Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dave-El's Poetry Corner: There Was a Bear That Wasn't There....

A blog I like to check in on almost every day is The Comics Curmudgeon by Josh Fruhlinger which takes a humorous look at that other art form with word balloons and drawings, the newspaper comic strip.  

You know, newspapers? Your grandparents still read 'em, right? No? Oh, your grandparents have I-Pads now. Well, la-di-frickin'-da! That's your inheritance they're spending! 

Where was I? Oh yeah. Newspaper comic strips. One day, Josh was taking a look at Mark Trail one day and decided to embrace his inner poet.  

It's been a while since I last posted a foray into the world of poetry. (Those posts can be found here and here. God knows why.) But the idea of taking something written as prose and turning into poetry by means of word placement and fun with fonts was intriguing to me.  So let's give that a shot.   

You know, newspapers? 
Your grandparents still read 'em, right? 
Oh, your grandparents have I-Pads now. Well, la-di-frickin'-da! 
they're spending!


It does seems to be a bit more... I believe the word I'm searching for is "pretentious". 

That is the heavy weight that poetry has to carry around, the idea that poetry has to be something more than simple language. Poetry is not about the weight of language but its power. It's not about the biggest words or the most important words but the right words.  

As I have done in the previous two entries on poetry, I like to sample an actual good poem from a good poet. As before, that poet is Robert Frost and today the poem is The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.  

I admire Robert Frost's work, including this particular poem although it is not one of my favorites. Perhaps because its the most quoted of Frost's poems. And I have to confess to a sense of impatience with the narrator: for crying out loud, pick a road already!  

That The Road Not Taken actually elicits an impatient response from me somewhat underscores the power of the work. After all, if I am not one to take the time to contemplate the choices I make and consider their impact on my life, what does that say about me? And that question speaks to the power of a good poem. 

OK, I'm taking a shot at something poetry-like (not counting the silliness from earlier). Let's see how this goes. 

I rise in the morning 
Without decision
It is an act of instinct
Of precision
Steps taken once I touch the floor 
Occur with little thought 
To get me to the door
Then dress for the day. 
One foot in front of the other 
And I'm on my way.
It is a pattern of habit 
Of rote. 
Of the world around me
I make little note. 
What kind of life is this? 
It is not life, I merely exist. 
What if the start of the day
Was to be decided?  
Then perhaps I can live life 
And not just survive it.  
Decide to forego the pattern
The plan
And don't do what I always do
But do what I can. 
I rise in the morning
And I decide 
To do something different
Something untried. 

Well, I'll say this: It rhymed.  

That's that for today's Poetry Corner. Thanks for dropping by. And until next time, be good to one another.  

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

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