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Poets

Authentic Poetry (not a poem)

Viewing 10 posts - 16 through 25 (of 25 total)
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  • #143710
    Sir Leeds
    @sir-leeds

    Hey @anne-of-lothlorien , cool poem, and congrats on publication! It kind of of reminds me of one of my own titled “Boo Radley”.

     

    As for the tanka, it’s a short Japanese style of poetry that’s defined by its use of syllables, as well as certain themes if you’re being strict about it. It has 5 lines, with the 1st and 3rd lines consisting of 5 syllables and the 2nd, 4th, and 5th lines consisting of 7 syllables. No rhyme or meter required. It’s similar to a traditional haiku, except a haiku is a tanka that’s missing its 4th and 5th lines.

     

    I’ve found writing a tanka on an idea helps keep my free verse poetry on the same idea from getting too wordy or going off in too many directions. Here’s one of my own favorite tankas. The Story Embers editorial staff even thought it was good, but too short for publication, so alas, it sits unpublished for now:

     

    October

    By Cainon Leeds

    A maple shivers

    and tries to cover its mouth

    when it coughs leaf blood.

    But death’s bedside helplessness

    leaves red stains on the sidewalk.

    "We are far too easily pleased." - C. S. Lewis

    #143717
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    @sir-leeds

    Thanks! 🙂

    Boo Radley as in the character from To Kill a Mockingbird?? I have never heard him referenced by anyone else in conversation! XD Would you mind sharing the poem? I’m intrigued!

    Tankas sound cool! I should try to write some. 🙂 I loved your October one! Too bad it’s too short. Just today I was walking around campus and marveling at the multitude of leaves that have dropped on the ground and how some of them keep their fiery orange and red color for a while even though they’re severed from their source of life.

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #143719
    Sir Leeds
    @sir-leeds

    Thanks for the compliments @anne-of-lothlorien !

     

    And yes, it is in reference to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Here it is. Hope you enjoy it (and that the forum formatting doesn’t mangle it too badly)!

     

    Boo Radley

    By Cainon Leeds

    Some of my poems have adjusted well.
    They can tie their own shoes and walk out the door
    and down the streets of Maycomb
    or some other American small town.

    Some can even hold conversations
    with strangers: speaking their minds when spoken to,
    maintaining eye contact, and not once looking back
    to me to coach them through.

    They have gone on
    to grace the pages of magazines and journals,
    to baptize themselves into the church of publication
    and receive praise and worship with each spring or fall issue.

    But I have other poems
    that have not left the “Work in Progress” folder house
    in years. I don’t pass through the neighborhood often,
    but when I do, I see my imagination playing with my memory
    on an open front porch,
    making up stories about why
    my other poems stay pent up in there,

    and how one poem got its hands on a pair of scissors,
    cut out magazine photos of Boston in autumn,
    and when I stepped into the room and looked down
    at what it was working on,
    it casually stabbed me in the shin
    and then went back to cutting,

    splattering blood on the leaves, the trees,
    the old New England houses
    and cobblestone streets.
    It’s been locked up ever since.

    And in that time, they’ve grown
    pale, sensitive to lights, overly suspicious,
    but mostly lonely.

    Every now and then, they’ll leave a stick of gum
    or a marble in the knot of the oak tree
    just outside the house
    in an attempt to befriend my imagination,

    help it remember
    that my children still live there,
    still cry themselves to sleep at night.

    "We are far too easily pleased." - C. S. Lewis

    #143731
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    @sir-leeds

    Wow. Just… uh… wow… 😯😭

    That poem was amazing. Astoundingly simple in execution and deep in concept. My favorite line was ‘baptize themselves into the church of publication’. This right here… this is my favorite kind of poetry, the kind that makes me tear up because it touched a place in my heart I didn’t know could be touched and revealed things I’d never thought about.

    On another note, I tried tankas! The first was for fun as an introduction, the second was a little more thoughtful.

    Tankas are something

    I have never done before

    I see them as doors

    A whole new way of sharing

    Tiny thoughts with this big world

     

     

     

    My thoughts, lingering,

    Brush their hands over my heart.

