening to me?

can you here me?

because YOU matter

Nice, thank you for sharing!

Prompt #1 “Untouchable”

Grasping Reaching Searching for the untouchable The indescribable On the tip of my tongue My fingertips Close to my heart But warping my brain Yet understood in the depths of my soul Emotions undiscovered Words Unsaid Deep in the depths of my mind Hand outstretched Lingering on the edge Eyes wide open But somehow still blind Unattainable But still in the hearts of The Brave The Curious The Resilient They Seek the unseekable They pursue the unattainable Each man seeing it in a different aspect Each of their visions blurred Each distorted by Experiences Traumas Wishes Dreams Filtering what’s untouchable

Thank you, glad you enjoy it!

I had good inspiration from #51, locked in a jar. I used it more metaphorically instead of literally. So here it is: glass walls, lid screwed on tight, can’t escape, not even at night. From the inside, looking out, this is not who I’m supposed to be. I’m supposed to be bigger, I’m supposed to be free, not stuck in a jar, no room to breathe. I need to move, I need to soar, I need to be able to speak my opinions and more. So as I look down at my tiny self, in this glass jar, “let me out, I can’t take it anymore”, I say to the bigger me, the one ignoring my tiny pleas.

Just wanted to add a twist to this promt. I’m just a beginner in the art of poetry, but I tried. If anyone has any creative criticism, go ahead! #16: our of order

My brain is out of order My thoughts have filled it to the brim Of my deepest thoughts of who I am Who we are As people We are out of order Never focusing on what we want Our passions All we ever get is work on top of work Pushing us down and down Like a giant hand Squeezing us into the depths of our depressions Until We can do anything But take it Anymore

Thank you Ash for sharing your take on the prompt with us!

Thank you ASH for reminding we can do anything if we try

Was inspired by #77 listen up Listen up…….! When would you listen up! Seems! you have given up! No matter who shut you up! Stand straight and look up!

Look up don’t be discouraged Let you heart be filled with courage Listen up and be encouraged Let life be sweet as porridge

You might have been down Like you have no crown Because deep down You were shut down

There is still hope When there is life Yes! You can still cope If you can see the light Yes! Even in the night

Oh listen up! Please listen up and take charge, You are better than the best Listen up! And oh! Please listen up.

beautifully written!

I wrote a poem using prompt 21 and I’m so proud of it. Comment if you want me to post it🤓

I bet the poem you wrote about prompt 21 is really good. I would like to read it please.

Mental prison, what a way to be trapped, being hidden, being snapped,

Clear glass is all i feel, apart from people, I hope I heal, I will never be equal,

I am different I am hurt raging currents people put on high alert but no one cares

No one dreads many tears I only have so many more threads

One day I’ll be gone but no one would care I will run away from the death chair

But until then

Mental prison what a way to be trapped being hidden being snapped

One day this will all blow away someday I will be molded out of clay but until then I will be lead astray

This is so darn awesome. It’s so deep and evokes the deepest of feelings🥰

I wrote almost the same thing omg I’m turning it into a contest entry

Inspired by No. 1! I am completely new to poetry, but I love it so much already! Here it is.

Perfection is Untouchable-

Perfection waiting, out of reach

Will I never touch it?

It always remain

Untouchable

No matter how hard I try

I will never quite reach

It will always remain

Though many people have tried

And seemed to have come close

But perfection’s not the goal

‘Cause we can’t quite grasp it

Perfection will always be

For all eternity

Looks like you are off to a great start!

Of Course, Silly Billy Me

”Well shit, I guess I lost my opportunity” the youngster retort

You see, for him, it’s all about his hurt – but she’s so educated, knows more about the rules of English than the rest of us.

Thus, to me she said… You cannot use curse words in a court report… you need to paraphrase his quote.

Into her spastic face I smiled – and pled my case

If you were my English professor back in the day, I could only imagine how much further in life I would have been…

”Don’t you mean farther in life?”

Of course, silly billy me.

This poem is called Secret Keeper and was inspired by #92. I hope you like it.

Everyone has a secret, Whether it be their own, Or someone else’s, We all have one.

But what if, You met someone, Who had a secret so big, That telling anyone would lead to horrible things.

And what if, That person told someone, And what they told them, Was more horrible than anything they could have ever imagined.

What if, That person told everyone, And when the parents, Of the kid with the secret found out, They were furious.

What if, They kept doing horrible things, Even though everyone knew, Even though they knew it was wrong.

And finally, What if, No one ever helped, The little kid with the biggest secret.

On number 28 : Poision I wrote a poem for it and would like to share it. The poision of friends and love

Beaten,she lies there. For they may be mistaken. Laughter rings throughout the school halls; a pure disaster. The dissapearence of parents hast caused this yet no one stops it. “Your a disgrace!” She heard them say. While in place she cries “I don’t belong here! Perhaps im out of place..” But she is not misplaced rather.. Shes lost in space.

I miss when you called me baby And I was in your arms saftely I know we drive eachother crazy But I miss callin you my baby

Those restless nights when I couldn’t sleep You calmed me down with your technique Always reminded me I’m strong not weak If only I let you speak

My heart only beats for you My feelings for you only grew You understood what I was going through I will never regret knowing you

Your smile melted my heart I wish we could restart And I could be apart Of a man I see as a work of art!

Stary night painting poem I guess ill call it

I raised my paint brush to my canvas So I could help people understand this This feeling of emotion for this painting has spoken I see the light as opportunity As for the whole thing it symbolizes unity The swirls degnify elegance and uncertainty For this painting executes this perfectly Where as my paintings let me adress Everything I feel I need to express!

#56 WHITE NOISE Faded away In the background Unheard Not visible

Eardrums splitting from the screams Yet none seem to care Can even hear my cries for help? For I am screaming as loud as I can

Are you? For all we hear Are whispers in here

Fading away in the background Unheard, invisible Yet it’s there, not loud enough Not noticeable, but there White noise Blank and pure In the background Faded away, yet so clear.

Just need to listen So open your ears She’s screaming for help But it’s muted to your ears

So open ’em up And listen to the calls For faded away, in the background Not visible, but clear. White Noise. It’s there.

Hi guys, I’m kind of late joining in. I read the prompts and the poems posted and this community is a creative bunch. I liked #35 People You Have Known. I want to share it with you guys.

Bern, a friend from grade school was my seat mate as well Rob had always teased me so my young life was hell Neesa was pretty, she knew that she was my crush Miss Homel, our teacher was always in a rush Played ball with Buco and I got hit on my head Fell in love with Cia, dreamt of her in my bed Had a tattoo with Marcus and called it “The Day” Chub challenged me to eat two pies, I said, “No way” I had to go far away so I wrote to Charie In this new place I found a friend in Perry My Grandma Leng passed away, she was a doll My grumpy uncle, Uncle Zar was teased by all These people have touched my life for worse or better Won’t be forgotten, be remembered forever

I hope that you liked it. Thanks guys. Thanks Think Written.

#37 fix it Still new to poems, and I haven’t written one in a while. Criticism is welcome because I need some more inspiration since I haven’t been getting any.

