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How to Write a Confirmation Poem

by Nadia Archuleta, Demand Media Google

    A beautiful commemoration for confirmation of religious faith is the confirmation poem. The confirmation poem has the power to remind confirmands, the person being confirmed, of her faith while simultaneously celebrating her life. To write a confirmation poem, collect a cache of memories, choose a style and utilize appropriate poetic techniques.

    Confirmation

    When a person decides to commit to a Christian religion such as Catholicism or The Church of England, she participates in a confirmation ceremony. Confirmands publicly reaffirm their baptismal vows in front of the congregation. Confirmation ceremonies signify full membership within that Christian community. Churches that hold confirmation rituals include the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Churches as well as the Methodist and Baptist religions. Confirmands' families traditionally hold a celebration after the ceremony, during which time you can gift the confirmand with your confirmation poem.

    Styles

    Confirmation poems do not feature a set poetic form. They may rhyme or be free verse. However, many notable poets have written prayer-style poems that offer examples. For instance, Emily Jane Brontë's "No Coward Soul is Mine" reads as a strong celebration of faith. Similarly Paul Laurence Dunbar writes his own hymn for confirmation, a gentler yet no less devotional poem than Brontë's. Read a few examples and pick a style that works best with your own writing. Keep in mind the sanctity of the situation, and keep the language of your poem respectful.

    Poetic Techniques

    Though not written in a set style, confirmation poems benefit from the use of certain poetic techniques. Brontë and Dunbar both wrote their poems in an ABAB rhyme scheme, giving the pieces a set rhythm. Another technique common to both devotional poetry and even Biblical Psalms is anaphora. This technique involves creating a litany out of a poem by repeating the beginnings of successive phrases or lines. In "A List of Praises," Anne Porter exemplifies the technique by repeating the opening "Give praise" throughout the poem. Such a poetic device serves to intensify the emotion of an already prayer-like piece.

    Content

    The content of your poem comes from your relationship with the confirmand. Naturally the poem should include some religious content, whether it reads like a Biblical hymn as in Dunbar's poem or as a litany of thanks such as Porter writes. If appropriate, include actual verses from the Bible. To make the poem personal to the confirmand, include her name at least at the very beginning with a phrase such as "For [name] on her Confirmation Day." Include shared memories of the confirmand, especially ones related to her faith. Overall let the poem read as a celebration of this devotional step she takes in confirming herself to a religious congregation.

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    About the Author

    Nadia Archuleta has a B.A. in English writing. She spent five years working abroad and has traveled extensively. She has worked as an English as a Foreign/Second Language teacher for 12 years.

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