Here at Read Poetry, we’re big proponents of self-love. From bringing you ways to celebrate yourself with poetry to poetic methods for emotional healing, we believe poetry can help you protect and build upon your most important relationship. With scientific proof that making time for your hobbies and passions can make you happier and improve your self-image, lean on writing as your self-love ritual. Start with these six prompts.
Meditate on the details.
Studies show that savoring life’s small moments, as well as taking time to be mindful and observant, can increase joy and confidence. Write down your favorite qualities, digging deeper than just what’s on the surface. Pick one or several to expand into a poem. For a natural fit, experiment with the list poem as a form.
Explore the ode.
You might know an ode as a declaration of praise and strong sentiment. While this marks a starting point, odes actually fall into three more specific and structured types: the Pindaric, the Horatian, and the Irregular. Explore the different forms here, and pick one or more to write about yourself. Pushing yourself to write in a form can be a fun, fulfilling exercise to revel in your full poetic power.
Write a letter to yourself.
Have you ever heard of an epistle? Also called a letter in verse, writing one can prove intimate and personal. Make the epistle your own: Opt to write a letter to your past or future self, a self in an alternate reality, or any version who brings you closer to your many sides and facets.
Tune into—and write from—your body.
Poet Alexandria Peary often starts her writing practice with a technique she calls yoga for hands. It encourages writers to recognize the true magic of writing as a full-body endeavor, combining thoughts, emotions, and physical activity. Finding comfort and creativity in both your body and your craft can cultivate self-love.
Romance yourself with poetry.
Love stands out as one of poetry’s most prominent subjects. People often write love poems for others, but you can reclaim the topic for yourself. What do you love about yourself? How could you fall more deeply in love with yourself?
Write a recipe for self-love.
Writing a poem in the form of a recipe is a popular exercise because it invites writers to welcome an interesting structure, active verbs, and a built-in metaphor system. All of us have varying and intensely individual self-care routines. What are the ingredients of yours? What about their order, timing, and desired results? Write a recipe, and vow to replicate it just as often as your favorite comfort food.
Need more prompts? Keep writing and reading your way toward radical self-celebration. You deserve it!