    ‘Are you here?’ they ask.

    ’Are you paying attention?’

    Yes. I smile. I am still here.

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #143735
    Emily Waldorf
    @emily-waldorf

    While we’re into sharing poems, here’s one of mine! (I’ll get back to your other posts, but it will take me a lot of time to type out the answers, and I don’t have a lot of that right now. 🙂 )

    Watch the Rain

     

    When life is dark with gloom,

    With teardrops falling fast,

    Splitting your heart with doom,

    In darkness overcast,

    Sit still and watch the rain.

     

    Stand waiting for the storm,

    Under the darkening skies,

    Watching the lightning form.

    Open your weary eyes

    And fix them on the rain.

     

    The skies send forth their tears—

    As your bruised heart has done—

    As sharp as falling spears,

    Yet soon there will be none,

    So sit and watch the rain.

     

    Beyond the stormy wrack

    The sky is light and clear

    Though all is grim and black

    Soon shall the sun appear!

    Stand fast, wait out the rain:

     

    Weeping is for the night,

    At dawn it has no place.

    When clouds have cleared your sight

    The Sun will show His face.

    So, Christian, watch the rain.

    On that Day I want those who hated me most to have the least to say against me. ~Quin Miller

    #143964
    Emily Waldorf
    @emily-waldorf

    Anne, I really liked Midnight Thoughts. It was very dreamy and full of a pleasing sort of fancy; I like how you explored the different sorts of thoughts that cross your path, say, at midnight.

    Cainon, I was so enthralled with the idea of your poem, Boo Radley! The picture of poems “spreading their wings” and doing without you and that of some remaining in the shadows is such an apt description of poems–or stories, even.

    On that Day I want those who hated me most to have the least to say against me. ~Quin Miller

    #143965
    Emily Waldorf
    @emily-waldorf

    @sir-leeds and @anne-of-lothlorien

    After reading my post above I don’t entirely agree with everything I said. You see, I think I have what could be called “sophomore syndrome” and “foot-in-mouth disease”: I have strong opinions that I don’t necessarily pause to think long about before I express them (strongly), and have a tendency to think I know everything there is to know. So forgive me for that. It is an area I am working on, and hope to conquer someday.

    However, to answer some of your questions:
    I agree that some of today’s literature (Christian and otherwise) is rather lackluster. And, @sir-leeds, I’d like to read your paper on the lack of authenticity of voice someday!
    I would say that the heart of poetry is truth, and beauty is its soul. (If it rhymes or not is really beside the point.) What are y’all’s thoughts?

    As for my statement about themes that do not belong in poetry, I think that if a theme in a poem is normal or ugly, without having some broader or deeper application that is extraordinary or beautiful, then it has no place in poetry, though perhaps it has a place elsewhere. (I hope that was as clear outside my head as it was inside…words have not been my friends lately.)

    Now, free verse is not my preferred style of poetry, but that is certainly not to say that it’s illegitimate. If legitimacy were based on my likes and dislikes, the world would be a very shallow place indeed. Some free verse poetry can be moving, stirring, and heart-lifting, as poetry ought to be, and some traditional poems can be rude, blank, and repulsive.


    @anne-of-lothlorien
    ,

    What if you were able to use a difficult subject for a poem that had perfect rhyme and meter, but it wasn’t that great of a poem? Is it more acceptable than a free verse that deals with that subject in a rawer, deeper way without rhyming?

    I can’t answer this question in the hypothetical. I’d have to see both poems in order to give my opinion. I would say that whichever is better poetry would be the winner. (obviously, lol).

    No definition of poetry says anything about rhyming. My stress of rhyme is one of the things I have to take back from my original post. I enjoy rhyming poetry, but some of the greatest poetry ever written is un-rhymed, and some very bad verses are rhymed.

    On that Day I want those who hated me most to have the least to say against me. ~Quin Miller

    #144049
    Sir Leeds
    @sir-leeds

    Hi @emily-waldorf , I’m thankful we can all continue this conversation, even amidst the strong opinions. I think your idea about the heart and soul of poetry would line up well with John Keats: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” (from the last lines of “Ode on a Grecian Urn”).

