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20 Writing Prompts to Explore in the Quiet Hours

Writing prompts are an effective tool for writers, whether you are experiencing writer’s block or just looking for new inspiration. Prompts can help you experiment with form and explore themes that you do not typically write about, making them a great way to nourish your creativity. Use them as an opportunity to let your imagination run wild. To get you started, try your hand at these 20 poetry prompts specially curated for the quiet hours of dusk and dawn, when the world feels most still. 


1. What would happen if the trees spoke? What would they have to say about their leaves that fall each autumn? And what would the leaves that stay with them say? Write a poem manifesting their thoughts. 


2. You are cleaning the attic when you find an old box. You open it, and suddenly your family’s behavior begins to make sense. What secret did you discover?      


3. Write a poem that follows this structure: 

Line One: “On the edge of fear, I feel…”           

Line Two: Use the word “levitation”   

Line Three: “And like an ember…” 

Line Four: Beyond the horizon you see…

Line Five: Introduce a hyperbole 

Line Six: Make a comparison between the subject and a flower


4. Start your poem with the last sentence from your most recent read.


5. Pen a sonnet from the perspective of a person exploring a foreign country. What brings them to this new place?


6. Craft a poem that is no more than 20 words long.


7. You are the rain on someone’s skin. Are they comfortable or irritated? Describe the texture of their skin.


8. Do you have a favorite story from folklore or mythology? Interpret one of the characters from a new perspective.


9. Write a poem inspired by your dreams.


10. What do you observe from your window? Let your 5 senses guide you throughout the poem.


11. Your neighbors are whispering about a forgotten legend. When you hear the noises coming from the woods at night, you know it is true.


12. You are surrounded by mist, but you glimpse a distant light. You follow it. Where does it take you?


13. Write an ode to your furry familiar—or any animal, if you do not have a pet.


14. What does home mean to you?


15. Write about the different phases of the moon.


16. Write a poem that has the following construction:  

Line One: “You have stardust because…”

Line Two: “Inside the darkness I found…” 

Line Three: Reference the natural elements 

Line Four: “After you, I am…” 


17. Write about the discovery of a lie. 


18. Draft a poem where you explore an unknown realm.       


19. Imagine that you live behind a mirror. What do you witness in your world of glass? Does anyone perceive you?    


20. Write a prose poem containing the following phrases and elements:    

Use the phrase, “I was born from…”; Draw a parallel between the stars and your scars; Present a fairytale-like scenery; Use the phrase, “In sacred ground I plant…”   


I hope these prompts inspire you to write during the quiet hours of your schedule. The possibilities for exploration are endless—and, who knows, one of these prompts may even act as a muse for future projects. Enjoy, and happy writing!