An example of 20th century music that incorporates the ubi sunt motif is Pete Seeger’s 1960s folk song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” Ubi sunt is also seen in Tolkien’s poem in The Two Towers: “Where now the horse and the rider?” (based on the 10th century poem “The Wanderer”).
Begin by making a list of questions about things that are gone. Reflect on your list; if it’s very long, pare it down to a specific theme or content area. Then work the list into a poem. Experiment with stanzas, and plan how many lines in each, or use a stichic (one stanza) format. Add a simile or metaphor. Think about the sound of your poem (the music in it!), and incorporate some alliteration, assonance, or internal rhyme. Work for a sense of immediacy. Watch out for “ing” endings and too many adjectives. Keep your language fresh – avoid clichés. Remember that sometimes less really is more – try to limit your poem to no more than 25 lines.