Saturday, October 19, 2013

Prompt #168 – Rantables

Have you ever felt that you needed an outlet to vent, to shout, squawk, yell, or bellow about something that really bothered you? Have you ever displayed your frustration or impatience in a kind of “temper tantrum” with a family member or friend?

While more and more research suggests that “ranting”  isn’t necessarily the best thing for us, research does suggest that venting through writing can be a therapeutic strategy that can help engage the body and mind and allow your emotions to drain a bit, thus not needing to actually yell, stamp your feet, or otherwise physically let the anger out. In a rant poem, we pull ourselves together and write through whatever it is that’s upset us. A rant poem can be “wild” or it can be controlled and sensible—the latter is our writing challenge for this week, a rantable that doesn’t lose its perspective—a “rational” rant.

The idea is to let your feelings out about something or someone and to examine those feelings through your poem. Remember, this isn’t a narrative poem—you’re not telling a story, you’re writing about something that really bothers you. The activity is similar to the invective poem in Prompt #107, but this is not a poem addressed to something or someone; rather, this is a poem about something or someone.

For Starters:

Begin by thinking about or listing things that have really upset you, and then choose one to write about.

Write some details (phrases, thoughts) about this “rantable.”

Select some of the details from the preceding step and write them into complete thoughts. Develop those thoughts into lines that contain similes, metaphors, off rhymes, or other poetic language techniques.

Now go through your sentences and remove the word “I” anywhere that you’ve used it. Replace it appropriately.

Go ahead—rant and rave, but remember to maintain a sense of control. The idea is to get things “off your chest.” 

Topics May Include:

Personal Affronts ( insults, lies, betrayals, bad manners, bullying)

Social Concerns (hunger, inequality, power, greediness, inhumanity to others, animal abuse, injustice)

Pet Peeves (junk mail, improper grammar, texting at the dinner table, impatience, thoughtlessness, arrogance)


  1. I don't know about everyone else, but I sure have a lot to rant about! Sounds like fun to me!

  2. I agree with Jamie that we all have a lot to rant about, and I like the way you've suggested that we keep the rants reasonable. Clearly, if we were to just rant on paper, the result would be about as effective as ranting orally. We need to define and clarify to work toward real letting go and resolution. Thanks for this.

  3. hate this
    hate that
    push it away
    run in the other direction
    so much wasted energy
    why not relax?
    accept what you don't like
    and know
    whatever it is
    will pass

    1. Definitely words to live by (and so well stated)! As always, thanks, Risa!

    2. Well done, Risa! In your own special straightforward style -- a "blueprint" for living contentedly.