Saturday, September 12, 2015

Poetry Prompt #32: The Guided Confessional

The guided poetry prompts are among some of my very favorite.

Honestly, when I'm faced with the empty page and I come there to write, the task is oftentimes daunting.  Many times I've wanted to write, but lacked a topic, or even a basic inspiration for the flow of ideas.

Sure, there are times when the words just push themselves from my pen.  Sometimes, though, it's just not that easy.  That's why I really enjoy the guided poems.  They work out in such a way to inspire a full piece of writing with minimum thought effort and work.

Really, you just follow the steps!

Today we're going to write a confessional poem.  A confessional poem is best described as a very personal piece of writing that focuses on extreme moments of personal experience.  These experiences can range simply from memory to emotion, and to profound life events pertaining to sexual identity, life crisis or trauma.  Usually, the event written about pertains somehow to the customary social themes of a given society.

The Guided Confessional Poem:

1.  Think of a traumatizing event that occurred at some point in your life.  Describe that event in the first TWO lines of the poem.

2.  Use TWO lines to convey the primary emotion that this event provoked.

3.  Use the NEXT line to compare that emotion to a color.

4.  Reflect upon your memory of this event.  Describe the surroundings (at the time that it happened) to the event as it happened.  Use two to four lines for this.

5.  Now bring your poem back to the present...describe your current surroundings in comparison to the emotions the remembered event evoked.  Use two to four lines for this.

6.  For your very last lines, create a metaphor for the traumatic event by comparing it to something.

For more examples and reading of confessional poetry, consider work by Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, John Berryman and Allen Ginsberg.