Sunday Scribblings #109: I Need to Work On the Apology

I had hoped to do more this past week, but like so very often, I let time slip through like sand, super-fine sand, well actually, like the thing that can slip through fingers the fastest. And here I am, hoping I can make up for lost time. Who am I fooling, right? Anyway, I will have to do my best to work on all I need to. One of the first things is this week’s poetic Sunday prompt, the apology poem. Not a poetic form per se, but just a poem that you write to say you are sorry. Read on for tips and ideas and inspiration for the same. I know I always owe someone or the other an apology (for I sure am human, and make mistakes).

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Notepad and a pen over it with a cup of coffee next to it. words read Sunday Scribblings, and this is for Sunday Scribblings #102: It is Time to Rhyme Indeed

Poetic Sundays: The Apology Poem

I read about National Sorry Day which is celebrated on the 26th of May annually in Australia. And this made me recall another amazing annual event called Micchami Dukkadam, which is a part of the Jain religion. Micchami Dukkadam, is in effect, a day for forgiveness. Reading about one led to the other, and then I felt an apology poem might be perfect for this week’s poetic Sunday.

What is an Apology Poem?

An apology poem is simply a poem one writes to apologize for something they have said or done.

In keeping with the beginning sentiments of the Poetic Sunday section, an apology poem can be heartfelt and written with sincere intent to say sorry. There are many such examples to read that will surely tug at heartstrings and leave you wanting to apologize to a loved one for something you have been meaning to (or even otherwise).

However, there is another side to this as well. A false apology, where the poet writes an apology poem without meaning it. It could be sarcastic, humorous, and sometimes a little bit mean too. But it is written most often in a light-hearted spirit, and not to offend.

So today, I will provide tips and inspiration for both types, and you, as the writer, can pick your option based on your mood and your need.

A Sincere Apology

Well, I don’t think I have any real tips for this one, in terms of poetics, except that use the form that you can write in most comfortably. As for the apology itself, or How to Apologize:

  • First: Mean it and know why you are apologizing
  • Take responsibility, fully. Say, “I’m sorry.” That should be a complete sentence, and not a phrase followed by anything else (especially a ‘but’)
  • To add to the ‘take responsibility’ part, focus on the impact of your words or actions, and not the reasons behind your words or actions. You are apologizing, so for the apology to be sincere, the focus should be on the other person, and not on you. Sure, you might have had a stressful day when you misspoke, but you ended up hurting someone else.
  • Now, adding on to the ‘meaning it’ part, don’t apologize to someone because you expect an apology back in return, or even forgiveness. Apologize because you have to and you want to.
  • Pour your heart into it, and it will work. No matter what, you will feel better.

And for the poetic side of it, I will provide you inspiration. Check out the links under further reading below. But yes, if you choose to write a poem (a written apology), make sure you write it in whatever form or way works best for you for your words.

h/t and further reading

Sorry, Not Sorry

I recall reading William Carlos Williams’ poem This is just to say a few months ago, and it is brilliant! A perfect example, like those plums that the poet ate, and one that has inspired many such poems since it was written.

How to Write Such a Poem

  • Listen to or read the inspiration (below)

This Is Just To Say
William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

  • Read it again, and pay attention to how Williams effortlessly and subtly lets readers know he is not actually sorry for having devoured those delicious plums!
  • Think of similar situations where you have had to say sorry to someone, but didn’t mean it or didn’t really want to, and maybe ended up sounding either insincere or sarcastic. Or maybe, you consciously delivered a false apology to someone and let them know it.
  • Pick any one such event; write down what you said or did that needed you to apologize. Break it down into details that can help readers visualize it better, like with Williams poem where he talks about the cold, sweet plums that he just couldn’t resist eating.
  • Then using a ‘This is just to say’ …… ‘Forgive me’ format, write your own ‘Sorry, Not Sorry’ poem. (or a variation of this format, or your own take on it too!)

h/t and further reading

My Attempt(s)

I excel at sarcasm with my teens… so here is one attempt (of course, in the second style I mention above).. I do have another poem with a sincere apology in the works, but since it is really meant to be one, is harder to write than I realized, like apologies always are. I will update this post with it when I am done.

missing something?
Sweetheart, I have to say
I am sorry…
I am sorry your room is a mess
In its current state, is a cross
between the aftermath of a hurricane
and well, like bubblegum lane

So forgive me –
if you realize you can’t find your homework
forgive me, for that beautiful mess is your handiwork!

~ vidya @ ladyinreadwrites

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pencil on paper with the word sorry.. pin title says: poetic sundays: the apology poem


At Home and On My Blog

I had hoped to get started on responding to comments on my blog (long overdue), as well as visiting those who I missed visiting during the month long challenge. But work was busier than expected and I did not do so. Though I did manage to look at my TBR and realize there are way too many books that I truly wanted to read but haven’t….


On My Blog & Homefront

Oh well, I don’t want to repeat myself but I do need to get to overdue reviews and posts I had planned for a long while now..

Celebrations This Week For Us

Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)

  • Literary birthdays this week of May include: Margaret Wise Brown and Mitch Albom on the 23rd; William Trevor on the 24th; Jamaica Kincaid, Octavia Spencer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Raymond Carver, and Robert Ludlum on the 25th; Simon Armitage on the 26th; John Cheever and Julia Ward Howe on the 27th; Ian Fleming, Patrick White, Meg Wolitzer, and Maeve Binchy on the 28th; Andrew Clements and G.K. Chesterton on the 29th

Foodie Celebrations

Other Celebrations

Wrapped Up: My Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. And do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month?

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

6 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #109: I Need to Work On the Apology

  1. My daughter has been learning about poetry. I would love to write her a sarcastic apology poem. She’ll get a kick out of it.

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