Confessional poetry is the poetry of personal or ‘I’. It is the poetry which springs from the personal life of the poet. Private experiences, alcoholism, masturbation, and feelings about trauma, depression, relationship and suicidal attempts are expressed in this poetry, often in an autobiographical manner. The poet reveals directly or indirectly his or her own experiences, problems and psychological complex in his or her poetry. While these poems frequently engage in what is repressed, hidden and falsified, defining them as ‘confessional’ undermines the creative ability of the writer to construct a persona or imaginary scenario that is separate from their lives. The new poets adopted personal history or autobiography as their central theme and direct expression as their method. The confessional style of writing is associated with Robert Lowell, W. D. Snodgrass, John Berryman, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath etc. In 1967, M. L. Rosenthal wrote: The term ‘confessional poetry’ came naturally to my mind when I reviewed Robert Lowell’s Life Studies in 1959. He further said that because of the way Lowell bought his humiliation, sufferings and psychological problems into the Life Studies, the word ‘confessional’ seemed appropriate enough. (Qtd. in Hall, Barnard, 33).
This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License