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GothicCherry
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25 posted 03-02-2009 07:34 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Ummm, well I guess they could also be meaning other things than just what they say.

“Undressing”- I got many different meanings after reading this a few times over. The main one that stuck with me was sort of like getting rid of one problem or issue and shedding it like clothing. Then deciding to lose all regrets and grudges to hopefully bring more happiness to ones life without the past worries and drama…..???

“The Year the Rice-Crop Failed”- This could possibly, somehow, mean when they got married many hardships arose causing life to not flourish as was desired.  The stress could have led the author away from all religion. Then, the couple could have gotten into a few fights between each other making it feel as though the walls of the home were shaking, such as an earthquake. Eventually, God reaches out to the author and lets her know that everything is going to work out…..???

I have a feeling this is going to take me a little bit of work. I’m not going to catch onto this easily I don’t think.
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26 posted 03-03-2009 11:21 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I think you did extremely well Michaela.

This isn't like a formula or some fact that you suddenly understand like in math.  This is about trying to see poetry as a way of communicating beyond just the words.  The images in poems, the sounds, language and tone can combine to create effects that you feel, but which can be quite difficult to explain in words.  

After all, think of it in this way, metaphor is about using something that isn't there to describe something that is.  Let's look at an example:

"The surface of the lake was slate"

Clearly the surface of the lake isn't literally slate, but by describing it as slate the writer immediately gives a picture of stillness, flatness, greyness, coldness.  

He could have said "The surface of the lake was cold grey flat and smooth, hard looking, indestructible, and the air so still" - but even this long winded adjective heavy explanation doesn't convey the depth of meaning that the simple metaphor does.

I hope you see how elegant and effective metaphor can be when used well and with originality.

..........


Sometimes I find it helpful when reading a poem not to focus too deeply on the individual words and phrases to begin with, but to try and let the whole poem "surround" me.  I try to get my analytical self out of the way and just feel what emotions it raises in me.  That can often be a good guide to the direction the poet is going in.  Then only after doing that do I start to look in more detail at the language etc.

I thought you caught the metaphor in "The Year the Rice-Crop Failed" perfectly.

The writer was using the technique I mentioned earlier of "extended metaphor".  Shortly I want you to write a poem using extended metaphor so it would pay to study how she did it closely.

You picked up this use of metaphor in your comments.  For instance you obviously noticed how the poet signalled to the reader that this poem wasn't just going to be about rice crops right from the word go by slipping in the apparently irrelevant phrase "The year we were married".  Why say that?  It becomes apparent as the poem progresses that the whole piece is basically about that marriage, and as you rightly said, the traumas it faced in its early days.  You get that overall sense of fragility and slight threat all the way through the poem, until the right at the end when hope enters into it, as if everything is strange and new, and weird things are happening that the speaker is having to adapt to.  A new way of life that is proving dangerous and challenging maybe.  Perhaps this is what it can be like when you embark on a new marriage.  A feeling that the old things are going and something new and slightly frightening is starting, and you have no idea how to control it, or where it will lead.  

Look how skilfully the writer maintains the metaphor through the whole poem.  The fish references do a lot to bind it together.  And even when she refers to her husband he moves like "a slow swimmer", "eyes and lips tight with salt"; there is a "mackerel sky", he dresses in a "herringbone suit", "galoshes", and shoes like "slippery otters" - all fishy watery references.

Note the sudden shift after the husband has left from the fish allusions to the "hoarse and angry" crows.  About as far away as you can get from the slippery silent denizens of the deep.  The reader wonders what the significance of this is.

..........

The other poem was perhaps slightly more visceral and as you rightly pointed out possibly lends itself to a wider variety of interpretations as a result - depending to some extent on what the reader brings to the experience of reading.  This is part of the beauty of good poetry; it can speak to different readers in different ways.

