Life TOC



Your Life’s Table of Contents Poem

I once asked a friend named Jill how she got to be such an organized principal.  “I think it was because my mother gave me all her old empty spice jars when I was little,” she replied. “I spent hours and hours organizing those jars in different ways, and so that got me thinking about organization at an early age.”  

A couple of years ago, Dr, Sarah Donovan shared a thought of organizing a presentation proposal on verse in verse. That thought has not stopped spinning in my mind, and I started thinking about how I might write a table of contents organizing my poetry for the poems I have written over these past few years in verse. 


Imagine you are creating a collection of your own work, and try your hand at an organizing poem today using a format like the one below to be a table of contents or any other feature of a book. In this version, for example, Chapter One would be “The Smiles, The Fears, The Laughter, The Tears.”  It would contain poems coded for those themes. 

Kim’s Poem

Your Story

your story
the who
your life
the you

the smiles
the fears
the laughter
the tears

the reading
the school
the lessons
the rules

the truths
the dares
the risks
the prayers

the seasons
the phases
the heartaches
the praises

the family
the friends
the losses
the wins

the adventures
the chases
the journeys
the places

the people
the villains
the heroes
the champions

the daybreaks
the sunsets
the victories
the regrets

the plans
the dreams
the truths
the seems

the joys
the sorrows
the yesterdays
the tomorrows

the hurdles
the grit
the drive
the quit

the tables
the meals
the loving
the feels

the mysteries
the talks
the rides
the walks

the hobbies
the fashions
the pets
the passions

the hopes
the wonders
the worries
the blunders

the questions
the choices
the answers
the voices

the moments
the chances
the music
the dances

the living
the times
the memories
the signs

your story
the who
your life
the you

5 Replies to “Life TOC”

  1. Kim, I loved all three of your prompts this week. I appreciate the way they tapped into my creativity in a rather subconscious way. I’ve been thinking about organizing my poems. I don’t even have them in documents and had completely forgotten about the sports poem Sarah asked to use in the sports poetry anthology. I wonder how many other long-forgotten poems are floating on her site and in my blog. I have a specific theme in mind. At any rate, I need to get the poems into a more stable platform. They’re mostly in the notes app on my phone.


  2. Yes, your life table of contents is gorgeous. I love it. Today I'm loving that last stanza–your story / the who / your life / the you – I always love the creativity you bring to the phrases you turn. Beautiful.


  3. What a cool poetic form! What I like so much about the way you've done your “Table of Contents” is the way you've used repetition so consistently. I'm picking up a very literary, “by the book” vibe scanning down your TOC. At the same time, I can't just scan. The way you include the emotional imagery nestled amid the other items encourages me to stop, to dwell, to meander. That's sneaky – and I love it!


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