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  • Christine Delea

Five Stages: Poetry Prompt

This also works for nonfiction and fiction!


In their ground-breaking book, On Grief and Grieving, Elisabeth Kübler Ross and David Kessler wrote about the 5 stages those who are dying go through after they are given their prognosis: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These 5 stages have been applied to grief in other situations as well. Kessler has since added a 6th stage--meaning--and has written about these stages being a framework for emotions beyond dealing with death and grief.


Today's prompt uses both this theme and this format.


Write a poem that is 5 stanzas (or sections) long—one stanza per stage—but use the 5 stages to describe/define an emotion other than grief. Avoid the urge to add a 6th stanza/section for meaning! Your meaning (aka the point of the poem) should be clear throughout the 5 stanzas/sections.








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