How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves? 

How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?

One contemporary trend in poetry is known loosely as the “confessional mode,” in which the poet’s own life becomes an important element of the subject of his or her poetry. The three assigned poets clearly work in the confessional vein to some extent. How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?
Sharon Olds “First Thanksgiving”
“Still Life in Landscape”
“After Making Love in Winter”

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“The Planned Child”
Linda Pastan “A Rainy Country”
“I am Learning to Abandon the World”
“The Obligation to Be Happy”
“Why Are Your Poems so Dark?”
Larry Levis: “Signs”
“To a Wren on Calvary”
“Winter Stars”

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