Poetry topic idea: olives

Today’s poetry topic idea is olives.  A poet could write about a number of olive related things.  A poet could write about:

  • Different kinds of olives.

  • Recipes with olives.

  • Curing olives.

  • Eating olives.

  • Growing olives.

  • Olive trees.

  • Olive oil.

  • Places where olives grow.


Here is an example poem using olives:

a bowl on the table
green, black, brown, red
lemon, peppers
now the meal is complete

Poem with an explanation: 3 slices of bread

3 slices of bread
eyes close

steak with seasoning forming a crust
potatoes fried and crispy
peas and carrots with butter
apple pie


In this poem a person is hungry and poor.  All they have to eat is three slices of bread.  In their condition, they close their eyes and imagine the bread to be a dinner of steak, potatoes, peas and carrots, apple pie, and coffee.  The poem generally is about a person in a current condition imagining themselves in a better condition.

Poetry topic idea: soup

Today’s poetry topic idea is soup.  There are a lot of ways a poet could reference soup in a poem.  A poet could write about:

  • Different types of soup.

  • The making of soup.

  • Ingredients in soup.

  • The idea of soup (different ingredients together to make one thing).

  • Stretching the amount of food by making it as soup.

  • Things eaten with soup.

  • Soup vs. stew.

  • Soup as a metaphor.


Here is an example poem using soup:

Is it soup?

served over rice.

Is the answer in how it’s served?
Is it in how it’s perceived?
Is there a technical definition to go by?

Does the answer matter,
or is there more to this
than a name?

Artwork to inspire poetry: Abstract art

Abstract art

The above artwork is abstract art.  It isn’t of anything in particular.  It is a mixture of three colors: orange, yellow, and green.  It isn’t completely random as there was an attempt to fill in all the white space, to have colors in lines around the border, and to use each color in a close to even way.

Since the artwork is abstract, a poet could see many things in it and interpret it in many ways.  A poet might find emotions and ideas in it or see shapes of things in it.  In general, a poet could see what they wanted to in the artwork.

Below is an example poem that uses the artwork and the idea of happy confusion.  This idea comes from the notion that while the colors are in a confusing pattern, they are bright and the pattern isn’t harsh.  Here is the example poem:

a food delivery
to the food bank

so much food
so many kinds
how will it all be sorted?

many will have food

Poetry topic idea: goldfish

Today’s poetry topic idea is goldfish.  A poet could write about a number of things related to goldfish.  A poet could write about:

  • The contrast between goldfish and tropical fish. A poet could contrast the conditions under which they are kept, their size, their colors, and the perception people have of them.

  • The idea that goldfish are ornamental fish. Goldfish are not kept for food and they aren’t kept for another purpose other than looking nice for people.  This idea of being “ornamental” could be examined.

  • Different types of goldfish. Some types are comet, fantail, and the common goldfish.  A poet could learn about each type and their differences and use the ideas in poems.

  • The idea of being common. Some people may view goldfish as common, as compared to more exotic tropical fish.  A poet could examine the idea of commonness and what it means.

  • The existence of a goldfish in a tank. A poet could examine the existence of a goldfish in a tank – a defined space.  They could view it as confining, or they could examine it from the perspective of the size of the space relative to the fish.  They could look at the goldfish’s surroundings, what it eats, and what it experiences.

  • The perception of humans as seen by goldfish. A poet could examine how a goldfish might perceive a person.

Here is an example poem using the idea of goldfish:

sitting in his house
looking out the window
the delivery man
brings the food

Poetry topic idea: sugar

Today’s poetry topic idea is sugar.  A poet could write about sugar in a number of ways.  A poet could write about:

  • Blood sugar. A poet could write about low blood sugar, high blood sugar, diabetes, and other conditions.  They could write about what different conditions are like and what it is like to have them.

  • Sweetness. A poet could write about things being sweet.  They could look at sweetness from a taste perspective and as a description for how a person acts (e.g. a person did something sweet).

  • The idea of an unwritten sound in a word. In the word sugar, there is an “h” sound that is not written.  The word is pronounced “shugar”.  A poet could explore this idea, look at other words with similar sounds, and use it as a metaphor for other things.

  • Foods and drinks that taste sweet.

  • Sugar itself. A poet could explore different forms of sugar and sugar as a chemical compound.

Here is an example poem:

little white crystals
of deception
they entice the eyes
with their sparkle and form
but they lead astray
down a path of pain
if the mouth does take
all that the eyes desire

Artwork to inspire poetry: Vegetables and shrimp with oyster sauce served over rice

Vegetables and shrimp with oyster sauce served over rice

Above is a photograph of mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, and shrimp with oyster sauce served over rice.  It is food as art.  It can inspire poetry.  Here is a poem inspired by it:

There was supposed to be
for dinner
but someone said,
“Eat something else.”
Hmm …
What to do,
with the vegetables
and shrimp?