A photograph to inspire poetry: part of a squash plant

part of a squash plant

Above is a photograph of part of a squash plant.  The focus of the photograph is part of the plant that is new and growing.

An important aspect of this plant is timing.  The photograph was taken in late November.  There is a chance that temperatures will get cold enough in the near future, such that this plant will die.  Although the plant is attempting to grow and have fruit, there is a reasonable chance that it will fail because of circumstances that it can’t control.

This idea can be a metaphor for situations in life and can be used in poetry.  A poet could write about situations where a person makes an effort to accomplish something, but because of the timing and other circumstances, there is a high chance they will fail.

Some ideas a poet could write about are:

  • A person gives a performance right after another person gave a great performance.

  • A person is remodeling a building in a place where a hurricane is expected to hit.

  • A person gets a job at a company that shortly thereafter announces there will be layoffs.

  • A small business releases a product, and shortly thereafter a large company releases a similar one.

  • A person is trying make a large meal, when the power goes out.

A photograph to inspire poetry: a water drop on clover

a water drop on clover

Above is a photograph of a water drop on clover.  It can inspire poetry.  Some ideas include poems about:

  • Thirst.  A poet could see the water drop and think of a person in a situation where they had little water.  A poet could write about that person being thirsty.

  • Singularity.  There is one water drop alone on the clover.  A poet could see that and apply the idea to situations in life.  They could write about people who are unique or alone.

  • Precariousness.  The water drop is precarious.  It could easily fall off or evaporate.  A poet could use the idea of precariousness in a poem.

  • Temporary.  This water drop is temporary.  A poet could write about people in temporary conditions.

  • Support.  The clover is supporting the water drop, but water, in part, supports the clover, although in a different sense.  A poet could write about support in a poem.

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: Orange Bell Pepper Piece

Orange Bell Pepper Piece

Above is an artwork of a piece of an orange bell pepper.  It shows the part of the fruit a person would eat, the pith and two seeds near the top.  This artwork can inspire poetry.  As some ideas, a poet could write about

  • Cooking.

  • The idea of identification. (Is a bell pepper a fruit, a vegetable, a berry, a pepper or a chili?)

  • The idea of acceptability (part of the fruit is eaten, but part is thrown away).

  • The idea of focus. Most of the artwork is taken up by the pith.  This may seem to be an unusual focus.  A poet could apply the idea of what is focused on to life situations.

Here is an example poem:

at the wedding,
someone asked,
about the centerpieces

Artwork to inspire poetry: banana slices

banana slices

This is an artwork of three banana slices stacked together.  It was done with a gray colored pencil, then scanned, and then computer altered.

This artwork can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • The idea of achievement. These banana slices are not stacked straight up.  One rests against another, and another rests against both.  It is almost as if the banana slices were meant to be stacked straight up, but for some reason this was not done.  A poet could see this and use it as inspiration regarding the idea of not quite achieving something.

  • The idea of nonconformity. Again, these banana slices could have been stacked straight up, but were not.  A poet could see this as a metaphor.

  • The idea of haphazardness. These banana slices are stacked in a jumbled, haphazard manner, and a poet could see this and apply the idea to a situation in life.

Artwork to inspire poetry: Seeded half of a Roma tomato

Seeded half of a Roma tomato

This artwork is of a seeded half of a Roma tomato.  It was done in colored pencil and then scanned.  There was a little bit of computer alteration to correct a spot.

This artwork can inspire poetry.  Here are some ideas:

  • A poet might think of food and thinking of using the tomato in recipes or stuffing it. A poet could write about that.

  • A poet might write about infertility.

  • A poet might see this tomato as being prepared and might write about preparation.

  • A poet might think the seeded tomato reminds them of a boat and write about boats.