national poetry month, Prompts

April is National Poetry Month!

Happy poetry month everyone!

There will be a few changes going on with my site over the next month, but I will be sure to share poetry prompts for each day below!

Stay tuned each day for a new prompt!

April 1 – Imagine you are underwater. Describe the feeling. Fear? Euphoria? What do you see? How is the landscape underwater different than above? Are you in a river, a lake, an ocean, somewhere else? What makes this place different than previous encounters with water?

April 2 – Use these words: sunshine, electric, bicycle, fourteen, forgive

April 3 – A house can be many things. Describe your house, exterior/interior, but don’t be literal. Embrace the magic of the place.

April 4 – Happy Easter! Include all the colors of the rainbow in your poem!

April 5 – Tell me a story, muse, from the perspective of something very small. Be it an ant, a fox, the petal of a daffodil, a coffee bean… Put yourself in its “shoes” and look at the world from a different angle.

April 6 – Pick a road from your life. Describe its details, curves, edges, landscapes. Think of where that road took you. Add a pineapple to the poem.

April 7 – Take a book from your bookshelf and turn to page 29. Take the third word, the fifteenth word, and the thirtieth word. Do this for at least three more books. Cobble together a poem.

April 8 – The sun was do bright today! Write a love song to her.

April 9 – Go to the NASA Hubble site and find an image on the page that speaks to you. Write a poem about the language of stars and include the nearest living thing (pet, plant, person) in your poem.

April 10 – Sometimes we need to step away from writing to become inspired. Today’s prompt isn’t to write, but to observe. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Observe the people you pass, the cars, the animals. What makes the houses unique to your neck of the woods? What features of the landscape does only your town have? Do you call them treelawns, devil strips, or just grass between the sidewalk and the road? Do the trees bloom in spring or summer? Are you stepping on maple buds, magnolia petals, cracks in the sidewalk? Don’t worry about remembering everything, in fact don’t even worry about writing it down later. Just observe, take it all in.

April 11 – Take a fairy tale and rewrite it for modern times; include a harmonica in your poem. Suggestions: The Six Swans, The Juniper Tree, Hansel and Gretel.

April 12 – Today my grandmother turned 93, so let’s write about aging.

April 13 – Write about the way sound travels through walls, the tinniness, the almost hearing the words that we do as we strain to listen, the accidental eavesdropping.

April 14 – Write an ode to a spring weed. My ode is to the mock strawberry sprouting in my flowerbeds.

April 15 – Petrichor is the smell of rain after warm weather. Write me a poem that inhabits that same space.

April 16 – Time for form! Your choice: Sonnet, Villanelle, or Ghazal. You can find more about these forms by searching them here.

April 17 – Today is for ekphrastic writing. Find an artist featured at your local art museum or gallery and browse their online catalog until a work speaks to you. Take your train of thought and follow it to whatever diving hole it seeks. The artwork need not be the focus of your poem, just a place to begin and see where it leads you.

April 18 – I think music is a big part of poetry, but when I listen to songs with lyrics I often can’t come up with my own words. So it’s time to find some instrumental music! Find an instrumental track from a film or video game that you haven’t watched or played and write where the music takes you!

April 19 – Reach back into your childhood and write a new nursery rhyme. Don’t forget the sing-songy meter and the nonsensical occasions of childlike wonder!

April 20 – Take yourself back to your most angsty days and channel that energy into a poem. But instead of indescribable emotion, focus on turning that angst into startling pairs of words or comparisons. For example anger becomes volcano staccato and crying makes your cheeks like soil-soaked roots.

April 21 – Snow? In April? Ohio, you’re crazy! I don’t know if we should write an elegy to Spring, an ode to Snow, or something entirely different. Write about a surprise like this: waking up to four inches of snow on your blooming cherry tree.

April 22 – Write a recipe for a good poem. What ingredients do you need and how much? What’s the prep? How do you cook a good poem? Bake? Saute? Summer? Fry?

April 23 – When I’m stuck, I go to the classics. Here’s Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” – take it as inspiration to look at something natural in your life in 13 ways.

April 24 – Take inspiration from the warm weather. Write about what happens in the heat.

April 25 – Write a poem telling about sharing a meal with someone you don’t know.

April 26 – Alien day! Write a poem about something escaping your chest.

April 27 – Write a poem with a pool noodle and an immaculate medal in it.

April 28 – Poetry can be found in everyday tasks if we choose to look for it. Turn some chore you do around your home into a poem.

April 29 – We have heavy rain today, turning the weeds, grass, and lichen on the trees super green. Write about that freshness, the vibrancy that comes from a good spring rain.

April 30 – The end of the month means we write an elegy. Remember something beautiful, something lost. This past year has been so hard, but so many of us have cultivated new parts of ourselves. We cannot forget to mourn, at least remember what we’ve left behind. My own mourning comes for the time spent with friends, the closeness of a meal shared at a table, the cheers of beer glasses, the hugs.

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