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Use an inspiration tool

The Search for Inspiration


Sometimes I get stuck for ideas to write about. It is easy to get stuck in a rut as a poet. Staring at a blank page or a blank screen can be intimidating. Here are a few ways, presented in the tried and true list style, which can help you get started.

Call a friend and talk about old times
Collaborate with another poet
Give yourself a deadline
Give yourself permission to write badly
Go someplace new
Interview yourself
Just start writing anything that comes to mind as fast as you can
Listen to your favorite music
Look at old photographs
Read a magazine or a newspaper
Read someone else’s poetry
Read your own poetry
Review your old work
Start with a title
Take a swim, bath or a shower
Take a walk
Try another medium such as drawing or painting
Try something new

Today’s Poetry Assignment

Use one of the methods from the list above as inspiration for your poem. If you post your poem, be sure to write down which method you chose.

Today’s Poetry Assignment

If you truly want to get the poetry world all riled up, write a book of prose poems. If you don’t believe me, just read some of the reviews of Karen Volkman’s work. Better yet, go read the work yourself and see if YOU get riled up. What do you do to follow up your prose poems… sonnets!

sòng bạc trực tuyếnInterview with Karen Volkman
Karen Volkman: Poetry’s Latest Punchline
Karen Volkman – Vacancy’s Ambassador




  1. Sweet Nostalgia

    Costco makes it cheap and easy
    to buy the best candy in bulk

    Snickers, Reeses, and KitKat
    for the chocolate fans

    Skittles, Smarties, and Starbursts
    for enthusiasts of a more colorful chew

    Endless doorbells
    Trick or Treat
    Reminders to be gracious
    and to say thank you

    Another Snickers, Reeses, and KitKat
    in the bag

    Another Starburst
    into a purple plastic pumpkin

    Don’t get me wrong –
    I love a good KitKat

    But the predictable palette of wrappers
    makes me long for the view
    into my pillowcase
    my ambitious treat sack of yesteryear

    There could literally be anything in there

    Mary Janes, Bit o’ Honey, Sugar Daddies and Babies
    a lint-covered penny
    Hello Kitty pencil toppers
    a much-coveted Charleston Chew
    and tons of those peanut butter taffies
    wrapped in orange and black wax paper
    that no one ever liked but me

    We have convenience
    and cost-effectiveness

    In exchange, we’ve lost variety
    and some of the fun adventure of Halloween

    What would I give?
    How would it trigger a sweet nostalgia?
    To dig into my son’s pumpkin
    for my (third) stolen KitKat
    and find a sheet of penny dot candy
    that no one ever wanted

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