I think that the dominant theme of "undressing" for me was the movement in the poem.  The way the act of removal is also a progression towards something.  The other thing I find compelling is the manner in which the poem opens with relatively insignificant acts of removal - that, for instance, of slipping stiches - a very tiny thing and then slowly moves towards more momentous removals, until the poet tells us that apparently all there is is earth air rain and the "casual sun".  

That word casual gets me every time.  Why do you think the sun is "casual" - doesn't it imply a certain confidence, a certain nonchalance that in the face of all the doings of man and nature the sun will continue forever casually burning away.  And yet we know that even the sun itself is not eternal - it will eventually die away.  So what is the poet saying here.  Is she implying that nothing is eternal, or is she maybe using the sun as the closest metaphor she can for eternity.

In any event this is one of those poems where it is perhaps most useful to look closely at the ending.  Are we not seeing here the poet using the act of undressing as a metaphor for the return of all things (humans included) eventually to the earth and to nature.  "Yes it will come" she says - note the use of "will" implying inevitability - and we understand that what is coming is that inevitable merging of ourselves with our creator, be it material or spiritual.  And of course the whole poem as been leading up to this - the simple act of undressing suggesting a removal of the old and imperfect to reveal the perfect "something soft, unshelled, unstained".  

There is an awful lot more in this poem which I haven't time to look at now, but also note the lavish use of images.  Not vague adjectival references but pictures of things you can  SEE - TOUCH - SMELL - TASTE.

Ok when you've read the poems again a few 10's of times and read what I've just said a number of times too (if you can bear to   ), you will be ready to start on your own poem using the technique extended metaphor and employing concrete (as opposed to abstract) nouns (just ask me if you don't know what I'm talking about).

Before you start out writing I'd like you to observe.

Carefully.

Check out things you see around you today, tomorrow and write down in a notebook or on paper anything that catches your attention or interests you (or anything from the last couple of weeks).  I'm talking about actual things happening NOT your own feelings or thoughts, but incidents around you, preferably things that startle you or amuse you or upset you or create some burst of interest in you.

When you've done that pick a few - the best - and write a couple of lines, just in ordinary prose, in this thread describing each of them.  Try to have at least 5.

Hopefully we'll be able to move on from there.  If not then it will be back to close observation.  Close observation is something poets should be doing ALL the time.

Later.

M
GothicCherry
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27 posted 03-03-2009 04:29 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

First, abstract and concrete?

Second, so are you wanting me to describe the incidents using metaphors or just common adjectives? Oh, and five lines or topics?

Third, I don't think I ever want to read either of those poems again. I've read them so much I practically have them memorized. Lol...
Reborn_Phoenix
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28 posted 03-04-2009 01:12 AM       View Profile for Reborn_Phoenix   Email Reborn_Phoenix   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Reborn_Phoenix

I also agree with moonbeam.

The ideas you had were good, but the connection with the reader was lacking for me.
But from the poem I have read, I can tell that you have ability as a writer.

overall, good job.
moonbeam
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29 posted 03-04-2009 04:18 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

First:

Abstract and concrete.

Usually when people talk to beginner poets about abstract and concrete they are referring mainly to the use of abstract and concrete nouns.  This is a brief summary from Wikipedia:

"Concrete nouns refer to physical bodies which you use at least one of your senses to observe. For instance, "chair", "apple", or "Janet". Abstract nouns on the other hand refer to abstract objects, that is ideas or concepts, such as "justice" or "hate". While this distinction is sometimes useful, the boundary between the two of them is not always clear; consider, for example, the noun "art"."

Although you will often hear critics of poems tell beginners that abstractions are a bad thing, this isn't true in general.  Many experienced poets use abstract nouns and concepts in their poems very successfully, but this is a skill that needs to be acquired and is usually only done well by the best of poets.

As far as most of us are concerned we tend to use abstractions because we are too lazy, or not able, to think of ways in which to describe what we are trying to say in a specific and concrete way.  