This is the body repair shop where we fix humans that have stopped how may we help you?

the girl stumbled upon the front door and spilled her list of regrets out into the open

“we’re sorry, miss” “but i’m afraid your first kiss will just be a dear old reminisce”

“your heart is also one that cannot be mended” “for every shattered piece- their lives just simply ended” the sewing kit can’t sew the fragments of her heart back because there were way too many to backtrack

she cried her heart out and it went “plop!” her tears like a river and like a lightbulb flickering its last light she too, took her last breath and was put to death

This is the body repair shop where we fix humans that have stopped “it seems we have failed again today” “sorry we’ll just try harder again another day”

I did poetry prompt #7. I wrote about the street I grew up on. Luverne Luverne, I moved onto you at the age of three. We like to race up and down your pavement road, either biking or running. You keep safe the house that I grew up in, one that has six humans and three dogs. You shelter other houses, too, that hold family friends and best friends to last a lifetime.

Luverne, we love you.

-Margaret McMahon

I was inspired by the prompt poison. Monster Roses are beautiful and delicate, but flawed.

Every rose has thorns that cause you to bleed.

Its innocence and beauty draws you in.

Only then when you touch it, it poisons you.

Am I really such an ugly monster, that plants pain an watches it spread?

I would say no.

Wouldn’t we all?

But maybe, just maybe a rose doesn’t notice it’s thorns.

-Lilliana Pridie

You said you’re only just starting?! That was sooo good! No criticism here. 🙂

Sorry, that was meant for “Ash” but yours was amazing too! 🙂

Prompt number 8: Street signs STOP Stop look and listen Stop at the corner Stop at the red light Stop for pedestrians Stop for cyclists Stop for animals Stop doing that Stop drop and roll Stop doing something else Stop shouting Stop whispering Stop talking Stop being quiet Stop posting cute cat videos Stop forgetting your appointments Stop making plans without me Stop eating all the yummies Stop running Stop the insanity Stop shopping Stop the never-ending commentary in my head Stop stopping Stop

Thanks for making this site and all its suggestions and especially this space to post our work, available!

I wrote from prompt #72 about moonlight. Shining down like a spotlight, Illuminating everything around you. The pure white light, Paint your surroundings in a soft glow. The round ball in the sky, speckled with craters like the freckles on your face. Looking down upon the sleeping earth, A nightlight for those still awake, a nightlight for you. Guides you, pulls you, lulls you towards it. It caresses your face with the light, casting away the shadows of the night.

I liked it I just wrote a small poem dedicated to my tutor and tutor just loved it .I used 21 good bye . I liked it really.😊

I just took up writing so bear with me.

Based on #72 “Moonlight”

A full bed Just the left side filled Soft, cold, baby blue sheets wrap around bare feet

She sweetly invites herself in Dressing the dark in a blue hue through cypress filled air, like 5 A.M. drives in January on the misty Northern coast.

Damp hair dances across grey skin, Waltzing with the breeze to Radiohead’s “How to Disappear Completely”

Euphoria slow dances with Tranquility Heavy eyes give in to sleep

Ladder to the Sky I want to climb the ladder to the sky I’m sure all would be well and that I could fly The ladder would be sturdy but still give me a fright Because looking down I’ll realized I’ve climbed many heights The higher I climb the greater the fall The greater the fall, the greater the sprawl But if i ever get to the sky up high I would be sure to hug you and say “goodbye” Once I’ve climbed the ladder I’ll know Sometimes its okay to look far down below Life is full of failure but soon I’ll find Happiness is a place, and not of the mind We all have ladders to climb and lives to live We all have a little piece of us that we can give Because when we climb that ladder to the sky We should think “No, life never passed me by”

Hi Ray, I love your piece.It gives one courage to face the challenges of live and move on.

Thanks for sharing the prompts Chelle Stein. I wrote this sometimes ago before coming to this site and I believed prompts #1 and #88 inspired my writing it. kindly help me vet it and give your criticism and recommendation. It is titled “SHADOW”.

My shadow your shadow My reflection your reflection My acts your acts

No one sees me,no one sees you Programmed by the Ubiquitous, To act as our bystander in realism

Virtuous iniquitous rises on that day To vindicate to incriminate My deeds your deeds.

Thanks for the seemingly endless amounts of writing prompts. I’ve been working on a poem, but it isn’t much.

She’s got my head spinning, Around and around; She’s all I think about, I can’t help but wondering, Does she feel the same?

Of course not, I’m just a fool; I’m nothing special, Just another person; Bland and dull.

How could a girl like her, love a guy like me? But the way she looks at me, Her smile, I can’t help but to feel flustered; Is this just my imagination?

It must be.

Wow! That’s exactly how I feel! Amazing poem!

Thanks so much, I’m glad you like it. 🙂

A massive thank you to thinkwritten.com for these amazing prompts. Some of these prompts have now formed the basis of my upcoming poetry collection (Never Marry a Writer) scheduled for release on January 1 2021. I will also be leaving a “Thank you” message for this website in the acknowledgements section. You have inspired a whole poetry collection out of nowhere which is highly commendable. So booktiful that!

That is wonderful news!

So I didn’t use any of the prompts but I wanted some feedback on this; it’s not great but I’m working on improving my writing skills

I am a girl who is broken easily and loves music I wonder if things will ever be normal again I hear light screaming through the darkness I want freedom from the chains trapping me in my fear I am a girl who is broken easily and loves music

I pretend to float in the ocean, letting the waves carry me away from reality I feel a presence of hope like a flame on my bare skin I touch the eye of a storm, grasping the stillness it brings I worry about wars that a spreading like wildfires I cry when I’m not with the people I love I am a girl who is broken easily and loves music

I understand feeling hopeless when you have no control over what is happening I say our differences make us special I dream to be a nurse, to help others when they can’t help themselves I try to do my best in everything I hope that all mankind will stop fighting and live in peace I am a girl who is broken easily and loves music

HELLO EVERYONE.. THIS SITE IS JUST WOW, AS AND WHEN I WAS OUT OF TOPICS OR WAS NOT ABLE TO THINK UPON IT ..IT HELPED ME A LOT WITH HINTS TO BEGIN WITH MY ANOTHER POEM .. I M NOT A PROFESSIONAL WRITER BUT JUST A STARTER AND A STUDENT OF 12TH DIVISION.. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ONE OF MY SPECIAL CREATION , ALTHOUGH NOT FROM THIS SITE. HOPE YOU ALL WILL LIKE IT.

AU REVOIR GOODBYE UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, I BID U FAREWELL UNTIL WE TIE AGAIN, SEE YOU SOON , SEE YOU AGAIN, LETS SAY GOODBYE FOR A BETTER DAY.

THE FIRE THAT BURNS IN OUR HEART , THE MEMORIES THAT PRESERVES OUR PAST. ITS NOT THE GOODBYE THAT WRENCH THE HEART , BUT THE FLASHBACKS THAT HAVE PASSED.

I RECOLLECT AND RECOUNT , MOMENTS THAT ARE HALF FADED AND RENOWNED, I ALWAYS FEEL SO CHARMED, THAT I HAVE SOMETHING, WHICH MAKES ME SAYING GOODBYE SO DAMN HARD.

TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE, WALK ON THE STREETS WITH GOLDEN TRAILS. FOR I M NOT GONNA WAIL, BECAUSE I KNOW I WILL MEET YOU SOON ON THE FORTHCOMING DAY.

I wrote a poem based on #101.

