Creative Primer

What is Creative Writing? A Key Piece of the Writer’s Toolbox

Brooks Manley

Not all writing is the same and there’s a type of writing that has the ability to transport, teach, and inspire others like no other.

Creative writing stands out due to its unique approach and focus on imagination. Here’s how to get started and grow as you explore the broad and beautiful world of creative writing!

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a form of writing that extends beyond the bounds of regular professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. It is characterized by its emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or poetic techniques to express ideas in an original and imaginative way.

Creative writing can take on various forms such as:

  • short stories
  • screenplays

It’s a way for writers to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a creative, often symbolic, way . It’s about using the power of words to transport readers into a world created by the writer.

5 Key Characteristics of Creative Writing

Creative writing is marked by several defining characteristics, each working to create a distinct form of expression:

1. Imagination and Creativity: Creative writing is all about harnessing your creativity and imagination to create an engaging and compelling piece of work. It allows writers to explore different scenarios, characters, and worlds that may not exist in reality.

2. Emotional Engagement: Creative writing often evokes strong emotions in the reader. It aims to make the reader feel something — whether it’s happiness, sorrow, excitement, or fear.

3. Originality: Creative writing values originality. It’s about presenting familiar things in new ways or exploring ideas that are less conventional.

4. Use of Literary Devices: Creative writing frequently employs literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, and others to enrich the text and convey meanings in a more subtle, layered manner.

5. Focus on Aesthetics: The beauty of language and the way words flow together is important in creative writing. The aim is to create a piece that’s not just interesting to read, but also beautiful to hear when read aloud.

Remember, creative writing is not just about producing a work of art. It’s also a means of self-expression and a way to share your perspective with the world. Whether you’re considering it as a hobby or contemplating a career in it, understanding the nature and characteristics of creative writing can help you hone your skills and create more engaging pieces .

For more insights into creative writing, check out our articles on creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree and is a degree in creative writing worth it .

Styles of Creative Writing

To fully understand creative writing , you must be aware of the various styles involved. Creative writing explores a multitude of genres, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques.

Poetry is a form of creative writing that uses expressive language to evoke emotions and ideas. Poets often employ rhythm, rhyme, and other poetic devices to create pieces that are deeply personal and impactful. Poems can vary greatly in length, style, and subject matter, making this a versatile and dynamic form of creative writing.

Short Stories

Short stories are another common style of creative writing. These are brief narratives that typically revolve around a single event or idea. Despite their length, short stories can provide a powerful punch, using precise language and tight narrative structures to convey a complete story in a limited space.

Novels represent a longer form of narrative creative writing. They usually involve complex plots, multiple characters, and various themes. Writing a novel requires a significant investment of time and effort; however, the result can be a rich and immersive reading experience.


Screenplays are written works intended for the screen, be it television, film, or online platforms. They require a specific format, incorporating dialogue and visual descriptions to guide the production process. Screenwriters must also consider the practical aspects of filmmaking, making this an intricate and specialized form of creative writing.

If you’re interested in this style, understanding creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree can provide useful insights.

Writing for the theater is another specialized form of creative writing. Plays, like screenplays, combine dialogue and action, but they also require an understanding of the unique dynamics of the theatrical stage. Playwrights must think about the live audience and the physical space of the theater when crafting their works.

Each of these styles offers unique opportunities for creativity and expression. Whether you’re drawn to the concise power of poetry, the detailed storytelling of novels, or the visual language of screenplays and plays, there’s a form of creative writing that will suit your artistic voice. The key is to explore, experiment, and find the style that resonates with you.

For those looking to spark their creativity, our article on creative writing prompts offers a wealth of ideas to get you started.

Importance of Creative Writing

Understanding what is creative writing involves recognizing its value and significance. Engaging in creative writing can provide numerous benefits – let’s take a closer look.

Developing Creativity and Imagination

Creative writing serves as a fertile ground for nurturing creativity and imagination. It encourages you to think outside the box, explore different perspectives, and create unique and original content. This leads to improved problem-solving skills and a broader worldview , both of which can be beneficial in various aspects of life.

Through creative writing, one can build entire worlds, create characters, and weave complex narratives, all of which are products of a creative mind and vivid imagination. This can be especially beneficial for those seeking creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Enhancing Communication Skills

Creative writing can also play a crucial role in honing communication skills. It demands clarity, precision, and a strong command of language. This helps to improve your vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, making it easier to express thoughts and ideas effectively .

Moreover, creative writing encourages empathy as you often need to portray a variety of characters from different backgrounds and perspectives. This leads to a better understanding of people and improved interpersonal communication skills.

Exploring Emotions and Ideas

One of the most profound aspects of creative writing is its ability to provide a safe space for exploring emotions and ideas. It serves as an outlet for thoughts and feelings , allowing you to express yourself in ways that might not be possible in everyday conversation.

Writing can be therapeutic, helping you process complex emotions, navigate difficult life events, and gain insight into your own experiences and perceptions. It can also be a means of self-discovery , helping you to understand yourself and the world around you better.

So, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, the benefits of creative writing are vast and varied. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills, check out our articles on creative writing prompts and how to teach creative writing . If you’re considering a career in this field, you might find our article on is a degree in creative writing worth it helpful.

4 Steps to Start Creative Writing

Creative writing can seem daunting to beginners, but with the right approach, anyone can start their journey into this creative field. Here are some steps to help you start creative writing .

1. Finding Inspiration

The first step in creative writing is finding inspiration . Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. Observe the world around you, listen to conversations, explore different cultures, and delve into various topics of interest.

Reading widely can also be a significant source of inspiration. Read different types of books, articles, and blogs. Discover what resonates with you and sparks your imagination.

For structured creative prompts, visit our list of creative writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

Editor’s Note : When something excites or interests you, stop and take note – it could be the inspiration for your next creative writing piece.

2. Planning Your Piece

Once you have an idea, the next step is to plan your piece . Start by outlining:

  • the main points

Remember, this can serve as a roadmap to guide your writing process. A plan doesn’t have to be rigid. It’s a flexible guideline that can be adjusted as you delve deeper into your writing. The primary purpose is to provide direction and prevent writer’s block.

3. Writing Your First Draft

After planning your piece, you can start writing your first draft . This is where you give life to your ideas and breathe life into your characters.

Don’t worry about making it perfect in the first go. The first draft is about getting your ideas down on paper . You can always refine and polish your work later. And if you don’t have a great place to write that first draft, consider a journal for writing .

4. Editing and Revising Your Work

The final step in the creative writing process is editing and revising your work . This is where you fine-tune your piece, correct grammatical errors, and improve sentence structure and flow.

Editing is also an opportunity to enhance your storytelling . You can add more descriptive details, develop your characters further, and make sure your plot is engaging and coherent.

Remember, writing is a craft that improves with practice . Don’t be discouraged if your first few pieces don’t meet your expectations. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, enjoy the creative process.

For more insights on creative writing, check out our articles on how to teach creative writing or creative writing activities for kids.

Tips to Improve Creative Writing Skills

Understanding what is creative writing is the first step. But how can one improve their creative writing skills? Here are some tips that can help.

Read Widely

Reading is a vital part of becoming a better writer. By immersing oneself in a variety of genres, styles, and authors, one can gain a richer understanding of language and storytelling techniques . Different authors have unique voices and methods of telling stories, which can serve as inspiration for your own work. So, read widely and frequently!

Practice Regularly

Like any skill, creative writing improves with practice. Consistently writing — whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly — helps develop your writing style and voice . Using creative writing prompts can be a fun way to stimulate your imagination and get the words flowing.

Attend Writing Workshops and Courses

Formal education such as workshops and courses can offer structured learning and expert guidance. These can provide invaluable insights into the world of creative writing, from understanding plot development to character creation. If you’re wondering is a degree in creative writing worth it, these classes can also give you a taste of what studying creative writing at a higher level might look like .

Joining Writing Groups and Communities

Being part of a writing community can provide motivation, constructive feedback, and a sense of camaraderie. These groups often hold regular meetings where members share their work and give each other feedback. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with others who share your passion for writing.

Seeking Feedback on Your Work

Feedback is a crucial part of improving as a writer. It offers a fresh perspective on your work, highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Whether it’s from a writing group, a mentor, or even friends and family, constructive criticism can help refine your writing .

Start Creative Writing Today!

Remember, becoming a proficient writer takes time and patience. So, don’t be discouraged by initial challenges. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep enjoying the process. Who knows, your passion for creative writing might even lead to creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Happy writing!

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

creative writing vs poetry

Creative Primer  is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We’ll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life.

My name is Brooks. I do a ton of journaling, like to think I’m a creative (jury’s out), and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity. I hope these resources and product recommendations serve you well. Reach out if you ever want to chat or let me know about a journal I need to check out!

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The difference between prose and poetry seems easy to explain: one has blocks of text and fully-fleshed characters, the other has line breaks and pretty words. That’s it, right?

Despite their visual quirks, prose and poetry share many similarities: prose can be musical, poetry can have plots and characters, and both are millennia-old traditions. As such, it would be wrong to prescribe a rigid decision tree for writing prose vs. poetry—many writers have both in their toolkits, relying on each form to communicate different truths.

“Poetry creates the myth, the prose writer draws its portrait.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

So what is the difference between poetry and prose? And which should you write for which occasions? Again, we won’t give hard-and-fast rules, but we can explore their differences in depth and discuss their possibilities.

First, we’ll discuss the features of prose and poetry independently, then we’ll loop back to examine both their differences and their areas of overlap.

Prose vs. Poetry: Defining Prose

Prose is the more common writing form that everyone is comfortable reading and writing. This article relies on prose—as do most ( but not all! ) novels, and just about all news stories, instruction manuals, scientific papers, and so on.

Prose Versus Verse: Line Breaks

The most straightforward rule of thumb for knowing that you’re reading prose (as opposed to its counterpart, verse ) is that there are no defined line breaks: words go all the way to the edge of the page without “turning back” early.

A rule of thumb for prose (as opposed to its counterpart, verse ) is that there are no defined line breaks.

Again, that’s how this blog article works, along with most other writing, from tweets to short stories to scientific papers.

So why would you stop writing prose, and move over to the with-line-breaks type of writing known as verse? The line breaks aren’t arbitrary, but reflect an underlying difference in how prose and verse tend to be structured. To quote the always-helpful Wikipedia:

“Where the common unit of verse is based on meter or rhyme, the common unit of prose is purely grammatical, such as a sentence or paragraph.”

So is verse (writing with line breaks) always poetry? While two are often used synonymously, defining poetry requires more than just scanning for line breaks: as we’ll discuss below, poetry is also about the rich and musical use of language.

Prose is not the counterpart of poetry, but the counterpart of verse.

So prose is not the counterpart of poetry, but rather the counterpart of verse. So verse is not what strictly defines poetry. In fact, not all poetry is in verse—specifically, prose poetry isn’t. In other words, prose and poetry do overlap, whereas prose and verse don’t.

Most poetry is in verse, but some poetry is in prose.

We go into more detail on line breaks, stanzas, and the use of page space in the sections below.

Prose is More Functional than Poetry

A helpful pattern in understanding prose vs. poetry is as follows: prose tends to work in clearer meanings, and to be less musical (that is, working with the inherent rhythms and sonic properties of language) and less densely packed with meanings, literary devices , and associations, than poetry.

As such, prose writing tends to be linear: while a prosaic sentence can twist and turn, it tends to share clear information, generally in a logical order.

Prose tends to work in clearer meanings, and to be less musical and dense, than poetry.

Again, exceptions exist, notably prose poetry : prose writing—writing with no line endings or defined rhythmic meter—that is highly musical and dense, and that is generally more impressionistic and multifaceted than most prose in the meanings it conveys.

And then there’s prose writing that is enigmatic and dreamlike rather than clear and orderly, such as the stream-of-consciousness prose writing in James Joyce’s Ulysses .

These exceptions prove the rule, though: most other prose, from this blog article your friend’s next Facebook post to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , tends to follow the delineation described here.

We’ll allow Hemingway a last word with a slightly macho, not-applicable-to-every-prose-work, but still helpful description of prose: “Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.”

Sound good? To get a stronger feel for prose and further acquaint yourself with prose writing, take a look at the readings below.

How to Read Prose

This article gives close reading strategies for prose writing.

How to Read Prose: Close Reading Strategies for Prose Writers

Further Readings in Fiction and Nonfiction

The articles below outline helpful practices for numerous kinds of prose writing, from flash fiction to the novel, focusing especially on the common ingredients of storytelling.

  • Crafting a Story Outline
  • Freytag’s Pyramid
  • Literary Devices in Prose
  • Writing Flash Fiction
  • Writing the Short Story
  • Writing the Novella
  • Writing the Novel

Prose vs. Poetry: Defining Poetry

Poetry is the oldest literary form, predating the written word (and therefore, prose) by several millennia. Up until the printing press revolutionized the distribution of literature, poetry was the main form for storytellers, who used meter and rhythm to perform oral retellings of their work.

So, what is poetry? As we’ve seen in our introduction to prose above, most—but not all—poetry is written in verse: writing with line breaks, organized around rhythm or meter rather than grammar. Still, we’ve also seen that verse is not what defines poetry, nor is all poetry based in verse.

So it’s not simply another word for verse. Is there an agreed-upon artistic definition of poetry as a literary form? (Spoiler: No.)

Artistic Definitions of Poetry Vary

Artistic definitions of poetry change from poetic movement to poetic movement—and from poet to poet.

For example, William Wordsworth said that poetry is “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings… recollected in tranquility.” This sentiment—largely reflective of the Romantic era—certainly rings true for some poetry. However, New Formalist poets work with poetry to distill and reflect emotion through form and meter: in other words, structure over emotion.

The point is, there’s no singular way to define or understand the artistic aims of poetry. Rather, all poets must define these aims for themselves and write accordingly.

Poets must define the artistic aims of poetry for themselves and write accordingly.

Learning about poetry requires familiarizing yourself with what other poets have already done. This list of poetry movements can jumpstart your understanding of poetry’s complex and various histories.

Poetry Uses Language Richly

Good poetry, from any tradition, sings and resonates beyond the merely “prosaic.”

Whatever literary tradition you ascribe to, poetry has a clear job to be rich, musical, evocative. Good poetry, from any tradition, sings and resonates in a way that goes beyond the merely “prosaic,” as in the following poem excerpt by Derek Walcott:

You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.

So poetry, in any tradition, is the “cheesecake of language”: packed to the brim with sonic and expressive power. In poetry, it’s not enough to make a rational point straightforwardly, like the prosaic sentence you’re reading is doing.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge said this beautifully, and we can give him the last word in defining poetry.

“Poetry: the best words in the best order.” —Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Cool, right? If you’d like to learn more, check out our guides for reading and understanding poetry.

How to Read Poetry

This article gives close reading strategies for poetry writing.

How to Read Poetry Like a Poet

Further Readings in Poetry

The articles below outline helpful practices poetry writing, including deep dives on common literary devices in poetry and established poetry forms.

  • Poetry Forms
  • Writing and Publishing a Poetry Book

Poetry vs. Prose: A Clear Example of Each

Let’s cap the definitions of poetry and prose above by simply giving a clear example of each.

Here is some beautiful fiction writing that is definitely prose:

They were nearly born on a bus, Estha and Rahel. The car in which Baba, their father, was taking Ammu, their mother, to hospital in Shillong to have them, broke down on the winding tea-estate road in Assam. They abandoned the car and flagged down a crowded State Transport bus. With the queer compassion of the very poor for the comparatively well off, or perhaps only because they saw how hugely pregnant Ammu was, seated passengers made room for the couple, and for the rest of the journey Estha and Rahel’s father had to hold their mother’s stomach (with them in it) to prevent it from wobbling. That was before they were divorced and Ammu came back to live in Kerala.

—Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

And here is some writing that is definitely poetry:

We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.

—Shakespeare, The Tempest

5 Similar Features of Prose and Poetry

Having defined prose and poetry above, the reality is that they can be more similar than you might imagine. We’ll discuss their differences in a moment, but first, it’s important to understand the shared potential that each form holds:

  • Musicality and rhythm
  • Use of colloquial speech
  • Use of literary devices
  • Ability to tell stories
  • Show, don’t tell

1. Musicality and Rhythm

It’s a common misconception that only poetry can be musical. While rhythm and meter are important aspects of a poem’s construction, musicality begins with language, not with structure.

An immediate example of “musical prose” is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Susan Bell, writer of The Artful Edit , argues that Gatsby finds its success precisely because of the story’s musical, elegant storytelling—certainly, the book has a charged poeticism that feels just as decadent and tasteful as the high society of the Roaring Twenties. Below is some undeniably musical prose:

2. Use of Literary Devices

Things are like other things, which is the essence of literary devices. While some devices are unique to each form—poems have enjambment, prose can begin in media res —a successful piece of writing requires literary devices .

3. Use of Colloquial Speech

Yes, some writing uses lofty and erudite language. However, contemporary prose and poetry writers, from all eras, recognize the importance of speaking to their audience.

Colloquial speech is one way of speaking to your audience. A colloquialism is a turn of phrase with a specific social and temporal context. For example, “groovy” belongs to the American 1970s, Victorian Brits called a brave person “bricky,” and Gen Z’ers “stan” on Twitter.

In literature, Jay Gatsby’s “old sport” is just as colloquial as the poem “A Study of Reading Habits ,” which uses phrases like “right hook” and “load of crap.”

4. Storytelling

Another common misconception is that poetry doesn’t tell stories. While fiction and nonfiction are the genres of prose, poetry also possesses a powerful narrative voice.

Singular poems can tell grand stories, especially poetry in antiquity. The Epic of Gilgamesh , The Odyssey , and Beowulf are all stories in verse, as are novel-poems like Autobiography of Red .

Additionally, contemporary poetry collections often tell stories, just with less linearity. Louise Gluck’s collection Wild Iris is told from the perspective of a flower, and as the seasons change, the flower observes the infinite singularity of mankind, God, and the Universe.

5. Show, Don’t Tell Writing

It’s important for storytellers to demonstrate their ideas without spoon feeding the reader. In other words, writers should Show instead of Tell.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. —Anton Chekhov

We consider “Show, Don’t Tell” a golden rule of writing. Brush up on it here !

10 Differences Between Prose and Poetry

We’ve discussed their similarities, but the difference between poetry and prose is usually fairly clear in practice. The following ten items distinguish the two. To help demonstrate our point, we represent each form with a well known piece of literature. Poetry examples were pulled from Dylan Thomas’ “ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night ,” and prose examples come from “ The Cask of Amontillado ” by Edgar Allan Poe.

1. Prose vs. Poetry: Use of Page Space

In prose, a line of text begins and ends at the margins of the page. In poetry, the author uses shorter lines, broken before the page margins to introduce multiple meanings. Line breaks are an enduring feature of what differentiates prose and poetry, adding extra emphasis to certain words and sounds.

You’ll notice in prose that a partial line occurs only before a new paragraph.

line breaks in prose

In poetry, the line breaks mean something more intentional. The ending words can help uphold meter and rhyme schemes, and it also emphasizes important words: “night” and “light” are repeatedly pit against each other in Thomas’ villanelle .

poetry vs. prose line breaks

2. Prose vs. Poetry: Paragraphs vs. Stanzas

Prose passages divide single ideas into sentences, and those sentences go on to form paragraphs. A new paragraph signifies the introduction of new ideas or the continuation of relevant information.

paragraph breaks in Poe

The equivalent of a paragraph in poetry is the stanza. Stanzas are groupings of lines which act as units of meaning, with different stanzas containing different ideas and images.

Stanza breaks

3. Prose vs. Poetry: Single vs. Multiple Meanings

In prose, the meaning of each word is usually straightforward, with double meanings (like puns and irony) clearly expressed. Most prose relies on clear meanings to deliver clear, linear messages.

By contrast, the language of poetry contains multitudes. One word can hold many different meanings, and ideas can be broken into both sentences and lines.

Take the line “old age should burn and rave at close of day.” The word rave can mean multiple things: it can mean to rant and rave as old people (stereotypically) do, or it can mean to rage and fight against. The pun here is intended to energize the reader,

4. Prose vs. Poetry: Noun-Verb Placements

In Standard English , which is the common (but not default) language of prose, nouns and verbs are found close to each other. This is a facet of “clear communication”—it’s important to know who is doing what as efficiently as possible.

We have bolded the noun-verb pairs in an excerpt from both the poem and prose piece.

noun-verb pairs: what is the difference between poetry and prose?

Notice how the noun-verb pairs can stray from each other much more easily in poetry. Dylan Thomas inserts a noun-verb pair between a noun-verb pair in each stanza—which is much harder to use effectively in prose.

noun-verb pairs prose and poetry

Notice that, in prose, a noun can have multiple verbs attached to it, but the first verb is almost always next to the noun.

5. Prose vs. Poetry: Rhyme (Sometimes)

There are two types of rhyme: internal and external rhyme. External rhyme occurs at the ends of lines, such as the many “-ight” words in Thomas’ poem.

Internal rhyme refers to words that rhyme with each other inside the same beat. These rhymes are not always intentional or charged with meaning, but they occur, such as in this sentence from Poe’s story:

“We had passed through walls of piled bones , with casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the catacombs.”

Bones and catacombs aptly rhyme with each other. Note, rhyme is not a necessary feature of any prose and many poems. Though some poetry forms do require rhyme schemes, contemporary poets tend to eschew rhyming.

6. Prose vs. Poetry: Meter (Sometimes)

Like rhyme, meter is an (often) optional component of poetry writing. Meter refers to the stress patterns of syllables and the number of syllables per line. Well-executed meter can give poetry a certain musical quality.

Thomas’ poem is written in iambic pentameter, a requirement of the traditional villanelle form. This means there are 10 syllables in each line, following an unstressed-stressed pattern. To understand syllable stress, read Thomas’ poem out loud, and note how every second syllable is emphasized harder than the first.

Prose does not rely on meter to tell a story.

Prose does not have any metrical requirements, and thank goodness for that. Meter can be extraordinarily tough to impose on a poem, but it also affects how the reader interprets the piece. However, prose does not rely on meter to tell a story, as these poetry devices often instill multiple meanings in a piece.

7. Prose vs. Poetry: Pragmatic vs. Imaginative Focus

On a macro-level, the vision of poets and prose writers tends to differ. Prose has a pragmatic focus, meaning that each word should clearly advance a specific idea or narrative. The focus of prose is storytelling, so the author has a duty to use words diligently.

While poetry can tell stories, a poem rarely focuses on plot points, settings, and characters.

While poetry can tell stories, a poem rarely focuses on plot points, settings, and characters. Rather, poetry has an imaginative focus. Words are allowed to break their conventional bounds in the goal of expressing emotions, and ideas can stack upon each other like grains of sand in a sand castle.

So, what’s pragmatic about Poe, and what’s imaginative about Thomas? Every word in Poe’s piece describes details and events that push the reader towards the climax. At no point does the reader jump out of the narrative to speculate or stargaze.

In Thomas’ poem, the words don’t point the reader towards a specific event, but they do encourage the reader to think deeply about abstract ideas. Old or young, the reader will contend with ideas of life, death, justice, goodness, and the judgment against our souls. In 19 lines of mostly concrete images, the poet asks us to read imaginatively—and in the process, to learn what we believe.

8. Prose vs. Poetry: Paraphrasability

A piece of prose can be summarized. If you ask “what is ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ about?”, it is possible to paraphrase the story and get the gist of its deeper meaning. In short, Poe’s story observes a man desperate for revenge, only to find that revenge often hurts both the punisher and the punished.

Poetry is generally harder to summarize than prose, because it tends to include greater multiplicities of meaning.

Poetry is generally harder to summarize than prose, because it tends to include greater multiplicities of meaning. No one can tell you what a certain poem means. They can tell you what it isn’t —for example, “Do Not Go Gentle” is not about heartbreak, war, or the summertime—but deciding what a poem means requires a reader’s own attention.

For example, one could summarize Thomas’ poem as “an ode to Thomas’ dying father, with a vengeful bent against mankind’s eventual death.” But, does saying that invoke Thomas’ juxtaposition of light and dark? His use of rhyme to draw a conceit? His need to believe in the transience of the soul? By the time you’ve summarized the poem, you’ve written something as long as the poem itself. Poetry cannot be paraphrased.

9. Prose vs. Poetry: Point of View

Prose and poetry treat “point of view” in very different ways. A point of view (POV) refers to who is telling the story. The storyteller doesn’t always have a name or a face, but they do inevitably change how a story is read.

In prose, there are 4 main POVs:

  • First Person (I): The story is told in the first person, from a character who is either the protagonist or adjacent to the protagonist. The Cask of Amontillado uses the first person POV.
  • Second Person (You): The story is told in the second person. Often, the writer will substitute “the protagonist” for “you,” making the story’s actions feel more intimate and personal. Second Person storytelling is rare, but not unheard of.
  • Third Person Limited (He/She/They): The story is told in the third person, and it focuses on the perspective of the protagonist. We have access to most of their thoughts and feelings, but our access to other people is limited by the protagonist’s perspective. Sometimes, writers combine this with the intimacy of 1st person narration, in a technique called free indirect discourse .
  • Third Person Omniscient (He/She/They): The story is told in the third person, and the narrator has access to everyone’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. We can jump from person to person with ease, interweaving webs of complex narratives together.

Some stories will also take a Third Person Mixed approach, meaning the meat of the story is told from the protagonist’s perspective, but the reader occasionally jumps to someone else’s POV or to a historical time period.

While poetry can use the same pronouns (I/You/He/She/They), it uses POV differently. A poem is always told from the perspective of “the speaker.” The speaker can be the poet themselves—Dylan Thomas is certainly the voice behind his poem, and he is certainly talking to his father. However, the correct approach is to always call the poem’s POV “the speaker,” as a poem can inhibit many different voices at once. Finally, poetry is much easier to apply to yourself when the speaker isn’t anyone in particular.

10. Prose vs. Poetry: Concision

Prose and poetry writers should both write concisely. Concise writing eschews redundancies and makes every word count. However, concision means something different for the two forms.

In prose, concision generally means that not a word is wasted in conveying information. Concise prose expresses its meaning clearly.

Concise prose expresses its meaning clearly.

Of course, good prose can still be long-winded, as long as this heightens the effect of the work. Take this sentence from Poe’s story:

“It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good-will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.”

These sentences are 19 and 27 words long, respectively. They can also be summarized as follows: “Fortunato thought my smile bore good-will, not the desire to immolate him.”

What does Poe’s long-windedness afford him? Despite being easily paraphrased, every word does count in these two sentences, because they are a part of the narrator’s characterization. He is a long-winded schemer, and that affects how the story must be told, since Poe has chosen the first person to make us intimate with the narrator’s internal conflict.

Poetry is a different situation. Because poetry has line breaks, stanzas, and (sometimes) rhyme and meter, its concision takes a different form. In a poem, it’s great if every word contains heavy meaning; it’s even greater when words contain multiplicities and challenge the reader’s ideas. Economy in poetry is maximizing its impact, musicality, and richness—not necessarily its clear, single meaning.

Economy in poetry is maximizing its impact, musicality, and richness—not necessarily its clear, single meaning.

If you stretched a poem into prose, it would read like a terrible short story, because the concision afforded to poetry is different than that of prose. Concise prose focuses more on clarity of meaning, and poetry more on maximizing the richness and impact of every syllable.

Poetry vs. Prose Venn Diagram

Poetry vs. Prose Venn Diagram

Prose vs. Poetry: A Final Note On Literary Binaries

Any article like this risks making literature seem binary, as though prose and poetry were totally discrete entities; so in closing, it’s good to note again that writers, especially contemporary writers, often work at the intersection of prose and poetry, resulting in genres like the prose poem , the lyrical essay or the poetry novel . (And we haven’t even touched on scriptwriting, which is a different form of communication altogether.)

There is much to explore outside of poetry and prose; this article simply covers the basics. As you advance on your writing journey, don’t be afraid to experiment with words outside of the traditional “prose vs. poetry” binary. You might be shocked by what you can accomplish!

Explore both Prose and Poetry at

Whether you’re experimenting with poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, has the classes to help you succeed. Take a look at our upcoming courses —and gain valuable insights from our instructors and writing community .

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Sean Glatch

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Great summary. I write poetry, prose poems, flash fiction and short stories so I’m using the grab bag of everything you said here! Never taught about line breaks, though. I see some poets going willy nilly all over the page. Maybe there just aren’t any rules where this is concerned…

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Writing Beginner

What Is Creative Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 20 Examples)

Creative writing begins with a blank page and the courage to fill it with the stories only you can tell.

I face this intimidating blank page daily–and I have for the better part of 20+ years.

In this guide, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of creative writing with tons of examples.

What Is Creative Writing (Long Description)?

Creative Writing is the art of using words to express ideas and emotions in imaginative ways. It encompasses various forms including novels, poetry, and plays, focusing on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes.

Bright, colorful creative writer's desk with notebook and typewriter -- What Is Creative Writing

Table of Contents

Let’s expand on that definition a bit.

Creative writing is an art form that transcends traditional literature boundaries.

It includes professional, journalistic, academic, and technical writing. This type of writing emphasizes narrative craft, character development, and literary tropes. It also explores poetry and poetics traditions.

In essence, creative writing lets you express ideas and emotions uniquely and imaginatively.

It’s about the freedom to invent worlds, characters, and stories. These creations evoke a spectrum of emotions in readers.

Creative writing covers fiction, poetry, and everything in between.

It allows writers to express inner thoughts and feelings. Often, it reflects human experiences through a fabricated lens.

Types of Creative Writing

There are many types of creative writing that we need to explain.

Some of the most common types:

  • Short stories
  • Screenplays
  • Flash fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction

Short Stories (The Brief Escape)

Short stories are like narrative treasures.

They are compact but impactful, telling a full story within a limited word count. These tales often focus on a single character or a crucial moment.

Short stories are known for their brevity.

They deliver emotion and insight in a concise yet powerful package. This format is ideal for exploring diverse genres, themes, and characters. It leaves a lasting impression on readers.

Example: Emma discovers an old photo of her smiling grandmother. It’s a rarity. Through flashbacks, Emma learns about her grandmother’s wartime love story. She comes to understand her grandmother’s resilience and the value of joy.

Novels (The Long Journey)

Novels are extensive explorations of character, plot, and setting.

They span thousands of words, giving writers the space to create entire worlds. Novels can weave complex stories across various themes and timelines.

The length of a novel allows for deep narrative and character development.

Readers get an immersive experience.

Example: Across the Divide tells of two siblings separated in childhood. They grow up in different cultures. Their reunion highlights the strength of family bonds, despite distance and differences.

Poetry (The Soul’s Language)

Poetry expresses ideas and emotions through rhythm, sound, and word beauty.

It distills emotions and thoughts into verses. Poetry often uses metaphors, similes, and figurative language to reach the reader’s heart and mind.

Poetry ranges from structured forms, like sonnets, to free verse.

The latter breaks away from traditional formats for more expressive thought.