Why is this bad?  It's bad because what happens is your poem then sinks into a morass of millions of other poems which all talk about the abstract notions of love, hate, jealousy, happiness etc etc.  After you've read a few thousand poems which simply say I love him I hate her I was happy I was sad, the mind simply switches off.  

Abstractions are used by beginners in place of really thinking through what they want to say, and tend to result in a vague confusing poem.

One of the best summaries I've read on this is here:
http://www.everypoet.org/pffa/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9963

If you read it carefully you'll be a long way towards writing better poetry.  (A word of warning, the link is to a site which is a serious workshop site - the informational posts are generally very good, but the site is not for beginners and the attitude of the moderators is extremely harsh.  I would not recommend you post there).

.......................

Second:

Just plain prose descriptions like you would write a letter or a note.  E.g.

"I was walking for the bus when this guy on a bicycle swerved in front of me hit the kerb and went flying into the hedge head first"

Oh, and I meant 5 incidents - i.e. 5 men on bike stories, or dog bites lady, or firework display in town square.

.....................

Third:

They are good poems to memorize!  

  

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (03-04-2009 07:21 AM).]

GothicCherry
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30 posted 03-04-2009 09:02 AM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Oh goodness! I am soo gald you put that link on this page for me. It's really helpful!

I will list and desribe those happenings for you as soon as I get home. Well, maybe in in-school later today. Idk.
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31 posted 03-04-2009 10:16 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

No hurry Michaela, if you haven't had enough recent incidents, events, experiences to draw on - either make them up! or go back further in time.

Glad you liked the link. Hope things are becoming clearer.

M
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32 posted 03-05-2009 11:48 AM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

The freshman choir class was practicing The Phantom of the Opera. On the final note an upperclassman came in, jumped on the choir directors desk, and sang "The phantom is here!" at the highest pitch in her range.

At a teen party a boy grabbed this girl's foot and she made him topple over the computer chair.

A guy kisses his bestfriends girl upon her cheek and then takes her hand and leads her into a different room.

Running up the stairs, a disheveled teacher drops his cell phone down them and it breaks into four pieces. He mutters a foul word and something about stupid teenagers and picks up his broken phone and slips it into his wrinkled pants pocket.

A boy of around seventeen years sneaks into the boy's locker room during an assembly. Approximately three minutes later his girlfriend disappears from the bleachers as well. Twenty minutes after, the girl returns from the boy's locker room combing her fingers through her long, fine, blonde hair. the boy comes out not long after her.

I don't exactly understand why you wanted me to write these things down, but here is what I saw lately and in the past few days. I hope these work okay.

moonbeam
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33 posted 03-05-2009 01:52 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

It doesn't matter that you don't understand - in fact it's an advantage that you don't

Back soon.

M
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34 posted 03-05-2009 01:56 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

An advantage?? Wow.
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35 posted 03-05-2009 04:53 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ok, now things start to get a bit more difficult.  But difficult is fun, because in this case difficult means you have to start getting your creative and imaginative side into gear.

This next bit is often the part that many poets find the most difficult.  That's not always true by any means though.  Some writers have ideas tumbling out of them like confetti..  The secret is to try and get into the right frame of mind.  Many people find they need to find a quiet place for half an hour or so and just let the mind wander.  I have to admit I for one find it totally impossible to be creative if there are distractions all round me.

So do what ever you have to do to focus and get that imagination going overtime.

What you've done is come up with 5 pictures.  We're going to try to use one of them (or maybe a combination) to create a poem which employs extended metaphor and imagery.  

The thing that hits me right away about the 5, is that 3 of them are quite similar - interaction of boy/girl.  It's going to be quite hard to centre and original poem around those scenes (except maybe the chair toppling) because the theme is not unusual.  (I may be wrong though, the pictures may trigger some unusual and interesting connection).  The other two have immediately obvious potential though.

