Write an Emotion Poem

Sometimes we need to vent, to just get things off of our chest and we don’t necessarily want to talk with someone or maybe we’re already all talked out, but we still need to work on dealing with feelings we have. One great way to do that is through writing, which is what this whole blog is about-ways to do that. Today, I’m going to ask you to take a moment to really tune in to how you are feeling and then to write a poem about it.

Close your eyes. Take several deep slow breaths. Focus on your breathing. Tune into yourself right now. What does your body tell you? Your thoughts? Which emotion do you need to write about?

I invite you to write a poem today. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it down. You can always revise later. When you feel you know what emotion you need or want to write about, open your eyes and begin to write.

Exercise 1 Option (more structured than Exercise 2 Option):

If you don’t know what emotion you need or want to write about, stay focused on your breathing and tune in to how you feel in your body. If you really aren’t sure, go through a list of emotions and ask yourself whether you notice that emotion in your body. If you don’t know where to begin to write, start with the phrase:

“Today I write about_____________________ (add emotion in the blank)”

In the first stanza, describe how the emotion feels to you. It can be five lines more or less, just write it all down and you can come back later and arrange it if you wish. I would say write a sentence or phrase for each number below, but if you want to write more or less, go with that. Your creative self will know what it needs.

  1. What is your experience of that emotion?
  2. Does your perception of time change with that emotion?
  3. What color does your emotion take on? Or what color are you reminded of by this emotion?
  4. Can you bring in something that this emotion makes you think of in nature?
  5. Does it have a sound or sounds that go with it? Ex. __________________ is the sound of tires screeching, geese honking, the crack of lightening, nonstop wind. What does the emotion sound like to you?

In the next stanza, write:

  1. Does this emotion have a scent and does it feel familiar? Good? Bad?
  2. Look within yourself, what is the true origin of the emotion.
  3. Write: “This ___(emotion)______________ is ____________________ (is there a concrete object that reminds you of this emotion, it might be in nature or in your home or childhood…)
  4. Connect it with a color again and/or with time
  5. Either repeat your line about sound from above or make another sound line that connects with your emotion.

Third stanza:

  1. Write a short sentence/line about why you feel this way
  2. Go back to either nature or time or both and write a line connected with your emotion.
  3. Add to the object that reminds you of this emotion (the one from above)
  4. Describe how the emotion feels to you right now- it can be the same as above or new
  5. Is the emotion different now than when you wrote about it in the first stanza? Write how.

Exercise 2 Option:

If the poem prompt above is too detailed and feels frustrating, just write beginning with “Today I write about __________________” and then add in pieces from the list that call to you. They don’t need to be in the above order, that’s just an option. A poem can form and shape however it comes out, however you want it to and there is no set order.

The important thing is to write, to get it all out.

Thank you for writing today! If you would like to write every week, please follow the blog!

Be safe and be well.

Best,

Liza

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

One thought on “Write an Emotion Poem

  1. I TOTALLY AGREE!
    One night, after an emotionally rough day, I stayed up till like 2am, writing, in bed. Basically spitting out whatever was going in my head. At the end of it, I felt much better, and was even proud of what I’d written! So much so, that I wanted to post the poem. Though, I was probably clouded by adrenaline, because the next morning when I re-read the poem, I thought it was pretty bad😅.
    However, for the next few months, whenever I’d felt sad, i would revisit that poem, and modify it or add on to it, until finally, I had something that both comforted me, as well as, was a poem I was proud of.

    Like

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