Example: Whispers of Dawn is a poem collection capturing morning’s quiet moments. “First Light” personifies dawn as a painter. It brings colors of hope and renewal to the world.

Plays (The Dramatic Dialogue)

Plays are meant for performance. They bring characters and conflicts to life through dialogue and action.

This format uniquely explores human relationships and societal issues.

Playwrights face the challenge of conveying setting, emotion, and plot through dialogue and directions.

Example: Echoes of Tomorrow is set in a dystopian future. Memories can be bought and sold. It follows siblings on a quest to retrieve their stolen memories. They learn the cost of living in a world where the past has a price.

Screenplays (Cinema’s Blueprint)

Screenplays outline narratives for films and TV shows.

They require an understanding of visual storytelling, pacing, and dialogue. Screenplays must fit film production constraints.

Example: The Last Light is a screenplay for a sci-fi film. Humanity’s survivors on a dying Earth seek a new planet. The story focuses on spacecraft Argo’s crew as they face mission challenges and internal dynamics.

Memoirs (The Personal Journey)

Memoirs provide insight into an author’s life, focusing on personal experiences and emotional journeys.

They differ from autobiographies by concentrating on specific themes or events.

Memoirs invite readers into the author’s world.

They share lessons learned and hardships overcome.

Example: Under the Mango Tree is a memoir by Maria Gomez. It shares her childhood memories in rural Colombia. The mango tree in their yard symbolizes home, growth, and nostalgia. Maria reflects on her journey to a new life in America.

Flash Fiction (The Quick Twist)

Flash fiction tells stories in under 1,000 words.

It’s about crafting compelling narratives concisely. Each word in flash fiction must count, often leading to a twist.

This format captures life’s vivid moments, delivering quick, impactful insights.

Example: The Last Message features an astronaut’s final Earth message as her spacecraft drifts away. In 500 words, it explores isolation, hope, and the desire to connect against all odds.

Creative Nonfiction (The Factual Tale)

Creative nonfiction combines factual accuracy with creative storytelling.

This genre covers real events, people, and places with a twist. It uses descriptive language and narrative arcs to make true stories engaging.

Creative nonfiction includes biographies, essays, and travelogues.

Example: Echoes of Everest follows the author’s Mount Everest climb. It mixes factual details with personal reflections and the history of past climbers. The narrative captures the climb’s beauty and challenges, offering an immersive experience.

Fantasy (The World Beyond)

Fantasy transports readers to magical and mythical worlds.

It explores themes like good vs. evil and heroism in unreal settings. Fantasy requires careful world-building to create believable yet fantastic realms.

Example: The Crystal of Azmar tells of a young girl destined to save her world from darkness. She learns she’s the last sorceress in a forgotten lineage. Her journey involves mastering powers, forming alliances, and uncovering ancient kingdom myths.

Science Fiction (The Future Imagined)

Science fiction delves into futuristic and scientific themes.

It questions the impact of advancements on society and individuals.

Science fiction ranges from speculative to hard sci-fi, focusing on plausible futures.

Example: When the Stars Whisper is set in a future where humanity communicates with distant galaxies. It centers on a scientist who finds an alien message. This discovery prompts a deep look at humanity’s universe role and interstellar communication.

Watch this great video that explores the question, “What is creative writing?” and “How to get started?”:

What Are the 5 Cs of Creative Writing?

The 5 Cs of creative writing are fundamental pillars.

They guide writers to produce compelling and impactful work. These principles—Clarity, Coherence, Conciseness, Creativity, and Consistency—help craft stories that engage and entertain.

They also resonate deeply with readers. Let’s explore each of these critical components.

Clarity makes your writing understandable and accessible.

It involves choosing the right words and constructing clear sentences. Your narrative should be easy to follow.

In creative writing, clarity means conveying complex ideas in a digestible and enjoyable way.

Coherence ensures your writing flows logically.

It’s crucial for maintaining the reader’s interest. Characters should develop believably, and plots should progress logically. This makes the narrative feel cohesive.


Conciseness is about expressing ideas succinctly.

It’s being economical with words and avoiding redundancy. This principle helps maintain pace and tension, engaging readers throughout the story.

Creativity is the heart of creative writing.

It allows writers to invent new worlds and create memorable characters. Creativity involves originality and imagination. It’s seeing the world in unique ways and sharing that vision.


Consistency maintains a uniform tone, style, and voice.

It means being faithful to the world you’ve created. Characters should act true to their development. This builds trust with readers, making your story immersive and believable.

Is Creative Writing Easy?

Creative writing is both rewarding and challenging.

Crafting stories from your imagination involves more than just words on a page. It requires discipline and a deep understanding of language and narrative structure.

Exploring complex characters and themes is also key.

Refining and revising your work is crucial for developing your voice.

The ease of creative writing varies. Some find the freedom of expression liberating.

Others struggle with writer’s block or plot development challenges. However, practice and feedback make creative writing more fulfilling.

What Does a Creative Writer Do?

A creative writer weaves narratives that entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

Writers explore both the world they create and the emotions they wish to evoke. Their tasks are diverse, involving more than just writing.

Creative writers develop ideas, research, and plan their stories.

They create characters and outline plots with attention to detail. Drafting and revising their work is a significant part of their process. They strive for the 5 Cs of compelling writing.

Writers engage with the literary community, seeking feedback and participating in workshops.

They may navigate the publishing world with agents and editors.

Creative writers are storytellers, craftsmen, and artists. They bring narratives to life, enriching our lives and expanding our imaginations.

How to Get Started With Creative Writing?

Embarking on a creative writing journey can feel like standing at the edge of a vast and mysterious forest.

The path is not always clear, but the adventure is calling.

Here’s how to take your first steps into the world of creative writing:

  • Find a time of day when your mind is most alert and creative.
  • Create a comfortable writing space free from distractions.
  • Use prompts to spark your imagination. They can be as simple as a word, a phrase, or an image.
  • Try writing for 15-20 minutes on a prompt without editing yourself. Let the ideas flow freely.
  • Reading is fuel for your writing. Explore various genres and styles.
  • Pay attention to how your favorite authors construct their sentences, develop characters, and build their worlds.
  • Don’t pressure yourself to write a novel right away. Begin with short stories or poems.
  • Small projects can help you hone your skills and boost your confidence.
  • Look for writing groups in your area or online. These communities offer support, feedback, and motivation.
  • Participating in workshops or classes can also provide valuable insights into your writing.
  • Understand that your first draft is just the beginning. Revising your work is where the real magic happens.
  • Be open to feedback and willing to rework your pieces.
  • Carry a notebook or digital recorder to jot down ideas, observations, and snippets of conversations.
  • These notes can be gold mines for future writing projects.

Final Thoughts: What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is an invitation to explore the unknown, to give voice to the silenced, and to celebrate the human spirit in all its forms.

Check out these creative writing tools (that I highly recommend):

Read This Next:

  • What Is a Prompt in Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 200 Examples)
  • What Is A Personal Account In Writing? (47 Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Short Story (Ultimate Guide + Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Romance Novel [21 Tips + Examples)


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Guides • Perfecting your Craft

Last updated on Feb 14, 2023

10 Types of Creative Writing (with Examples You’ll Love)

A lot falls under the term ‘creative writing’: poetry, short fiction, plays, novels, personal essays, and songs, to name just a few. By virtue of the creativity that characterizes it, creative writing is an extremely versatile art. So instead of defining what creative writing is , it may be easier to understand what it does by looking at examples that demonstrate the sheer range of styles and genres under its vast umbrella.

To that end, we’ve collected a non-exhaustive list of works across multiple formats that have inspired the writers here at Reedsy. With 20 different works to explore, we hope they will inspire you, too. 

People have been writing creatively for almost as long as we have been able to hold pens. Just think of long-form epic poems like The Odyssey or, later, the Cantar de Mio Cid — some of the earliest recorded writings of their kind. 

Poetry is also a great place to start if you want to dip your own pen into the inkwell of creative writing. It can be as short or long as you want (you don’t have to write an epic of Homeric proportions), encourages you to build your observation skills, and often speaks from a single point of view . 

Here are a few examples:

“Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The ruins of pillars and walls with the broken statue of a man in the center set against a bright blue sky.

This classic poem by Romantic poet Percy Shelley (also known as Mary Shelley’s husband) is all about legacy. What do we leave behind? How will we be remembered? The great king Ozymandias built himself a massive statue, proclaiming his might, but the irony is that his statue doesn’t survive the ravages of time. By framing this poem as told to him by a “traveller from an antique land,” Shelley effectively turns this into a story. Along with the careful use of juxtaposition to create irony, this poem accomplishes a lot in just a few lines. 

“Trying to Raise the Dead” by Dorianne Laux

 A direction. An object. My love, it needs a place to rest. Say anything. I’m listening. I’m ready to believe. Even lies, I don’t care.

Poetry is cherished for its ability to evoke strong emotions from the reader using very few words which is exactly what Dorianne Laux does in “ Trying to Raise the Dead .” With vivid imagery that underscores the painful yearning of the narrator, she transports us to a private nighttime scene as the narrator sneaks away from a party to pray to someone they’ve lost. We ache for their loss and how badly they want their lost loved one to acknowledge them in some way. It’s truly a masterclass on how writing can be used to portray emotions. 

If you find yourself inspired to try out some poetry — and maybe even get it published — check out these poetry layouts that can elevate your verse!

Song Lyrics

Poetry’s closely related cousin, song lyrics are another great way to flex your creative writing muscles. You not only have to find the perfect rhyme scheme but also match it to the rhythm of the music. This can be a great challenge for an experienced poet or the musically inclined. 

To see how music can add something extra to your poetry, check out these two examples:

“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

 You say I took the name in vain I don't even know the name But if I did, well, really, what's it to ya? There's a blaze of light in every word It doesn't matter which you heard The holy or the broken Hallelujah 

Metaphors are commonplace in almost every kind of creative writing, but will often take center stage in shorter works like poetry and songs. At the slightest mention, they invite the listener to bring their emotional or cultural experience to the piece, allowing the writer to express more with fewer words while also giving it a deeper meaning. If a whole song is couched in metaphor, you might even be able to find multiple meanings to it, like in Leonard Cohen’s “ Hallelujah .” While Cohen’s Biblical references create a song that, on the surface, seems like it’s about a struggle with religion, the ambiguity of the lyrics has allowed it to be seen as a song about a complicated romantic relationship. 

“I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie

 ​​If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks Then I'll follow you into the dark

A red neon

You can think of song lyrics as poetry set to music. They manage to do many of the same things their literary counterparts do — including tugging on your heartstrings. Death Cab for Cutie’s incredibly popular indie rock ballad is about the singer’s deep devotion to his lover. While some might find the song a bit too dark and macabre, its melancholy tune and poignant lyrics remind us that love can endure beyond death.

Plays and Screenplays

From the short form of poetry, we move into the world of drama — also known as the play. This form is as old as the poem, stretching back to the works of ancient Greek playwrights like Sophocles, who adapted the myths of their day into dramatic form. The stage play (and the more modern screenplay) gives the words on the page a literal human voice, bringing life to a story and its characters entirely through dialogue. 

Interested to see what that looks like? Take a look at these examples:

All My Sons by Arthur Miller

“I know you're no worse than most men but I thought you were better. I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father.” 

Creative Writing Examples | Photo of the Old Vic production of All My Sons by Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller acts as a bridge between the classic and the new, creating 20th century tragedies that take place in living rooms and backyard instead of royal courts, so we had to include his breakout hit on this list. Set in the backyard of an all-American family in the summer of 1946, this tragedy manages to communicate family tensions in an unimaginable scale, building up to an intense climax reminiscent of classical drama. 

💡 Read more about Arthur Miller and classical influences in our breakdown of Freytag’s pyramid . 

“Everything is Fine” by Michael Schur ( The Good Place )

“Well, then this system sucks. in a million gets to live in paradise and everyone else is tortured for eternity? Come on! I mean, I wasn't freaking Gandhi, but I was okay. I was a medium person. I should get to spend eternity in a medium place! Like Cincinnati. Everyone who wasn't perfect but wasn't terrible should get to spend eternity in Cincinnati.” 

A screenplay, especially a TV pilot, is like a mini-play, but with the extra job of convincing an audience that they want to watch a hundred more episodes of the show. Blending moral philosophy with comedy, The Good Place is a fun hang-out show set in the afterlife that asks some big questions about what it means to be good. 

It follows Eleanor Shellstrop, an incredibly imperfect woman from Arizona who wakes up in ‘The Good Place’ and realizes that there’s been a cosmic mixup. Determined not to lose her place in paradise, she recruits her “soulmate,” a former ethics professor, to teach her philosophy with the hope that she can learn to be a good person and keep up her charade of being an upstanding citizen. The pilot does a superb job of setting up the stakes, the story, and the characters, while smuggling in deep philosophical ideas.

Personal essays

Our first foray into nonfiction on this list is the personal essay. As its name suggests, these stories are in some way autobiographical — concerned with the author’s life and experiences. But don’t be fooled by the realistic component. These essays can take any shape or form, from comics to diary entries to recipes and anything else you can imagine. Typically zeroing in on a single issue, they allow you to explore your life and prove that the personal can be universal.

Here are a couple of fantastic examples:

“On Selling Your First Novel After 11 Years” by Min Jin Lee (Literary Hub)

There was so much to learn and practice, but I began to see the prose in verse and the verse in prose. Patterns surfaced in poems, stories, and plays. There was music in sentences and paragraphs. I could hear the silences in a sentence. All this schooling was like getting x-ray vision and animal-like hearing. 

Stacks of multicolored hardcover books.

This deeply honest personal essay by Pachinko author Min Jin Lee is an account of her eleven-year struggle to publish her first novel . Like all good writing, it is intensely focused on personal emotional details. While grounded in the specifics of the author's personal journey, it embodies an experience that is absolutely universal: that of difficulty and adversity met by eventual success. 

“A Cyclist on the English Landscape” by Roff Smith (New York Times)

These images, though, aren’t meant to be about me. They’re meant to represent a cyclist on the landscape, anybody — you, perhaps. 

Roff Smith’s gorgeous photo essay for the NYT is a testament to the power of creatively combining visuals with text. Here, photographs of Smith atop a bike are far from simply ornamental. They’re integral to the ruminative mood of the essay, as essential as the writing. Though Smith places his work at the crosscurrents of various aesthetic influences (such as the painter Edward Hopper), what stands out the most in this taciturn, thoughtful piece of writing is his use of the second person to address the reader directly. Suddenly, the writer steps out of the body of the essay and makes eye contact with the reader. The reader is now part of the story as a second character, finally entering the picture.

Short Fiction

The short story is the happy medium of fiction writing. These bite-sized narratives can be devoured in a single sitting and still leave you reeling. Sometimes viewed as a stepping stone to novel writing, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Short story writing is an art all its own. The limited length means every word counts and there’s no better way to see that than with these two examples:

“An MFA Story” by Paul Dalla Rosa (Electric Literature)

At Starbucks, I remembered a reading Zhen had given, a reading organized by the program’s faculty. I had not wanted to go but did. In the bar, he read, "I wrote this in a Starbucks in Shanghai. On the bank of the Huangpu." It wasn’t an aside or introduction. It was two lines of the poem. I was in a Starbucks and I wasn’t writing any poems. I wasn’t writing anything. 

Creative Writing Examples | Photograph of New York City street.

This short story is a delightfully metafictional tale about the struggles of being a writer in New York. From paying the bills to facing criticism in a writing workshop and envying more productive writers, Paul Dalla Rosa’s story is a clever satire of the tribulations involved in the writing profession, and all the contradictions embodied by systemic creativity (as famously laid out in Mark McGurl’s The Program Era ). What’s more, this story is an excellent example of something that often happens in creative writing: a writer casting light on the private thoughts or moments of doubt we don’t admit to or openly talk about. 

