Gray skies, chilly air, and bare branches. Unlike the bright growth of spring and summer or the colorful scenes of fall, winter can often feel dull and lifeless—but there’s much to appreciate about our natural world throughout the season. To help you connect with the outdoors and inspire your writing during this last leg of winter, we’ve created a list of nature-themed poetry prompts.
Write a poem inspired by a walk in the woods
Spend some time outside by taking a stroll in the woods. A forest provides endless creative inspiration, especially during winter. Get inspired to write a poem by mindfully observing your surroundings: the babbling sounds of a flowing creek, warm light reflecting off water, or branches crisscrossing, creating unique shapes. Maybe you can pull inspiration from the expansiveness and openness of winter woods, seemingly stretching on forever. In what ways can you transform these natural elements into metaphors about your own experiences? To spark your creativity, check out these poems that celebrate nature.
Write a poem about birds
Have you ever stepped outside, heard a bird chirping in the distance, and instantly felt more at ease? Or maybe you’ve watched in awe as a flock of birds flew high above your head, moving perfectly in sync. Since birds are some of the most visible—and audible—wildlife during winter, consider writing a poem appreciating these diverse, complex animals. For example—it’s easy to feel stuck throughout the season, so you might feel drawn to explore freedom as a theme, using flying birds as a metaphor.
Write a poem about leaves, focusing on beginnings and endings
Leaves grow, change color, and, eventually, fall and decompose, providing nourishment for the earth. They represent cycles of life and death as well as beginnings and endings, which makes leaves an interesting subject to explore in poetry. Ask yourself how cycles of death and rebirth have manifested in your own life. Consider exploring an ending you experienced that provided fuel for a new beginning, similar to how a dead leaf fertilizes soil, allowing plants to grow and thrive in the following season.
Write a poem exploring your favorite memory of snow
When we think of winter weather, snow usually comes to mind. To capture this beautiful aspect of nature, write a poem about the first time you saw snow. Explore your feelings about this experience—maybe it’s wonder or shock or joy—and paint a vivid picture of the scene: the biting cold in the air, the feeling of snow crushing beneath your boots, the sounds of laughter as you throw your first snowball.
Hopefully, these prompts inspire you to connect with nature on a deeper emotional level. Although it’s tempting to simply look toward spring, poetry proves inspiration can be found in any season. As this season comes to a close, spend these last winter weeks investing in your creativity by writing poems. Stay warm, and happy writing!
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