100 Days of Poetry Prompts

Here are 100 prompts for promptly-written impromptu poetry.

Use these prompts for daily practice, for warm-ups, for intellectual party games, or to pen last-minute valentines.

Commit to the whole 100 days; flex your dactyls and indulge in spondaic spontaneity.

Life is short, art is long long short.

Poetry Prompts

  1. A Shakespearean sonnet about music theory.
  2. Rotting roses, a tube stop, ecstasy.
  3. Turn a poem you love into its opposite.
  4. A triolet on toilet paper.
  5. Fake passport, dragons, sex.
  6. A dramatic monologue by a submarine captain.
  7. A sestina about a childhood holiday.
  8. Ink, blink, mink.
  9. A poem describing the last episode of your favourite TV series.
  10. Your mock-epic morning routine.
  11. A haiku about the end of the world.
  12. A rhyming couplet about couples.
  13. Love at third sight.
  14. Cold coffee, a möbius strip, a spiritual experience.
  15. A funny poem about art.
  16. Advice from your older self.
  17. “Higher and higher every day,”
  18. Write a found poem with words you can see from where you’re sitting.
  19. Write a villanelle with A-rhyme “few” and B-rhyme “press”.
  20. Write a poem around your favourite proverb. For inspiration: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/243216
  21. Self-love, champagne, science.
  22. Write a macaronic poem using false cognates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_cognate
  23. Ne plus ultra.
  24. 2 lines about your mood.
  25. Humble, tumble, fumble.
  26. Write a poem composed of punctuation marks. For inspiration: Updike’s “Love Sonnet”.
  27. An ode to giving in.
  28. Write a poem about the most unpoetic thing you can think of.
  29. Touch, much, clutch.
  30. “There is no money in poetry…”
  31. Rhyming resolutions.
  32. “There was a young woman from Crewe…”
  33. Hitch, ditch, stitch, itch.
  34. Write a poem consisting only of direct speech.
  35. Your favourite poet, cut-up: http://www.languageisavirus.com/cutupmachine.html
  36. Green and gold.
  37. Turn a blues song into a villanelle.
  38. Necklace, essence, ascribe.
  39. Ask, mask, task.
  40. 2 lines of trochaic hexametre about feeling tired.
  41. Bank, thank, drank.
  42. “Upon the Russian frontier…” – Matthew Arnold.
  43. Write an eponymous poem.
  44. Write an ode to your favourite piece of clothing.
  45. Brown paper, irises, Guinevere.
  46. Write a poem about something you’ve never seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled.
  47. A: none; B: trusted; C: brink; D: pair; E: rose; F: home; G: left.
  48. “Life and Thought have gone away…” – Tennyson.
  49. Write a modern alba. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alba_(poetry)
  50. Almond, allemande, à la mode.
  51. Include as many clichés & tropes as you can in a poem.
  52. Dress, chess, press.
  53. A ballad about a modern divorce.
  54. A poem titled, “Death in January”.
  55. Knelt, svelte, felt.
  56. “That is her book-shelf, this her bed…”
  57. Adore, shore, Theodore.
  58. Rewrite your daily horoscope in trimetre.
  59. Invent a new poetic form and give it your name.
  60. Enthusiasm, miasma, simian.
  61. Enter, interest, tern.
  62. Tryst, mist, wrist, exist.
  63. Invent a word that rhymes with “love”. There aren’t nearly enough…
  64. Hide a love poem for someone to find.
  65. Write a poem “blasoning” your lover. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blason
  66. “Roses are red, or purple, or pink…”
  67. “I never said I loved you, John…”
  68. An ode to the loveheart.
  69. A poem from one famous lover to another.
  70. Write a found poem on the road.
  71. Tangent, exigent, gigantic.
  72. A haiku about a missed rendezvous.
  73. An allegorical poem about rebirth.
  74. Foal, fool, foul, foil.
  75. “The day we made the final ascent.”
  76. Write a mnemonic poem to remember the zodiac.
  77. An acrostic for the word BLANKET.
  78. Explore the word, “stamp”.
  79. Write a poem with a crayon.
  80. Write an ekphrastic poem describing your favourite work of architecture.
  81. A prose-poem on the state of flow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)
  82. A ceremonial poem to be initiated as a poet.
  83. Capture the way the light looks.
  84. Write a poem with an extended metaphor about electric sockets.
  85. Write a haiku on a pebble.
  86. Peat, meet, sleet.
  87. A poem about a political event you care nothing about. *
  88. Write a dramatic monologue from the POV of a historical monarch.
  89. 2 lines of dactylic hexameter about a countenance.
  90. A poem in the form of an itinerary, planner, or almanac page.
  91. A sonnet on your favourite cup or mug.
  92. Thief, honeymoon, gold paint.
  93. Attempt to convey the call of a bird you love.
  94. A poem about a person who has been gardening, without mentioning gardening.
  95. Might, mitre, miner, mint.
  96. Compose a new rhyme to a children’s game.
  97. A limerick involving a blouse.
  98. Describe a food you dislike in as much disgusting detail as possible.
  99. Find something poetic in the history of a coin.
  100. A rhyming riddle to guess your favourite plant.
RELATED:  100 Story Ideas

☞  You can download these prompts in PDF format in the Coterie.

A few books that may make you a better poet:

  • A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver
  • The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

* For inspiration:

Poem with Tweezers by Orhan Veli Kanık

Not the atom bomb
Not the London Conference
Tweezers in one hand
Mirror in the other
What does she care?

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