Poetry topic idea: lists

Today’s poetry topic idea is lists.  A person can make lists of a number of different things.  Sometimes lists are mundane and sometimes lists are significant.  There can be meaning in a list and this can be something that can be expressed in poetry.

A poet could write a list as a poem.  They could think of a meaning to incorporate in the list.  For example, they could have a grocery shopping list for someone who was recently widowed.  They could write what the person might buy and show how the person altered their selections because of their situation.  They could have meaning in the different items on and not on the list and meaning in the title of the poem or in something within or after it.

Below is an example poem as a list.  Read it and see if you can understand the idea within it.

breakfast on the porch
go around the driveway
sit outside
work on puzzle
make a call
watch a show
have lunch
sit outside
read a book
watch a show
fold clothes
wash dishes
have a snack
go around the driveway
read a book
have dinner
watch a movie

Poem with an explanation: walking nowhere

walking miles
but getting nowhere


This poem is specifically about a person trying to lose weight by walking on a treadmill.  Over time, the person walks many miles but loses no weight.  The “getting nowhere” part refers to the person not achieving what they desired, but also to the idea that they are in the same place while walking on the machine.  The idea was to use the phrase symbolically and literally.

More generally, the poem is about effort without result and could be symbolic of many experiences.

Poem: grilled cheese sandwich

in the pan
let it melt
low heat.

some dry mustard.

lots of options
have you tried

Another slice.





Maybe a few more times.
It’s a process.

When the color’s right
and the cheese is melted
and there’s that smell.


Are you going to make one now?


It’s understandable.

A photograph to inspire poetry: a woodpecker near a hole in a tree

a woodpecker near a hole in a tree

Above is a photograph of a woodpecker near a hole in a tree.  It can inspire poetry.  Here is a poem inspired by it:

what’s the focus here,
might depend on perspective

is it
the woodpecker
searching for food?

is it
what the woodpecker’s searching for

is it
the tree
that has a hole?

is it
the leaves
that somehow got there?

is it
the rest of the tree
that isn’t shown?

it might depend
on perspective

Poem: What’s for dinner?

What’s for dinner?
This is an interesting question.
The answer can say a lot.

Think for a moment
about what’s for dinner
and about what that might mean.

What does it reveal?
What does it mean in a larger sense?

It sounds simple.

What’s for dinner?

There can be a lot
on the plate of the answer though.



Note: There will not be a new blog post on the blog on Monday June 8, 2020.  The next new post will be on Tuesday June 9, 2020.