Poetry topic idea: temperature

Today’s poetry topic idea is temperature.  There are a lot of ways a poet can use ideas from temperature in poetry.

  • What the temperature is in a certain place depends on a number of factors at the time the temperature is taken. For example, a temperature measured in the sun, will be different than a temperature measured at the same time in the shade.  Similarly, a temperature measured above concrete, will be different than one measured above grass.
    This notion, that something that seems to have one fundamental answer (What the temperature is), doesn’t have just one answer, can be applied to situations in life.

    For example, is a person a good or bad?  The answer to this question might depend on a number things.  It might depend on the moment the person is evaluated, and who is evaluating them.  A person might seem good at one moment and to one person, and bad at another moment to another person.

    A poet could apply this idea in poetry.  They could write about something that seems fundamental, and show how it really depends on a number of things.

  • There are different temperature measurement scales. There is Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin.  Each scale has a use.
    This idea of different measurement scales can be applied to situations.  For example, if something is 15 away, is that close or far?  It depends on 15 what.  15 inches would be close.  15 miles would be far.  The number doesn’t make sense without the scale it is on.

    A poet could take this idea and use it in poetry.  They could show a number of something, for example a grade someone got on a test, and show how the number only has meaning when the scale is known.

  • Temperature can be relative. Is 200 degrees Fahrenheit hot?  For an outside temperature it would be very hot.  As a cooking temperature, it would be relatively cool.
    This idea of relativity can be applied to other things.  Is $50,000 a lot of money?  The answer depends on what it is for, what a dollar buys, and what other people have.

    A poet could take this idea and apply it to poetry.  They could write about something, for example the size of an insect, and show that its size depends on what it is compared to.  The insect would be big compared to somethings, and small compared to others.

  • A number of things can have their temperature taken. For example a person can have their temperature taken.  As another example, a person might measure the temperature of something they are cooking.  This idea of different things being measured can be applied to other things.  An example might be all the numbers that are measured for an athlete.  These would include things like different speed and strength measurements.
    A poet could apply this notion to poetry by using different measurements of something in a poem.  For example, a poet might write about someone’s medical condition by showing different medical measurement numbers the person has.

Here is an example poem using the idea of temperature:


considering the choice,
staying home,
and doing nothing,
sounds better,
than going on a date,
with you.”