Thank you so much for the inspiration!!

And then it was there. What I had been missing. What is it? You may ask. Well, it’s quite simple actually. It’s the joy of music. It’s the joy of sitting down and making music. It’s the joy you feel when you look up at people admiring you. The joy you see in peoples’ eyes. I don’t know why I ever stopped that. The piano sat on the stage. Dusty and untouched. It’d been decades since I’ve seen it. I haven’t come to this stage since I lost her. After the concert. The last time I ever heard her voice. And yet here I am years and years later. Knowing why I haven’t been happy in so long. Of course pain is always gonna be there, But as I played a soft note on the piano, All of it seemed to disappear. It was as if all the weight on my shoulders got lifted. The melodious notes resonated around the hall. And for a few moments, I forgot about all the pain. I forgot about the tears. I forgot about the heartache. And as the last notes echoed around the hall, I was truly happy.

Prompt #92: Coming home with secrets

My mother’s radio sits in the balcony And it greets me with electric static Coming to this sheltering home is somewhat problematic Cause the walls are too thin, and it’s back to reality. Back to the running water that conceals the noise of cracks Crumbling behind my peeling mask, holding my face with wax An unraveled thread masking the makeup smile of a wakeup call That runs down to my chin and I keep under wraps. I take invitations to the mall, yet the space around me seems so small Nevertheless, I show my teeth with a big, shiny grin And suck a trembling breath through their thin slit Happy to wear tight jeans, to stop me from an embarrassing fall. The bath hurts on my skin, but even more to protect screams from the halls My head floats in the water, but feels trapped in its walls It cracks my head open with all these secrets inside me Before a blink of an eye, to my room I’d already flee. Not to the radio playing static or streets that won’t let me be But to under the blankets, where no one can really see The struggle to be a walking, talking, breathing secret That was thrown to the ocean in a bottle, wishing to be free. However, the words untold keep coming like ever so frequent Like adrenalized filled cops in pursue of an escapee delinquent All the more, my doppelganger and I have come to an agreement To take these secrets to our grave, that we nowadays call home.

Recipe for Happiness

Start with friendship, Then add time, A dash of humor, And forgotten binds. Mix it up, Till blended well, And make sure, To remember the smell. Put that bowl, To the side, Grab a new one, Add grateful sighs. Then add family, And a smile, Then sit back, And mix awhile. To that bowl, Add a laugh, A cheerful cry, And blissful past. Whip until, There’s heavy peaks, Then pour in, What we all seek. Combine the two, Then mix it well, Spray the pan, And pour it out. Cherish the memory, The beautiful scent, Of unity, And happiness.

My mother died when I was younger so this poem is about me sitting on the lawn at night shortly after she passed away. I was imagining better times, which is why in my poem I talk about how the girl is imagining ‘walking on the moon’ and she is gripping the grass tight and trying to remember the warmth of her mothers palms.

Sitting in the blue black grass She’s walking on the moon Watching specks of silver dance To the mellow tune Her fingers gripping the grass so tight She can almost feel The warmth of her mothers palms

The winds cold fingers

The winds cold fingers Tousle with my hair Loosening the soil My sobs are carried away on the wind

I would love to share this list (credited to you) with students participating in a virtual library program on poetry. Would that be possible/acceptable? These are great!

Wow! Thank you so much for all these awesome prompts! I’ve written two poems already!

Prompt #1 AND #15, untouchable and less than 25 words. i’m lowk popping off??

Apollo Commands the sun, which squints so brightly, scorches and freckles. i want her hand on mine. searing pain fears, still i reach out, and bubble.

I looked at the word “Duct tape” And thought about it. Its not anywhere in this poem at all but it inspired it yk?

Feathers are Soft

Feathers are soft People aren’t

Plushies are soft People aren’t

Pillows are soft People aren’t

People are mean Not nice Not joyful

well my poem is only loosely based on the second prompt because I found I had too much to say about Sundays. I would love to share it with you but these comments don’t support links.

Inspired by number 55 in list of poetry suggestions. Poem to song guitar chords. —————————————————-

Carnegie Hall

D I was feeling ecstatic G when I went to the attic A and found my auld busking D guitar

D But I felt consternation G I disturbed hibernation A at first it seemed quite D bazaar

D When I blew off the dust G it smelt like old must A but t’was time to give it a D bar

D It was then I heard flapping G which sounded like clapping A my first ever round of D applause

D It stayed with the beat G while tapping my feet A I kept playing despite all my D flaws

D I took early retirement G though not a requirement A “Bad Buskers” all get D menopause

D I’m strumming the strings G and the echo it rings A but no jingling of coins as they D fall

D So I play here alone G as to what I was prone A never made it to Carnegie D Hall

D Time to call it a day G as they used to say A for no encores or no curtain D call

D There’s a butterfly G in my guitar

D There’s a butterfly G in my guitar.

Finn Mac Eoin

23rd July 2022

I love this Finn, where can we listen to your song?

Hello I wrote this in remberence of 9/11. Its now sitting in ground zero. A ordinary day to start  Same as any other Dad goes off to work again, Child goes with their mother. Vibrant busy city,  busses, cars galore Workers in the offices, from bottom to top floor. Throughout our life situations Hard times often do arise, Unfortunatly we never think of saying last goodbyes. That’s exactly what happened on September 11th 2001 A day that turned the world so cold When tragedy begun. Twin towers has exploded Co ordinate attacks, Al-Qaeda behind the planes That seemed to be hijacked. Thousands were killed instantly Some lives hang by a thread, Calls were made to loved ones Onlookers face of dread. Fears & screams while running As smoke fills up the air, News reports on live tv Helplessly they stare. On the news we hear the voices of all who are caught inside, Lying next to injured ones Or sadly ones who died. One man makes a phone call My darling wife it’s me, I’m sorry that I upset you And that we disagreed. My offices have been attacked they’re crumbling to the ground, A massive explosion hit our floor then instantly no sound. If I do not make it I’m stating from the heart, I love you darling, & in your life I’m glad to play a part. Tell the kids daddy loves them Continue well at school, Stand up for all your beliefs Don’t be taken for a fool. The wife is crying down the line Darling please don’t go, I love you darling so so much I’ve always told you so. He replied my darling im feeling really kind of weak, Breathlessly he’s coughing, he can hardly speak. If you ever need me just look up to the stars, I will hear your voices And heal up any scars. Suddenly all was quiet The wife screams down the fone, Darling can you hear me, don’t leave me here alone. The towers live on tv start to crumble to the ground, Clouds of smoke then fill the air The world in shock no sound. Crying at the images of all who has lost their lives , Mums,dad’s , Nan’s & grandads, husbands & wives. Rescue teams included and all those left behind To All who were among them,  all who did survive, All who were injured All who sadly died. Never in this lifetime that day will be the same For ground zero holds the memories Of every single name.

Those hero’s on that awful day who never thought about their life Who fought to save the innocent To keep each sole alive Those who were pulled to safety Those we lost in vein, Never be forgotten The pain will still remain We will never forget that tragedy For the days will never be the same. But may I say with all my heart In God we put our faith United we stand For eternity were safe Amen

This is a beautifully sad poem. You really wrote your way into my heart. <3

I wrote a poem inspired by number 72. Not really sticking to what it said but thought this was kinda close to what it said…

After dusk, the almost eternal night. The dark, winter sky, full of millions of tiny stars. The sky, a color of blue that seems darker than black.