“Flowering Walrus” by Scott Skinner (Reedsy)

I tell him they’d been there a month at least, and he looks concerned. He has my tongue on a tissue paper and is gripping its sides with his pointer and thumb. My tongue has never spent much time outside of my mouth, and I imagine it as a walrus basking in the rays of the dental light. My walrus is not well. 

A winner of Reedsy’s weekly Prompts writing contest, ‘ Flowering Walrus ’ is a story that balances the trivial and the serious well. In the pauses between its excellent, natural dialogue , the story manages to scatter the fear and sadness of bad medical news, as the protagonist hides his worries from his wife and daughter. Rich in subtext, these silences grow and resonate with the readers.

Want to give short story writing a go? Give our free course a go!



How to Craft a Killer Short Story

From pacing to character development, master the elements of short fiction.

Perhaps the thing that first comes to mind when talking about creative writing, novels are a form of fiction that many people know and love but writers sometimes find intimidating. The good news is that novels are nothing but one word put after another, like any other piece of writing, but expanded and put into a flowing narrative. Piece of cake, right?

To get an idea of the format’s breadth of scope, take a look at these two (very different) satirical novels: 

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

I wished I was back in the convenience store where I was valued as a working member of staff and things weren’t as complicated as this. Once we donned our uniforms, we were all equals regardless of gender, age, or nationality — all simply store workers. 

Creative Writing Examples | Book cover of Convenience Store Woman

Keiko, a thirty-six-year-old convenience store employee, finds comfort and happiness in the strict, uneventful routine of the shop’s daily operations. A funny, satirical, but simultaneously unnerving examination of the social structures we take for granted, Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman is deeply original and lingers with the reader long after they’ve put it down.

Erasure by Percival Everett

The hard, gritty truth of the matter is that I hardly ever think about race. Those times when I did think about it a lot I did so because of my guilt for not thinking about it.  

Erasure is a truly accomplished satire of the publishing industry’s tendency to essentialize African American authors and their writing. Everett’s protagonist is a writer whose work doesn’t fit with what publishers expect from him — work that describes the “African American experience” — so he writes a parody novel about life in the ghetto. The publishers go crazy for it and, to the protagonist’s horror, it becomes the next big thing. This sophisticated novel is both ironic and tender, leaving its readers with much food for thought.

Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction is pretty broad: it applies to anything that does not claim to be fictional (although the rise of autofiction has definitely blurred the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction). It encompasses everything from personal essays and memoirs to humor writing, and they range in length from blog posts to full-length books. The defining characteristic of this massive genre is that it takes the world or the author’s experience and turns it into a narrative that a reader can follow along with.

Here, we want to focus on novel-length works that dig deep into their respective topics. While very different, these two examples truly show the breadth and depth of possibility of creative nonfiction:

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Men’s bodies litter my family history. The pain of the women they left behind pulls them from the beyond, makes them appear as ghosts. In death, they transcend the circumstances of this place that I love and hate all at once and become supernatural. 

Writer Jesmyn Ward recounts the deaths of five men from her rural Mississippi community in as many years. In her award-winning memoir , she delves into the lives of the friends and family she lost and tries to find some sense among the tragedy. Working backwards across five years, she questions why this had to happen over and over again, and slowly unveils the long history of racism and poverty that rules rural Black communities. Moving and emotionally raw, Men We Reaped is an indictment of a cruel system and the story of a woman's grief and rage as she tries to navigate it.

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

He believed that wine could reshape someone’s life. That’s why he preferred buying bottles to splurging on sweaters. Sweaters were things. Bottles of wine, said Morgan, “are ways that my humanity will be changed.” 

In this work of immersive journalism , Bianca Bosker leaves behind her life as a tech journalist to explore the world of wine. Becoming a “cork dork” takes her everywhere from New York’s most refined restaurants to science labs while she learns what it takes to be a sommelier and a true wine obsessive. This funny and entertaining trip through the past and present of wine-making and tasting is sure to leave you better informed and wishing you, too, could leave your life behind for one devoted to wine. 

Illustrated Narratives (Comics, graphic novels)

Once relegated to the “funny pages”, the past forty years of comics history have proven it to be a serious medium. Comics have transformed from the early days of Jack Kirby’s superheroes into a medium where almost every genre is represented. Humorous one-shots in the Sunday papers stand alongside illustrated memoirs, horror, fantasy, and just about anything else you can imagine. This type of visual storytelling lets the writer and artist get creative with perspective, tone, and so much more. For two very different, though equally entertaining, examples, check these out:

Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson

"Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure." 

A Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. A little blond boy Calvin makes multiple silly faces in school photos. In the last panel, his father says, "That's our son. *Sigh*" His mother then says, "The pictures will remind of more than we want to remember."

This beloved comic strip follows Calvin, a rambunctious six-year-old boy, and his stuffed tiger/imaginary friend, Hobbes. They get into all kinds of hijinks at school and at home, and muse on the world in the way only a six-year-old and an anthropomorphic tiger can. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is, Calvin & Hobbes ’ popularity persists as much for its whimsy as its use of humor to comment on life, childhood, adulthood, and everything in between. 

From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell 

"I shall tell you where we are. We're in the most extreme and utter region of the human mind. A dim, subconscious underworld. A radiant abyss where men meet themselves. Hell, Netley. We're in Hell." 

Comics aren't just the realm of superheroes and one-joke strips, as Alan Moore proves in this serialized graphic novel released between 1989 and 1998. A meticulously researched alternative history of Victorian London’s Ripper killings, this macabre story pulls no punches. Fact and fiction blend into a world where the Royal Family is involved in a dark conspiracy and Freemasons lurk on the sidelines. It’s a surreal mad-cap adventure that’s unsettling in the best way possible. 

Video Games and RPGs

Probably the least expected entry on this list, we thought that video games and RPGs also deserved a mention — and some well-earned recognition for the intricate storytelling that goes into creating them. 

Essentially gamified adventure stories, without attention to plot, characters, and a narrative arc, these games would lose a lot of their charm, so let’s look at two examples where the creative writing really shines through: 

80 Days by inkle studios

"It was a triumph of invention over nature, and will almost certainly disappear into the dust once more in the next fifty years." 

A video game screenshot of 80 days. In the center is a city with mechanical legs. It's titled "The Moving City." In the lower right hand corner is a profile of man with a speech balloon that says, "A starched collar, very good indeed."

Named Time Magazine ’s game of the year in 2014, this narrative adventure is based on Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. The player is cast as the novel’s narrator, Passpartout, and tasked with circumnavigating the globe in service of their employer, Phileas Fogg. Set in an alternate steampunk Victorian era, the game uses its globe-trotting to comment on the colonialist fantasies inherent in the original novel and its time period. On a storytelling level, the choose-your-own-adventure style means no two players’ journeys will be the same. This innovative approach to a classic novel shows the potential of video games as a storytelling medium, truly making the player part of the story. 

What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow

"If we lived forever, maybe we'd have time to understand things. But as it is, I think the best we can do is try to open our eyes, and appreciate how strange and brief all of this is." 

This video game casts the player as 17-year-old Edith Finch. Returning to her family’s home on an island in the Pacific northwest, Edith explores the vast house and tries to figure out why she’s the only one of her family left alive. The story of each family member is revealed as you make your way through the house, slowly unpacking the tragic fate of the Finches. Eerie and immersive, this first-person exploration game uses the medium to tell a series of truly unique tales. 

Fun and breezy on the surface, humor is often recognized as one of the trickiest forms of creative writing. After all, while you can see the artistic value in a piece of prose that you don’t necessarily enjoy, if a joke isn’t funny, you could say that it’s objectively failed.

With that said, it’s far from an impossible task, and many have succeeded in bringing smiles to their readers’ faces through their writing. Here are two examples:

‘How You Hope Your Extended Family Will React When You Explain Your Job to Them’ by Mike Lacher (McSweeney’s Internet Tendency)

“Is it true you don’t have desks?” your grandmother will ask. You will nod again and crack open a can of Country Time Lemonade. “My stars,” she will say, “it must be so wonderful to not have a traditional office and instead share a bistro-esque coworking space.” 

An open plan office seen from a bird's eye view. There are multiple strands of Edison lights hanging from the ceiling. At long light wooden tables multiple people sit working at computers, many of them wearing headphones.

Satire and parody make up a whole subgenre of creative writing, and websites like McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Onion consistently hit the mark with their parodies of magazine publishing and news media. This particular example finds humor in the divide between traditional family expectations and contemporary, ‘trendy’ work cultures. Playing on the inherent silliness of today’s tech-forward middle-class jobs, this witty piece imagines a scenario where the writer’s family fully understands what they do — and are enthralled to hear more. “‘Now is it true,’ your uncle will whisper, ‘that you’ve got a potential investment from one of the founders of I Can Haz Cheezburger?’”

‘Not a Foodie’ by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (Electric Literature)

I’m not a foodie, I never have been, and I know, in my heart, I never will be. 

Highlighting what she sees as an unbearable social obsession with food , in this comic Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell takes a hilarious stand against the importance of food. From the writer’s courageous thesis (“I think there are more exciting things to talk about, and focus on in life, than what’s for dinner”) to the amusing appearance of family members and the narrator’s partner, ‘Not a Foodie’ demonstrates that even a seemingly mundane pet peeve can be approached creatively — and even reveal something profound about life.

We hope this list inspires you with your own writing. If there’s one thing you take away from this post, let it be that there is no limit to what you can write about or how you can write about it. 

In the next part of this guide, we'll drill down into the fascinating world of creative nonfiction.

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  • Key Differences

Know the Differences & Comparisons

Difference Between Prose and Poetry

prose vs poetry

The basic difference between prose and poetry is that we have sentences and paragraphs, whereas lines and stanzas can be found in a poetry. Further, there is regular writing in prose, but there is a unique style of writing a poetry.

We can find prose in newspaper articles, blogs, short stories, etc., however, poetry is used to share something special, aesthetically. To know more on this topic, you can read the other differences below:

Content: Prose Vs Poetry

Comparison chart, how to remember the difference, definition of prose.

The prose is an ordinary writing style in literature, which encompasses characters, plot, mood, theme, the point of view, setting, etc. making it a distinctive form of language. It is written using grammatical sentences, which forms a paragraph. It may also include dialogues, and is sometimes, supported by images but does not have a metrical structure.

Prose can be fictional or non-fictional, heroic, alliterative, village, polyphonic, prose poetry etc.

Biography, autobiography, memoir, essay, short stories, fairy tales, article, novel, blog and so forth use prose for creative writing.

Definition of Poetry

Poetry is something that arouses a complete imaginative feeling, by choosing appropriate language and selective words and arranging them in a manner that creates a proper pattern, rhyme (two or more words having identical ending sounds) and rhythm (cadence of the poem).

Poetry uses an artistic way to communicate something special, i.e. a musical intonation of stressed (long sounding) and unstressed (short sounding) syllables to express or describe emotions, moments, ideas, experiences, feelings and thoughts of the poet to the audience. The structural components of poetry include lines, couplet, strophe, stanza, etc.

It is in the form of verses, which constitutes stanzas, that follows a meter. The number of verses in a stanza depends upon the type of the poem.

Key Differences Between Prose and Poetry

The difference between prose and poetry can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:

  • Prose refers to a form of literature, having ordinary language and sentence structure. Poetry is that form of literature, which is aesthetic by nature, i.e. it has a sound, cadence, rhyme, metre, etc., that adds to its meaning.
  • The language of prose is quite direct or straightforward. On the other hand, in poetry, we use an expressive or creative language, which includes comparisons, rhyme and rhythm that give it a unique cadence and feel.
  • While the prose is pragmatic, i.e. realistic, poetry is figurative.
  • Prose contains paragraphs, which includes a number of sentences, that has an implied message or idea. As against, poetry is written in verses, which are covered in stanzas. These verses leave a lot of unsaid things, and its interpretation depends upon the imagination of the reader.
  • The prose is utilitarian, which conveys a hidden moral, lesson or idea. Conversely, poetry aims to delight or amuse the reader.
  • The most important thing in prose is the message or information. In contrast, the poet shares his/her experience or feelings with the reader, which plays a crucial role in poetry.
  • In prose, there are no line breaks, whereas when it comes to poetry, there are a number of line breaks, which is just to follow the beat or to stress on an idea.
  • When it comes to paraphrasing or summarizing, both prose and poetry can be paraphrased, but the paraphrase of the poem is not the poem, because the essence of the poem lies in the style of writing, i.e. the way in which the poet has expressed his/her experience in verses and stanzas. So, this writing pattern and cadence is the beauty of poetry, which cannot be summarized.

The best trick to remember the difference between these two is to understand their writing style, i.e. while prose is written ordinarily, poetry has aesthetic features, and so it has a distinctive writing pattern.

Further, the prose is that form of language which expansively conveys a message or meaning by way of a narrative structure. On the contrary, poetry is such a form of literature, with a unique writing format, i.e. it has a pattern, rhyme and rhythm.

In addition to this, prose appears like big blocks of words, whereas the size of poetry may vary as per the line length and the poet’s intention.

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Home › Study Tips › Creative Writing Resources For Secondary School Students

What Is The Difference Between Prose and Poetry?

  • Published August 31, 2022

A typewriter and letter tiles that says 'Poetry'.

Table of Contents

Poetry is an art form that has been around for centuries. It is a way to express oneself through the use of words and can be written in many different styles. There are many different types of poetry, such as sonnets, haikus, and ballads.

Poetry can be written about any topic, and it is often used to express emotions. But what is the difference between poetry and prose?

In this article, we outline the differences between the two popular forms of story-telling.

Are you interested in studying English Literature at the university level? Our pre-university courses are designed to ensure you’re prepared for the university style of teaching. Build subject knowledge, work alongside like-minded peers and live in one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Poetry VS Prose

Prose is a form of writing that is based on spoken language. It is characterised by its natural flow and rhythm, as well as its use of regular grammar and punctuation. Prose is often used for novels, short stories, and essays.

Poetry, on the other hand, is a form of writing that is based on musicality and rhythm. It is often characterized by its use of figurative languages, such as metaphors and similes. Poetry is often used for poems and some of its devices are also used in songwriting.

The major difference between the two is that poetry is a form of writing that uses rhythm and rhyme to create a musical or chant-like effect, whereas prose, is a form of writing that is more straightforward and doesn’t rely on rhyme or meter.

Poetry often uses figurative language to create images or expressive ideas, while prose is more literal. Prose is usually used for novels, essays, and nonfiction writing, while poetry is more often associated with literature, lyrics, and storytelling.

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Poetry styles to fit your style

On January 20, 2021, 22-year-old youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman inspired the country and made history when she read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden. Gorman’s free verse poem touched on themes of unity, hope, and progress; it encouraged Americans to continue working toward a “union with purpose.” (If you don’t know what “free verse” means, don’t worry—we will cover that on the next slide.)

Gorman is the youngest known inaugural poet, and her moving reading of “The Hill We Climb” ignited a newfound interest in poetry, often considered an obscure form of writing. To many, poetry can seem daunting because it’s so different from prose. But there is no wrong way to read a poem . If you find a poem that you connect with, even if you’re not sure what it is “supposed to” mean, you’re reading it right!

To help demystify poetry a bit, and in celebration of National Poetry Month, we are going to break down some of the different kinds or forms of poetry. Along the way, we are going to show you some classic examples of these poems and give you some guidance on how you can write poetry yourself—any day of the year.

Listening to Gorman’s performance of her poem is just one way to garner curiosity in poetry. Learn some fantastic ways to get your child (and yourself) excited about poetry!

