Poetry topic idea: water

Today’s poetry topic idea is water.

Water can seem like a basic thing, but it can be complex if a person thinks about it.  There are a number of things about water a person can use in poetry.  Some of them include:

  • The fact that water exists in all three phases (solid, liquid, and gas) under normal conditions. This is different than most other substances.
    A poet could use this idea directly or relate it to other things.  An example might be a poem about a woman who is a wife, mother, and daughter all at the same time.

  • Water is a solvent. Although it may not seem like it, most things dissolve in water if given enough time.
    This idea of dissolving could be used in a number of ways in poetry.  For example, a poet could write about people who work at a dead end job.  They could describe the people as dissolving into the place.

  • Water is fundamental. Virtually every living thing needs water in some capacity to live.  This idea of being fundamental could be used in poetry in a number of ways.  A poet could write about a number of things they perceive as being fundamental.

  • Water is destructive. Water can be destructive in major ways.  Think of floods, storm surge, and storms.  Water can also be subtly destructive.  Think about slow water damage to the structure of a house.
    A poet could write about these ideas directly or they could apply them to other things.
    A poet could apply the idea of major destruction to a life changing situation in someone’s life.  For example, if a person loses their job, all of a sudden their life has been damaged.  A poet could write about this and compare the unemployment to a flood or storm.
    The notion of subtle destruction could be applied to relationships.  Maybe one person causes another person to experience stress.  This stress could build slowly over time with each encounter.  This idea could be compared to the subtle way water damages a structure.

Here is an example poem using the idea of water:

the desert winds blew
so many months with no rain
then he got a job


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