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Ink and Paper: Beautiful Poetry Prompts Inspired By Writers

Updated: Feb 27, 2022

When you're facing a blank document and a blinking cursor that seems to be mocking you, poetry prompts are a great way to get those words flowing.

This post includes 6 writer-themed poetry prompts that'll help you pen down your next great poem while embracing that inner poet within. There's a moodboard at the end for some visual cues.

Feel free to use these phrases or words (if applicable) in your poems. Or sit with me as we delve into each word and string out your next composition. Whichever method inspires a poem out of you!

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Ink and Paper: 6 Writer Themed Poetry Prompts by Suchita Senthil Kumar for The Poetry Cove. Black text on white background with a black polished typewriter to the left. Red flowers sit atop the typewriter.
Photography: Laura Chouette

1. Bleeding Ink Pen

Write a poem through the eyes of an ink pen. Who holds the pen and what does the person write with it? Is the ink pen going to be passed on from one generation to another? If yes, how does the new owner use it differently?

Think about the metaphors you choose to incorporate in this poem. Here's a Pin on nib anatomy for some inspiration!

2. Pressed Flowers Stained With Ink

I had placed some jasmines and wildflowers in between the pages of my notebook two months back. I opened the book today to see the flowers pressed with ink stains on their petals. It was such a beautiful moment for me to see my words painted over the translucent skin of my dried jasmines. Employ the line 'pressed flowers stained with ink' in one of your poems!

An open book against warm sunlight with pressed flowers between the pages
Kelly Sikkema

3. Pen Sharp As A Sword

Write a poem birthed out of rage and controversies. Turn the anger you feel in your bones into art. Be harsh and delve into catharsis. Use your pen like it's a sword.

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.” - Margaret Atwood

4. A Writer's Best Friend

Many writers love drinking a cup of coffee as they type out their poems. I have a favourite olive-green ink pen that I write with, especially when I can’t seem to find the right words. Pinterest boards, Spotify playlists, Trello cards—you get the picture. Compose a poem inspired by these 'friends' of ours.

You could also go with an alternative approach to the prompt and think about which value or virtue is a writer's best friend. Patience, passion, persistence. What according to you, is a writer's best friend?

'Write without fear. Edit without mercy.' Text on a clay tablet against a blurred succulent plant pot.
Photography: Hannah Grace

5. Writer's Block

Craft an entire poem that revolves around the dreaded writer's block. How will you describe it? What senses do you associate with it? Is it a battlefield or a quiet therapy session?

Now, consider how the writer evolves when fighting the Block away. Are there any steps or stages to it?

Use these ideas in your next poem!

6. Scribbles On The Margins

Find an old notebook and look for phrases you've scribbled on the pages. What have you written?

I’ve scribbled down a reminder to drop my books at the library before 6:00 PM. Lyrics from my favourite song back in 2014. A doodle of flowers that had to endure the wrath of an angry pen cutting the drawings out later. A half-written poem.

What do you see in the margins of your notebook? Compose a poem inspired by them.

At The Poetry Cove, there are so many options for you to safely share your poems. You can get feedback from other poets, submit it to the Radio, and be featured too. Your poems will be considered for Poem of The Month and The Cove's Sunday Spotlights.

If you write a poem using any of these prompts, I highly encourage you to share them in this forum for us all to read!

I hope these prompts inspire you to craft a poem you're proud of!

Moodboard with typewriter and pen images

January Prompt Winner: Mythology Themed Prompts

A few Covers shared their poem responses to January's Mythology themed prompts. I loved reading each and every one of them and found it so hard to choose one for the feature.

Please don't be disheartened if your poem didn't make it to the feature this month. I encourage you to submit again in the future.

With that away, the winner of this month's feature is Rob Edwards for the poem Red Kite Sonnet! Many congratulations and I hope you keep writing more poems inspired by your culture.

Welsh choirs lament of rare Red Kite banished

from ancient landscape of mountain and vale

Finest forked tail, black wingtips vanished

Can red emblem return, tall Phoenix tale?

Ranging over the heads of the valleys

Skimming the Southern sky, King Arthur's seat

Brecon, Black Mountains to St. David's Abbey

Perfect panorama, wing beat deplete

Rising up, mother Snowden is waiting

Wondrous wingspan, shadow mountain no more

Menai Strait's killer currents are hating

their red raptor missing, from Ynys Mon

Returning Red Kites are teaming, russet feathers are gleaming

Can Cymru identity flourish once more?

Resurgent Red Dragon is rising, no longer dreaming

Will Brythonic Bards return to their shore?

- Rob Edwards |@hedgehogggthepoet

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