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What does it take to write good poetry? Is it the knowledge of the form, the ability to mold language to create beauty, or is it purely the basal idea - the foundation on which the poem is written? If it is the latter, is that all it takes? Maybe there is more to poetry, but ideas build poems. We often appreciate the skill with which a poem is written and the beauty in mere words that it expresses, but undermine the idea behind it.

Can a great idea then lead to a brilliant piece of poetry? And does that mean bad ideas lead to bad poems? Not necessarily. One of my favorite poems of all time is by Ogden Nash, and the idea behind that brilliant piece of work, 'This Is Going To Hurt Just A Little Bit', is a visit to the dentist. And we'll probably be in agreement that a dentist's clinic does not come across as the most inspirational of ideas. There is nothing to define an idea as bad or good, but a faulty one can ruin a poem completely. In Bad Ideas by D.H. Tracy, published by Poetry Foundation, he quotes Vikram Seth to have said that if you write a formal poem about olive-picking in February, you had better be sure that olives are picked in February. And nothing could probably be truer. A small mistake stands between a terrible poem and a masterpiece.
Poetry Prompts and Ideas
Anyone who writes poems or has attempted this form of writing will attest to the experience being a truly personal one. Poetry can be inspired by anything and anyone. It can be about a journey that you undertook, an argument you witnessed, or even a newspaper report. The ideas are endless. It is what you do with those thoughts. Do you create something that moves someone to tears or causes them to roll on the floor laughing? The actualization of an idea reveals its true beauty. We give you some ideas that will prompt you to exercise your gray cells.
Telling a Tale
~ Your own life. Put your autobiography in verse form.
~ The conflict in the life of your favorite fictional character and how they resolve it.
~ How you planned an escape from prison for 30 years and how you finally escaped.
~ Retelling the Iliad from Helen of Troy's point of view.
~ The tale of a coin from when it is made in a mint to when it is finally melted down again.
The idea is to...
greek coins
...write a poem that narrates a story in great detail. You can choose to retell epics like Iliad, Mahabharata, etc., in your own style. Or you can write your own verse-story.
It's the perfect style for you if...
greek epic
...you have the inclination to write a poem that may take time and patience. You should also have the ability to maintain continuity and the creative bent of mind to explore someone else's idea with a fresh perspective.
Poem Depicting your own Story
~ A life-changing moment that has shaped you as a person.
~ How you dealt with a situation that would normally worry you.
~ The routine of everyday life.
~ A journey that you undertook to a place you have always wanted to visit.
~ An instance in which you are silent and your senses perceive every moment around you.
The idea is to...
woman lost in thoughts
...take incidents from your own life and create verses around your many experiences.
It's the perfect style for you if...
woman lost in thoughts
...you write your best work if there is a personal touch to it. If you are open to sharing experiences from your life, then explore these ideas.
Emotional Poem
~ The unadulterated feeling of happiness when you are first in love.
~ The jealousy that one can feel at the arrival of a sibling and the mixed feelings thereafter.
~ The heartbreak of losing someone close to you.
~ An intimate moment that you have always treasured.
~ The emotion and nostalgia you feel when you come across a grandparent's old watch.
The idea is to...
lonely boy
...be open about how you feel and how you respond to things emotionally. These poems will need you to delve into your deepest self and be honest about it.
It's the perfect style for you if...
happy couple
...you are in touch with your emotional side and are not apprehensive about letting other people take a peek into how you feel.
Nature Sagas
~ The ugly face of changing seasons.
~ An autobiographical account of a dewdrop.
~ The polarized perceptions of two seemingly similar entities in nature.
~ Nature's plea for attention.
~ The wrath of nature in a demonic form.
The idea is to...
help
...write about how nature affects humankind and how it has a deep and meaningful connection with all living beings.
It's the perfect style for you if...
volcano
...you are deeply moved by nature, enjoy its beauty, and are overwhelmed by how we tend to treat the environment.
Fantasy Poem
~ A situation where you resurrect a Paleolithic man: relate your misadventures together.
~ The story of a fantastical beast with an unlikely destroyer.
~ A day in the life of a unicorn.
~ What would happen if Voldemort had an eighth horcrux.
~ An intergalactic traveler's questions about Earth.
The idea is to...
unicorn
...think out-of-the-box and create situations where none exist. You will be creating your own world and there will be no limits.
It's the perfect style for you if...
antique locket
...you conjure up stories in your head at a whim and if Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings are some of your favorite books.
Funny Poem
~ The funny side of the English language.
~ Pet peeves of a teenage girl
~ Why I can't live without my cell phone.
~ Ten things I learned from Lady Gaga.
~ The conversation between my doormat and the walls when I'm not home.
The idea is to...
internet addiction
...look at the funny side of things and use your wit and humor to create a verse that is pure fun.
It's the perfect style for you if...
express yourself
...you have a funny bone and love to keep everyone laughing with your jokes and stories.
Tragic Poem
~ A bomb expressing its anti-war sentiment.
~ The helplessness of a father who can't feed his children.
~ The gut-wrenching trauma of a child who has lost his family to riots.
~ When you accidentally cause someone's death.
~ A cry for help from a person who is brain-dead.
The idea is to...
straving family
...look at the grimmer side of the world with a sense of maturity. You will need to empathize with your narrator and bring his feelings to life.
It's the perfect style for you if...
woman in hospital
...you are deeply moved by the tragedies that befall people and have a deep sense of empathy. Also you should be able to handle such subjects with sensitivity and maturity.
Note: The ideas here have been categorized for the ease of the reader. These ideas and styles can overlap.

As a poet you need to have the chutzpah to go where few dare to go. It is up to you to look at things in a new light and give them a new life. The ideas we have given you are just stepping stones, prompts that will help you think deeper. Poetry is not a hobby, it's a lifestyle; a lifestyle that can become your entire life. Embrace it. It is as Yeats said,

"A poet is by the very nature of things a man who lives with entire sincerity, or rather, the better the poetry the more sincere his life. His life is an experiment in living... [it is no little thing] to accept one's own thought when the thought of others has the authority of the world behind it."