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Section 2: Inspiration

To write a poem, you must have a subject to write on. This section covers some methods for discovering ideas to write about.

27. Open a book.
28. Think about a painting, sculpture or other art.
29. Research people in history.
30. Open your mind to random thoughts.
31. Write something descriptive about where you are.
32. Read a newspaper or magazine and base your poem on an article.
33. Base it on a life event of yourself, or of someone else.
34. Base a poem on a dream you had.
35. Play a game.
36. Elevate and celebrate something mundane.
37. Take a walk in the woods. Go row a boat. Get inspired by nature.
38. Write about someone you respect who shaped your life.
39. Write about a childhood memory.
40. Write about change.
41. Write from a viewpoint people don't normally see about an occupation.
42. Compare and contrast.
43. Parody!
44. Commemorate a special event in a life or history.
45. Investigate urban legends.
46. Base a poem on wordplay such as puns or double entendre.
47. Make up a character that is an author and let him or her do the writing.
48. Write as a companion piece to accompany a play or novel or other artwork.
49. Tell the same story from a different perspective.
50. Fall in love.
51. Ask someone else what to write about.
52. Exorcise your demons!
53. Turn it upside down.
54. Take a ride.
55. Fill in the alphabet.
56. Write a book requiring poems to illustrate points.
57. Write a vocabulary stretch poem.
58. Cheer up a friend!
59. Make fun of yourself.
60. Talk with a friend and listen.
61. Write your dreams as having come true.
62. Get religion!
63. Write about an ancestor or relative.
64. Challenge yourself to write in a style new to you.
65. Incorporate a phrase you hear and like.
66. Honor a veteran.
67. Craft a magical spell.
68. Sneak up on your subject.
69. Get things “not quite right.”
70. Think like an alien.
71. Create a frisson.
72. Pay attention to life.
73. Fixate on the details.
74. Look at other writings with poem or song-length ideas.
75. Eavesdrop.
76. Try a catalog poem.
77. Write about recent inventions.
78. Go back to your unfinished poems and songs.
79. Write about a previous incarnation.
80. What’s the word of the day?
81. Envision the future.
82. Start a company offering custom poetry.
83. Use pre-existing rhyme words.
84. Write about a friend or pet.
85. Write something for a child.
86. Context is everything, but lack of context is more fun.
87. Get a metaphorical dictionary.
88. Look at the eyes alone.

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