Writing Prompt: Music and Emotional Expression

Hey, everyone! I have a quick and simple prompt for you.  I’ve been spending lots of time on study playlists, using them as background noise while I work, and I think I speak for everyone when I say sometimes the songs without lyrics are the most expressive.  I want you to pick a new atmospheric/acoustic/etc. song with no lyrics, something you’ve never listened to before.  Give Spotify a go, and listen to the song once, all the way through.  Write down words which you attribute to the song: emotions, nouns, verbs.  If the song has arcs of sound which make you experience different feelings from the last, mark each section as a distinct word bank.

Now, try and create a narrative or an overall message from those words/feelings.  Keep listening to the song, and let the words you chose shape the poem along with the song.  As for an example, here’s my snippet inspired by “Rice Rain” by Cashmere Cat:

word inspiration: baby feet, toads, puddles, and tall grass


toddling father figures toppling

green stalks between pudgy mushroom feet

she sings along to the toad’s lazy burbling

the field mice tickle her

cheek with wispy peachfuzz whiskers

alongside sinews of cattails


no longer necessary attendees,

no need to spend money when

time and treesap serve her

intangible cakes with candle-stems embedded

muddy puddle-water becomes sherbet punch

gullible girls with fey hearts.


Comment with your own writing based on the prompt, or let me know if this exercise helped you at all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.