Now, I don't want to lead you too much at this stage, as I'd like this to be your poem, and the spark of initial creativity is possibly what makes it yours more than anything else, so I won't use either the Phantom picture or the Broken Mobile picture to show you what I want you to try and do.  Instead I'll use a picture of mine from today:

"Lifting a heavy oak log, under it, crouched in a shallow depression of earth, a tiny hibernating toad."

The name of the game is to TRIGGER.  Trigger reaction in you, trigger CONNECTIONS.

When Garland wrote "undressing" maybe she had a flash of inspiration that the act of undressing could be used as a metaphor for a divesting oneself of all earthly things including ones life till we merge back with the universe.

When Drane wrote about the Rice Crop maybe her trigger of inspiration was suddenly seeing the fish floating down the street and thinking that their panicky lost yet swift behaviour could be a metaphor for her own marriage.

When I saw the toad under the log today ... ??

At this point I find it helps to be really quiet and still and kinda let your mind drift over the picture you saw trying to make connections with other aspect of life that you find fascinating - love, death, war, peace, politics, sex, work, fashion - anything in fact.

I'm going to try that right now with my picture ...

Brb
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36 posted 03-05-2009 05:10 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ok.  It's not a particularly nice poem subject, but it's something I feel strongly about so I guess that's why it came to mind.

........

I have this idea about the way in which my mother in law crushed her husband mentally into the ground.  He ended up spending his last years holed up in a little room, sleeping a lot and cut off from the world, because he couldn't face the world with her in it.  It would have been so wonderful if someone could've one day lifted that heavy weight, the log, (her domination of him), away.  Sure it might have been hard for him to wake up (from hibernation), but he needed a push to wake up and greet the Spring.

........

I know all the details need to be worked on, and often something different emerges as the work of writing starts, but for now I have the idea that the weight of the log on the small toad can be developed into an extended metaphor which will tell the story of the oppression this poor man suffered and the potential to be freed.  

At this stage that's all that needed.  Just a very vague germ of an idea - a CONNECTION.

Now it's your turn!   You don't need to use all of the detail in any one of the pictures you've painted.  For instance in the phone one you might just use the image of the dropped phone or the image of slipping it into the pants pocket.  You could also mix one picture with another.  

Just let your mind go free, be zany if you like, weird if you want, but try get your imagination TRIGGERED.  

Don't worry if you find it hard - if after half an hour nothing comes don't worry that's quite normal.  And if after a day or two you are still having problems that's no problem either - there are lots of fun little exercises we can do to get the imagination synapses firing on all cylinders.

I'm travelling a lot tomorrow so might not be able to get back to you till late.

Good luck.

M
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37 posted 03-05-2009 10:44 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Uh-huh.

So you're wanting me to take say the broken mobile picture and make it in to a poem using extended metaphor? Or what? I sort of got really lost.

I really like how you transfered the picture of the toad into something completely different. That was pretty cool.
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38 posted 03-06-2009 03:24 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I know this isn't easy Michaela, perhaps I'm making you leap a little fast here or not explaining well enough, if so we can rewind and try a couple of fun exercises which will help.  Let me try and explain agin first though.  

Ok, we're taking it a step at at time so don't worry about what's coming after at this stage.  Just try and concentrate on what I did with the incident of the toad and do the same with maybe either the phone incident or the phantom of the opera incident.

All I want you to do at this stage is to try and write a few lines like I did about the toad mother in law thing.

As I said before, I don't want to put ideas into your head, but to help you I'll try and show you what I mean:

So, the girl climbed on the table and sang the high note at the end of the phantom song. Let's see what I can do with that - MAKE CONNECTIONS!

Ok, so this reminds me of life, where everybody seems the same, all singing the same song together in unison, and then suddenly one person stands out and shines for a particular reason or talent.  I need to try and apply that to my life - and I can't easily think of something that's really happened, so at this stage it's quite legitimate for a poet to make up a story to make the point.  I think I'd go for a poem something as follows:  

A girl (the speaker) and her b/f go to a school concert.  Things have not been going well in the relationship, she thinks he is boring and ordinary.  The concert proceeds in a mundane way with everyone singing in unison - suddenly one person stands forward and sings a spectacular solo, filling the girl with hope and inspiration.  As she sits next to her b/f she takes his hand, suddenly she realises that he does have qualities that make him special to her.

