Saturday, February 2, 2013

Prompt #135 – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Neil Sedaka had it right when he sang the old song “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.” (Scroll down to hear  it.) Sooner or later, most of us experience a broken relationship: a romantic break-up, a divorce, a lost love, rifts among family members, friendships that fail. In some cases, these have been painful experiences; in others, the results were more positive. This week, let’s write about breaking up with someone. Please note that this won’t be about a loss through death; rather, your poem’s subject matter will be a deliberate break-up (either by your choice or someone else’s).

Things to Think About:

  • The “exit” you’ll never forget.
  • The “exit” you’ll never regret.
  • A break-up that was a good thing for you.
  • A break-up that devastated you.
  • A teenage break-up, an adult breakup.
  • The break-up of a friendship, not a romance.
  • A break-up with family members.
  • Why it's sometimes necessary to let someone out of your life.
  • The coping strategies you've found helpful when you experienced a break-up.

  • There should be a sense of intimacy in the poem as you “tell the story” of a break-up (as you reveal something personal). However, be careful not to “overtell,” and avoid writing a confessional poem.  
  • A good poem needs some details, but too many can ruin the poem. Remove anything extra or unnecessary, and don’t explain everything. You should always leave room for the reader to enter and experience the poem from his or her experiential perspective. 
  • Be very careful not to sentimentalize, become maudlin, overly-emotional, or confessional. Be sure to read the example poems!


  1. This one resonates for me on so many levels - so many break-ups in my life.

    You always provide a prompt that asks us to dig deeply!

    Time to reflect ...

    1. So glad this strikes a chord, Jamie! Thanks for your comment!

  2. I wish you well
    and pray you don't go to hell
    How did you get so mean?
    Did you feed your dark wolf too much?
    Does he own your heart?
    We're both seniors now,
    nothings's changed.
    When you need me and are feeling blue,
    I run.
    When you're enjoying your palace,
    I only disturb you,
    becoming just an inconvenient, regretable burden.
    I owe you a debt of gratitude
    for bringing me into this world.
    Know, though, this is the last time
    you will make me small.
    Go in peace.
    I am not planning to attend your funeral.

    1. Powerful (and painful) emotions! I'm so glad the prompt inspired their expression. Thank you for sharing and for your honesty!

  3. alone
    they almost sent you to Potter's Field
    how abandoned you must have felt
    mother didn't even mourn your passing
    your cremains are on my alter
    I'll never leave you lonely again

    1. I know I suggested staying away from break-ups through death, but this poem has such a strong emotion center that I'm glad the prompt helped make it happen. I hope the writing was cathartic for you. Thanks so much for sharing.

    2. I ditto Adele's comments, Risa, and I get the feeling that you wrote about your mother and father. The sense of pain comes through clearly. It took a lot of courage for you to write these poems. I hope it was healing for you. Isn't it wonderful how this blog offers us opportunities to clarify feelings and to "write them out." Thank you!

    3. Very courageous (both poems). Bouquets to you, Risa!

      Another incredible prompt, Adele!

  4. Thank you Adele and Jamie. Actually the second poem is about my sister who passed in November. Yes, writing is cathartic and I so appreciate being challenged every week and having a place to share.

  5. Máire Ó Cathail (Ireland)February 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    I remain consistently impressed by this blogsite and the people who comment with their thoughts and their poems. Brava, Adele for making it happen!

    Máire Ó Cathail (Ireland)

  6. In Italian this poem is very funny, In Iago-English I don't know...

    I'm only sorry for one thing: that kiss you never gave to me. Remember; I knocked on the door of you hotel room, you were just exiting from the shower, wearing a pink bathrobe,no makeup,(how I like),on your lips an ironic smile and a bit of toothpaste.
    I thought - I should, I would kiss her!-
    Later I sent a text message to you - I just wanted a kiss with a bit of toothpaste -.
    You softly answered to me - And I would give to you...-
    The last time that I saw you.

    Any proofreading is allowed!!!

    1. Ah, Jago! One of those missed moments!

      Thanks for sharing. I think we've all had moments like that when something wonderful just didn't happen (a kiss with a bit of toothpaste).

      Would you mind sending it in Italian too, please?

    2. The humor is evident and fun! Thanks, Jago! (I'd love to see it in Italian too.)

    3. Hey, Jago - you've got great range from translations to writing poems. Great voice, too, always interesting. Thanks.

  7. Solo una cosa rimpiango: non mi hai più dato quel bacio ; ricordi, ho bussato alla tua camera, hai aperto , uscivi bagnata dalla doccia, ancora non truccata, come piace a me, in accappatoio rosa i capelli raccolti in una crocchia, sulle labbra il tuo sorriso e un pò di dentifricio.
    Ho pensato - vorrei baciarla ora, vorrei baciarla ora -
    Più tardi, scherzando, ti ho spedito un sms: “ Avrei voluto solo un bacio al dentifricio”
    Hai risposto dolcemente :- ed io te l’ avrei dato -.
    L’ ultima volta che ti ho vista.

    1. Thanks, Jago! Italian is the most beautiful and musical language!

  8. In a different version more ironic and sarcastic, the end is:

    12 hours of complete protection against bacteria.
    Non-stop protection for a healthy mouth *
    * if used 2 times per day (1)

    I hope1

    1. What fun, Jago! I can see that you have an interesting sense of humor! Thanks for posting the poem in Italian. I agree with Adele about Italian being the most musical language.

  9. Thank you, Adele, Jamie and Rich!

  10. I can't wait to see what comes out of this one, I imagine there will be some profound stuff indeed.