The art of confession – poem for dVerse

You think that I will show you all my scars?
You want me to perform some sick striptease –
open my heart to you, reveal my flaws?
What right have you to see what no-one sees?
You sense me brooding over my dark times,
tell me confessing all will set me free,
as if the past can be re-made by rhymes.
The stories I hold hidden cannot be
left lightly fluttering, like butterflies –
what secret guilts do you think you’ll uncover?
I clasp the memories of the times I failed,
I hold those memories tight as any lover –
you’d mould my pain into some fairy tale,
for in the end, confession is betrayal.

Anmol at dVerse is challenging us to write confessional poetry. A lot of my poetry is confessional – I think that’s the nature of poetry. In fact, I probably reveal more about myself than I realise whenever I write. This is, of course, a poem that claims not to be confessional, but there you go. Read it as a confession of my secretive nature… It’s also the last of my sonnets for this month’s sonnet challenge. This is the terza rima sonnet – you’ll notice the interlocking 3 line rhyme scheme. I needed to get one written, it was bugging me.

37 thoughts on “The art of confession – poem for dVerse

  1. To wear a mask covering the scars is also a confession of sorts… we cannot hide them, and by telling that we are not confessing we are showing it all… love the double meaning in that.

    What a wonderful use of the rhymescheme, and such a nice sonnet where it never feels forced in terms of rhymes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your poetics are so clever, the sonnet never revealed itself. I thought it was prosody, closer to Plath. Humans are so complex, it is always a lesson to read the poetry of others.

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  3. Inevitably, our words and poetry reveal ourselves. I keep some stories to myself too, never revealing too much. I specially like this line in your sonnet: what secret guilts do you think you’ll uncover?


  4. A confessional poem needs direct address and rhetorical questions, Sarah, and you’ve done that so effectively in this well-formed sonnet. There’s an edge to it and plenty of defiance, especially in the lines:
    ‘You want me to perform some sick striptease –
    open my heart to you, reveal my flaws?’
    ‘I clasp the memories of the times I failed,
    I hold those memories tight as any lover’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now THAT was fascinating. Clear, pointed , precise. I have heard people write against “forgiveness” in a similar sense. It all depends on the sense of power, of vulnerability or of the listener and more. I confessed in my poem, no problem being open about that one, but I am sure I have others (though few) that I would not share on d’Verse — on a public blog.

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  6. You know, Sara, of the poems I’ve read so far, one way people hide their confession is to write something so abstract that you have no idea what the writer is saying — all the secrecy hide under the guise of poetic license, I guess. Yours was pleasantly straight forward.

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  7. Very nicely done! Your non-confession reveals more than your stated words! It is very hard to confess your faults to another without a sense of trust… and then it is still hard! Your poetic verses work very well!

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  8. Great sonnet, exceptionally so for me because the seams were invisible … I’m not sure what a confessional poem these days might be, or one which would deserve the handle because just about everything we write these days is dipped in confessional ink. What isn’t confessional — yet I think you get to the nib of the point when you resist such public nakedness and ask if our readerly curiosity in your affairs isn’t a little imprudent. I once wrote some very florid erotic poets, bandied the language pornographically — great power in that, but sacred and so public expression should be guarded. Besides, it turns out that what’s revealed in the flashes of the strip-tease — the underside of an outer garment — tells us much more about the heat of the heart than the usual blinding frictions. Turns out maybe we never learned to be that confessional after all, simply a betrayal–just words. Heart of the heart is so much the poem we haven’t yet written but try to. Well done.

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  9. I think you say it all in the last couplet. So much ‘analysis’ is simply to puff up the analyser, in the same way that what some would call confession is really exhibitionism. You’re right to keep privacy in perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I like this unconfessional confession sonnet, and the sort of defiance of the narrator. The sonnet itself seems so effortless, though it does make me think about accents and how words are pronounced.
    I really like your final couplet that kind of sums it all up.

    Liked by 1 person

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