Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A quick one to get back on track.

Let's throw in a quick mention of poetry. I've gotten side-tracked, in blogging, not writing. Er, writing-writing.

In the past two days I've written two poems. I quite like them. Some more tweaking, I'll rest them a bit, and tweak some more maybe, and they'll be done. They are excellent examples of a few of the ways poems come to me.

Goats Don't Want To Be Just Goats was inspired by a photo I saw in a National Geographic magazine. I saw it and said to my partner (in crime) "I'm inspired to write a poem about this." A couple of days later I did. It was the result, I suppose, of trying to figure out what these goats were doing in a tree. By the way, the photograph was of goats in a tree. While the words themselves began by describing the goats, the tree, the goats in the tree, they eventually led me to the story behind them. The poems doesn't tell the story. It touches on the background, motivation, and future plans of the goats. Of course, I kind of had a plan when I started the poem, but the poem had plans of its own, and I didn't try to hold it back or force it into a mold. Language and the dramatic molded this poem.

Hush The Trees Their Wintry Dreams began a bit differently. I try to keep notebooks handy, and as lines, ideas, idle words pop into my head, I jot them down. They are in themselves complete nonsense, and stringing them together would just be bad poetry. So I put them away. When I need inspiration, I'll flip through the pages until, well, I feel inspired. A few lines and words here and there... I type them up, and see what I can make of them. Sometimes nothing, and they remain a bad draft for a long long time. Other times they blossom, with a lot of work, love, and coaxing, into something more. It begins with just words, and I work them until a music forms, and play with that until the idea becomes planted. At that point there's a lot of weeding and transplanting, rearranging and adding, some long division, and viola! A poem has slowly sprung into being, and reaches that point where I just want to read it again and again. And again.

Are titles for poems hard? Sometimes. Because my poetry tends to be quite dense, I run the risk always of being too obscure for my readers. For my poetry, it's important that the title provide a definite signpost to guide readers in the right direction. I write short poems that need long titles.

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