The AVBOB Poetry Competition | Poetry Writing: Subvert the Ordinary Through These Writing Prompts

Poetry Writing: Subvert the Ordinary Through These Writing Prompts

If you are stuck trying to write an extraordinary poem but do not know where to begin, it might be helpful to use a writing prompt to kickstart your creativity. Writing prompts can be just about anything – from a picture you see in a magazine to a life event that affects you profoundly. To make it easier for our participants in The AVBOB Poetry Project community, however, we have jotted down a few writing prompts and some ideas on how to approach these topics.

“The Birth of a Child”

In many cultures across the globe, the birth of a child is considered a sacred blessing or miracle. There is no doubt that bringing life into this world is powerful and transformative for families, and documenting this experience through poetry can be a meaningful theme to explore. From tributes to a baby’s first breath, or the highs and lows of pregnancy, the birth of a child is a universal experience that will speak to a wide audience when expressed through poetry.

“Dear Friend…”

Unlike family, we get to choose our friends. Therefore, for many people, some friendships are so much closer than the familial ties between relatives. Deep and meaningful friendships offer a network of support when one requires upliftment, and betrayal within such friendships often cause immeasurable pain and a sense of loss. Poetry is a marvellous format one can utilise to express your gratitude, love, or even feelings of broken trust to a close friend.

“Holding on to Hope”

Most individuals have endured a dark night of the soul brought on by personal loss or devastation. It is in these times that one can only cleave to, in the words of Emily Dickinson, “the thing with feathers” – hope. Rising up beyond the wild storms and tumultuous seas of life, there is a sense in us that, in the end, things will work out for the best. This glimmer of positivity is hope, and it is a beautiful theme for any poem to adopt. Whether you wish to inspire hope in yourself or ignite it in the hearts of your readers, it is a versatile theme that lends its essence perfectly to metaphors and other figures of speech in poetry.

“To a Beloved One”

Historically, countless poems have been written about love. Falling in love, loving love, and losing love are all themes artists and writers alike have used as fuel for their creativity. Whether you choose to explore the love between parent and child, the courtship of young lovers, or the enduring union of a couple grown old, poetry is a wonderful vehicle to do so.

“My Identity”

In our modern society, it is our intersectionality that makes us who we are. Our identity includes aspects that set us apart from the crowd, such as our culture, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class, appearance, values, and likes and dislikes. It gives us our distinctive voice while writing, and it forms our “lens” through which we see the world. Using this unique fingerprint in your poetry means that you not only show pride in your identity, but you also invite others to take pride in their individuality too.

“Good News or Bad News”

If you have ever received a phone call with either thrilling or terrible news, you know how time seems to freeze. Such standout moments are often easy to recall, and they leave a lasting impression on the timelines of our lives. Processing the news is also difficult, and people often express that they felt shock or emotional paralysis. You can use poems to help you explore how you felt during significant, life-altering moments where a dream came true or the world seemed to crumble around you.

“A Difficult Goodbye”

Few things drive us to honest introspection as quickly as the loss of a loved one. Death or abandonment, in particular, are challenging blows to accept, and force us to come to terms with our sorrow. While writing poetry might not offer you all the closure you are seeking, it can be an incredibly cathartic experience that starts you off on your journey to healing.

At The AVBOB Poetry Project, our library contains thousands of poems under the prompt, “I Wish I’d Said” and explores themes, such as birth, death, love, and hope. For inspiration in your writing and perhaps even a few pieces to which you can relate, feel free to explore our library here.