Poetry topic idea: Halloween

As today is Halloween, today’s poetry topic idea is Halloween.  Happy Halloween.

There are a number of ways a poet could write about Halloween.  A poet could write about:

  • Trick or treating.

  • Costumes.

  • The history of Halloween.

  • Alternatives to Halloween.

  • Frightening things.

  • Horror movies.

  • Candy.

  • Jack-o-lanterns.

  • Decorations.

Experimental Poetry Form: carried over words

This experimental poetry form consists of one stanza with five lines.  Each of the lines has three words.  From the second through the fifth line, one word carries over from the line before.  Here is what the form looks like with each non-repeated word noted with *’s and the carried over words noted with letters:

* B *

* B F

H * F

H * M

* * M


As can be seen, the second word of line one, becomes the second word of line two.  The third word of line two, becomes the third word of line three.  The first word of line three, becomes the first word of line four.  The third word of line four, becomes the third word of line five.

Here is an example poem:

The pumpkins run!
All pumpkins flee!
You must flee!
You see there –
Halloween is there!

Artwork to inspire poetry: Persimmon


Above is an artwork of a persimmon.  As today is Halloween, it seemed appropriate to have an orange colored produce item as the subject of the artwork.  Rather than going with the traditional pumpkin, a persimmon was chosen instead.

Some poetry ideas that can come from this artwork are:

  • Poems about persimmons. While a fruit might not seem to be a significant topic for a poem, it can be worked into many poems as an object that ties ideas together.  Think of a poem about someone who has died.  A poet could write about a gathering after the funeral where persimmons are in a bowl.  The fruit could be used as a vehicle to examine different subjects.

  • Poems about difference from expectations. This persimmon is not a pumpkin.  It is different from what might be expected.  A poet could use the difference from expectations in poetry.

  • Poems about something new. Maybe some readers may have never tried a persimmon.  This idea of something new could be used in poetry.  A poet could write about a new experience.

Here is a poem inspired by this artwork:

trying to carve a persimmon,
would probably be really hard,
stick to pumpkins

Artwork to inspire poetry: Jack-o-lantern


Happy Halloween!

This artwork is of a jack-o-lantern, as today is Halloween.

The artwork was originally made with charcoal and colored pencil.  That drawing was then scanned and computer altered.

All sorts of pumpkin/jack-o-lantern/Halloween poetry could be inspired by this artwork.  Here is an example haiku:

Looking in the eyes,
as brightness glowed from within,
the children were glad

Artwork to inspire poetry: Jack-o-lanterns


The above is an artwork to inspire poetry.  It is a photograph of two carved jack-o-lanterns from Halloween.

This artwork can inspire poetry in a variety of ways.

First, they could inspire a poet to generally write about Halloween.  Halloween is a very broad topic, and this artwork might help a poet to focus on a jack-o-lantern themed poem.

Secondly, they could inspire a poet to compare two sides of something.  The jack-o-lantern on the left has a pleasant face, while the one on the right has a scary face.  Although they are both jack-o-lanterns, they contrast.  A poet could use this idea and be inspired to write about situations with a similar quality.

Thirdly, a poet could see the carved pumpkins and be inspired to write a poem personifying them.  A poet could write a poem expressing their imagined personalities and feelings.

In addition to these ideas, there are also a variety of other poetic inspirations that could come from this artwork.

A Poem: Happy Halloween

The thirty first at night,
when there is such a fright,

  the pumpkins glow with eyes,
  and spiders weave their webs,
  and sounds are heard around,

and when the clouds do hide the moon,
and it gets dark by time too soon,

  within the homes the candles light,
  and shadows move just out of sight,

the sights of things that walk around,
in eyes and minds that see,
do move in groups and they abound,
to frighten all that be,

  they shriek with sounds and grimace too,
  and then they all exclaim,
  the ‘trick or treat’ they say with glee,
  for candy is their aim!