The type of poetry most often associated with a poet’s personal emotional journey is confessional poetry. This style is a particular favorite among editors of literary journals and magazines, because it demonstrates intimacy and reflection.
Writing confessional poetry is important to a poet’s personal journey toward self-improvement. Before you cared about poetic technique, you probably just cared about the act of writing. Writing a poem when you’re feeling a strong emotion is often a great way to make sense of your feelings. Poetry can be therapeutic and cathartic, allowing writers to discover their true feelings in a safe space.
When you’re feeling troubled, grab a pen. Writing heals. When you write, you make time for yourself—and that’s important. Confessional poetry can get you through the biggest hurdles in your life, and you should not be afraid of plunging into intimate, meaningful confession.
BUT before you go pulling your old, high school confessional poems out of the attic so you can get them published—or before you start thinking that every confessional poem you write is genius—think again. They are important to the writer but can come off as self-indulgent to the reader. To be published, they need to demonstrate that the writer is self-aware and has great insight and technique.
Apart from being overly emotional, the other problem with confessional poems is that they run the risk of being unruly. Although poetic verse can be free form, it must always be carefully wrought. Poems that spill on to the page and are done in a single draft are poems that you as a writer may want to consider putting away for a while. Better to judge your poems once you’re a bit distant from them—so you can see them for what they really are.
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At Writer’s Relief we believe in the power of the pen. But be sure to learn the difference between when a poem is necessary emotional spewing and when it is true, carefully crafted art.
Writer’s Relief would be pleased to help you submit your poems for publication. We can target your poems to the editors of literary magazines and journals who will be most likely to appreciate your writing. Learn more about Writer’s Relief.