I've written a poem exploring my conflicting emotions of anger and the joy that the anger keeps supressing.

Is it appropriate to publish a literary work based on such intense negative emotions?

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    Welcome to Writers. It's not clear what the question here is; if it's "should one do this", that's pretty hard to answer objectively. (We're not a discussion forum.) If you're asking for a critique of your work, unfortunately critiques aren't on-topic. Please check out our short tour for more about how the site works, and we welcome questions that fit better with the scope outlined there. Thanks for understanding. Jun 16 '15 at 3:11
  • @MonicaCellio I've edited the question. Please reopen, I'd like to provide an answer.
    – user5645
    Jun 16 '15 at 5:50
  • @what, thanks for the edit. I've reopened. Jenny, if you could edit in some information about where you're considering publishing such work, that would make your question stronger. How you approach a literary journal versus your blog might be different. Jun 16 '15 at 13:06

I don't think it matters what your state of mind was when writing; if anger motivates you to write, then why not use that as a muse? What matters is whether the finished work is any good or not.

I'd suggest rereading and possibly editing the work later on, when you have a clear head and can be objective about its quality. If it's a good poem, then go ahead and submit it for publication.

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    +1 --There's no necessary connection between how you write a poem and how good it is. A poem written as an angry rant might be a stream of nonsense or it might be an inspired masterpiece. With that said, writing with a strong emotional basis tends to be more impactful for the reader (but only when it's good!) Jun 17 '15 at 15:21
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    Also, plenty of great artists have been known to be angry/depressed/suicidal/delirious/stoned/drunk while producing some of their best work. The only thing the audience cares about is whether it's good.
    – user2686
    Jun 19 '15 at 18:50

There are two reasons to write: because your writing earns you money (or status or power or affection); or because you feel strongly about something. Almost all literary writing is motivated by the latter, and especially poetry is composed to express emotions and read for the feelings it contains.

Sadness, loneliness, anger and other non-happy feelings feature prominently in literature. If you search for "anger poetry" you will find a wealth of examples.

From the perspective of publication, there is no difference between a poem expressing anger and one expressing love or a third one on poverty in Angola.


I believe in your case writing was the medium to express those strong emotions.

In case the emotions felt were towards a known person in your life, its better to share it with a few or the intended one only. Publishing such a literary work to the common is not advisable.

But in case the emotions are generic that is felt by many, I would really advise you to publish it. This will add voice to many silences. Also in this case the emotion does not matter to that extent as all emotions express something.


In general it is good to write when ranting. You get to capture your thoughts and ideas. This makes for a great way to get them out of yourself and into a form that allows you to process them better. Generally it is not good to share or publish these directly. They should be contemplated, refined, and finally delivered from a place that is not one of anger or malice. Especially when sharing them with the person who caused the anger in the first place. The words should be able to convey the meaning and purpose behind the anger, not just the blind fury.


Generally poetry in most cases transport emotions, that doesn't mean necessarily positive emotions. It could be happen, that what you wrote in anger is not in a condition that you like to publish it, but if you think it work that way, then you shouldn't be stopped by the emotional state you were in writing this. If you're unsure, give it someone else who you trust to read, if she/he says it is OK then publish. And remember, many negative emotions like depression, sadness, anger or the like have influenced writers over the centuries, and sometimes their work is even better then written in such emotional states.

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