The concert becomes a metaphor for her feelings.  The connection I made was between the girl singing the high note and standing out from the crowd with the idea of every person having a unique quality, and specifically her b/f which made him special.

...........

Have a try Michaela.  Like I say, if you find this too difficult then we can do something that will lead you into it more easily.  Whatever happens don't be discouraged, you are a good writer and you can do this.

Later.
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39 posted 03-06-2009 03:57 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Just before I go I'll also show you what we are aiming for eventually with one of my poems using extended metaphor, and a few notes.

I was watching Skylarks one day in the sky.  The way they twitter and then fall through the air kind of hesitating as the come down, before finally plunging to the earth.  Have you seen that?

Anyway I was a little bit worried about writing about skylarks because poets all down history have done so!  But I thought I'd try and go for something a bit different, and I got to thinking that this motion and twittering of the skylark could be used as a metaphor for a very unsure and hesitant lover trying to propose marriage to his girl, and then finally failing to do so (the plummet to earth).

I dressed it up in a bit of a story about a picnic in the country, and used the Title of the poem to indicate what was really going on (a bit like Drane used the reference to marriage in the first line of her Rice Crop poem to indicate what the subject of her poem really was).

Anyway that's how the idea started - the CONNECTION between skylarks flight and a hesitant lover.

Here is the finished poem:

Proposal

I had intended to do it
in the field of daisies
and cow pats, spread
out on the tartan rug,
her mother packed
with the picnic, under
the meadow-warm sun.
And I did start fingering
the ring in the warm nest
of my pocket, and twittering
on like that skylark
climbing in ledges
up to the peak
of its vacuous powers,
before the long silent slide back to earth.

......


And finally, this is another of mine using extended metaphor, this time the characteristics of the shearwater to act as a metaphor for the behaviour of the speaker's boyfriend who seems to prefer to write flighty poetry rather than associate with her!  The shearwater is a bird that spends nearly all its time at sea flying gracefully looping over the waves  - it is clumsy on land.


Shearwaters

Sullen in the sheets I watch you perched
on the gunwale. A mile north of Fair Isle,
a mile nearer home, and you're doing
what you've done all week, pen locked
to the looping curves of your hand, mind
somewhere up ahead, rolling out the lines
fluidly, in your element.

So it is that you miss them. Oblivious
to our tender, which has touched the earth
and is tainted, they mould themselves
to the swell, a wetsuit of space between
wingtip and wave. Then they are gone, tilting
dark and light, tracing a contour which shifts
randomly like water.

At the evening workshop, you did not attend,
we learned that only the need
to reproduce drives them to helplessness.
And when the pelagic dream smashes
into the cliff top they flop
in the thrift, skulk in holes,
are easily picked up or trodden on.
At dusk you can hold them for a while
in a torch beam; then they will crab away
like damaged bats. They stay near the edge
of cliffs. They cannot lift from level ground.

And back with you that night, lying close
in the embers of warmth from rich peat,
I watched you shrug out of the glow
of my gaze. Not even a guilty pause
before you tumble up into the abyss
and feather your flight with words.

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (03-06-2009 04:45 AM).]

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40 posted 03-06-2009 04:33 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

I understand what you're saying now. So is this what you want?

A woman's life has always been tired and dull like a simple ballad. She has no family, her career is boring, and she has never left the city she lives in. Each day seems to drag on in perfect, unbroken unison with the next. As she nears fifty, she figures any exciting and fun parts of her life that were meant to occur have already been played. Then she meets a man suitable for a husband. She is always the main attraction to this man. She notices at that point that her life is simply reaching a late crescendo.