If you watched Amanda Gorman’s performance, you may have noticed that it sounded very similar to typical speech patterns. That isn’t so surprising for free verse poems, or “verse that does not follow a fixed metrical pattern.” In other words, it doesn’t have to follow any of the strict rules about syllables , rhyme , or cadence that we will see in other forms. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t use any of these elements. It just means that the writer can choose which of them they want to use. Basically, every free verse poem uses its own unique structure.

Free verse is a popular and common form of poetry. In addition to “The Hill We Climb,” other famous free verse poems include “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot and “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath. Perhaps the most famous American free verse poem, though, is “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman (1892), which begins:

I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air, Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same, I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin, Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance, Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, Nature without check with original energy.

As you can see from this excerpt, the lines here don’t rhyme, and there isn’t a pattern in the length of the lines or how many lines there are to a stanza (group of lines). Try reading it aloud (or listen to dulcet -toned Nate DiMeo read it to you here ) and see how much it sounds like a conversation the narrator is having with himself.

slam poetry

Another poetry form that does not follow strict rules is slam poetry . Slam poetry is free-form poetry designed to be performed aloud. The name comes from poetry competitions known as “poetry slams.” In this way, slam poetry is a kind of performance art . In fact, Amanda Gorman’s recitation of “The Hill We Climb” had a lot of slam poetry elements, including hand gestures to punctuate and emphasize important moments in the text.

Slam poetry gets its inspiration from the beat poets and French-speaking Négritude poets who wanted their work to protest the conventional, European forms of poetry. Throughout its history, slam poetry has been associated with forms of activism and giving voice to those who have been historically marginalized.

Slam poetry is designed to be watched and listened to, not read. One classic example is “Falling in Like,” by Big Poppa E. You can read a short excerpt of this poem about young love below, but we recommend you watch him perform it here instead.

you make me feel… goofy.

goofy like i blush when someone mentions your name.

goofy like i have a bzillion things i wanna tell you when you’re not around, but face-to-face i just stare at my toe making circles on the ground, like i’m all thumbs and no place to put them, like i just wanna write you a note that says:

do you like me? ? yes ? no ? maybe

You probably noticed that this poem doesn’t use proper spelling, capitalization, or punctuation, and even has some unusual elements like checkboxes. That’s the thing about slam poetry —you can be as creative as you want with it. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to follow the rules of the other forms (or simply don’t want to), slam poetry is a great place to start writing. The only limit is your imagination!

Want to know more about slam poetry ? Visit our article on getting a close look at the full experience of slam poetry .

In a lot of ways, slam poetry is the modern incarnation of the ode . Originally, an ode was “a poem intended to be sung.” Today, an ode is “a lyric poem typically of elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion.” A lyric poem is a poem that expresses personal feelings or emotion. (The name comes from the instrument the lyre , which was played to accompany these poems in their original form.)

Perhaps the most famous example of an ode is “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats (1819). In the poem, the narrator describes the images on an ancient Greek urn , which he uses as a way to express his feelings about art in general.

A more accessible ode might be “Ode on Solitude” by Alexander Pope (1700), in which the narrator talks about his desire to live the simple life, alone:

Happy the man, whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air, In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, Whose flocks supply him with attire, Whose trees in summer yield him shade, In winter fire.

This ode happens to use a specific rhyming pattern and meter, but there are no requirements that your ode has to. In ancient Greek literature, odes were seven stanzas of five lines of 10 syllables. As you can see from our example from Pope here, that form is no longer a requirement. However, if you want to try writing your own ode , you might want to start with the ancient Greek format, because other ode structures can become quite complicated.

We just talked about types of poetry that don’t necessarily have any specific requirements when it comes to rhyme, meter, or anything else. So, let’s pause for a moment and ask ourselves, “Why do some forms of poetry follow strict rules? Why not just write in whatever way we choose, like in free verse or slam poetry ?”

Well, some poets actually find that the rules of certain forms of poetry inspire creativity. In a sense, having a structure gives you a place to start—staring at a blank page can be daunting for any writer! So ironically, having rules can give you more freedom to express yourself.

One classic form that has specific rules is the sonnet . A sonnet is a poem of 14 lines usually written in iambic pentameter . Iambic pentameter is a line of 10 syllables, with every other syllable stressed. (An iamb is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, like “mo tion ” or “I ate .”)

The most famous sonnets are those written by Shakespeare , like the one that begins “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.”

One of our favorite sonnets is “Nuns Fret Not At Their Convent’s Narrow Room” by William Wordsworth. What is wonderful about this poem is that it explains how the strict rules of the sonnet give the narrator “ solace ” (comfort).

Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room; And hermits are contented with their cells; And students with their pensive citadels; Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom, Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom, High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells, Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells: In truth the prison, unto which we doom Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me, In sundry moods, ’twas pastime to be bound Within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground; Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be) Who have felt the weight of too much liberty, Should find brief solace there, as I have found.

Another classic form of poetry is the ballad . Similar to the ode , ballads were originally designed to be sung. A ballad is “a simple narrative poem of folk origin, composed in short stanzas and adapted for singing.” Usually, ballads tell a story or recount a series of events. They are often considered one of the easiest kinds of “formal” poetry to write.

A classic ballad is typically written in four-line stanzas (a quatrain ) that follow some kind of rhyming pattern, although the specific pattern can depend on the poem. Generally, though, ballads use the rhyme scheme ABCB, meaning the second and final lines of each stanza rhyme, and the first and third lines of the stanza do not rhyme. Ballads also generally use iambic tetrameter, meaning a line of eight syllables, alternating with iambic trimeter, a line of six syllables.

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Coleridge (1834) is one of the best-known ballads . It doesn’t follow the classic ballad form exactly, but you can get a sense of what ballads are all about from this excerpt:

It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three. ‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?

The Bridegroom’s doors are opened wide, And I am next of kin; The guests are met, the feast is set: May’st hear the merry din.’

As you might have noticed, the lines alternate between eight syllables and six syllables, so it is a little different from a classic ballad . But you could certainly imagine these lines being put to music, right?

An enthralling speech can be pure poetry as well, especially if it uses poetic devices. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is a prime example—find out why!

Villanelle isn’t just the name of the elusive hitwoman in the TV crime drama Killing Eve . It’s also a poetic form. A villanelle is a fancy ballad that follows these rules:

  • Five stanzas of three lines each, followed by a single stanza of four lines.
  • The stanzas of three lines each use an ABA rhyme (the first and last line rhyme).
  • The final stanza uses an ABAA rhyme.
  • The first line of the poem is repeated at the end of the second and fourth stanzas.
  • The third line of the poem is repeated at the end of the third and fifth stanzas.

Likely the most famous villanelle of all time is “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas (1951). You can get a sense of the rhyme scheme and the repeated lines from this excerpt here:

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.

As you can see from this example, the first line, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” is repeated at the end of the second stanza.

Villanelles are a little more challenging to write than a typical ballad. If the rhyme schemes and repetition seem like altogether too many rules for you, you may be more interested in…

The haiku form comes from Japanese poetic traditions. It’s closely associated with the 17th-century poet Matsuo Bash?. These short poems have a simple structure: the first and last line have five syllables, and the second line has seven syllables. Traditionally, these poems were “often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons,” but you can write a haiku about anything!

The most famous Bash? haiku is:

an ancient pond a frog jumps in the splash of water

Lovely, right? As you might have noticed, these lines don’t have any kind of rhyme scheme; there is just a simple syllable pattern. (The 5-7-5 pattern is there in the original Japanese.)

If you’re a total novice to writing poetry, haiku is a great place to start. Another relatively simple form of poetry to write is…

Limericks are funny, often raunchy, poems that follow the following form:

  • Five lines that follow the AABBA rhyming pattern (the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme, and the third and fourth lines rhyme).
  • The third and fourth lines are typically shorter than the other lines.
  • On the third and fourth lines, the rhythm is two short syllables followed by a long one ( anapest ).
  • On the other lines, the rhythm is short syllable, long syllable, short syllable ( amphibrach ).

All those notes about rhythm might seem daunting, but don’t worry about them too much. The most important thing is to stick to the AABBA rhyming pattern. Additionally, limericks often begin:

There was a [something] from [somewhere]…

One classic limerick that spawned countless (sometimes dirty) imitations was written by Dayton Voorhees (1902):

There once was a man from Nantucket Who kept all his cash in a bucket. But his daughter, named Nan, Ran away with a man And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

If you’re really feeling stuck with your limerick, you can take inspiration from this one—like many poets before you—and start with the same first line.

blackout poetry

If you’re not interested in, or feel daunted by, the practice of writing poetry, you might find the contemporary and innovative form of blackout poetry (also known as found poetry ) more appealing. It’s one of the most accessible forms of poetry out there.

All you need to start is a piece of paper with writing on it—a newspaper, a recipe, a page from a book—and a black marker. Then, as the creator of blackout poetry, Austin Kleon, puts it, “cross out words, leaving behind the ones you like.”

The result is a poem consisting of words that stand out on the page in contrast to the black of the marker. It’s striking, both poetically and visually. Blackout poetry is especially appealing because people of all ages can easily try their hand at it, like in this example:

Blackout Poetry continued… Ss poems are starting to take shape and we’re discovering that this is harder than it looks! If you have an old book at home, we highly recommend you try blackout poetry too! ?? @AllenbyPS_TDSB — Mme.Bedder (@MmeBedder) March 17, 2021

As we’ve seen, poetry can take many forms—it’s just a matter of what you’re looking for. Whether you feel inspired to write poetry yourself, or merely take the time to read a few poems every now again, don’t worry about getting it “right.” Just try to stay curious, be gentle with yourself, and remain open to multiple meanings. After all, as American poet Mary Oliver once wrote, “a poem on the page speaks to the listening mind.”

creative writing vs poetry

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creative writing vs poetry

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creative writing vs poetry

The Creative Writing and Literature Major is open to ALL LSA students.

Creative Writing and Literature Majors write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction under the close guidance of faculty mentors, and may workshop their writing with other student writers in small writing seminars. Majors also study the art of writing through the study of literature. Majors specialize in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction early in their studies.

Creative Writing graduates pursue successful careers as writers, editors, educators, advertising professionals, and many other writing related-fields.  Every year our graduates are admitted to competitive graduate school programs in the fine arts, education, law, business, public policy, social work, and other courses of professional study that demand proficient writing skills and creative approaches to problem solving.

RC Creative Writing students have demonstrated unparalled success in the esteemed U of M Hopwood Awards , winning over 100 awards since the 1994-95 school year.

Students meet with the creative writing major advisor when declaring, making course substitutions, discussing transfer/study abroad credit evaluations, internships, preparing major release forms, and information on graduate school study and career paths. 

Although students may pursue study in multiple genres, most specialize in a single genre:

Fiction / Creative Nonfiction

Digital Storytelling

Advising appointments can be made here or by calling RC Academic Services at 763-0032.

Minimum Credits: 28

The major is structured into four genre tracks. In addition to the Fiction / Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Digital Storytelling tracks, students may elect a multi-genre track in consultation with their principal writing instructors and the major advisor.

Each track consists of:

Four elective creative writing courses

Five elective upper level literature courses

Fiction / Creative Nonfiction Track

Students complete a minimum of four creative writing courses, at least three of which must be at the 300 level or above and at least three of which must be taken in the RC. A usual track is an introductory course (Narration) and three upper-level courses. Students may count one non-RC creative writing course towards the writing requirement.

Creative Writing Courses: Students may elect any combination of seminars and tutorials from the following:

RCHUMS 220 Narration: Intro to Fiction Writing

RCHUMS 325, 326, 425, 426 Tutorials: Permission of instructor required

RCHUMS 320 Narration: Advanced Fiction Writing

RCHUMS 334 (Section 005) Memoir: Writing from Within

Other departmental offerings listed under RCHUMS 334 or RCCORE 334. Details here.

Literature Electives: Students complete five literature courses, at the 300-level or above. One literature course must focus on either ancient literature or medieval literature (pre-1600). The ancient / medieval requirement may focus on non-Western or Western literature, but must pre-date Shakespeare if a Western literature course is elected. English 367 – Shakespeare’s Plays does not fulfill this requirement, although the course can count towards the literature requirement.

Students are encouraged to take literature courses in the RC Arts and Ideas Major, the  Department of English  or the  Comparative Literature Program . Students majoring in a second language may count one upper-level literature course in that language, or one upper-level literature course completed during a full semester studying abroad in a non-English speaking country. Upper-level literature courses taken abroad also may be counted. All literature courses counted toward the Creative Writing and Literature Major must be at least three (3) credits.

Courses that have been used to meet the requirement in the past include:

RCHUMS 354 Race and Identity in Music

RCHUMS 344 Reason and Passion in the 18th Century

RCHUMS 342 Representing the Holocaust in Literature, Film and the Visual Arts

Other RCHUMS courses listed in the Arts and Ideas in the Humanities major

English 350 Literature in English to 1660 (for ancient/medieval requirement)

English 328 Writing and the Environment

English 379 Literature in Afro-American Culture

Other English Department courses with a literature focus

CLCIV 385 Greek Mythology (for ancient/medieval requirement)  

Asian 314 Strange Ways: Literature of the Supernatural in Pre-modern Japan and China

MEMS 386 Medieval Literature, History and Culture 

Poetry Track

Students complete a minimum of four creative writing courses, at least three of which must be at the 300 level or above and at least three of which must be taken in the RC. A usual track is an introductory course (Writing Poetry) and three upper-level courses. Students may count one non-RC creative writing course towards the writing requirement.

RCHUMS 221 Writing Poetry

RCHUMS 321 Advanced Poetry Writing

RCHUMS 334 Workshop with Incarcerated Poets and Artists

Literature courses listed above under Fiction / Creative Nonfiction

English 340 Studies in Poetry

English 440 Modern Poetry

English 442 Studies in Poetry

Digital Storytelling Track

The digital storytelling track studies the ways story interacts with technology and the effect of digital media on writing and the creative process. Students electing this track pair writing practice with the study of the theory, ethics, and history of digital media.

Creative Writing Courses: At least 4 courses required over two categories 

Creative Writing Courses: choose a minimum of two Residential College creative writing courses that focus on writing fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry. Only one course in a student’s major plan should be at the 200-level:

Introductory Courses (may elect 1 to count towards major):

Upper-level Courses:

RCHUMS 320 Advanced Narration 

RCHUMS 321 Advanced Poetry Writing 

RCHUMS 325, 326, 425, 426 Creative Writing Tutorials 

Digital Writing / Skills Courses: choose a minimum of two digital storytelling / writing courses at the 300-level or above that focus on digital media and/or electronic literature writing and practice. Courses that have been used to meet the requirement in the past include:

RCCORE 334 (Section 004) Digital Storytelling

English 420 Tech and the Humanities / Electronic Literature

RCSCI 360 (Section 001) Documentary Photography

RCHUMS 325, 326, 425, 426 Creative Writing Tutorials with a focus on writing for, and/or creating, electronic literature or digital media content (permission of instructor required)

Digital Studies Requirement: At least 2 courses required 

Choose a minimum of two digital studies theory courses at the 300-level or above that focus on the theory of digital culture and/or the digital humanities. Courses that have been used to meet the requirement in the past include:

AmCult 358 Topics in Digital Studies

AmCult 360 Radical Digital Media

FTVM 368 Topics in Digital Media Studies

English 405 Theories of Writing

Literature Requirement: At least 3 courses required 

Literature courses must be taken at the 300-level or above. Literature courses should not focus on digital studies but should offer complementary skills and additional context in the art and craft of literature. One course must focus on ancient/medieval literature. For more information on specific literature requirements, please see the Literature section listed under Fiction / Creative Nonfiction.

