Three Ways to Craft a Poem If You’re out of Ideas

Go to Poets & Writers and check out their writing prompts. They have innumerable resources for getting started on writing.


3-Try Making a “Found Poem”


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Try what’s called a ‘Found Poem.’ A Found Poem takes existing texts and reorders them, whether it’s a sentence, several words, or several passages. You can take from one paragraph or an entire book; do as you wish. As an example, check out Ezra Pound’s, Cantos. He includes letters written by presidents and popes, as well as an array of official documents from governments and banks.



2-Try Making a STRUCTURED Poem


Sometimes structure and boundaries help creativity flourish— try a ghazal, a pantoum, or Jericho Brown’s invented form called the duplex. The ghazal and pantoum structure can be looked up at Poetry Foundation.


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1-Try Making an erasure!


Erasures! Rip a page from a leftover magazine or book you no longer need, and slowly cross out words then string the leftover ones together and create a poem by, you got it, erasing words.


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If all else fails: 5-7-5.  Or 5-3-4. The syllabic structure of an American haiku is relative. Write three of those and you have a three-stanza poem!




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