I'm not sure how good that is for a metaphor, but I guess it works....????
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41 posted 03-06-2009 06:18 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Yes! Michaela you're getting the idea.  

The piece of music being the metaphor for her life.  That would work.

I'm crosseyed here with tiredness. Gotta get some sleep, back in the morning with my thoughts.

M

  
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42 posted 03-07-2009 06:49 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ok, Michaela the idea you came up with of the musical piece being a metaphor for a woman's life would work and you might use it eventually.  However I think maybe what we should do now is take a step sideways. We're still aiming at writing a poem using extended imagery and metaphor, but I think we need to some more work on stimulating those "mind muscles" of yours before we go further.

Look at your 5 pictures.  All of them are concerned with the actions of people:

The girl singing the high note
The boy pulled over by the ankle
The boy girl kiss
The teacher and the mobile phone
The boy girl tryst in the locker room

Metaphors about people's lives or actions tend to work better and be more interesting when they aren't themselves based upon the actions of other people.  It's kinda of like using the kiss of a boy and girl as a metaphor for a kiss between a boy and girl - ok, that's an extreme example but you see what I mean.  For instance a more interesting and workable metaphor for a kiss between a boy and girl might be the kiss of the sun on the horizon during a stunning sunset.  That could throw up a lot of possibilities.

So we're going to work on generating some ideas from your mind that aren't necessarily connected directly with people (or at least a person won't be the main character in the picture).  For instance in my toad under log picture, the main character wasn't the guy turning over the log, but the toad.

I'm going to borrow some ideas from one of my favourite books, In the Palm of Your Hand by Kowit.

First of all let's try some more memory stimulation.  From the following list just jot down a very brief note of any memory that comes to mind as you read the questions.  The more the emotion that is called forth in you the better - if nothing comes to mind just skip the question.  Just a very short note is all that's needed - something like "dog standing on hind legs" or whatever it is that is triggered.  Ok, here's the list:

Recall a pleasant time in the past
Recall a building in which you once lived
Recall a secret you once had
Recall a magical person you once knew
Recall an incident that filled you with dread
Recall something dangerous you once did
Recall something bad or sinful you did
Recall something that happened during vacation
Recall something that happened near a body of water
Recall a form of transport that you liked
Recall a piece of jewellery you admired
Recall something funny that made you laugh out loud
Recall an animal you loved
Recall what you liked about a favourite movie
Recall a piece of clothing you adored

Don't post the notes here.

Jot them in a notebook and then tell me when you're done, and I'll tell you what to do next.

M
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43 posted 03-07-2009 10:00 AM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Ok, I wrote down all of them that came to mind. I had about twelve that I could think of something for. Now what?

I have a question. I don't mean to pry into your life or anything, but how did you learn so much?
moonbeam
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44 posted 03-07-2009 11:14 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Ok, I wrote down all of them that came to mind. I had about twelve that I could think of something for. Now what?


Wow, that was quick.  I'll be right back to you after I've done a few household chores.
quote:
I have a question. I don't mean to pry into your life or anything, but how did you learn so much?

What a question!  You're not prying at all .  I am not sure that I know any more than a lot of people who were lucky enough to have my education.  In fact I'm darned sure I know a lot less than many.  In any case when you get to my age Michaela I'm convinced you'll know a lot more about poetry and literature than I do; after all at your age I could never have written a sonnet like you just did, and I would have probably thought Iambic Pentameter was a sci-fi movie or something.

What I do know I learned from listening to people who knew more than me, reading books, reading thousands of poems, and practising.

Back in a short while.
moonbeam
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45 posted 03-07-2009 12:38 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Oh, also the other way I've learned a lot about writing poetry is by putting a lot of thought into critiquing other people's poems.  I think that by looking closely at other poems and seeing why they do or don't work for you, helps you to improve your own writing.


Ok, Michaela you have your notes triggered by the questions.

Next you need to select just one of the incidents you've noted.