     

    Now I don’t necessarily disagree with that definition, but it is pretty vague, and when we dig into beauty vs ugliness, there’s a lot of room for subjectivity and change. Take, for example, Van Gogh’s art. A lot of people today absolutely love it, but in his day, it was widely regarded as ugly. In fact, in the recent biopic about him, “At Eternity’s Gate,” someone asks him, “Can’t you see that this is ugly and unpleasant?” So is it ugly or is it beautiful? I think it’s beautiful, but I’m sure there are people out there who still think it’s ugly.

    Another example. I once wrote a poem about zombies (I know, super original) but what I did with it was show the zombies taking advantage of the world we’re too busy for (they have potlucks in the parks nobody goes to, their kids play in the yards nobody plays in, they sit on the front porch rocking chairs nobody sits on, etc.). And by taking two unlikely, fairly cliched ideas (zombies and seizing the moment) and combining them, I thought I made something pretty unique and thought provoking that would make readers think about how they may just be the ones acting like zombies with their mind-numbingly routine lives. However, a student in one of my professor friend’s community college classes didn’t think so. She thought the poem was dumb, said it sounded like it was written by a 12 year old, and said poetry should never have zombies in it. Of course my professor friend and I disagreed, but I think that goes to show how subjective the idea of beauty can be sometimes.

     

    As for the essay I wrote a couple of years ago, I don’t think I worded it as a lack of authenticity of voice at the time. It appears I worded it as sounding cheesy, overly sentimental, and afraid to address the world around it, which I would argue often leads to a seeming lack in sounding authentic. Anyway, here’s the link to the essay I wrote on the topic of mediocre contemporary Christian poetry for anyone who would like to read it:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZB_GTt617eg5FqBiSDkeaA4s7Ac8soALHvdZh-yXLQg/edit?usp=drivesdk

     

    And thank you for your compliments as well. Your poem reminds me of Longfellow’s “The Rainy Day.” Thanks the encouragement you share through it and thank you for being willing to share it with us!

     


    @anne-of-lothlorien
    I think you’ve got it 🙂 Welcome to the world of short Japanese poetry.

    "We are far too easily pleased." - C. S. Lewis

    #144085
    Bethany
    @sparrowhawke

    @sir-leeds

    “Boo Radley”–that was really good! I loved the imagery! I agree with Anne on a favorite line–that whole stanza was my favorite actually.


    @emily-waldorf

    I loved the idea of “watching the rain”. It seems to evoke an idea of patience and perseverance through a trial rather than “oh please help i don’t like this it hurts please save me right now” that balks at any struggle.

     

    I write this poem recently. I’m going to rework it eventually (fixing the rhyme scheme/removing it, replacing all those conjunctions, and making the meter consistent), but I kind of like the general idea I was able to get across. And it is one of the most personal things I’ve written:

    I cannot say what I think

    And I cannot think of what to say.

    When my better judgment restricts

    What my heart begs to convey–

    I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you.

     

    But I wish that I could tell you

    And hear what you would say,

    Yet I doubt I’d like your answer,

    So I think I’ll hide away.

    This corner seems nice.

     

    Maybe in a few years

    I’ll crawl out of this den,

    And I’ll be able to tell you

    And we’ll be the greatest friends.

    Or maybe you’ll be gone.

     

    So maybe I will tell you now

    What I really think

    How I love the books you read

    And why I couldn’t sleep.

    Maybe, perhaps, today

    I’ll say what I think.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Bethany.

    "Can't have dirty garbage."

    #144114
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    @sparrowhawke

    I loved that poem very much! It does need some polishing up, as all our work does, but it also resounded with me deeply. I have a fear of people not liking me, so I oftentimes don’t say what I want to say because I’m worried something will go wrong and I’ll spoil a friendship. I’m always telling myself ‘one day I’ll be bold, one day I’ll just tell people I love them, just because I do, one day I won’t be afraid of speaking my thoughts’… I think it’s time to stop with the ‘one day’ and make it ‘today’. Thank you for sharing this!

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

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