We all know we’re not perfect, and we all make mistakes in friendships and relationships that cause pain to people we care about. When you’ve said or done something that causes hurt, how do you apologize? “I’m sorry” isn’t easy, especially when it’s heartfelt, but apologizing can be the first step toward understanding in a damaged relationship. Can you say “I’m sorry” in a poem this week?
Things To Think About
1. What makes a good apology?
2. Is there someone in your life to whom an apology is due?
3. Is there someone in your life who owes you an apology? What would you like that person to say to you? Would you consider requesting an apology from that person?
4. Has there been a time in your life for which you owe yourself an apology?
5. There’s nothing quite as disappointing as receiving an apology that doesn’t seem sincere, or worse, a grudging apology. Sincerity is expressed by what you say and how you say it, and sometimes apologies sound dismissive. Have you ever received (or given) an apology that didn’t sound sincere? What makes an apology "ring true?" What’s wrong with an apology that begins, “I’m sorry, but ….” ?
This Week’s Poem
1. Write your best apology in a poem (any form, including a prose poem): be honest, be straightforward, show (don’t tell) how sorry you are, take responsibility, ask for forgiveness.
2. For a bit of a twist, how about trying an apologia (\ˌa-pə-ˈlō-j(ē-)ə\) poem? An apologia is a formal apology, especially on behalf of some belief or doctrine, but it may also be a defense of one's opinions, position, or actions. Read the following examples (but remember that your apologia needn’t conform (in content or style) to what other poets have written):
3. Another possibility for this week’s poem is to write a response to someone who has apologized to you. Tell that person what his or her apology meant to you – why it was healing or why was it "too little too late."