Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Poetry in (E-)Motion

Gave up thinking myself a "poet" a long time ago.
What I think now is that I write the odd poem as a kind of creative spin-off, a natural assessory to my main creative urge.
Find I can only write them under the impulse of some emotion, the influence of some emotion-charged idea.
A momentary passion.
A temporary evocation.

Other bloggers seem to experience creative overflow.
Now and then they share it.
Like Erik, yesterday.
His last two lines moved in power:

And I have been awakened by dreams intimate with your image.
I stand naked in the window, but you are so far - far away.

Who of us has not stood lonely in the night after a dream of someone or something - lost, unreachable, remote?
When the mist is like a dream and moonlight troubles the waters like a sword?
Now and then one comes across an obscure volume of poetry by a well-known writer. So the impulse may be more wide-spread than one might think. I have Guy Gavriel Kay's Beyond This Dark House.
How many of you write it?
Does it match your prose in plainsong?
Does it counterpoint or move in harmony?
Or does it strike a note of secret music that echoes only in your poems?


M.E Ellis said...

I write it, but only when troubled. Funny, that. When I have problems or want to express something, I choose poetry.


For The Trees said...

I used to write poetry all the time, but it fell away when I learned to touch type and got into my novels. Now I rhyme stuff in my blog comments, and that's not all that often. I have too much trouble trying to make sense out of it all. I'd rather ad-lib.

For The Trees said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
For The Trees said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
For The Trees said...

Blogger's boogering again. Watch yourself, you'll end up with six entries all the same.

Oh, well, can't imagine a better place to leave a comment.

Bernita said...

I wonder if there are more sad poems than happy ones, ME?

But you still do "ad lib" poetry, do you not, Forrest?

Jaye Wells said...

Mine tend to be free verse. And yes, they are mostly sad or angry. Not sure why I'm not moved to do it when happy. Maybe I'm too busy enjoying happiness to write. But when you're sad or angry and just want to be alone, a little poetic therapy can work wonders.

Anonymous said...

For me, poetry is a more carnal, direct form of communication than prose. It follows no rules (unless you want it to). Well, it does follow spelling rules. Most of time. Forget grammar, sentence diagramming, comma usage. The only goal is communication.

I like to take those lessons of communication and apply it prose. I want a story to resonate in the heart, not the cold memory of my seventh grade English class.

Flood said...

I tried to write an Ode to Lilith one time and laboured intensively on it. One line would move me to tears and the next would prove I was a hack, haha. I acually compiled a list of words that rhymed with "below."

In the end I decided it was juvenile and I was in over my head. It was a fun exercise though.

Bernita said...

Or when one is serious, sober, reflective - though not necessarily sad or angry, Jaye?

I agree, Jason. Substance trumps form in poems and the whole should be greater than it parts.

Perhaps the formal rules were just not your thing, Flood - a straight-jacket.
But do you still write poems, and do they echo your prose?

Gabriele C. said...

I write poetry now and then, when the mood strikes me. But I've probably translated more poetry than written my own.

Here's one of the wee thingies. I've always wanted to have a painting to accompany it, but I can't draw a straight line, let alone a picture. :)

Hekabe's Lament

In ashes lies Troy,
And red gleams the sea.

I sit at the shore,
Bemourning my son.

Proud Hektor, he fell,
And Illion with him.

My husband is dead,
My daughter a slave.

The victors, they sing
"In ashes lies Troy".

They leave me alone -
A woman, and old.

I sit at the shore,
And red gleams the sea.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I haven't written poetry since I grew out of the teenage angst!

I've tried...and the loss of the ability to string words together is greater than writer's block!

Blogger is really slooowwwww!

Bernita said...

I find that " wee thingy" very, very beautiful, Gabriele.

Don't believe you can't, Bonnie. Maybe the prose satisfied.
Yep, Blogger is picking his nose again.

Dennie McDonald said...

Anger is usually the motivator behind the poerty I write - but sadness to - not too often do I write a happy poem ...

Erik Ivan James said...

Gee, Bernita, thanks. I'm truly honored.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Didn't know happy poems existed!

Never got the hang of verse.

Try to save my poetic imagery for prose, though often it gets cut.

Except this:

He stood there before the railing, shirtless and barefoot, his back to a magnificent sunset that was red as blood. Every rigid, sculpted line of his body glowed with its light, setting him aflame; a living torch against an emerald backdrop of foliage the same shade as the eyes that shone from his shadowed face.

That stayed. Closest to poetry I get.

James Goodman said...

I attempt to write it, but more times than not it falls short of my expectations. I have no hard and fast rules when I do make the attempt, just whatever I'm feeling at the time is how it goes onto the screen.

Flood said...

I did get one poem published in a little thing, but when I read it now I cringe.

