Although it might still feel like summer in some cities, the autumnal equinox (Sept. 22) signals that fall has officially arrived. To help you get into the fall spirit, we’ve compiled a list of seasonal poetry prompts. Reference these ideas throughout the season to spark your creativity!
Draw inspiration from fall gardening.
If you’re growing vegetables and herbs this season, you can easily find writing inspiration from fall gardening. Whether you’ve placed a few pots on your windowsill or cultivated a couple of plots in your yard, observe your plants’ behavior. For example, notice how squash and pumpkin plants trail on the ground, contrasting with summer tomato plants, which stretch toward the sun. What broader themes can you pull from such differences?
Consider how these seasonal plants may parallel experiences in your life. Do you feel more grounded during this season compared to summer? Looking to the natural world can provide a wealth of creativity for your poetry practice.
Write about seasonal foods and family.
Harvest soups, pumpkin bread, and hot apple cider. Need we say more? Fall is known for cozy, warm foods and drinks. Celebrate the season by writing about your favorite fall food or beverage. Food often serves as a vehicle to bond with loved ones and create joyful memories, so think about how you can connect this subject to a beloved experience or emotion.
Cooking and eating food is also incredibly sensory. In what ways do rich, layered smells and flavors transport you back to meaningful moments? Capture this in a poem by describing your senses in detail: how the aroma of a fall dessert baking in an oven wafts through your house, with smells of cinnamon and pumpkin lingering in the air.
Alternatively, is there a fall recipe in your family that’s been passed down through generations? Imagine your great-grandparent baking your family’s favorite pie, for example. Write a poem from their perspective. How might their experience be different from but still connected to your own? Use this theme as an opportunity to consider the ways in which your culture and heritage influence your life.
Explore how natural landscapes change.
As summer comes to a close, natural landscapes transition for autumn. Leaves change color and fall to the ground, slowly decomposing and nourishing the earth. The air around us cools and becomes less humid.
Many poets find inspiration in these changes, drawing parallels between the natural world and one’s own individual experiences. Use nature metaphors, such as falling leaves, to illustrate a life change or transition. To help you choose a theme to explore, reference both modern and classic fall poetry.
Whether you’re a beginner poet writing for self-care or an experienced writer searching for inspiration, fall provides numerous poetic avenues to explore. From life changes to seasonal foods to beloved family memories, let autumnal themes guide your poetry this season.