A student deemed eligible to attempt Honors typically completes the following process:

A student whose overall academic record meets the eligibility criteria for honors and whose creative work models originality and the promise of mastery in their chosen genre may apply for an honors thesis. Honors theses are typically 75-100 pages of polished fiction or creative nonfiction, or a collection of 25 or more poems. The student and their faculty advisor will determine the exact length and content of the final thesis. 

To be eligible to apply for honors, a student must demonstrate exceptional skill in the art and craft of prose, poetry, or creative nonfiction. The student must have completed a minimum of two Residential College creative writing classes, although honors students typically complete three or more by the start of their thesis sequence. The student also must hold a GPA of at least 3.4 overall. 

Students who meet the above criteria are eligible to apply for the honors thesis project in the winter term of their junior year, typically by late March. To apply, students shall submit:

A writing sample (10 pages of prose or 5 poems) that represents the student’s best, most polished work.

A brief statement (1-2 pages) describing the honors project. Applicants should also include the name of a faculty member they wish to request as their thesis advisor.

Questions about the submittal process can be directed to the creative writing major advisor  here

The Honors Committee, consisting of faculty in the Creative Writing program, will judge the student’s work on its quality, originality, and promise of mastery in their chosen genre. The Committee reviews all honors applications after the submission deadline. Students are notified of the Committee’s decision in late March or early April. If the planned project is accepted for honors, the Committee will assign a faculty thesis advisor to the student. 

Honors Theses require a two-semester commitment. Students enroll in RCCORE 490 for the fall term and RCHUMS 426 for the winter term. A passing grade in RCCORE 490 earns a Y grade, indicating that the thesis work will continue into the next semester. At the end of the second term, the Y grade converts to the grade earned in RCHUMS 426. Exceptions to the two-semester requirement are rare but may be discussed with the thesis advisor.

When the honors thesis project is complete (typically the last week of March or the first week of April of the senior year), the student’s honors thesis advisor and one other member of the Residential College’s Creative Writing faculty will determine if the project qualifies for honors and (if so) what level of honors the student receives. Honors thesis students also participate in a public reading with fellow thesis students at the end of the winter term (typically the second week of April).

To download the honors information, click here.

Creative Writing faculty

Laura Kasischke Poetry; Fiction

Christopher Matthews Fiction; Poetry

Sarah Messer Poetry; Creative Nonfiction; Prison Creative Arts Program

Susan Rosegrant Creative Nonfiction; Journalism; Fiction

Laura Thomas Fiction; Creative Nonfiction

A. Van Jordan Poetry, Film Studies

Aisha Sloan Creative Nonfiction, Digital Storytelling

Open to All

You don’t need to be a dedicated major to participate in workshops, tutorials, and classes taught by Creative Writing faculty, which are open to enrollment from all students. If even only for a semester, you wish to explore your interest in writing, consider taking a RC Creative Writing course !

For RC students, creative writing courses fulfill the RC Arts Practicum requirement. For RC and LSA students, RCHUMS 220, RCHUMS 221, and RCHUMS 325 satisfy Creative Expression distribution.

You can participate in the RC Review , our annual student-run journal featuring student poetry, fiction, and visual art. RC students can get a credit for participating in the RC Review.

Or consider joining the RC Creative Writing Forum , which like RC Review, offers RC students a credit, but is open to all for participation.

RC Writers website

Check out the  RC Writers Website,  for the Residential College writing community.

Recent Events

Paths to publication: a conversation with allison epstein and jon michael darga.

Link to the video recording here:

Love & Zombies & Literature: What makes Genre Writing Literary?

Link to the recording of the webinar on our youtube page:

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101 Poetry Prompts & Ideas for Writing Poems

Not sure what to write a poem about? Here’s 101 poetry prompts to get you started!

poetry writing prompts

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These poetry prompts are designed to help you keep a creative writing practice. If you’re staring at a blank page and the words aren’t flowing, the creative writing prompts for poems can be a great way to get started!

New for 2023! Due to popular demand, I created a printable, ad-free version of these poetry prompts you can download to use at home or even in the classroom! Get them at our Etsy Shop .

Even if poetry isn’t your thing, you could always use these things to inspire other writing projects. Essays, journal entries, short stories, and flash fiction are just a few examples of ways this list can be used.

You may even find this list of creative poetry writing prompts helpful as an exercise to build your skills in descriptive writing and using metaphors!

Let’s get onto the list, shall we?

Here are 101 Poetry Prompts for Creative Writing

Most of these creative writing ideas are simple and open-ended. This allows you total creative freedom to write from these poetry prompts in your own unique style, tone, and voice.

If one poetry idea doesn’t appeal to you, challenge yourself to find parallels between the prompt and things that you do enjoy writing about!

1.The Untouchable : Something that will always be out of reach

2. 7 Days, 7 Lines : Write a poem where each line/sentence is about each day of last week

3. Grandma’s Kitchen : Focus on a single memory, or describe what you might imagine the typical grandmother’s kitchen to be like

4. Taste the Rainbow : What does your favorite color taste like?

5. Misfits: How it feels when you don’t belong in a group of others.

6. Stranger Conversations : Start the first line of your poem with a word or phrase from a recent passing conversation between you and someone you don’t know.

7. On the Field : Write from the perspective of a sports ball {Baseball, Soccer, Football, Basketball, Lacrosse, etc.} – think about what the sports ball might feel, see, hear, think, and experience with this poetry idea!

8. Street Signs: Take note of the words on signs and street names you pass while driving, walking, or riding the bus. Write a poem starting with one of these words you notice.

9. Cold water: What feelings do you associate with cold water? Maybe it’s a refreshing cold glass of water on a hot day, or maybe you imagine the feelings associated with being plunged into the icy river in the winter.

10. Ghostwriter: Imagine an invisible ghost picks up a pen and starts writing to you.

11. Lessons From Math Class: Write about a math concept, such as “you cannot divide by zero” or never-ending irrational numbers.

12. Instagram Wall: Open up either your own Instagram account or one of a friend/celebrity and write poetry based on the first picture you see.

13. Radio: Tune in to a radio station you don’t normally listen to, and write a poem inspired by the the first song or message you hear.

14. How To : Write a poem on how to do something mundane most people take for granted, such as how to tie your shoes, how to turn on a lamp, how to pour a cup of coffee.

15. Under 25 Words : Challenge yourself to write a poem that is no more than 25 words long.

16. Out of Order: Write about your feelings when there is an out of order sign on a vending machine.

17. Home Planet: Imagine you are from another planet, stuck on earth and longing for home.

18. Uncertainty : Think about a time in your life when you couldn’t make a decision, and write based on this.

19. Complete : Be inspired by a project or task be completed – whether it’s crossing something off the never-ending to-do list, or a project you have worked on for a long time.

20. Compare and Contrast Personality : What are some key differences and similarities between two people you know?

21. Goodbyes : Write about a time in your life you said goodbye to someone – this could be as simple as ending a mundane phone conversation, or harder goodbyes to close friends, family members, or former partners.

22. Imagine Weather Indoors : Perhaps a thunderstorm in the attic? A tornado in the kitchen?

23. Would You Rather? Write about something you don’t want to do, and what you would rather do instead.

24. Sound of Silence : Take some inspiration from the classic Simon & Garfunkel song and describe what silence sounds like.

25. Numbness : What’s it like to feel nothing at all?

26. Fabric Textures : Use different fiber textures, such as wool, silk, and cotton as a poetry writing prompt.

27. Anticipation : Write about the feelings you experience or things you notice while waiting for something.

28. Poison: Describe something toxic and its effects on a person.

29. Circus Performers: Write your poetry inspired by a circus performer – a trapeze artist, the clowns, the ringmaster, the animal trainers, etc.

30. Riding on the Bus : Write a poem based on a time you’ve traveled by bus – whether a school bus, around town, or a long distance trip to visit a certain destination.

31. Time Freeze : Imagine wherever you are right now that the clock stops and all the people in the world are frozen in place. What are they doing?

32. The Spice of Life : Choose a spice from your kitchen cabinet, and relate its flavor to an event that has happened recently in your daily life.

33. Parallel Universe : Imagine you, but in a completely different life based on making a different decision that impacted everything else.

34. Mad Scientist : Create a piece based on a science experiment going terribly, terribly wrong.

35. People You Have Known : Make each line about different people you have met but lost contact with over the years. These could be old friends, passed on family, etc.

36. Last Words : Use the last sentence from the nearest book as the inspiration for the first line of your poem.

37. Fix This : Think about something you own that is broken, and write about possible ways to fix it. Duct tape? A hammer and nails?

hammer poetry prompt idea

38. Suspicion : Pretend you are a detective and you have to narrow down the suspects.

39. Political News : Many famous poets found inspiration from the current politics in their time. Open up a newspaper or news website, and create inspired by the first news article you find.

40. The Letter D : Make a list of 5 words that start with all with the same letter, and then use these items throughout the lines of your verse. {This can be any letter, but for example sake: Daisy, Dishes, Desk, Darkness, Doubt}

41. Quite the Collection : Go to a museum, or look at museum galleries online. Draw your inspiration from collections of objects and artifacts from your favorite display. Examples: Pre-historic days, Egyptians, Art Galleries, etc.

42. Standing in Line : Think of a time you had to stand in line for something. Maybe you were waiting in a check-out line at the store, or you had to stand in line to enter a concert or event.

43. Junk Mail Prose: Take some inspiration from your latest junk mail. Maybe it’s a grocery store flyer announcing a sale on grapes, or an offer for a credit card.

44. Recipe : Write your poem in the form of a recipe. This can be for something tangible, such as a cake, or it can be a more abstract concept such as love or happiness. List ingredients and directions for mixing and tips for cooking up your concept to perfection.

45. Do you like sweaters? Some people love their coziness, others find them scratchy and too hot. Use your feelings about sweaters in a poem.

46. After Party : What is it like after all party guests go home?

47. Overgrown : Use  Little Shop of Horrors  for inspiration, or let your imagination run wild on what might happen if a plant or flower came to life or started spreading rapidly to take over the world.

48. Interference: Write a poem that is about someone or something coming in between you and your goals.

49. On Shaky Ground: Use an earthquake reference or metaphor in your poem.

50. Trust Issues : Can you trust someone you have doubted in the past?

51. Locked in a Jar: Imagine you are a tiny person, who has been captured and put into a jar for display or science.

52. Weirder Than Fiction: Think of the most unbelievable moment in your life, and write a poem about the experience.

53. Fast Food: Write a poem about fast food restaurants and experiences.

fast food writing prompt hamburger

54. Unemployed: Write a poem about quitting or being fired from a job you depended on.

55. Boxes: What kinds of family secrets or stories might be hiding in that untouched box in the attic?

56. No One Understands : Write about what it feels like when no one understands or agrees with your opinion.

57. Criminal Minds : Write a poem from the perspective of a high-profile criminal who is always on the run from law enforcement.

58. Marathon Runner : Write a poem about what training you might be doing to accomplish a difficult challenge in your life.

59. Trapped : Write about an experience that made you feel trapped.

60. Passing the Church : Write a poem about noticing something interesting while passing by a church near your home.

61. Backseat Driver: Write about what it’s like to be doing something in your life and constantly being criticized while trying to move ahead.

62. Luster: Create a descriptive poem about something that has a soft glow or sheen to it.

63. Clipboard: Write a poem about someone who is all business like and set in their ways of following a system.

64. Doctor: Write a poem about receiving advice from a doctor.

65. First Car : Write an ode to your first car

66. Life Didn’t Go As a Planned : Write about a recent or memorable experience when nothing went according to plan.

67. Architect : Imagine you are hired to design a building for a humanitarian cause you are passionate about.

68. The Crazy Cat Hoarder : Write about someone who owns far too many cats.

69. Queen : Write a poem from the perspective of a queen.

70. Movie Character : Think of a recent movie you watched, and create a poem about one character specifically, or an interaction between two characters that was memorable.

71. Potential Energy : Write about an experience where you had a lot of potential for success, but failed.

72. Moonlight : Write about an experience in the moonlight.

73. Perfection : Write about trying to always keep everything perfect.

74. You Are Wrong : Write a poem where you tell someone they are wrong and why.

75. Sarcasm : Write a poem using sarcasm as a form of illustrating your point.

76. Don’t Cry : Write a poem about how not to cry when it’s hard to hold back the tears.

77. Listen Up: Write a poem telling someone they are better than they think they are.

78. Flipside : Find the good in something terrible.

79. Maybe They Had a Reason : Write a poem about someone doing something you don’t understand, and try to explain what reasons they might have had.

80. How to Drive : Write a poem that explains how to drive to a teenager.

81. Up & Down the Steps: Write a poem that includes the motion of going up or down a staircase

82. Basket Case: Has there ever been a time when you thought you might lose your mind? Jot your feelings and thoughts down in verse form.

83. Lucky Guess:  Many times in our life we have to make a good guess for what is the best decision. Use this poetry idea to write about feelings related to guessing something right – or wrong.

84. Dear Reader:  What audience enjoys reading the type of poetry you like to write? Craft a note to your potential audience that addresses their biggest fears, hopes, and dreams.

85. All or Nothing : Share your thoughts on absolutist thinking: when one’s beliefs are so set in stone there are no exceptions.

86. Ladders in the Sky : Imagine there are ladders that take you up to the clouds. What could be up there? What feelings do you have about climbing the ladders, or is their a mystery as to how they got there in the first place?

ladder poetry prompt

87. Always On My Mind: Compose a poem about what it’s like to always be thinking about someone or something.

88. Paranoia : What would it be like if you felt like someone was watching you but no one believed you?

89. Liar, Liar: How would you react to someone who lied to you?

90. Secret Word: What’s the magic word to unlock someone’s access to something?

91. For What It’s Worth: Use a valuable object in your home as inspiration as a poetry prompt idea.

92. Coming Home to Secrets: Imagine a person who puts on a good act to cover up a secret they deal with at home.

93. Productivity: Talk about your greatest struggles with time management and organization.

94. Defying Gravity: Use words that relate to being weightless and floating.

95. Signs of the Times : How has a place you are familiar with changed over the past 10 years?

96. Sleepless Nights : What ideas and feelings keep you up at night? What’s it like when you have to wake up in the morning on a night you can’t sleep?

97. You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit : Use one of the worst job related memories you can think of as a creative writing prompt.

98. By George : You can choose any name, but think of 3-5 notable figures or celebrities who share a common first name, and combine their personalities and physical characteristics into one piece of poetry. For example: George Washington, George Clooney, George Harrison.

99. Shelter : Write a poem about a time you were thankful for shelter from a storm.

100. Cafeteria : Create a poem inspired by the people who might be eating lunch in a cafeteria at school or at a hospital.

101. Dusty Musical Instruments : Base your poem around the plight of a musician who hasn’t picked up the guitar or touched a piano in years.

Love these prompts? The printable, ad-free version of these poetry prompts can be used offline or in the classroom! Get them at our Etsy Shop .

There are unlimited possibilities for ways you can use these poem ideas to write poetry. Using a list like this can greatly help you with getting into the habit of writing daily – even when you don’t feel inspired to write.

While not every poem you write will be an award-winning masterpiece, using these poem starters as a regular exercise can help you better your craft as a writer.

I hope you enjoy these poetry prompts – and if you write anything you’d like to share inspired by these creative poetry writing prompts, let us know in the comments below – we love to see how others use writing ideas to create their own work!

And of course, don’t forget to get the ad-free poetry prompt cards printable version if you’d like to use these prompts offline, in the classroom or with your small group!

Chelle Stein wrote her first embarrassingly bad novel at the age of 14 and hasn't stopped writing since. As the founder of ThinkWritten, she enjoys encouraging writers and creatives of all types.

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I had a wonderful inspiration from prompt number 49 “On Shaky Ground,” although it’s not exactly about an earthquake. I wanted to share it on here, so I hope you enjoy it!

Title: “Shaking Ground”

The ground’s shaking My heart’s aching I’m getting dizzy My mind’s crazy

On shaking ground It’s like I’m on a battleground We’re all fighting for love Dirtying our white glove

The ground’s shaking My body’s quaking Love is so cruel Making me a fool

On shaking ground We are all love-bound Stuck in a crate Nobody can avoid this fate

The ground’s shaking We are all waking Opening our eyes Everyone dies

On shaking ground Our love is profound Although we are separate Better places await

The ground’s shaking Death’s overtaking Heaven is descending The world’s ending

On shaking ground In love we are drowned

Awesome interpretation Amanda! Thanks for sharing!

heyyy, I have written something regarding prompt 27 and 96 The Night Charms.

Do you dread the dark; Or do you adore the stars? Do you really think the fire place is that warm; Or you just envy the night charms? The skyline tries to match the stars’ sparkle, The sky gets dark, the vicinity gets darker. The “sun” has set for the day being loyal; These are now the lamps burning the midnight oil. The Eve so busy, that everyone forgets to praise its beauty. The sun has set without anyone bidding him an adieu, Failed to demonstrate its scintillating view. The moon being the epitome of perfection, Has the black spots, Depicting an episode of it’s dark past.

And I sit; I sit and wonder till the dawn. What a peaceful time it is, To have a small world of your own. Away from the chaos, I found a soul that was lost. So tired, yet radiant, Trying to be someone she’s not in the end. That bewitching smile held my hand, Carried me back to shore, letting me feel my feet in the sand. The waves moved to and fro, Whispering to me as they go, “Oh girl, my girl This is the soul you have within you, Never let it vanish, For it alters you into something good and something new, Don’t let the cruel world decide, Don’t let anyone kill that merry vibe.”

Then I saw my own soul fade, Fly into my heart, For what it was made. Oh dear lord, The night’s silence became my solace, My life lessons were made by the waves. Who am I? What have I done to myself? Many questions were answered in self reproach, The answers were still unspoken with no depth. Oh dear night, What have you done to me? Or should I thank you for putting a soul that I see. The nights spent later were now spectacular, My darkness somehow added some light to my life, Making it fuller… Everyday after a day, walking through the scorching lawns, I wait for the the dusk to arrive, and then explore myself till the dawn.

This is so amazing I ran out of words. Very lit thoughts beautifully penned. Keep writing like this dude.❤🌻

That is beautiful, it inspired me to write about my fears, thank you!!

Thank you for the inspiration! 😀 This was based of 21 and 77 (I think those were the numbers lol)

Goodbye to the days when we played together in the sun Goodbye to the smile on your face and to all of the fun I look at you, so dull and blue How long before I can say hello to the real you You are worth more than you think At the very least, you are to me Though there are greater things that wait for you than the least You are worthy of the most, the greatest of things If only goodbye could be ‘see you later’ I want to see the real you again To your suffering I don’t want to be just a spectator I want it all to end Goodbye to my only friend I want to heal you but I don’t know how I wish I had this all figured out Please come back to me I just want you to be free

Thank u so much im more inspired after seeing these creative ideas. 🤗

Glad they inspired you!

Thanks for sharing Amanda!

That was beautiful! I am a writer too! I actually just finished writing one but, it wasn’t from this website, just kind of something that’s been on my head for a while you know? Anyways, again, that was awesome! I am a Christian, and I love seeing people write about that kind of stuff! 🙂

I am jim from Oregon. I am also a writer, not very good but active. I am a Christian as well as you are. Sometimes it is hard to come up with something to write about.

All of a sudden, I have started to write poetry. Do you like all forms of writing? I would enjoy reading some of you work if you would you would like to s if you would like to send me some.

i have written one about frozen time:

my brother will be drawing, his pencil wont leave the sheet, my mother hearing the radio, today’s news on repeat. my sister, in fact, is making her bed, she’ll be making it still, till the last bug is dead. me, on the other hand, i’ll be visiting you, i’ll see you in action, doing the things that you do, i’ll be happy to see you, just a last time, i’ll kiss your still lips, and hold for a while. then i’ll take a plane to saudi, where i’ll see my dad, he’ll be swimming with turtles, he will not seem sad. i have lived on this earth, for 15 whole years, time for goodbye, with not a single tear.

hey beautifully expressed…!!!

Beautifully penned 🌼

I love it I tried one out myself as well Change

She sat looking out the window. The sound of the piano’s cheerful tune ringing out throughout the room. The sweet smell of burnt pine emanating from her fireplace. The sky is blue and the sun shines bright. She closes her eyes for a second. She opens them again. The window is broken and scattered on the ground. The piano sits covered in ashes, every symphony played now just a distant memory replaced with a discordant melody. The room smells of smoke and ash. The sky is dark and rain falls on the remnants of her home. Not a living thing in sight,not even her.

Nice one Amanda. kind of tells me the chronology of love and its eventualities.

such a dilightful poem, thanks for the word that made the day for me. you are such a good poet.

Omg! What!! This is amazing! I’d love to feature this piece on my blog I also love this blog post by, planning on putting the link in my next blog post so others can come over here to check it out! So helpful!

this is so great! I’ve been needing inspiration. this might work

Thank you so much for this article! I love the profundity and open-endedness of the prompts. Here is a poem I wrote, drawing inspiration from #56, “No One Understands.” I wrote this from the perspective of a psychic Arcturian Starseed in her teenage years and how the world perceives her spiritual connection; while at the same time hinting at the true meaning of her various baffling actions. Enjoy 🙂

Starseed – a poem on perspective

In the snow She stands alone Wrapped in shrouds of mystery Her gentle hand gloved with giving Caressing A violet stone

Math class is dismissed But there still she sits Speaking to the ceiling in tender tones A soft and healing resonance Murmuring sweetly of ascension to Another, dearer dimension

In homeroom Her classmate weeps Of missed planes and shattered dreams Quietly She strokes the hand of the suffering And whispers then of channeling Some celestial utopia called Arcturus Where she claims to have been.

Please feel free to let me know where I need to improve! I’m fourteen years old and only an amateur, so a few suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, love and light 🙂

#79 I don’t know why he was so mad Did he not get his mail Was he already mad Or did he only get bills

He swung his arm with force He caused a loud bang He hurt his own hand He left with some blood

He is the man that punched the mailbox His hand dripped blood on it He left it with a dent He left it alone after that

That’s great Michael, thank you for sharing your response to one of the prompts!

Awesome! That was simple and yet creative

Interesting tips and keywords for boosting inspiration. I’ve found some good topic for start writing. Thanks

sleepless nights (#96)

it’s never a strangled cry that drags me from my dreams, but a gentle whisper, there to nudge the socks off my feet, and settle me back into the sheets. i seem to wake before i’ve had a chance to fall to rest.

why is it that i can never sleep, but always dream?

sleepless nights rule my life and drag me by my toes, throwing me into a sky of black and blue. not a single star can break through this spillage. and i sit and wonder in a sea of sheets, rippling around me, why my mind can swim these dark, tangling waters and i never need to take a breath.

have you ever noticed how static-filled the dark is? because when i lay buried under these burdens and blankets, the world seems ready to crumble under my grasp.

i can’t sleep, but i can dream, of days when i wasn’t pulled struggling from bed but awoken into the light. i wonder how i ever survived the grainy sky’s midnight troubles, the oil spill of its thunderclouds, the sandpaper raspiness of the three a.m. earth against my throat.

oh, how i can never sleep in a world that threatens to fall apart.

this is amazing! i hope i can be this good one day

once again beautiful <3

Thank you so much for these prompts! They’re so thought-provoking.

You’re welcome! Glad you enjoy them!

Take me back to those days, When I was allowed to dream, Where no one use to scream. Take me back to those days, When I was a child, Where I never use to find reasons to smile. Take me Take back to those days, When I never used to lie, Where I never used to shy. Take me back those carefreee days, When I was far away from school days. Take me back to those days , where every one used to prase, no matter how foolish i behave. Take me back to those days, when i wasn’t stuck between fake people. Take me back to the day I was born, So that I could live those days again………….

so mine is basically a mix between 76 and 77… I made it for my literature club i recently began trying to make.

‘Listen to me’ Listen to me your words mean more than you think your opinion is worthy to be shared your songs are capable of being sung

Listen to me

your smile is bright your frown shows nothing more than you should be cared for like you care for us.

your laughter is delightful and so is everything else

dont let the past go hurt you find strength in the experience

are you listening to me?

can you here me?

because YOU matter

Nice, thank you for sharing!

Prompt #1 “Untouchable”

Grasping Reaching Searching for the untouchable The indescribable On the tip of my tongue My fingertips Close to my heart But warping my brain Yet understood in the depths of my soul Emotions undiscovered Words Unsaid Deep in the depths of my mind Hand outstretched Lingering on the edge Eyes wide open But somehow still blind Unattainable But still in the hearts of The Brave The Curious The Resilient They Seek the unseekable They pursue the unattainable Each man seeing it in a different aspect Each of their visions blurred Each distorted by Experiences Traumas Wishes Dreams Filtering what’s untouchable

Thank you, glad you enjoy it!

I had good inspiration from #51, locked in a jar. I used it more metaphorically instead of literally. So here it is: glass walls, lid screwed on tight, can’t escape, not even at night. From the inside, looking out, this is not who I’m supposed to be. I’m supposed to be bigger, I’m supposed to be free, not stuck in a jar, no room to breathe. I need to move, I need to soar, I need to be able to speak my opinions and more. So as I look down at my tiny self, in this glass jar, “let me out, I can’t take it anymore”, I say to the bigger me, the one ignoring my tiny pleas.

Just wanted to add a twist to this promt. I’m just a beginner in the art of poetry, but I tried. If anyone has any creative criticism, go ahead! #16: our of order

My brain is out of order My thoughts have filled it to the brim Of my deepest thoughts of who I am Who we are As people We are out of order Never focusing on what we want Our passions All we ever get is work on top of work Pushing us down and down Like a giant hand Squeezing us into the depths of our depressions Until We can do anything But take it Anymore

Thank you Ash for sharing your take on the prompt with us!

Thank you ASH for reminding we can do anything if we try

Was inspired by #77 listen up Listen up…….! When would you listen up! Seems! you have given up! No matter who shut you up! Stand straight and look up!

Look up don’t be discouraged Let you heart be filled with courage Listen up and be encouraged Let life be sweet as porridge

You might have been down Like you have no crown Because deep down You were shut down

There is still hope When there is life Yes! You can still cope If you can see the light Yes! Even in the night

Oh listen up! Please listen up and take charge, You are better than the best Listen up! And oh! Please listen up.

beautifully written!

I wrote a poem using prompt 21 and I’m so proud of it. Comment if you want me to post it🤓

I bet the poem you wrote about prompt 21 is really good. I would like to read it please.

Mental prison, what a way to be trapped, being hidden, being snapped,

Clear glass is all i feel, apart from people, I hope I heal, I will never be equal,

I am different I am hurt raging currents people put on high alert but no one cares

No one dreads many tears I only have so many more threads

One day I’ll be gone but no one would care I will run away from the death chair

But until then

Mental prison what a way to be trapped being hidden being snapped

One day this will all blow away someday I will be molded out of clay but until then I will be lead astray

This is so darn awesome. It’s so deep and evokes the deepest of feelings🥰

I wrote almost the same thing omg I’m turning it into a contest entry

Inspired by No. 1! I am completely new to poetry, but I love it so much already! Here it is.

Perfection is Untouchable-

Perfection waiting, out of reach

Will I never touch it?

It always remain


No matter how hard I try

I will never quite reach

It will always remain

Though many people have tried

And seemed to have come close

But perfection’s not the goal

‘Cause we can’t quite grasp it

Perfection will always be

For all eternity

Looks like you are off to a great start!

Of Course, Silly Billy Me

”Well shit, I guess I lost my opportunity” the youngster retort

You see, for him, it’s all about his hurt – but she’s so educated, knows more about the rules of English than the rest of us.

Thus, to me she said… You cannot use curse words in a court report… you need to paraphrase his quote.

Into her spastic face I smiled – and pled my case

If you were my English professor back in the day, I could only imagine how much further in life I would have been…

”Don’t you mean farther in life?”

Of course, silly billy me.

This poem is called Secret Keeper and was inspired by #92. I hope you like it.

Everyone has a secret, Whether it be their own, Or someone else’s, We all have one.

But what if, You met someone, Who had a secret so big, That telling anyone would lead to horrible things.

And what if, That person told someone, And what they told them, Was more horrible than anything they could have ever imagined.

What if, That person told everyone, And when the parents, Of the kid with the secret found out, They were furious.

What if, They kept doing horrible things, Even though everyone knew, Even though they knew it was wrong.

And finally, What if, No one ever helped, The little kid with the biggest secret.

On number 28 : Poision I wrote a poem for it and would like to share it. The poision of friends and love

Beaten,she lies there. For they may be mistaken. Laughter rings throughout the school halls; a pure disaster. The dissapearence of parents hast caused this yet no one stops it. “Your a disgrace!” She heard them say. While in place she cries “I don’t belong here! Perhaps im out of place..” But she is not misplaced rather.. Shes lost in space.

I miss when you called me baby And I was in your arms saftely I know we drive eachother crazy But I miss callin you my baby

Those restless nights when I couldn’t sleep You calmed me down with your technique Always reminded me I’m strong not weak If only I let you speak

My heart only beats for you My feelings for you only grew You understood what I was going through I will never regret knowing you

Your smile melted my heart I wish we could restart And I could be apart Of a man I see as a work of art!

Stary night painting poem I guess ill call it

I raised my paint brush to my canvas So I could help people understand this This feeling of emotion for this painting has spoken I see the light as opportunity As for the whole thing it symbolizes unity The swirls degnify elegance and uncertainty For this painting executes this perfectly Where as my paintings let me adress Everything I feel I need to express!

#56 WHITE NOISE Faded away In the background Unheard Not visible

Eardrums splitting from the screams Yet none seem to care Can even hear my cries for help? For I am screaming as loud as I can

Are you? For all we hear Are whispers in here

Fading away in the background Unheard, invisible Yet it’s there, not loud enough Not noticeable, but there White noise Blank and pure In the background Faded away, yet so clear.

Just need to listen So open your ears She’s screaming for help But it’s muted to your ears

So open ’em up And listen to the calls For faded away, in the background Not visible, but clear. White Noise. It’s there.

Hi guys, I’m kind of late joining in. I read the prompts and the poems posted and this community is a creative bunch. I liked #35 People You Have Known. I want to share it with you guys.

Bern, a friend from grade school was my seat mate as well Rob had always teased me so my young life was hell Neesa was pretty, she knew that she was my crush Miss Homel, our teacher was always in a rush Played ball with Buco and I got hit on my head Fell in love with Cia, dreamt of her in my bed Had a tattoo with Marcus and called it “The Day” Chub challenged me to eat two pies, I said, “No way” I had to go far away so I wrote to Charie In this new place I found a friend in Perry My Grandma Leng passed away, she was a doll My grumpy uncle, Uncle Zar was teased by all These people have touched my life for worse or better Won’t be forgotten, be remembered forever

I hope that you liked it. Thanks guys. Thanks Think Written.

#37 fix it Still new to poems, and I haven’t written one in a while. Criticism is welcome because I need some more inspiration since I haven’t been getting any.

