Poetry topic idea: simplicity

Today’s poetry topic idea is simplicity. A poet could use simplicity in a poem in a variety of ways.

First, a poet could write a poem with simplicity.  This might take the route of a poem with very few words that expresses an idea in a clear way, or, it could take the route of a poem that looks simple, but in reality required a great deal of work.

Second, a poet could write about things that are done or approached with simplicity.  An example of this might be cooking.  A poet could look at cooking where simplicity was the focus.  Another example might be art.

Third, a poet could look at simplicity in terms of an overall approach to life.  They could look at things like downsizing and reducing commitments and responsibilities to have a more simple life.

Fourth, a poet could examine something with simplicity.  They could look at something complex and try to see and describe it in a simple way.

Fifth, a poet could look at things that are simple.  This might be something like a basic math problem (e.g. 2 + 3 = 5) or something like a square.  They could look at the simple thing and either see it from a place of appreciation or see it from a place of hidden complexity.

Here is an example poem using the idea of simplicity:

circles are simple in a way

a circle can be drawn
with a pin
a string
and a crayon

it’s simple

it’s just a basic movement

but there’s more there

there’s those equations you learned as a kid

the radius, times some number called pi, equals the circumference

that pi number, times the radius squared, gives the area

this is really complex in a way

this always works
for every circle

think about that

if something meets the definition of a circle
(whatever that may be)
then these equations
always work


think about that

wouldn’t you think
that at least once
in one case
they wouldn’t work?

wouldn’t you think
that by varying the length of the string
that somehow
you could find a time
when they wouldn’t work?

but no
they always work





it’s kind of a circular thought
if you think about it

Artwork to inspire poetry: ten circles

ten circles

Above is an artwork of ten circles.  It can inspire poetry.  Here is a poem inspired by it:

water marks
can tell a story
not of carelessness
or not using a coaster
but of people
and memories
and time that has passed

you might be able to remove them
with a towel
and an iron on low heat

would you really want to?