Writing Prompts

No Idea But In Snacks

Marcus Myers

“No idea but in things,” stated 20th century poet William Carlos Williams, who painted pictures hinting at entire worlds with his simple, image-rich word choices. We see this image-driven strategy for writing a poem with ideas already ingrained within nouns/verbs/things in his short poem, below:

Since little things like farm equipment, rain drops, and chickens can bring larger spaces and ideas to mind, let’s celebrate that right now with A POEM ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE SNACK.

Our only rule: no ideas but in snacks, I would say to my daughter or students just to count how many eye-rolls I’d get.

Seriously, though, first read this phenomenally good poem about the world according to a CHEESE PUFF CONNOISSEUR and award-winning poet, Benjamin Garcia. Next, think of a favorite snack. Then, just as Garcia does, describe and express some ideas and feelings you associate with this delicious hand- and mouthful.


Marcus Myers lives in Midtown Kansas City and advises gifted & talented students at North Kansas City High School, where he also teaches dual-credit College English classes through UMKC; additionally, he teaches composition classes at UMKC and MCC. A founding co-editor of the online literary journal Bear Review, his writing and poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Cortland Review, The Common, Hunger Mountain, The Florida Review, Mid-American Review, The National Poetry Review, Pleiades, Rhino, The Rumpus, Salt Hill, Sink, Tar River Poetry and other such journals.

More Poetry Prompts

Write a poem inspired by:

    • your favorite color

    • your neighborhood

    • an object you found in your house

    • a family tradition or ritual (could be something you do annually, monthly, weekly, or daily)

    • a favorite summertime moment

    • a dream you've had

    • your favorite place in Kansas City

    • breakfast

    • a vacation spot you loved

    • your family history

    • a favorite recipe

    • springtime

    • your favorite band or singer

  • Write a haiku. To learn more about the form, visit: 

  • https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/haiku-or-hokku

  • Write a poem that incorporates 5 random word you found online (or in the dictionary, if you have one)

  • Use the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on the Google homepage to get inspired by an unexpected topic or idea

  • Write a poem about your greatest fear

  • Create an erasure from a favorite text, or any text you can find (a fragment from a book, newspaper article, lyrics from a song). An erasure is a collaged poem comprised entirely of words or phrases taken from other sources.

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