Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dave-El's Poetry Corner


Poetry is an art form that gets very little respect. It's short, maybe it rhymes or maybe it doesn't and it doesn't really have to mean anything. How hard is it to write a short thing that many not even rhyme and doesn't have to mean anything? 

Yet those who write poetry well engage in the use of language at a level of skill and talent that those who write prose can only aspire. 

Poetry is easy to make fun of.  For example take this segment from the classic animated TV show Animaniacs, a bit called Dot's Poetry Corner

The problem is that most people are compelled to poetry at the most extreme of human emotions. 

Take this work of emotional dreck written by yours truly during one of my emotional downturns. (Kids, if you're supposed to take your crazy meds every day, take your crazy meds every day.)  

There’s a man in my head 
that screams every day.
Every day he screams, 
he screams in my head.
Let me out, he screams, 
he screams every day.
Let me out, let me out, let me out!
He screams and he claws, 
he claws at the walls.
He claws at the walls of the shuttered halls 
in my head.
The doors are locked 
and the windows blocked
In the shuttered halls in my head.
The air is stale with regret, 
hot with rage
In the shuttered halls in my head.
There the man screams, 
he screams every day.
Let me out, let me out, let me out!
He screams so loud, 
there’s blood in my ears.
But the man in my head is going to stay.
I can’t get out; why should he? 

I mean, really, what the hell? Was I wearing all black with a beret and dark glasses while pondering soulfully into a grey wind swept vista of a cold winter's day? No, of course not. I do not own a beret.  

But yeah, that was in a very dark place. However, right now, with the brain chemicals sloshing about in a fairly tranquil and even balance, I am absolutely stuck to come up with even a naughty limerick.  

In March, I reached deep into my inner Suess to come up with this little poetic gem for my 1 year anniversary blog post

Today is the birthday of a blog. 

No, not of a frog
No, not of a shknog
Most certainly not of a woo-wog. 
But of a blog. 
A blog? A blog? 
What is this thing, a blog?
A blog is a log
No, not that kind of a log
Not one of wood
But one of wood of would be good
If I need a place to sit 
When I no longer stood
But this log is not of a tree 
A tree that is brown with leaves of green 
But a log is a place where I write 
On the light of a screen
A blog is a log of the thoughts 
That run 'round in my nog
Thoughts that are smart 
And thoughts that are stupid 
Thoughts from my heart 
And thoughts that are fahloopid
So happy birthday to you my blog
You are the bloggiest blog
You track the thoughts from my noggiest nog
And I haven't the foggiest fog
On how to end this rhyme
So I will just end it at this time 
With a last note to each mother and brother 
To each kuhnother and blutrother
To just be good to one another. 

Nothing like channeling non-sensical vibes of Dr. Seuss to come up with a light and perky little work of poetry, eh? 

Ultimately the pinnacle poetic achievement
for me has always been Robert Frost. I copied this poem in a post about 8 or 9 months ago. I don't feel like looking for it to set up a link so I'll just post it here. My favorite Frost poem, Once By The Pacific.

The shattered water made a misty din.

Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
Like locks blown forward 
in the gleam of eyes.
You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
The cliff in being backed by continent;
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more 
than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light 
was spoken.

Powerful stuff yet not overwrought. There's a clear sense of imagery and a strong urgency in the text. Stuff like that, I wish I could do. 

Much of what I've done on this blog has been an exercise in developing the discipline of writing and one place I really want to put that to the test is in poetry. I want to see if I can cultivate the skill set needed to write poems and not just when I'm in a deep dark pit of depression or flitting about stupidly in the fields of Dr. Seuss. 

So I'm putting on my lab coat and firing up the Bunsen burners 'cause I'm going to start experimenting with poetry. 

May God have mercy on us all. 

Until next time, be good to one another.  

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

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