Many times poetry is more personal than prose and sharing it can feel more vulnerable than sharing a story that's assumed to be pure fiction.

Bernita said...

Yes, James, the poem, the idea, the feeling determines the form.

Emerald green, the eyes,
that shone from the shadowed face...
Prose would be bare indeed without the vivid visuals such as yours, SW.

We have to let out anger and pain, Dennie. Happiness is absorbed.

I liked those two lines very,very much, Erik. A strong reverberating image.

Bernita said...

That's so true, Flood.
Very personal.
I certainly share the cringing feeling.

Dennie McDonald said...

I do have a few happy poems but they are usually more personal to the person I am writing it for - and I have a couple of silly poems and touching ones -

Shesawriter said...

I used to write poetry ... and it was usually VERY BAD. Now I don't delude myself anymore. I think I get more creativity out of my fiction. My mind just doesn't work well doing poetry for some reason, though I have been told that at times, my writing is poetic. I have my moments, I guess. LOL!

Missed you Bernita! Hope everything is going well with you.



Bernita said...

Miss you, Tanya. I stop by every day to check.
Of course you have had a good reason for being AFOB ( absent from official blogging) but we have missed you.

Jaye Wells said...

"Or when one is serious, sober, reflective - though not necessarily sad or angry, Jaye?"

Yes, that's true, Bernita. But still no so happy I could cry, shouting from the roof tops, or quiet joy poetry.

Scott said...

I don't really do poetry, but if I did, and when I occasionally do, it is always in form. Tobias Wolff said that something to the effect of, would you grieve the loss of a friend with words without care to the sounds they make? Without form you have nothing but a stubbed toe cry. You may have grievance, but you do not have grief, and grievances are for petitions. He was speaking in the voice of Robert Frost. I'm not sure I agree with him, but it sure was beautiful what he said.

Sela Carsen said...

I haven't written poetry since I outgrew maudlin adolescence. I'm more than happy to leave it behind. Now I concentrate on writing tight prose and I'm every once in a great while, I'm pleased when I can achieve a nearly poetic description.

Jeff said...

I have never tried my hand at poetry. I'm afraid I might not be very good at it. :)

For The Trees said...

NOW look what you've done! Damn the suggestions, Rhyme Away!

No Rhyme No Reason

Sela Carsen said...

For my favorite kind of poetry, run over to my friend, Anna Lucia's blog. She's written a Ballad to Sandy the Electrician, followed in the comments by Kate Walker (writes for Mills&Boon) warbling a tune for The Working Man.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Does anybody know where our Bernita has gone? I'm getting worried!

Flood said...

I am a bit concerned myself, Bonnie. Hope you are well, Bernita.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

ric suggested that it may be something as simple as her cable going out! I would love for it to be that mundane...but in the meantime...

I'm a praying person, and I know a lot of you don't feel that same leading, but Bernita is our friend.

Would you help me pray for Bernita, please!

Shesawriter said...

Thanks for checking in on me Bernita. Now I'm trapped with the kids all summer. I'm seriously considering Prozac. LOL!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

No,sorry folks, that wasn't a Bernita sighting! She's still MIA!

S. W. Vaughn said...

Bernita, where'd ya go? I lose a few days and come back and you're gone...

Hope everything is okay.

Ballpoint Wren said...

What? Bernita's missing?

She might be off on a road trip or something. When I'm going on a trip I'll only talk about it when I return because Hubby says otherwise we may get burgled!

However, just in case there are any burglars monitoring Bernita's blog, I bet she's just working extra hard on a draft, with her trusty shotgun by her side.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Ballpoint, I really pray that that's the case. I just usually say, I'm not going to post for a few days.

This is just not like Bernita, so that's why I'm worried.

Erik Ivan James said...

I'm concerned also.

Bonnie, I am praying along with you.

M.E Ellis said...

Funny you should say that! They are all sad ones.


Bonnie Calhoun said...

Thank you, Erik!

Muse said...

Bernita hasn't gone away -- she's just experincing some technical difficulties, and hopefully will have computer and web access restored by Saturday.

(Bernita's long-distance web techie)

Muse said...

Experiencing, I mean.

Shesawriter said...

Thanks for letting us know. I was a tad concerned. Bernita, we'll see you when you get back.



Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm so happy, I'm doin' the peepee dance!!!!

kmfrontain said...

Oh, good. I can't tell you how many times I checked this blog today, to see if anyone posted to solve the missing Bernita mystery. Thanks Muse.

Erik Ivan James said...

Thank you, Muse.
As you can see, Bernita has a special place in the hearts of many.

Bernita said...

I am overhwelmed.
Thank you, Dear Hearts, your concern and kind thoughts.

Bonnie. Sister.

crabbycows said...

Ahh, here you are, dear Cowlet.

Welcooooooome back.