Poetry topic idea: sleeping

Today’s poetry topic idea is sleeping.  It can inspire poetry. A poet could write about:

  • Dreams

  • Insomnia

  • Falling asleep

  • Waking up

  • Nightmares

  • Death

  • Being half awake

  • Unconsciousness

  • Darkness

  • Beds

  • Nighttime routines

  • Night


Here is a poem that uses the idea of sleeping:

during the night
there was a dream
of one hand
in another

and during the night
as consciousness stirred
the feeling on the fingers
could still be felt

rationalization played
it was only a dream
rationalization played
but what if something caused it?

still in between
the fingers were checked
and for a moment
the feeling was felt

as eyes opened
and the fog lifted
the rational sense
showed nothing was there

but on the fingers
something was felt
and in the darkness
it felt real

Artwork to inspire poetry: Other squash

Other squash
Above is an artwork of a squash.  It is called Other squash, because there is already an artwork called Squash on the blog (although it is a different one).  This artwork is based off of the photograph from the post A photograph to inspire poetry: Squash.

This artwork can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • The game of squash.

  • Squashing something.

  • Squash in recipes.

  • Growing fruits and vegetables.


Here is an example poem using squash:

His hopes were squashed:

 Dear applicant,

 We thank you for applying …

Experimental Poetry Form: strumming fingers

Today’s experimental poetry form is called strumming fingers.

When a person strums their fingers, they might do it with a beat of:

1 pause 2 pause 1, 2, 3

The beat repeats as the person strums.

To translate this to an experimental poetry form, first, there is one line, followed by a line break, then another line, then another line break, then three lines with no breaks.  It looks as follows:


Since the form is based off a beat, the lines have a beat.  For this form, the lines are written in iambic tetrameter.

Since a person would repeat the beat when they strum their fingers, the form repeats three times.

Also the lines rhyme according to their numbers.  The 1 lines rhyme and the 2 lines rhyme in each section.

Here is what the form looks like with *s representing unstressed syllables, /s representing stressed syllables, and letters marking rhyming lines:

*/*/*/*/ A
*/*/*/*/ B
*/*/*/*/ A
*/*/*/*/ B
*/*/*/*/ C
*/*/*/*/ D
*/*/*/*/ C
*/*/*/*/ D
*/*/*/*/ E
*/*/*/*/ F
*/*/*/*/ E
*/*/*/*/ F

Poem with an explanation: the scarecrow falls down

earthquake tremors start
rain falls on an autumn day
the scarecrow falls down


This poem is about a person with low blood sugar.  Their blood sugar has dropped dangerously low.

As this happens, the person starts to shake (earthquake tremors start) and they start to sweat (rain falls), even though they feel cool (on an autumn day).  Their condition worsens, and they collapse (the scarecrow falls down).

This poem is a 5-7-5 haiku.

Poem with an explanation: drought and rain

each day plant leaves wilt
soil turns from grains to stone
the monsoon arrives


This poem is about a common occurrence in people’s lives.  It describes a situation where first a person has nothing to do and then all of a sudden has too much to do.  It is about imbalance.

In the poem, the first two lines describe drought conditions.  The leaves are wilting from lack of water.  The soil is hardening under the bright sun.

These ideas are a metaphor for a person who to some degree is deteriorating because they have nothing to do.  An example of this might be a person who becomes unemployed.  As time goes on, it is possible the person’s condition might worsen.  They might change their sleep habits, their hygiene habits, and their daily routine.  They might do less and less as there seems to be nothing to do.  They might lose their motivation.

The last line of the poem describes a sudden overwhelming change.  In the poem the conditions change from a drought to a monsoon.  The monsoon will be long lasting.  The monsoon will cause flooding.  The monsoon will overwhelm.

This idea is a metaphor for a person all of a sudden having too much to do.  Using the example of the unemployed person, an example situation might be the person all of a sudden getting three part-time jobs.  The person instantly becomes busy.  They have a hard time juggling things.  They have a hard time keeping track of things.

These ideas describe imbalance.  Continuing the example, had the person had two part-time jobs or one full time job the entire time, they would have been in a state of balance.  They wouldn’t have had too little to do or too much.  They wouldn’t have experienced any sudden change.

This poem is a haiku.  It is written in the 5-7-5 style.  The first two lines describe one situation and the last line describes a change in the situation.  It uses nature as a metaphor for a human experience.

Poem: Flying through the dream

You had a dream,
and in the dream,
you could fly,
but not like a superhero,
something about it,
didn’t work.

It was like swimming,
but in the air.
You could fly,
but with effort,
and only so high.

It was like floating,
with balloons,
and you had to push off things,
to move.

Everything felt slow,
and for some reason,
things just didn’t work.

And in the dream,
there was something bad.
There was something,
you wanted to fly away from.

But for some reason,
everything felt slow,
and though you could fly,
you could never get away.

You had a dream,
and in the dream,
you could fly,
but not like a superhero.