Sunset, full of an array of colors. Purple, orange, pink, and yellow. Nearly all dark blue.

Right as dawn appears, practically the same sunset hours later. Light wispy clouds fill the sky. Orange, pink, and light blue diffuse in the sky as the sun awakens

Wrote one based off the recipe one (I don’t remember which number)

From the Kitchen of: any teenager ever For: Disaster Ingredients: Social anxiety Existential dread A crush Zero sense of self worth A single class together And no social cues

Steps: (Warning: Do NOT do this if your crush is not single) You’re going to try to talk to your crush. Just say hi. If that doesn’t work, don’t go forward with the rest of these steps. Once you’ve talked to your crush, overthink every single thing you said to them. Do it. Then you’re going to decide you’re stupid for overthinking it. Next, you’re going to wait until they begin speaking to you on their own accord. If they don’t, overthink some more. One day you will think your crush is waving to you in the hallway. They won’t be. They’ll be waving to their friends behind you. Play it cool and pretend you’re doing the exact same thing. Run into the bathroom and cringe at yourself. Keep talking to them and try to partner up with them for a project. If they say no, don’t continue further; you’ll only embarrass yourself. If they say yes, say you need their number for the project. Call them “about the project” and eventually segway into other topics. Continue doing this until you guys eventually call all the time for no reason. Ask them out. If they say no, do not, I repeat, do not act like it was a dare or a joke. It ruins everything. Say “oh okay. Well, can we still be friends?” and continue from that point. If they say yes, go on a date with them outside of school before asking them to be your partner. Eventually break up and either get your heartbroken or break someone else’s heart.

And that is how you make an average teenage disaster. Enjoy!

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Writers.com

A cinquain is a stanza composed of five lines, which makes a cinquain poem a poem composed of five-line stanzas. These short poems are the perfect length to find insight through brevity, and if you’re considering tinkering with shorter poetry forms , you might want to play with cinquain poetry.

What is a cinquain poem, and how do you write one? These small bursts of poetry actually have a richer history than you might think, so in this article, we’ll examine some different variations on the five-lined form. We’ll also look at different cinquain poem examples, and finish with advice on how to write a cinquain poem yourself.

But first, let’s clarify the rules of the form and its different iterations. What is a cinquain poem?

Cinquain Poetry Contents

  • What is a Cinquain Poem?
  • The Standard Cinquain
  • The American (Adelaide Crapsey) Cinquain
  • The Didactic Cinquain

How to Write a Cinquain Poem

Cinquain definition: what is a cinquain poem.

A cinquain, from the French “cinq” for “five”, is a five-line stanza in poetry. When this one stanza sits alone as an entire poem, or when a poem is constructed (with specific rules) through five-line stanzas, it then becomes a cinquain poem. The cinquain is also called the quintain or the quintet, from the Latin “quinque” for “five”.

Cinquain Definition: A five-line poem, or a poem constructed of five-line stanzas, that follow specific rules related to the form.

While you can try to slap five lines of free verse poetry together and call it a cinquain, this form actually has several different iterations, each with their own rules and regulations.

Cinquain poetry used to follow a strict rhyme scheme. With modernity comes new innovations in form, so there are several types of cinquain poems to choose from when writing one yourself. We’ll look at those in a moment!

How to pronounce cinquain

Although the word cinquain comes from French, you can pronounce it like “sink cane” in English.

Cinquain Poem Examples and Variations

The cinquain is not a standalone form: several different variations on the five-line poem exist. Let’s look at some different cinquain poem examples, with notes on each poem’s form and construction.

1. The Standard Cinquain Poem Examples

This is the original form of the cinquain poem, and it has been written by poets like Sir Philip Sidney, John Donne, and Edgar Allan Poe. Its origins can be traced to medieval France. Some of these poems are single stanza, but many of them include multiple five-line stanzas.

The standard cinquain is composed of stanzas of five lines, usually written in iambic meter. There are a few variations on the rhyme scheme, but most examples use one of the following:

The majority of poems written with this format are “chain” or extended cinquains. In other words, multiple cinquain stanzas linked together into a cohesive poem. The rhyming words in one stanza do not need to rhyme with the words in the following stanzas.

The 17th century poem “The World” by George Herbert is a great example:

Love built a stately house, where Fortune came, And spinning fancies, she was heard to say That her fine cobwebs did support the frame, Whereas they were supported by the same; But Wisdom quickly swept them all away.

Then Pleasure came, who, liking not the fashion, Began to make balconies, terraces, Till she had weakened all by alteration; But reverend laws, and many a proclamation Reforméd all at length with menaces.

Then entered Sin, and with that sycamore Whose leaves first sheltered man from drought and dew, Working and winding slily evermore, The inward walls and summers cleft and tore; But Grace shored these, and cut that as it grew.

Then Sin combined with Death in a firm band, To raze the building to the very floor; Which they effected, none could them withstand; But Love and Grace took Glory by the hand, And built a braver palace than before.

Retrieved here, from The Academy of American Poets.

Other standard cinquain poem examples include:

  • “To Helen” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness” by John Donne
  • “A Ditty” by Sir Philip Sidney

2. The American / Adelaide Crapsey Cinquain Poem Examples

The contemporary cinquain form looks remarkably different from its more intricate predecessor. Also known as an American cinquain or the Adelaide Crapsey cinquain, this form was developed by poet Adelaide Crapsey, who wrote many examples of the form in the early 20th century.

The Adelaide Crapsey cinquain poem rules are as follows:

  • Adherence to iambic meter. (Some of Crapsey’s poems did not use iambic meter, but it’s a predominant feature of much of her poetry.)
  • The use of a title which builds upon the meaning of the poem.
  • A strict syllabic count of 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 2.
  • A single stanza.

Crapsey’s development of the form was inspired by Japanese poetry forms, particularly the tanka and the haiku .

Let’s look at some examples. Pay close attention to the syllable count and how the syllables are stressed in each poem. Each of these examples come from the Poetry Foundation .

These be Three silent things: The falling snow. The hour Before the dawn. The mouth of one Just dead.

November Night

Listen. With faint dry sound, Like steps of passing ghosts, The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees And fall.

I know Not these my hands And yet I think there was A woman like me once had hands Like these.

Pay close attention to the poet’s control of language and rhythm. Each poem is a microcosm on its own: In 22 syllables, these poems convey a precise mood, with concrete imagery and an evocative, complicated emotion. Such an achievement in short form poetry requires careful attention to language, and a patience and willingness to tinker with words.

Variations on the Form

Poets love to tinker with form. As such, some variations and innovations exist on the Adelaide Crapsey cinquain. They are as follows:

There is very little information on these variations, such as who developed them or where they came from, but they certainly exist as forms to challenge and inspire your writing practice.

3. The Didactic Cinquain Poem Examples

The didactic cinquain also stems from the contemporary form developed by Adelaide Crapsey. Instead of syllables, each line requires a specific number of words, arranged in 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 1.

Additionally, this poem is used primarily in elementary schools and children’s educational programming. So, if you’re a children’s educator looking to teach grammar in fun or interesting ways, this form might be useful for your classroom!

