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!