7 November Poetry Prompts to Inspire Your Creativity
It’s autumn, and the leaves are turning shades of crimson, yellow, bronze, orange, and brown. They fall to the ground, and as we walk and step on them, we are reminded of the changing seasons, the call of the wild turkey, and the act of giving. November is when we harvest our lives and our poetry: It’s a great time to revise or begin creative projects. Below are seven prompts to inspire you to write and appreciate how far you’ve come.
Walk around a forest, a park, or even your neighborhood, and grab a few fallen leaves. Notice the crinkling sound of the leaves, the texture of their veins, and the way they curl up when they’re dried and decaying. Write an image poem with vivid verbs and concrete nouns. Reflect on how everything in life changes and how change is a constant in our lives. What does that make you feel? Find a way to show these emotions through concrete writing. Refrain from “telling” in this image poem.
Write a narrative prose poem using a Thanksgiving memory from your childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, then use a memory from a dinner with friends or family. Write this poem as a scene with dialogue. Focus on conflict, and illustrate the trouble in this scene using the elements of plot. What epiphany or changes did you and your family members go through, and what did you learn from this experience?
GRATITUDE WITH ATTITUDE
Gratitude is not just about saying positive words: It’s about feeling and meaning what you are saying and being truly thankful for what you have. Gratitude is about putting aside everything you don’t have in this moment and embracing your blessings, because the truth about life is that everything changes, and one day you won’t have what you may be taking for granted.
Write a list poem about ten things you are grateful for, and focus on literary language as you write it. Then say this poem out loud, and feel the abundance that comes with appreciating everything that is great about your life.
2020’s November election will be remembered as a time when United States citizens voted in record numbers to support democracy. I voted in person, and I wrote a prose poem about my experience. Having a personal experience with voting or being part of an activist movement can motivate us to become passionate about politics. That’s why feminists in the 1960s and ’70s said, “the personal is political.” The idea behind this poetry prompt is to embrace the ways politics and the government affect our lives—so if you are driving home and are bombarded by campaigners rallying, or if you are affected by a racist or sexist law, write a poem that focuses on how the personal is political and vice versa.
Walk around your neighborhood or city park and look for flyers, brochures, and scattered notes. Write a found poem with the words that you encounter. Of course, be cognizant of COVID-19, and wear gloves and a mask to safely do this writing exercise.
Write a poem about your favorite sweater or your favorite thing about fall, such as your favorite desserts. Do you like pumpkin pie? Write a poem where you focus on the taste, texture, and smell of your favorite dessert.
Visit your local farm, and write a poem inspired by an adventure. You can explore a cornfield, a sunflower field, or a pumpkin patch. Every year—even 2020—brings its pros and cons. What have you harvested this year?
You can also visit a pond and reflect on transcendentalism. The purpose of this prompt is to get you outside and away from the desk. Being a part of nature can be uplifting and get the creative juices flowing.
I hope these prompts inspire you to write poetry and encourage you to enjoy the fruits and harvest of November.