Here are the didactic cinquain poem rules:

Line 1: The subject of the poem. One word. Line 2: Two adjectives that describe the subject. Two words. Line 3: Action words that describe the subject. Emphasis on verbs and gerunds. Three words. Line 4: Words that describe the subject, often invoking mood, tone , and emotion. Four words. Line 5: A synonym or clear reference to the subject. One word.

There are plenty of examples of this form online, and because it isn’t hard to write, you can use this exercise in the classroom as a fun writing prompt. Here’s a quick example I wrote about my cat, whose name is Jameson:

Note that, in the broader literary world, this form might be considered gimmicky and simplistic, so it’s not something to write if you have an eye towards publishing poetry . That said, if you manage to publish a didactic cinquain in a literary journal, please tell me and prove me wrong!

If you’re interested in learning how to write a cinquain poem yourself, start with this step-by-step guide. For more advice on the process of writing poetry, check out this comprehensive guide .

1. Study the Forms

Since there are many variations on the form, pay close attention to each form’s rules and restrictions. You will want to have a clear idea of which form you’re writing with before you set pen to paper.

Whether you choose the standard form and rhyme scheme, or whether you try your hand at the Adelaide Crapsey cinquain, read each poetry form like a poet so you can emulate the attention to language and imagery in your work.

2. Find a Topic

The relationship between form and topic cannot be understated. The standard cinquain form allows for more words and multiple stanzas, so if you have a lot to say on a certain topic, you might want to try using this form. That said, fitting a complex topic in 22 syllables is a great challenge, so you can’t go wrong with trying the American Cinquain, too.

3. Focus on Images and Juxtapositions

Construct your poem with an eye towards imagery, and put those images in conversation with each other. You can also use the title as a means of organizing those images.

Whichever form you choose, great cinquain poetry relies on imagery and juxtaposition . Read any of Adelaide Crapsey’s poetry, and you’ll notice two things:

  • Finely crafted images, evoking the greatest picture in the fewest words.
  • An intentional juxtaposition of these images, creating an interesting relationship between them and often employing them as symbols .

4. Tinker With Syllables

The hardest part of writing cinquain poetry is adhering to meter and syllable counts. You might try to write a first draft, but struggle to finish because you can’t find the right words with the right rhymes or iambic patterns.

If this happens to you, try approaching the first draft in different ways. For example, you could:

  • Write free verse and edit your first draft into a specific form.
  • Play with style and syntax. What happens when you invert the order of words in your poem?
  • Omit needless words —particularly adverbs, prepositions, and articles. Or, include these words when you need to meet the meter for a certain line.
  • Try writing a paragraph or a prose poem , then whittle it down into a cinquain poem.
  • Invent a new form. When you can’t fit what you’re trying to say into any of the forms listed in this article, perhaps you can invent your own twist on the cinquain.

5. Edit, Rewrite, Edit Again

Above all, remain patient and attentive to language, and let yourself experiment with words as you try your hand at the cinquain.

Adelaide Crapsey probably didn’t write her cinquain poetry in one go: she wrote, edited, erased, rewrote, tried again, took a step back, and edited some more. Fitting powerful ideas in short stanzas can prove very tricky. Above all, remain patient and attentive to language, and let yourself experiment with words as you try your hand at the cinquain.

Learn How to Write a Cinquain Poem at Writers.com

The poets at Writers.com are masters of the craft, and they’re excited to help you navigate your poetry journey. Take a look at our upcoming poetry classes , where you’ll receive expert, focused feedback on every line you write.

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Sean Glatch

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This is an excellent and useful article, I especially love the chart!

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This is such a brilliant article indeed. I will definitely try to write my Cinquain poem after this. Thanks!

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Great article, thank you. I am inspired to give this form a try. I particularly liked the Crapsey version – the first example (Triad) really hit home.

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Cinquains & Other Verse is an affordable collection of Adelaide Crapsey’s poetry. Worth getting. I was introduced to the cinquain form through her work. Greatly informative article.

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How To Write An Acrostic Poem In 5 Easy Steps (+ Free Printable)

Acrostic poems are one of the simplest forms of poetry out there. They may seem scary to beginners, but once you know how to write one, you’ll never stop writing! In this post, we’ll teach you how to write an acrostic poem in 5 easy steps, along with a printable PDF to help practice your skills.

What is an acrostic poem?

Traditional acrostic, double acrostic, abecedarian or alphabetical, mesostich or mesostic, the golden shovel, step 1: come up with an idea, step 2: choose a type of acrostic poem, step 3: brainstorm some related words or phrases, step 4: structure your acrostic poem, step 5: fill in each of the lines, free acrostic poem template pdf, what is an example of an acrostic poem, how do you write an acrostic name poem, how does an acrostic poem begin, what is a good sentence for acrostic, how many lines does an acrostic poem have.

You might also be interested in the following guides:

  • How to write a haiku for beginners
  • How to write a limerick in 5 steps
  • Clerihew Poem Guide
  • Over 130 Poetry writing prompts

An acrostic poem is a poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word. This word can be anything from your name to a word you are learning to spell.  The first letter of the line is normally in capitals. This makes it simpler to read the word as it is written down the page vertically. Acrostic poems are one of the fastest and simplest poems to create, as each line can be as short as one word, and there’s no need for the lines to rhyme. 

Types of Acrostic Poems

Before you start making your own acrostic poems, it is important to know that there are actually many types of acrostic poems out there. Here are the 6 main types of acrostic poems:

Below we have explained each type of acrostic along with examples.

Pick one word or a phrase and use each letter of the word or phrase as a new line in the poem.

Here is an example of a traditional acrostic by Lewis Carroll using the names, Lorina Alice Edith who inspired the original Alice in Wonderland books:

Little maidens, when you look On this little story-book, Reading with attentive eye Its enticing history, Never think that hours of play Are your only HOLIDAY, And that in a HOUSE of joy Lessons serve but to annoy: If in any HOUSE you find Children of a gentle mind, Each the others pleasing ever— Each the others vexing never— Daily work and pastime daily In their order taking gaily— Then be very sure that they Have a life of HOLIDAY. By Lewis Carroll

The first letter of each line in the acrostic poem is the same as the last letter in that line.

Take a look at this example of Paul Hansford’s Stroud poem – Pay special attention to the first and last letter of each line:

Set among hills in the midst of five valleys, This peaceful little market town we inhabit Refuses (vociferously!) to be a conformer. Once home of the cloth it gave its name to, Uphill and down again its streets lead you. Despite its faults it leaves us all charmed. Stroud by Paul Hansford

The first letter of each line in the poem is in alphabetical order. In other words, it’s an A-Z acrostic poem. 

Here is a great example of an abecedarian poem by Catherine Pierce:

All frantic and drunk with new warmth, the bees buzz and blur the holly bush. Come see. Don’t be afraid. Or do, but everything worth admiring can sting or somber. Fix your gaze upward and give bats their due, holy with quickness and echolocation: in summer’s bleakest hum, the air judders and mosquitoes blink out, knifed into small quick mouths. Yes, lurking in some unlucky bloodstreams might be rabies or histoplasmosis, but almost no one dies and you owe the bats for your backyard serenity. Praise the cassowary, its ultraviolet head, its quills and purposeful claws. Only one recorded human death, and if a boy swung at you, wouldn’t you rage back? Or P. terribilis, golden dart frog maligned by Latin, underlauded and unsung, enough poison to vex two elephants into death but ardent with eggs and froglets, their protection a neon xyston. And of course, yes, humans. Remarkable how our zeal for safety manifests: poison, rifle, vanishment Abecedarian for the Dangerous Animals by Catherine Pierce

A secret message or word is hidden in the middle of the lines of the poem. The letters that make this secret message are in capitals to make the message clear to the reader. The position of these letters can vary within the lines.

