Sometimes when I sit down to write a poem, I have an exact idea of what I want it to be. Other days, the words don’t come so easy. I’ll open my computer and stare at the cursor blinking on the tauntingly blank page.

Recently, I was invited to teach poetry to a 5th grade creative writing class. I showed up that day with a stack of worksheets. On the worksheets, the format for an autobiographical poem was printed. The kids laughed at the simplicity of the outline and set to filling them in. What none of us expected were the earnest, complex, and sometimes heartaching words that they would use to fill in the lines on the paper.

You’re probably not in 5th grade. I know that. I also know that you definitely have something to say that is unique to your experience and your life. Here’s a little throwback to 5th grade to get you started. It will inspire you more than you think.


line 1: your first name

line 2: four adjectives that describe you

line 3: son/daughter/brother/sister of

line 4: lover of (three people or ideas or a combination)

line 5: who feels (three sensations or emotions)

line 6: who finds happiness in (three things)

line 7: who needs (three people or things)

line 8: who gives (three things)

line 9: who fears (three things)

line 10: who would like to see (three things)

line 11: who enjoys (three things)

line 12: who likes to wear (three things)

line 13: add anything you want

line 14: your last name

Contributing Editor

Fortesa Latifi is a 21-year old poet. Her first book, This Is How We Find Each Other was published through Where Are You Press in 2014. She hopes you find something good here. She knows you will.