The Tissue Box: Rupi Kaur Writing Workshop

A Poem about a Tissue Box | Rupi Kaur Writing Workshop | Kimberly Hetherington

As you might’ve already seen, and even participated in, when COVID-19 first hit many musicians, writers, poets, artists, started to create online content for people. It was a way of keeping us connected, but also at home.

The other day as I scrolled through Instagram I saw that Rupi Kaur was providing a free Instagram Live Writing Workshop. Live events freak me out, so I waited for her to add it to her timeline to take a look. (For those of you who don’t know who Rupi Kaur is, she’s an incredible poet and illustrator born in India and raised in Canada. Check her out on Instagram or her website.)

I love poetry but I’m not really into writing it. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. But a writing workshop of any kind is always fun to try.

There were a few exercises in there so if you have time I recommend trying it out. This specific exercise was the most profound to me.

The prompt was to pick any object in your room and title your poem just that. I chose a box of tissues. We had to answer every question back she read out from the point of view of the object we chose.

If you want, you can try it too. Start by looking around your room and chose any object. It could be a pen, your laptop, a shoe, a mug. Whatever you want.

When you’ve chosen your object answer the following questions from the point of view of your object.

Answer each question with only one sentence, or even a word. Don’t make it too long and don’t think about it too much:

  • What are you?¬†
  • How are you feeling right now?
  • Where would you rather be?
  • What relationships do you have?
  • What do you dream of doing?
  • What worries you?
  • What would you like others to think of you?
  • What keeps you awake at night?
  • What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
  • What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
  • What makes you feel guilty?
  • What is your favourite time of day (or night)?
  • What is the point of your life?
  • How would you like to be remembered?

The Tissue box

Absorber of tears and sniffles,
soft, alert, and ready to help.

Content waiting exactly where I am,
cushioned beside my companions, each one of us waiting for our turn.

Dreaming of wiping tears of pain away; holding hope for a new beginning,
worried of being disposable, thrown away after one use.

My goal is to be helpful, supportive and useful,
yet I’m kept awake by the fear of what happens after I’m used.

The best thing I’ve ever done was support someone through a difficult experience,
the worst was to fall apart in the middle of their pain.

I feel guilt for being too soft, too sensitive.
My favorite time of day is when someone knows I’m there.

The point of my life is to take the pain away,
I want to be remembered as soft, yet sturdy.

Supportive and allowing.

[Featured image via Petalier]

1 Comment

  1. Thanks! I just wrote 3 poems based on this. Was most inspired and felt alive! Thanks for inspiring. Good work!

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