Whether you’ve already made a list of new year’s resolutions or have simply chosen a guiding word for 2023, a new year signifies a fresh start. As we look back on the past year and set intentions for the new one, now’s the perfect time for writing self-reflection poetry. Using these prompts, creatively process your experiences from 2022 to help you heal in 2023.
Reflecting on and writing poetry about your year can help you develop renewed perspectives, setting a hopeful tone for 2023.
To start, make a list of challenges you endured last year or revisit journal entries from 2022. Did you experience particularly difficult moments or broader life transitions? Maybe you struggled with health issues, ended relationships, or moved to a new place.
Next, for each challenge you identified, free write about what you experienced, focusing on your emotions. Jot down words that come to mind—e.g., frustrating, exhausting, stuck, lost. Consider metaphors that you could employ, such as climbing a mountain or weathering a storm.
If you’re writing about a specific moment, emphasize the details: the color of the walls, the temperature of the space, the sounds in the background. In what ways do these sensory elements parallel your emotional state?
Conversely, write a poem about a breakthrough or a joyful time from 2022. Recognizing both the dark and the light can motivate you on your healing journey.
Letting go and healing
After reflecting on the year, dig deeper by writing a poem about letting go. Whether you said goodbye to a person or a place, accepting the past can help you heal and move forward.
Ask yourself the following questions: What lessons did you learn from this experience? If presented with the opportunity again, how might you act differently? In what ways can you find gratitude in the process?
If you’re writing about the end of a relationship, for example, consider crafting a poem acknowledging the other person’s perspective, noting both the good and the bad. Regret can often hold us back. Process these emotions by imagining you’re conversing with them—in retrospect, what do you wish you would have said?
Envisioning and creating
Entering a new year can inspire feelings of uncertainty, excitement, and creativity. Lean into 2023 by writing a poem envisioning your year. Choose a word of the year to help you focus your poetry, such as growth, inspire, intentionality, or gratitude.
Since nature pairs well with these themes, use metaphors inspired by the natural world to creatively communicate your vision for 2023, such as a plant growing or the sun shining.
The past year was a whirlwind. Coming off the heels of a global pandemic, many struggled to find their footing in a—for the most part—post-COVID world. From experiencing isolation to coping with social anxiety, 2022 was a trying time. Hopefully, these prompts will allow you to find peace and closure as you transition into 2023 with inspiration and excitement.