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Therapeutic Poetry Prompts

There’s no doubt that poetry can be therapeutic, but what exactly makes that so? Here are general ideas for poems to muse over. I’ll try to keep these flexible and interesting for you, along with reasons poetry is so helpful to me emotionally.

One tip before we start – it’s important to write about what you hold dear to your heart. A poem won’t be interesting for you to write about if you aren’t emotionally invested in it. The exception being a topic that you’re interested in; one that you’re passionate towards intellectually and wish to learn more about; just do your research first!


I have a habit of being philosophical in my free time; be it taking a walk or sitting on a bench. My inspiration comes from nature and its inhabitants; including people, animals, structures and plant life.  It’s the beauty of nature that inspires me; even the aspects of nature that are less than attractive to me inspire a sense of appreciation for the world I live in. Find your source of inspiration. Here is your prompt:

The trees are naked and covered in snow.

How would you describe this in a poem? The first thing that comes to mind is a woman in a robe after her morning shower. I could make this about women, but this is my favorite idea – “The branches take on the shining of the sun to resemble lightning as its bright rays reflect off the snow.” The quote could be rewritten into a poem if you’d like! Now, this sort of poetry is therapeutic to me because the use of eloquent language, and succeeding in using language eloquently, fills me with pride and joy. These emotions may help to stave off sadness or inspire me to share that joy with the world, be it through my personality or just more writing. Here’s one answer for the therapeutic effect writing has on you – you’re expressing an appreciation for the world you live in.


With this first prompt, I was inspired while in a car with my a friend and happened to see a sunlit tree in the winter. I didn’t describe the tree exactly because I tend to put nature on a pedestal; my more romantic style of writing tends to shine through when I create. (That’s why I encourage you to find a period in the history of poetry that you like and borrow its ideals!).

The look of leaves on a sunny day of spring, underneath a large tree. (find the poem this inspired here: https://readyourselfpoetry.com/how-to-write-poetry/ )What stands out for you here, when you’re outside reading a book or sitting underneath a large tree? (The very act of doing so may be therapeutic to you.) This is what this prompt inspired in me – “The leaves kiss my lids with sunlit lips.” Here’s another answer – you’re reliving the past. If they’re bad memories, you’ll still feel some level of catharsis because you’re letting those feelings go through poetry.


The last way that poetry can be therapeutic is that you’re living your life the way you want to. Poetry gives you the power to change your perspective on life with just words on a page. Your identity unsheathes itself as you write and you can use that as your sword against adversity. The more you know about yourself, the stronger you’ll become as a person.

I feel that poetry is more impactful than other forms of writing because the writer is forced to fit such a poignant message in a compact form. Read my other articles for good tips on how to write. 🙂


Thanks for reading!

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