Overpopulation and Art by John Cage is a great example of a Mesostich powm:

we live in glass h O uses our V itric surroundings transpar E nt R eflective P utting images O utside in s P ace of what’s inside o U r homes everything’s as mu L tiplied A s we are each momen T I s magic we have n O idea what’s bei N g seen or he A rd the qua N tity is beyon D count the qu A lity is R eadymade ar T Overpopulation And Art by John Cage

Here the last letter of each line in the poem forms a word or a phrase. 

The Shire Horse by Michael Lockwood is a great example of a telestich poem:

Stands so higH Huge hooves toO Impatiently waits foR Reins and harnesS Eager to LeavE Shire Horse by Michael Lockwood

Here you start by picking a short poem that you enjoy. Then you include the words of this poem as the last word in each line of your poem. Of course, you’ll need to give credit to the original poem that you used to write this poem.

A popular example is ‘The Golden Shovel’ by Terrance Hayes, who based their Golden Shovel poem on Gwendolyn Brooks, We Real Cool poem:

When I am so small Da’s sock covers my arm, we cruise at twilight until we find the place the real men lean, bloodshot and translucent with cool . His smile is a gold-plated incantation as we drift by women on bar stools, with nothing left in them but approachlessness. This is a school I do not know yet. But the cue sticks mean we are rubbed by light, smooth as wood, the lurk of smoke thinned to song. We won’t be out late . Standing in the middle of the street last night we watched the moonlit lawns and a neighbor strike his son in the face. A shadow knocked straight Da promised to leave me everything: the shovel we used to bury the dog, the words he loved to sing his rusted pistol, his squeaky Bible, his sin . The boy’s sneakers were light on the road. We watched him run to us looking wounded and thin . He’d been caught lying or drinking his father’s gin . He’d been defending his ma, trying to be a man. We stood in the road, and my father talked about jazz , how sometimes a tune is born of outrage. By June the boy would be locked upstate. That night we got down on our knees in my room. If I should die before I wake. Da said to me, it will be too soon . The Golden Shovel By Terrance Hayes, after Gwendolyn Brooks

Acrostic Poem examples

How to write an acrostic poem in 5 steps

What will your acrostic poem be about? Do you want to start with a simple idea, such as your own name or write a poem dedicated to your best friend? Make a list of some potential ideas for your acrostic poem. Here are some ideas for acrostic poems that you can use:

  • Your own name
  • Your best friend’s name
  • Use the word: Winter
  • Use the phrase: Try Again
  • Use the word: Patience
  • Use the phrase: Anything is possible
  • Secret Message: Meet at the boat
  • Secret Message: This is a test
  • A – Z poem

Now you want to pick a type of acrostic poem to write. We recommend starting with a traditional acrostic poem for beginners. Once you have mastered this traditional form, you can try more advanced level techniques, such as a double acrostic or a Mesostich acrostic poem. 

You can learn more about each type in our section above on the types of acrostic poems. 

For beginners, we recommend brainstorming some relating words and phrases on a scrap piece of paper before actually writing the acrostic poem. Brainstorming helps you gather your ideas and come up with meaningful words to use in your poem. If for example, you are writing an acrostic poem using your friend’s name, then think of words and phrases that best describe them, such as:

  • Intelligent
  • The smartest person I know

When brainstorming, keep your main idea or word in mind so you can try finding words or phrases related to this idea.

Start structuring your acrostic poem. In other words, write down the main word or phrase you plan on using vertically down on a piece of paper. When writing down this word or phrase it is best to write it down in capitals. 

If you are writing a Mesostich poem, then it is best to write the word in the middle of your paper. So you have plenty of room on both sides of the word or phrase to fill in the lines.

Using your brainstormed ideas from step 3, complete each line of the acrostic poem. You may choose to complete each line with full sentences or even just a single word. Once you’re done, you will have a complete acrostic poem to share with your friends and family. 

Now that you know how to write an acrostic poem from scratch, practice your skills with this free acrostic poem template printable:

Acrostic Poem Template PDF

You can also practice your skills by taking part in our daily poetry challenge .

FAQs About Acrostic Poems

One of the most famous examples of an acrostic poem is ‘An Acrostic’ by Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar wrote an acrostic poem using the name Elizabeth:

Elizabeth it is in vain you say “Love not” — thou sayest it in so sweet a way: In vain those words from thee or L.E.L. Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well: Ah! if that language from thy heart arise, Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes. Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried To cure his love — was cured of all beside — His follie — pride — and passion — for he died. An Acrostic by Edgar Allan Poe

Another classic name-inspired acrostic poem is ‘A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky’ by Lewis Carroll. Here Lewis was inspired by Alice Pleasance Liddell, who was also the young girl who inspired his Alice in Wonderland books: 

A boat beneath a sunny sky, Lingering onward dreamily In an evening of July — Children three that nestle near, Eager eye and willing ear, Pleased a simple tale to hear — Long has paled that sunny sky: Echoes fade and memories die: Autumn frosts have slain July. Still she haunts me, phantomwise, Alice moving under skies Never seen by waking eyes. Children yet, the tale to hear, Eager eye and willing ear, Lovingly shall nestle near. In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream — Lingering in the golden gleam — Life, what is it but a dream? A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky by Lewis Carroll

Start by thinking of a name you want to use. You can use your own name or another person’s name who inspires you. Next, write down that name vertically downwards on a paper. Then you can brainstorm some words or phrases that are related to this name. Finally complete in the lines of your acrostic poem using the brainstormed ideas.

Most traditional acrostic poems begin by using each letter of the chosen word or phrase. The Abecedarian acrostic poem type begins with the first letter of the alphabet which is ‘A’ and ends with the last letter of the alphabet which is ‘Z’. Alternatively, the Mesostich acrostic type can begin with any letter, as long as the chosen word or phrase is contained in the middle of the lines somewhere.

Acrostic poems don’t have many rules, so there is no wrong or right way of developing a good sentence. However, based on some of the most famous acrostic poems written, it is a good idea to be descriptive and visual in each line or sentence of your acrostic poem. For example, Edgar Allan Poe’s acrostic poem starts with the following line:

Elizabeth it is in vain you say

Just by this one line, you can already tell that poet had great feelings for Elizabeth. And this makes you want to continue reading this poem, to learn more about Elizabeth. 

An acrostic poem can how an infinite amount of lines, as it all depends on the word or phrase you choose to base your poem around. For example, an acrostic poem using the word cat would have 3 lines. While an acrostic based on the phase, ‘Life goes on and on’ would have 15 lines. 

how to write Acrostic Poem

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7.3: Writing Assignment: Poetry Portfolio

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Purpose of a Portfolio

The purpose of a portfolio is to showcase your final drafts and to do a self-assessment to evaluate what you have learned.

