Blog Group B: Post 2: Retrospective-Prospective: Beyond Confession

The writer of our article on the “retrospective-prospective” structure gives us permission to construct the poem from the fabric of our own lives. Yakich says that “if the first part of the retrospective-prospective structure deals with the past, it would seem obvious that our individual memories of past events would offer much material for composition. From Web sites…to Oprah, we seem to be a society that enjoys talking about itself as a means of self-promotion, self-obsession, catharsis, and penitence” (62). At the same time, we want to make sure our poems go beyond the confession of a diary entry to become literary art. Select a poem from the essay that you think might be grounded in emotional or lived “truth.” How does the author push this beyond work that feels to be “only” confession? How does the structure of the poem play into this push? How thoroughly do you believe that it is important to push your work beyond the materials of your everyday life (or are you by nature skeptical of this demand)?

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