Poetry is a distinct form of literature, one that offers a different perspective and voice than other types of writing. By definition poetry is, “literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.” (Google Definition)
Poetry is vital language. Poetry relies on the writer’s feelings, history and perceptions. Poetry draws on the senses and the senses give deep access to memories and feelings which makes poetry writing relevant and interesting.
There are many different types of poetry ranging from ones with very specific guidelines such as haiku, limerick and acrostic to poetry with more free form such as free verse, lyric and narrative.
Poetry Prompts to Get You Started
- Pick three words that you absolutely love the sound of and set out to use them in your poem.
- Write a poem that involves an animal.
- Write a poem about a whistling teapot, or a whirring freight train.
- Write a poem to tell someone special what they mean to you.
- Write or rewrite a greeting card poem so that is has meaning to you, or at least is funny.
- Write a poem based around an emotion, and connect it to a type of weather. Like, rain – sadness; joy – sunshine; pain or fear – thunder.
- Write a poem about your favorite flower.
- Ask your friends to give you five random phrases. The phrases can be fragments or sentences. Write a poem that incorporates these five phrases.
- Use the first letters in a word to create lines of poetry. This is called acrostic poetry.
- Write a haiku about the current season (spring, summer, winter, fall) Haiku is a Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. A traditional haiku contains a season word that symbolizes the season in which the poem is set.
- Listen to a song you really enjoy. Focus on your most favorite part of the music. Write a poem about all the sensations, images, and feelings that song evokes for you.
- Write a poem in which a similar or identical phrase is repeated three or more times throughout the poem.
- Open a dictionary and pick 5 words at the top of pages and use them in a poem.
- Write a poem about an inanimate object such as your toaster, a chair, hat, boat, etc.
Just the Facts: Understanding Literature: The Elements of Poetry
Figurative language, meter and rhyme, simile, and metaphor — these are a few of the many topics explored in this lively video tour through the genre of poetry. Other elements illustrated in the program include: Oxymoron, assonance, alliteration, imagery, understatement, hyperbole and more…