This is the body repair shop where we fix humans that have stopped how may we help you?

the girl stumbled upon the front door and spilled her list of regrets out into the open

“we’re sorry, miss” “but i’m afraid your first kiss will just be a dear old reminisce”

“your heart is also one that cannot be mended” “for every shattered piece- their lives just simply ended” the sewing kit can’t sew the fragments of her heart back because there were way too many to backtrack

she cried her heart out and it went “plop!” her tears like a river and like a lightbulb flickering its last light she too, took her last breath and was put to death

This is the body repair shop where we fix humans that have stopped “it seems we have failed again today” “sorry we’ll just try harder again another day”

I did poetry prompt #7. I wrote about the street I grew up on. Luverne Luverne, I moved onto you at the age of three. We like to race up and down your pavement road, either biking or running. You keep safe the house that I grew up in, one that has six humans and three dogs. You shelter other houses, too, that hold family friends and best friends to last a lifetime.

Luverne, we love you.

-Margaret McMahon

I was inspired by the prompt poison. Monster Roses are beautiful and delicate, but flawed.

Every rose has thorns that cause you to bleed.

Its innocence and beauty draws you in.

Only then when you touch it, it poisons you.

Am I really such an ugly monster, that plants pain an watches it spread?

I would say no.

Wouldn’t we all?

But maybe, just maybe a rose doesn’t notice it’s thorns.

-Lilliana Pridie

You said you’re only just starting?! That was sooo good! No criticism here. 🙂

Sorry, that was meant for “Ash” but yours was amazing too! 🙂

Prompt number 8: Street signs STOP Stop look and listen Stop at the corner Stop at the red light Stop for pedestrians Stop for cyclists Stop for animals Stop doing that Stop drop and roll Stop doing something else Stop shouting Stop whispering Stop talking Stop being quiet Stop posting cute cat videos Stop forgetting your appointments Stop making plans without me Stop eating all the yummies Stop running Stop the insanity Stop shopping Stop the never-ending commentary in my head Stop stopping Stop

Thanks for making this site and all its suggestions and especially this space to post our work, available!

I wrote from prompt #72 about moonlight. Shining down like a spotlight, Illuminating everything around you. The pure white light, Paint your surroundings in a soft glow. The round ball in the sky, speckled with craters like the freckles on your face. Looking down upon the sleeping earth, A nightlight for those still awake, a nightlight for you. Guides you, pulls you, lulls you towards it. It caresses your face with the light, casting away the shadows of the night.

I liked it I just wrote a small poem dedicated to my tutor and tutor just loved it .I used 21 good bye . I liked it really.😊

I just took up writing so bear with me.

Based on #72 “Moonlight”

A full bed Just the left side filled Soft, cold, baby blue sheets wrap around bare feet

She sweetly invites herself in Dressing the dark in a blue hue through cypress filled air, like 5 A.M. drives in January on the misty Northern coast.

Damp hair dances across grey skin, Waltzing with the breeze to Radiohead’s “How to Disappear Completely”

Euphoria slow dances with Tranquility Heavy eyes give in to sleep

Ladder to the Sky I want to climb the ladder to the sky I’m sure all would be well and that I could fly The ladder would be sturdy but still give me a fright Because looking down I’ll realized I’ve climbed many heights The higher I climb the greater the fall The greater the fall, the greater the sprawl But if i ever get to the sky up high I would be sure to hug you and say “goodbye” Once I’ve climbed the ladder I’ll know Sometimes its okay to look far down below Life is full of failure but soon I’ll find Happiness is a place, and not of the mind We all have ladders to climb and lives to live We all have a little piece of us that we can give Because when we climb that ladder to the sky We should think “No, life never passed me by”

Hi Ray, I love your piece.It gives one courage to face the challenges of live and move on.

Thanks for sharing the prompts Chelle Stein. I wrote this sometimes ago before coming to this site and I believed prompts #1 and #88 inspired my writing it. kindly help me vet it and give your criticism and recommendation. It is titled “SHADOW”.

My shadow your shadow My reflection your reflection My acts your acts

No one sees me,no one sees you Programmed by the Ubiquitous, To act as our bystander in realism

Virtuous iniquitous rises on that day To vindicate to incriminate My deeds your deeds.

Thanks for the seemingly endless amounts of writing prompts. I’ve been working on a poem, but it isn’t much.

She’s got my head spinning, Around and around; She’s all I think about, I can’t help but wondering, Does she feel the same?

Of course not, I’m just a fool; I’m nothing special, Just another person; Bland and dull.

How could a girl like her, love a guy like me? But the way she looks at me, Her smile, I can’t help but to feel flustered; Is this just my imagination?

It must be.

Wow! That’s exactly how I feel! Amazing poem!

Thanks so much, I’m glad you like it. 🙂

A massive thank you to for these amazing prompts. Some of these prompts have now formed the basis of my upcoming poetry collection (Never Marry a Writer) scheduled for release on January 1 2021. I will also be leaving a “Thank you” message for this website in the acknowledgements section. You have inspired a whole poetry collection out of nowhere which is highly commendable. So booktiful that!

That is wonderful news!

So I didn’t use any of the prompts but I wanted some feedback on this; it’s not great but I’m working on improving my writing skills

I am a girl who is broken easily and loves music I wonder if things will ever be normal again I hear light screaming through the darkness I want freedom from the chains trapping me in my fear I am a girl who is broken easily and loves music

I pretend to float in the ocean, letting the waves carry me away from reality I feel a presence of hope like a flame on my bare skin I touch the eye of a storm, grasping the stillness it brings I worry about wars that a spreading like wildfires I cry when I’m not with the people I love I am a girl who is broken easily and loves music

I understand feeling hopeless when you have no control over what is happening I say our differences make us special I dream to be a nurse, to help others when they can’t help themselves I try to do my best in everything I hope that all mankind will stop fighting and live in peace I am a girl who is broken easily and loves music






I wrote a poem based on #101.

Thank you so much for the inspiration!!

And then it was there. What I had been missing. What is it? You may ask. Well, it’s quite simple actually. It’s the joy of music. It’s the joy of sitting down and making music. It’s the joy you feel when you look up at people admiring you. The joy you see in peoples’ eyes. I don’t know why I ever stopped that. The piano sat on the stage. Dusty and untouched. It’d been decades since I’ve seen it. I haven’t come to this stage since I lost her. After the concert. The last time I ever heard her voice. And yet here I am years and years later. Knowing why I haven’t been happy in so long. Of course pain is always gonna be there, But as I played a soft note on the piano, All of it seemed to disappear. It was as if all the weight on my shoulders got lifted. The melodious notes resonated around the hall. And for a few moments, I forgot about all the pain. I forgot about the tears. I forgot about the heartache. And as the last notes echoed around the hall, I was truly happy.

Prompt #92: Coming home with secrets

My mother’s radio sits in the balcony And it greets me with electric static Coming to this sheltering home is somewhat problematic Cause the walls are too thin, and it’s back to reality. Back to the running water that conceals the noise of cracks Crumbling behind my peeling mask, holding my face with wax An unraveled thread masking the makeup smile of a wakeup call That runs down to my chin and I keep under wraps. I take invitations to the mall, yet the space around me seems so small Nevertheless, I show my teeth with a big, shiny grin And suck a trembling breath through their thin slit Happy to wear tight jeans, to stop me from an embarrassing fall. The bath hurts on my skin, but even more to protect screams from the halls My head floats in the water, but feels trapped in its walls It cracks my head open with all these secrets inside me Before a blink of an eye, to my room I’d already flee. Not to the radio playing static or streets that won’t let me be But to under the blankets, where no one can really see The struggle to be a walking, talking, breathing secret That was thrown to the ocean in a bottle, wishing to be free. However, the words untold keep coming like ever so frequent Like adrenalized filled cops in pursue of an escapee delinquent All the more, my doppelganger and I have come to an agreement To take these secrets to our grave, that we nowadays call home.

Recipe for Happiness

Start with friendship, Then add time, A dash of humor, And forgotten binds. Mix it up, Till blended well, And make sure, To remember the smell. Put that bowl, To the side, Grab a new one, Add grateful sighs. Then add family, And a smile, Then sit back, And mix awhile. To that bowl, Add a laugh, A cheerful cry, And blissful past. Whip until, There’s heavy peaks, Then pour in, What we all seek. Combine the two, Then mix it well, Spray the pan, And pour it out. Cherish the memory, The beautiful scent, Of unity, And happiness.

My mother died when I was younger so this poem is about me sitting on the lawn at night shortly after she passed away. I was imagining better times, which is why in my poem I talk about how the girl is imagining ‘walking on the moon’ and she is gripping the grass tight and trying to remember the warmth of her mothers palms.

Sitting in the blue black grass She’s walking on the moon Watching specks of silver dance To the mellow tune Her fingers gripping the grass so tight She can almost feel The warmth of her mothers palms

The winds cold fingers

The winds cold fingers Tousle with my hair Loosening the soil My sobs are carried away on the wind

I would love to share this list (credited to you) with students participating in a virtual library program on poetry. Would that be possible/acceptable? These are great!

Wow! Thank you so much for all these awesome prompts! I’ve written two poems already!

Prompt #1 AND #15, untouchable and less than 25 words. i’m lowk popping off??

Apollo Commands the sun, which squints so brightly, scorches and freckles. i want her hand on mine. searing pain fears, still i reach out, and bubble.

I looked at the word “Duct tape” And thought about it. Its not anywhere in this poem at all but it inspired it yk?

Feathers are Soft

Feathers are soft People aren’t

Plushies are soft People aren’t

Pillows are soft People aren’t

People are mean Not nice Not joyful

well my poem is only loosely based on the second prompt because I found I had too much to say about Sundays. I would love to share it with you but these comments don’t support links.

Inspired by number 55 in list of poetry suggestions. Poem to song guitar chords. —————————————————-

Carnegie Hall

D I was feeling ecstatic G when I went to the attic A and found my auld busking D guitar

D But I felt consternation G I disturbed hibernation A at first it seemed quite D bazaar

D When I blew off the dust G it smelt like old must A but t’was time to give it a D bar

D It was then I heard flapping G which sounded like clapping A my first ever round of D applause

D It stayed with the beat G while tapping my feet A I kept playing despite all my D flaws

D I took early retirement G though not a requirement A “Bad Buskers” all get D menopause

D I’m strumming the strings G and the echo it rings A but no jingling of coins as they D fall

D So I play here alone G as to what I was prone A never made it to Carnegie D Hall

D Time to call it a day G as they used to say A for no encores or no curtain D call

D There’s a butterfly G in my guitar

D There’s a butterfly G in my guitar.

Finn Mac Eoin

23rd July 2022

I love this Finn, where can we listen to your song?

Hello I wrote this in remberence of 9/11. Its now sitting in ground zero. A ordinary day to start  Same as any other Dad goes off to work again, Child goes with their mother. Vibrant busy city,  busses, cars galore Workers in the offices, from bottom to top floor. Throughout our life situations Hard times often do arise, Unfortunatly we never think of saying last goodbyes. That’s exactly what happened on September 11th 2001 A day that turned the world so cold When tragedy begun. Twin towers has exploded Co ordinate attacks, Al-Qaeda behind the planes That seemed to be hijacked. Thousands were killed instantly Some lives hang by a thread, Calls were made to loved ones Onlookers face of dread. Fears & screams while running As smoke fills up the air, News reports on live tv Helplessly they stare. On the news we hear the voices of all who are caught inside, Lying next to injured ones Or sadly ones who died. One man makes a phone call My darling wife it’s me, I’m sorry that I upset you And that we disagreed. My offices have been attacked they’re crumbling to the ground, A massive explosion hit our floor then instantly no sound. If I do not make it I’m stating from the heart, I love you darling, & in your life I’m glad to play a part. Tell the kids daddy loves them Continue well at school, Stand up for all your beliefs Don’t be taken for a fool. The wife is crying down the line Darling please don’t go, I love you darling so so much I’ve always told you so. He replied my darling im feeling really kind of weak, Breathlessly he’s coughing, he can hardly speak. If you ever need me just look up to the stars, I will hear your voices And heal up any scars. Suddenly all was quiet The wife screams down the fone, Darling can you hear me, don’t leave me here alone. The towers live on tv start to crumble to the ground, Clouds of smoke then fill the air The world in shock no sound. Crying at the images of all who has lost their lives , Mums,dad’s , Nan’s & grandads, husbands & wives. Rescue teams included and all those left behind To All who were among them,  all who did survive, All who were injured All who sadly died. Never in this lifetime that day will be the same For ground zero holds the memories Of every single name.

Those hero’s on that awful day who never thought about their life Who fought to save the innocent To keep each sole alive Those who were pulled to safety Those we lost in vein, Never be forgotten The pain will still remain We will never forget that tragedy For the days will never be the same. But may I say with all my heart In God we put our faith United we stand For eternity were safe Amen

This is a beautifully sad poem. You really wrote your way into my heart. <3

I wrote a poem inspired by number 72. Not really sticking to what it said but thought this was kinda close to what it said…

After dusk, the almost eternal night. The dark, winter sky, full of millions of tiny stars. The sky, a color of blue that seems darker than black.

Sunset, full of an array of colors. Purple, orange, pink, and yellow. Nearly all dark blue.

Right as dawn appears, practically the same sunset hours later. Light wispy clouds fill the sky. Orange, pink, and light blue diffuse in the sky as the sun awakens

Wrote one based off the recipe one (I don’t remember which number)

From the Kitchen of: any teenager ever For: Disaster Ingredients: Social anxiety Existential dread A crush Zero sense of self worth A single class together And no social cues

Steps: (Warning: Do NOT do this if your crush is not single) You’re going to try to talk to your crush. Just say hi. If that doesn’t work, don’t go forward with the rest of these steps. Once you’ve talked to your crush, overthink every single thing you said to them. Do it. Then you’re going to decide you’re stupid for overthinking it. Next, you’re going to wait until they begin speaking to you on their own accord. If they don’t, overthink some more. One day you will think your crush is waving to you in the hallway. They won’t be. They’ll be waving to their friends behind you. Play it cool and pretend you’re doing the exact same thing. Run into the bathroom and cringe at yourself. Keep talking to them and try to partner up with them for a project. If they say no, don’t continue further; you’ll only embarrass yourself. If they say yes, say you need their number for the project. Call them “about the project” and eventually segway into other topics. Continue doing this until you guys eventually call all the time for no reason. Ask them out. If they say no, do not, I repeat, do not act like it was a dare or a joke. It ruins everything. Say “oh okay. Well, can we still be friends?” and continue from that point. If they say yes, go on a date with them outside of school before asking them to be your partner. Eventually break up and either get your heartbroken or break someone else’s heart.

And that is how you make an average teenage disaster. Enjoy!

i wrote a poem from number 73: its tiled “perfect” I tried to be perfect I stared counting my calories And eating less And working out more I even spent time heaving over the toilet I tried to be perfect But every calorie i counted Every time I ate less everyday I spent working out and every moment I spent heaving over the toilet ended up turning to counting every calorie and heaving over that toilet after every meal trying to be perfect is pointless I don’t ever wish to be perfect again I don’t want to spend time heaving over that toilet again or counting those calories or eating less everyday to just try to be something that doesn’t exist anyone who try’s to be perfect will just be ruined like I was

#47 “overgrown” The roses look beautiful But they are so overgrown There’s weeds all around it Some are dying Some are living But they are so overgrown If I could pick the weeds And putting down weed killer Will it look better Will it help the ones that are dying But they are so overgrown The living ones are slowly dying Do I pick the weeds Or just leave them But they that will leave them to be so overgrown All the roses are dead now I killed them They were so overgrown that it killed them I should’ve picked the weeds So that they wouldn’t have been so overgrown

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