Choose one that calls up strong emotions, BUT ALSO one that might produce a story that would be interesting to tell.  (So for instance don't choose a recollection of your first kiss, because although it might be very emotional for you, it's not likely to interest others because everyone has their own first kiss, and it's not unusual.  On the other hand if during your first kiss a blue dog with pink spots walked round the corner, then I guess it might make a good story!).

Next think about the incident or place, or thing and let it play through your mind like a movie.  Try and go back there and see every detail, every scent, every sight and sound.  Don't try and analyse or interpret, just let the scene play in your mind.  

Next jot down on paper every single SPECIFIC DETAIL that you can recall.

Don't try and write a poem.  Just jot down the detail in any form you like in any order, just as you recall it.

BUT ..... :

DON'T jot down your own feelings - note down SPECIFIC FACTS AND IMAGES.  Try and be precise.  So for instance if there was a tree involved, write down that it was an oak, or even better "the old oak split by lightning"; and if someone laughed the laugh wasn't just "a laugh", but the "long slow tinkle of a chandelier in the wind".  

This is the time to remember those sensations and to be creative Michaela.  Don't be frightened of being different in your language.  Be DARING - true poets push the frontiers of language they don't hide behind long overused phrases.  Make up phrases and original combinations of words to describe you experience.

Write down what things in your memory looked like, smelled like, felt like, what someone said, how someone gestured or moved or wept.  Was there a doorknob gleaming in the sun, a dog barking on the corner in the snow, did someone's dry cough punctuate the silence.  You will probably find new detail emerging - things you hadn't recalled on the first run through.  Write those down too.  

If you find yourself writing a paragraph or a couple of pages that's fine.

And of course this is all in prose, this isn't the poem.  Don't worry about about making it poetic.  These are just notes.  But DO try to be original and come up with specific CONCRETE details.  Maybe go back to the link I put up showing the different between abstract and concrete.

And then if you feel happy about posting what you've written here - do so.  Otherwise let me know, and you can send it via e-mail.

This isn't something to rush through in 5 mins either, I really want you to extract every ounce of detail out of your experience BUT ALSO use original and specific and detailed language to describe it.

Any questions just ask as usual.

M

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46 posted 03-07-2009 01:07 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

I have one in mind that draws emotions out of me like crazy, but I am not sure if it will be something suitable for this. It's about reading in a tree I climbed and looking around enjoying the scenes that came to my eyes. The reason it brings the emotions is because of the surroundings. It's weird. I can describe it well, but I don't think I should use it. What do you think? I don't have many other thoughts that I think I can write on that came to mind when I recalled all those things.  
moonbeam
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47 posted 03-07-2009 01:16 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Lol it sounds ideal, if the surrounding were notable and they made a big impression on you.

Not sure why it wouldn't be suitable here - I can only think that you mean you were seeing things that if described might breach the PiP guidelines.  If sex or suicide are involved then perhaps it would not be a good idea to use it.  Otherwise maybe give it a shot, or float it past SEA first in e-mail if you are worried.

Remember though not your feelings:

DETAIL - ORIGINALITY - CONCRETE IMAGES
moonbeam
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48 posted 03-08-2009 05:26 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Just another thought.

There is a poet here who has a talent for the unexpected, the original.  Now I'm not saying you should write like her - who could!  But this is a person who is unafraid of zany connections, who is daring with her writing.  Sure, she sometimes writes apparent nonsense! but quite often she comes up with the most amazing images.

The reason I mention this is that right now I'm trying to get you to break away from the ordinary, to stop describing things purely in terms of your direct feelings (like my heart is broken!) and it may help to get you in the right mindset to read some stuff that is more weird than weird.  

Anyway here's one of her recent replies:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum100/HTML/001379.html#13

That's sane by comparison with her poetry, lol, which you can use the search function to find, if you feel you can handle it   .

M

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49 posted 03-08-2009 07:30 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Sure, she sometimes writes apparent nonsense!


GRENADE!!!



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