A photograph to inspire poetry: green grasshopper

green grasshopper

Above is a photograph of a green grasshopper.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • The designation of a beginner as a “grasshopper”. This idea, for example, is applied to martial arts, where a teacher might refer to a student as “grasshopper”.  It implies the student is a novice.

  • Standing out. This green grasshopper stands out against the white wall.  The idea of standing out could be applied to a number of circumstances.

  • The color green. Being green can imply a person is either envious or ill.  This idea could be used in poetry.  Similarly, the color green is the color of some types of money.  This idea could also be used in poetry.

  • Naming. A grasshopper is named a “grasshopper” because it hops in the grass.  This idea of naming something from what it does could be applied to poetry.  An example idea might be last names that imply professions (e.g. Baker, Carpenter, or Smith).  This notion could be used in poetry.

Here is an example poem inspired by the photograph:

well done grasshopper
but there is further to climb
freshman year is done

Poetry topic idea: measurement

Today’s poetry topic idea is measurement.  There are a number of types of measurements a poet could write about.  A poet could write about:

  • Different categories of measurements. These include things like length, mass, volume, and time.

  • Measurements a person might take of themselves. These could include weight, height, blood pressure, shoe size, and waist circumference.

  • Health measurements. These could be things that might be measured in blood tests.

  • Performance measurements. These could be things like grades, times in races, or employee review scores.

  • Financial measurements. This could be something like a credit score.

  • Social media measurements. These could be things like likes, follows, and views.

  • Television ratings.

When looking at measurements, a poet could examine them from a number of different angles.  For example, if a poet wrote about grades they could view them from different perspectives.  They could write about grades from the point of view of the person designing the thing to be graded, the person grading the item, the person teaching the material to be graded, and the person being graded.  They could look at the validity of grades as a measure of learning.  They could look at different grading categories.

As an example, here is a poem that looks at the measurement grading:

To be placed,
in the above level class,
a score of ninety,
was required.

She got,
eight nine.

Poem with an explanation: the hail storm

the sun rises
as darkness falls
hurrying out
into the hail storm

from the moment the wheels
to the halls of stone
the jackals bite
the hyenas laugh

into the cave
the walls of respite
but only for a moment
then to the storm

the sentinels’ eyes
are turned away
their ears of stone
do not hear

the wheels again
and steps are taken
nightmares continue
during the day

through the glass
the crowd jeers
and comforting hands
are somewhere else

into the night
a place of escape
dreading the moment
of the sun’s return


This poem is about being bullied.  In the poem, there is a little boy who is bullied at school.

The boy wakes up (the sun rises) and the reality that he will be bullied that day hits him as he does (as darkness falls).  In a strange situation, he has to hurry to get ready to go to school (hurrying out), a place he really doesn’t want to go (into the hail storm).

As soon as the bus comes (from the moment the wheels) the bullying starts.  It continues at school (to the halls of stone), where bullies harass the boy (the jackals bite) while their friends laugh (the hyenas laugh).

During lunch, the boy hides in the bathroom (into the cave the walls of respite), but lunch is only so long (but only for a moment) and he has to go back among the bullies (then to the storm).

Teachers in the school don’t seem to notice what is happening (the sentinels’ eyes are turned away their ears of stone do not hear).

When the school day is over, the bus takes the boy home (the wheels again) and the boy walks inside his house (and steps are taken).  Rather than finding relief though, the pain the boy experiences continues (nightmares continue during the day).

The bullies harass the boy through social media while others find it humorous and join in (through the glass the crowd jeers). The boy’s parents, seeing him as weak and not understanding the severity of the problem, don’t provide him any comfort (and comforting hands are somewhere else).

The boy goes to sleep (into the night) and finds some peace in the unconsciousness (a place of escape), but at the same time, he dreads the next morning (dreading the moment of the sun’s return).

This poem is about continued plight.  It is about someone feeling helpless.


If you like poems with explanations, M. Sakran has an eBook of them.  It is called Understanding: poems with explanations.  It is a collection of twenty original poems, with explanations of each of them. The main purpose of the book is to help readers expand their understanding of poetry through the explanations.

The poems in the book cover a variety of topics such as poverty, homelessness, pain, neglect, crime and illness.

The explanations look at the overall meanings of the poems, the meanings of individual parts of the poems, and form in the poems.