Drowned In Milk Tea – Discussion Questions

Happy new year fellow ace book lovers! We are gonna start the new year off right with a delightful poetry collection by an equally delightful person, Anne Chivon. Drowned In Milk Tea is a little different, as there are prompts before each poem and the pages are not numbered. Our suggested reading schedule is below:

Week One: The first 7 poems
Week Two: The next 5 poems
Week Three: The next 5 poems
Week Four: The last 6 poems

Let’s get started!

Week One:

Prompt: Write your own love story

-What love story would you write?

-What images does the poem give you?

-Does the poem remind you of anyone?

-How does the poem make you feel?

Prompt: Write about a “heated” moment

-Have you ever felt like the poem describes? Are you willing to talk about it?

-How can heat in love or passion be both a good and a bad thing? How is heat in general both good and bad?

-How do the metaphors in the poem relate to a passionate relationship? Or an unhealthy one?

Prompt: Write a chase scene

-What kinds of highs have you chased in your life?

-Has a person ever made you feel a rush like the poem describes?

-Are you ever reminded of a person or event during a certain season? What kinds of things have given you flashbacks before?

Prompt: Write a meaningful touch

-Are there any physical touches that live in your memory rent free?

-How can good things sour?

-How does the metaphor of being drunk and vulnerable relate to falling in love? To a healthy relationship? An unhealthy one?

Prompt: Write about tragedy

-How does the poem make you feel? Have you ever been made to feel that way before?

-Do you think the poem reflects an unhealthy relationship? In what ways?

-In what ways does the poem show the how cyclical abuse and abusers can be?

Prompt: Write about decay

-Have you ever experienced a love that decayed? How did it make you feel?

-What metaphors can you identify in the poem? How do they paint an image of decay? How does love decay?

Prompt: Write about something that’s burnt

-Have you ever met someone you felt was heartless? What made you feel that way?

-What emotions does a burnt heart make you feel? Does it remind you of anything or anyone?

-Have you ever been in a relationship (including friendships) that felt like the author is describing? What was the outcome?

Week Two:

Prompt: Write about dressing up

-Have you ever dressed up for someone else? Have you dressed up for yourself? How does it make you feel?

-How can makeup be used as a metaphor for something false or just pretty on the outside?

-What do butterfly kisses evoke for you? 

Prompt: Write about something red

-What does the color red mean to you? What kinds of emotions does it evoke?

-How does the poem make you feel? Have you ever felt like that before? Has a person ever made you feel that way?

-Once again, makeup is being used as a metaphor. What does it represent in this poem? What is being covered or hidden? 

Prompt: Write a “crystallizing” moment

-How does a relationship ending or an unhealthy relationship feel like rock bottom? How could it be crushed between your teeth?

-Why would someone want to travel to get away? How can it be an escape?

-Have you ever wanted to escape a situation or relationship? What moment led to that?

Prompt: Write about the future

-Have you ever had a relationship that left you feeling like nothing? That left you feeling empty? Have you wanted to bite back against those feelings?

-How can you feel stronger after surviving a difficult situation? Do you think that can cause you to grow as a person and learn?

Prompt: Write about dishes piling up

-How can ending a relationship feel like wasted time? 

-Do you ever look back on a relationship and remember the good, even if it ended badly?

-How do new relationships feel full of hope, and how can that hope and excitement change as time goes by?

-How are certain chores never ending? How can that be comparable to a relationship? 

Week Three:

Prompt: Write something that disappears

-Have you ever wanted to disappear rather than facing something unpleasant?

-How are disappearing and escaping different? How can disappearing be a form of escape?

-What situations are appropriate or even good to disappear from?

Prompt: Write a timeline

-Do you know anyone that has stuck around in your subconscious longer than they did in person? Are you willing to tell us about them?

-How can an unhealthy relationship feel like holding your breath? Why might you still feel like you’re exhaling even after it’s over?

Prompt: Write something that repeats

-What does the word “again” mean to you? What does it mean in the sense of a relationship? Of getting over someone?

-How can unhealthy or abusive relationships fall into a repeating pattern?

-How does the line spacing in this poem contribute to the theme of the poem?

Prompt: Write about a first

-How does this poem also utilize the theme of “again” to make its point?

-Do you think a relationship can stay as good as it was in the beginning? Have you experienced that?

-How does this poem also use the theme of the cyclical nature of abuse and unhealthy relationships?

-Is there anything you think is just as good as the first time you experienced it?

Prompt: Write about something forgotten

-Do you have things you can never quite remember? Whether it’s tastes or smells or memories?

-Have you ever been in a relationship that was incompatible? 

-How can strong happy emotions turn into strong bitter emotions?

Week Four

Prompt: Write about glass breaking

-What is something that has made you feel trapped? How can that help you relate to this poem?

-Explore the dynamic between being trapped by someone and then being let free. Can the person who did the trapping really let the other go? 

-Can you really be “released” from a relationship? 

Prompt: Write about something that is hidden

-How does a long term relationship change you? Your partner?

-What might the buried treasure look like? What would your buried treasure be?

Prompt: Write something you hear

-Can you find happiness without someone else?

-How can music help a person get over a relationship? How does music heal?

-In what ways are music and medication helpful for people?

Prompt: Write about an old joy

-Have you ever found it hard to let someone go but easy to take them back? How does that relate to the poem?

-How would you describe hearing from someone you care about after a long period of time?

-How is this poem another example of the cyclical nature of unhealthy relationships?

Prompt: Write about a breakdown

-How is poetry a good catharsis?

-Have you ever felt like there are a thousand words waiting to spill out? Do you write poetry? If not, what else do you do?

-Has anyone ever made you feel like the poem describes? What did you do to handle the emotions?

Prompt: Write about an aftertaste

-In what ways do relationships leave an aftertaste? How would you describe it?

-Do you ever find yourself nostalgic for things from your past? What causes it? Do you try to remember the good over the bad?

-How does the imagery of the poem make you feel? Does it adequately show what an unhealthy relationship is like?

Share your favorite poems and quotes from this collection! What themes did you most vibe with?

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