Organizational Instructions

The following is a set of instructions of what is expected in the portfolio. It is listed in the order that the portfolio should be organized.

  • Title the portfolio with a creative title representing the entire collection of poems you’ve written. Example: Poems: Word Pictures
  • Include your first and last name
  • Include the name of the class: ENGL 1465–Creative Writing
  • Include the due date
  • Include a photo of yourself working on one of your poems on a computer.
  • Font size should be 24 pt. or 36 pt. Choose a font size that makes the title fit on one line. Also, choose a font that is readable.
  • The titles of the poems should be left-justified near the one-inch margin edge.
  • Page numbers should be right-justified near the one-inch margin edge.
  • Dots between the titles and page numbers are optional.
  • Do not list the the title page or the table of contents page page on the table of contents page.
  • Use an easy-to-read 12 pt. font.
  • Step back and look at your poems critically.
  • Write an evaluative essay (500-1,000 words).
  • Which poem is your best work? Best work does not necessarily mean your favorite work. Best work means the one that is written well. How did you go about writing it? Why is it your best work? Cite specific examples from the poem to defend why you think it is your most effective piece.
  • Which poem would you just as soon forget or trash? what problems did you encounter with it? Why is it your least effective piece? Cite specific examples from the text of the poem to prove why you think it is your least effective piece.
  • What are you able to do as a poet that you couldn’t do before taking this class? Be specific by identifying more than one example. What in the class helped you the most with your writing?
  • What did you learn about yourself by completing this portfolio?
  • What are your writing goals for the summer?
  • Make a section title page titled Final Drafts
  • Imagery Poem
  • Figure of Speech Poem
  • Allusion or Symbol Poem
  • Copy and paste the graded final drafts into the portfolio from the most effective to the least effective poem. Do not include the rubrics in the portfolio. You will need that information, however, for the next step.
  • Revise all final drafts in the portfolio before submitting your portfolio. Follow the directions provided ont he graded assignment as well as the rubric. It’s a good idea to compare your original final draft submission with the graded final draft in order to understand what kind of revisions have been made by the instructor and what kind of revisions still need to be made.

Formatting Instructions

  • The portfolio project must be typed in a Microsoft Word document (.docx).
  • Use an easy to read 12 pt. font for all the sections except the title page.
  • Use 1″ margins.
  • Double-space the essay page.
  • Single-space the poems.
  • Put page numbers in the lower right-hand corner. When page numbers are at the bottom of the page, you do not need to include your last name.
  • Leave the name heading on the final drafts of your poems in the top left-hand corner.
  • Writing Assignment: Poetry Portfolio. Authored by : Linda Frances Lein, M.F.A. License : CC BY: Attribution

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A Guide to Paraphrasing Poetry, With Examples

Matt Ellis

Paraphrasing poetry is a common creative and academic exercise that helps you gain a greater understanding of the art form. Paraphrasing, or rewriting, a poem is often necessary for essays, research papers, exams, or other academic writing to analyze or demonstrate an understanding of the original work.

Poetry is deceptively complex for typically consisting of such short texts. Words and punctuation are used economically, and devices like syllable count, sound, and rhyme often play bigger roles than in other writing. Knowing how to write a poem takes a certain skill, and paraphrasing a poem is no different.

Capturing the essence of a poetic verse is no easy task, so in this article, we explain how to paraphrase a poem and offer techniques, tools, and examples to get you started.

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What is paraphrasing poetry?

Paraphrasing a poem is rewriting poetry in your own words while paying attention to word choice, rhythm, rhyming, and other poetic devices.

There are two ways to paraphrase a poem:

  • Describe the poem in detail using prose or nonpoetic text to give readers a sense of what the original is like. Students employ this method of paraphrasing for academic writing assignments that call for both direct quotes and paraphrased prose in order to analyze a poem.
  • Rewrite the poem line by line or stanza by stanza in a poetic style, retaining the ideas, themes, and structure of the original but using new words or metaphors. Paraphrasing a poem in this way can teach aspiring poets about advanced techniques and acts as a helpful creative practice.

No matter which method you use, you still need proper citations if you’re using someone else’s ideas—even if you use your own wording.

Summarizing poems vs. paraphrasing poems

When summarizing poems, you take the entire work or large portions of the work and describe them concisely . For example, a two-page poem could be summarized in just a few sentences. Conversely, a paraphrase of a poem is roughly the same length and uses the same level of detail as the portion you’re rewriting.

Paraphrasing a poem example

Original poem.

“Hope” (aka “ ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers ”), by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, And sweetest in the Gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I’ve heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.

Prose paraphrase

In the first stanza, Dickinson compares the concept of hope to a bird, relentlessly singing, and sitting atop our soul rather than a tree. The second stanza continues the analogy, demonstrating the tenacity of hope by describing the rare type of storm that could silence this bird while underscoring the positive effects hope has had on numerous people. The third and final stanza concludes in the first-person point of view, as the author admits she too feels hopeful and expresses a seeming sense of gratitude that hope is effortless and free (Dickinson, 1891).

Poetic paraphrase

Hope is like a happy bird and to our souls it tends. It sings bird songs and melodies and that singing never ends [. . . ] (Dickinson, 1891)

Why paraphrasing a poem is different from other paraphrasing

Regardless of what type of poetry you’re paraphrasing, you have to pay close attention to the details. Paraphrasing poetry takes more than just swapping out words with synonyms—you also have to account for tone, mood, and even the sounds or number of syllables.

While other paraphrases focus more on word choice and order, paraphrasing poetry benefits from focusing on abstract elements like tone or atmosphere. Try to isolate the overarching meaning of the original poem and identify its key themes, metaphors, and other literary devices .

Step-by-step guide to paraphrasing a poem

1 read the poem multiple times for full understanding..

Before you start rewriting poems, it’s crucial to know them inside and out. Read and reread the poem to learn all you can about it, particularly its literary elements and structure. It also helps to take notes that you can use later.

2 Outline the major literary elements.

As you read the poem, try to identify the literary elements the poet uses: themes, events, imagery, metaphors, motifs, structure, etc. These literary devices will come in handy when you begin paraphrasing.

3 Rewrite or describe the poem from memory.

It can be difficult to get started with paraphrasing, especially when the original is right next to you. One helpful strategy is to rewrite or describe the poem from memory. This challenges you to come up with brand new phrasing to describe the poem because you probably won’t remember the original word-for-word.

4 Reread the poem and add missing parts or fix inaccuracies.

Rewriting from memory can help jump-start your creativity, but it shouldn’t be the final product. Chances are you missed some key parts from the original or perhaps made some minor mistakes that require fixing. In either case, take another look at the poem to find any issues with your paraphrase.

If you’re having trouble with certain parts of the rephrasing, you can also turn to Grammarly’s AI rewrites for suggestions on new phrasing. Grammarly’s free paraphrasing tool takes any excerpt under 500 characters and offers a few paraphrasing options for inspiration.

5 Revise the paraphrased poem.

Just like with other writing, the final step is to revise and proofread your work. Use Grammarly to check for clarity, conciseness, correct grammar, and more.

Paraphrasing a poem FAQs

Do you need to keep the same structure when paraphrasing poetry.

