33 Poetry Themes and Forms to Spark Creativity


Acrostic:  https://sarahleastories.com/2015/04/17/poem-a-day-writers-digest-challenge-16-theme-science/

Apocalypse (There are many ways the world can end; remember, it doesn’t have to be the whole world).

Childhood memories (If you sit and relax, you will remember more than you think you will; it doesn’t hurt to ask family members or old friends what they remember, because we all remember different things.)

Christmastide couplets (or any other holiday–even foolishness like National Donut Day, etc., can spark a verse):  https://sarahleastories.com/2016/12/27/micropoetry-monday-christmastide-couplets/

Current events (These are not my favorite, because they age-out quickly, but they might grab the most attention, as most people like to be “in the now”.)

Education (People like to learn information in new ways; make it entertaining, for even adults like to “learn through play”.)

Ekphrastic (This is a poetic form inspired by a piece of fine art): https://sarahleastories.com/2016/10/12/writers-digest-wednesday-poetry-prompt-371-theme-ekphrastic-poem/

Faith and Spirituality (and extrasensory writing.)

Fairy Tales (especially the compound fractured kind):  https://sarahleastories.com/2016/02/12/writers-digest-wednesday-poetry-prompt-340-theme-finally-or-at-last/

Family Dynamics (or, in my case, my crazy family): https://sarahleastories.com/2016/04/29/poem-a-day-2016-writers-digest-challenge-29-theme-haphazard/

From your own work (a piece can have many incarnations–each can take on a life of its own.  I did this with my novel, Because of Mindy Wiley): https://sarahleastories.com/2016/07/22/fiction-friday-micropoetry-based-on-the-book-2/

Haiku (the perfect balance of brevity and needing a post in a pinch): https://sarahleastories.com/2015/11/24/poem-a-day-writers-digest-challenge-24-theme-love-or-anti-love/

Lawlessness & Disorder (just open your newspaper, peruse cold cases, etc.).

The Lighter Side (humor is always welcome.)

Limerick:  https://sarahleastories.com/2017/02/17/writers-digest-wednesday-poetry-prompt-383-theme-nope/.  The Saturday Evening Post hosts a free limerick contest that’s worth checking out:  http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/limerick-contest

Love Comes Darkly

Love Story 

Modern Proverbs (list poems or life lessons, in poetic form or with line breaks): https://sarahleastories.com/2016/04/02/poem-a-day-2016-writers-digest-challenge-1-theme-foolish/

Nature (just-so stories are my favorite):  https://sarahleastories.com/2015/04/22/poem-a-day-writers-digest-challenge-22-theme-nature/

Opposites (I like three-line poems where the first two lines are opposites and the third line brings them together in a surprising way.)

Our Beautiful South (or your geography; even overexposed places like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York have their microcosms): https://sarahleastories.com/2014/03/02/nonet-poems-my-geography/

Pantoum (What I love about this form is that some of the lines repeat): https://sarahleastories.com/2017/02/19/pantoum-poem-an-exercise-in-repetition/

Pet Life (If you’ve never had experience with a pet, don’t worry–there are many animal stories out there.  I love stories about animals who help people, through service or therapy.)

Persona (or “human interest poem”):  https://sarahleastories.com/2016/01/26/writers-digest-wednesday-poetry-prompt-337-theme-persona-poem/

Realms of Motherhood:  https://sarahleastories.com/2014/03/07/the-seven-wonders-of-hannah-an-exercise-in-non-rhyming-poetry/

Reconstruction (People, like buildings, can be torn down and rebuilt.)

Social Media

Thanatology (or any other -ology)

Things We Set on Fire (This was a title of a book that showed up on my Kindle, and I thought it so clever, I’m going to use it as a theme.)

Weapons, and Things that are Hard (Anything can be used as as weapon:  sex, the Internet, wrenches, revolvers, lead pipes, etc.)

What if? (I probably ask myself this question everyday):  https://sarahleastories.com/2016/05/05/writers-digest-wednesday-poetry-prompt-348-theme-when-everything-goes/

Working  (dirty jobs, unusual jobs, etc.):  https://sarahleastories.com/2015/04/10/poem-a-day-writers-digest-challenge-9-theme-work/

The Writer’s Life (Writing about writing doesn’t have to be boring; have fun with play-on words or phrases.)


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