NaPoWriMo Day 12: Haley Nguyen – Sad poem

We welcome back Vietnamese poet Haley Nguyen, with a prompt to write a poem that evokes sadness, which could be a happier endeavour than you think.

Haley says: “I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that can evoke a feeling of sadness. I was inspired by a poem from James Tate which is A True Story.

“When I first read this poem, I had a great deal of heartache, and I wondered why I felt so sad after reading it and I wondered if this poem was meant to make me sad. So, I looked it up on the internet and learned more about James Tate and I discovered that he did that on purpose. It sparked my interest in sad stories, so I decided to learn more about the benefits of sad stories and why people enjoy them.

From what I have learned so far, consuming sad stories allows us to experience sadness in a positive way. It gives us a sense of relief, it makes us think about what makes our lives meaningful and encourages us to find who we are, and in many other cases, it makes us feel more grateful and appreciate what we have. You can also learn more about these benefits on, I find the information there consistent with my experience and I believe that you may find some inspiration there.

“I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that can make people feel sad, but at the same time can have a positive impact on their lives. You can share your experience or one of the life lessons that you have learned or describe a tough time that you overcame or what you have been pondering recently or simply encourage people to allow themselves to feel sad when they need to. 

“I hope you enjoy it and happy writing!”

“Is this the only jungle in this world?”, sitting on a branch, I wonder. Today is a special day. Everyone is gathering to enjoy the golden morning sun rays except for a little bear me. Their cheery faces got me thinking: “Is it really the sunlight that makes them happy?”. “Oh..oh…look at this little pensive face”, my dad’s teasing me, “I have to go”, he says while his arm tightly covers my shoulder. “Is it really a side hug?”, my thought lingers with a gentle wind…

Haley Nguyen

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please consider showing your support with a donation via

Buy Me a Coffee at

Books by many of the poets featured on the podcast are available from the Poetry Non-Stop bookshop here. All books purchased via this link help to raise money to keep this podcast going.

1 thought on “NaPoWriMo Day 12: Haley Nguyen – Sad poem”

  1. sadness glances

    eiffel lights up like a headache

    traffic sluices in a sizzling drizzle

    did you hear they created a wooly mammoth meatball

    how bad does every bridge just want to stretch

    in a flash flood of haiku, i wrote by hourglass light for a fortnight

    after being diagnosed with restless leg syndrome i took up drumming

    like a shark, what balances us is a dead giveaway

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s