No, you can paraphrase a poem in prose writing, without worrying about lines, rhyming, or stanzas. However, rewriting poems line by line is a great creative writing practice, although it’s not necessary to do in formal writing.

How do you indicate the original lines or stanzas when rewriting poems?

If you are paraphrasing a single line in a poem, you can refer to it by its line number. Stanzas are a little trickier since they’re not usually numbered, but you can still state directly which stanza you’re referring to, as in “the second stanza” or “stanza 2.”

How do you cite sources when rewording poems?

Whether you’re rewriting poems, describing them, or quoting them directly, you need both an in-text citation and a full citation. The in-text citation is typically a parenthetical citation with the author’s name, date of publication, or page number placed in parentheses at the end of the passage. The full citation goes in the bibliography at the end of the work.

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  1. Templates And Examples Of Structured Poem Forms

    Examples of templates to use with students of all ages and experience levels. Many different Structured Poetry Forms for Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. When students have a structure to follow, writing poems might feel more manageable. It also allows teachers to share various types of poems with their students.

  2. Poetry Writing Templates: Tools To Help You Write Your Best Poems

    Traditional Poetic Forms. If you want to improve your poetry writing skills, it's time to explore traditional poetic forms like Sonnets, Haikus, and Villanelles. These templates will help you structure your poems and create a more impactful message. With Sonnets, you can follow the 14-line structure to express your emotions and tell a story.

  3. Free and customizable poem templates

    Dark Minimal Modern Village Photo Field Book Cover. Book Cover by Roksolana Fursa. White Minimalist Poem Book Cover. Book Cover by Fatih Kaya. Neutral Dried Flowers Minimal Poetry Instagram Story. Your Story by Basia Stryjecka. Understanding Poetry Worksheet in a Yellow and Greyscale Illustrated Style. Worksheet by Zuzel.

  4. Free Poetry Templates

    Min. 5) (true, false, all) true or false will limit to premium only or free only. (true, false, all) true or false will limit to animated only or static only. Choose from dozens of online poetry template ideas from Adobe Express to help you easily create your own free poetry. All creative skill levels are welcome.

  5. How to Write a Poem: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Poems, like other kinds of creative writing, ... If you've decided to write your poem in a specific format, read other poems in that format to give yourself a template to follow. A specific rhythm or rhyme scheme can highlight themes and clever wordplay in your poem. For example, you might determine that a limerick is the most effective way ...

  6. How to Write a Poem, Step-by-Step

    Nonetheless, if you're new to writing poetry or want to explore a different writing process, try your hand at our approach. Here's how to write a poem step by step! 1. Devise a Topic. The easiest way to start writing a poem is to begin with a topic. However, devising a topic is often the hardest part.

  7. How to Write a Poem: In 7 Practical Steps with Examples

    At the bottom of the post, I'll provide more resources on writing poetry. I encourage you to explore different forms and structures and continue writing poetry on your own. Hopefully, writing a poem will spark, in you, a passion for creative writing and language. Let's get started with writing a poem in seven simple steps:

  8. Poem Generator: Brainstorm and create poems with ease |Canva

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  9. Free Poem Worksheet Templates: Poetry Maker for Students

    Poetry templates are a great resource to engage your class in creative writing and improve their writing skills. Here are some activities that you can do in your classroom using poetry templates: Acrostic Poem Challenge: Give your class a topic or a word, and ask them to create an acrostic poem using the letters of the word.

  10. Poetry Machine

    48 online poetry writing templates for every grade. The site has step by step directions for each poem, examples for each type and then has the student follow prompts to make writing a poem a breeze. ... Creative Communication sponsors poetry contest for students in grades K-9 in the US. Thousands in prizes are awarded and the top entries are ...

  11. Online Poem Generator

    Online Poem Generator. Generate poems that inspire a generation or spark emotions with creative words and rhymes you can play around with Magic Write™'s poem generator, built by OpenAI, powered by you. Make creative poems effortlessly for any theme or topic, from haikus and sonnets to free verses and rhymes, with our AI Poem Generator.

  12. Rhyme Schemes

    This means that even if the poem is being read out loud, listeners can easily hear where the lines end, can hear the shape of the poem. Internal rhymes and end rhymes. When the last word in a line of poetry rhymes with the last word in another line, this is called an end rhyme. Many traditional poetry forms use end rhymes.

  13. 101 Poetry Prompts & Creative Ideas for Writing Poems

    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.

  14. Free Online Poem Generator for Instagram and More

    Let Adobe Express be your poetry design expert. Explore professionally designed Tumblr, Pinterest, or Instagram poetry templates to get your wheels spinning or create your own poem design layout from scratch. Establish a theme for your designs using photos, icons, logos, personalized fonts, and other customizable elements to make them feel ...

  15. Cinquain Poetry: How to Write a Cinquain Poem

    5. Edit, Rewrite, Edit Again. Above all, remain patient and attentive to language, and let yourself experiment with words as you try your hand at the cinquain. Adelaide Crapsey probably didn't write her cinquain poetry in one go: she wrote, edited, erased, rewrote, tried again, took a step back, and edited some more.

  16. How To Write An Acrostic Poem In 5 Steps (Free PDF)

    The Golden Shovel. How to write an acrostic poem in 5 steps. Step 1: Come up with an idea. Step 2: Choose a type of acrostic poem. Step 3: Brainstorm some related words or phrases. Step 4: Structure your acrostic poem. Step 5: Fill in each of the lines. Free Acrostic Poem Template PDF.

  17. Poem Ideas: 255 Prompts to Spark Your Creativity

    Poem Ideas: 255 Prompts to Spark Your Creativity. By: Paul Jenkins. October 6, 2023. Creativity, Creative Writing, Writing. Poetry is a timeless art form that allows writers to express their thoughts, emotions, and experiences in a creative way. Whether you're a seasoned poet or just starting out, finding inspiration for new poem ideas can ...

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    Writing templates. Unleash your literary potential with Notion's Writing templates. Dive into creative realms with character sheets, plot outlines, and writing prompts. Ideal for novelists, screenwriters, and poets, these tools are designed to spark inspiration and organize your storytelling journey. Get Notion free.

  19. 7.3: Writing Assignment: Poetry Portfolio

    Title the portfolio with a creative title representing the entire collection of poems you've written. Example: Poems: Word Pictures. Include your first and last name. Include the name of the class: ENGL 1465-Creative Writing. Include the due date. Include a photo of yourself working on one of your poems on a computer.

  20. Creative Poem Templates to Inspire Your Writing

    Explore a collection of creative poem templates that will inspire and guide your writing process. Unleash your creativity and create beautiful poems with these helpful templates.

  21. Free Google Slides and PPT Templates on Poetry

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  22. Page 2

    Browse our free templates for poem designs you can easily customize and share. Black and White Simple Eid Mubarak Acrostic Poem Writing Activity and Colouring-in Worksheet. Page 2 - Explore professionally designed poem templates you can customize and share easily from Canva.

  23. A Guide to Paraphrasing Poetry, With Examples

    Paraphrasing poetry is a common creative and academic exercise that helps you gain a greater understanding of the art form. Paraphrasing, or rewriting, a poem is often necessary for essays, research papers, exams, or other academic writing to analyze or demonstrate an understanding of the original work.. Poetry is deceptively complex for typically consisting of such short texts.