Ten Ways I Find Inspiration

Ten Ways I Find Inspiration

1.     A tune rolling around in my head that repeats for a good portion of the day might inspire me to write a poem.  It will be like a two line chorus.  Finally, I’ll wake up and realize that the words are a part of a poem and sit down to write.

2.    Other times, I am surfing along and I hit a story or a picture that inspires me and the words just start to flow. As most of you probably know I ran across a photo of a baby in a gutter in China that inspired me to write and the poems came non-stop.  I now have a book being edited called 100 Million Girls, about the extermination of little girls, who are killed after birth because their parents do not want them. 
(See for more information.) 

I read story after story related to this issue and wrote poems from several different angles.  I wrote about how we in the west minimize women and how that is not so far away from the extermination of women in much of Asia, Latin America and few other places in the world.  Just today, I found another website that is having some success in fighting gendercide in China and I was inspired to write a poem about one of their success stories.

3.     I also might pick up a book like Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry (Dos Gatos Press: 2012) and pick a title that interests me. Or, I might look for poetry prompts online.
An example of a poetry prompt I saw the other day in Poets and Writer’s:

Write a poem that begins with a description of a photograph you have in your possession. Delve into the memories evoked by the photograph, or reveal what personal significance the photograph has for you. For inspiration, read Natasha Trethewey's "History Lesson."

4.     Another way I might find a poem is just talking to someone.  I was talking to a Hispanic waitress while having lunch the other day and she told me a quaint phrase her mother used to say in Spanish and it stuck with me.  I came home and wrote a poem using the phrase.

5.     Once I overheard a lady talking about an incident from her childhood in Mexico City that I thought   would make a great poem. I haven’t written that one yet, but it is filed away in my head.

6.      I have written poems about dreams, conversations, trips, and personal experiences.

7.      I was inspired to write a response to the poem that women love by Maya Angelo that swims around the internet, “Phenomenal Woman.”  I wrote “Okay Man” which has not seen near the viral reaction that Maya Angelo’s poem did.

8.      I also write about issues within my family when I am upset, including deaths and illness.

9.      Of course I can be inspired by weather or nature.

10.   I recently took an online class in Visual Poetry so I am looking for poems in paintings and things     lately.

Where do you find your sources of inspiration?

Please Follow Poet on Poetry
Like our Facebook Page at
On Twitter @poetonpoetry
We are also on Google1 and LinkedIn.

I also have another blog I hope you will check out called 100 Million Girls,

Sheree Rabe's personal website is

No comments: