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?

Poetry essay: Questions to ask a poet

Some of you may interview poets.  For example, you might have a blog in which you post interviews with poets whose work you have read.  You might also discover a poet and simply want to know more about them, their work, and poetry.  If something like this is the case, you might be wondering what kinds of questions you could ask a poet during an interview.  Here are some ideas:

Do you recall your first published poem or the first poem you posted online?  What was it?  What was it about?

Sometimes a poet can find themselves writing about the same subjects.  Examples of this might be writing about love or nature.  When you find yourself writing about the same subjects, how do you keep your poems fresh and different from each other?

Do you ever read poems you wrote months or years later?  If so, how do you feel about them when you do?  How do you interpret them?  Did your view of them change over time?

Could you explain a particular poem you wrote (suggest one)?  What is it about?  What does the symbolism mean?

Do you use form in your poetry?  If so, how so?  Do you use traditional forms?  Do you invent forms?  Do you develop a form as you write a poem?

How long does it take you to write a poem?  Do you write them at one time, or do you come back and revise them?

Are your poems more inward looking, focusing on your life and experiences, or are they more outward looking, focusing more on the world and society?

How has your work changed over time?  Are you writing about the same or different things?  How has the expression changed?

What kinds of poetry do you like to read?  What subjects do you like to read about?  What styles of poetry do you prefer?

Do you prefer poetry that is obscure, with a meaning hidden in symbolism, or do you prefer poetry that is overt, where the meaning is clear to the reader?

These are some ideas for questions.  Of course, you could ask other questions.  When asking questions, the idea should be to learn something.  It should be to learn something of value for yourself and for those who might read the answers you get.

If any readers would like to interview M. Sakran (via electronic text communication), please contact M. Sakran using the form on the Contact page.

Poem with an explanation: How long did the falling take?

How long did the falling take?
Down a hill?
From a cliff?
How long did the falling take?


This poem utilizes the experimental poetry form Eighteen Words.  As can be seen, the poem has eighteen words.  Additional form elements particular to this use of the form are:

  • The first and last lines repeat.
  • All lines are questions.
  • The first and last lines each have six words. That is twice the number of words as each of the middle two lines.

This poem is about trying to understand something.  In the poem, one person is asking these questions of another.  The person asking the questions wants to understand what something was like.  The something in the poem is some sort of low state in someone’s life.  This low state could be many things.  It could for example be homelessness or addiction.  The person asking the questions is trying to understand how this state was reached.  Did it happen slowly, like falling down a hill, or did it happen quickly, like falling from a cliff?  The person asking the questions is not intending to be inquisitive or rude, they just want some sense of understanding.