All poetry creates an experience of exaltation and horror.~ Robert Graves
by Lyn Crain
A tree crashes shatters the window.
the ground shudders with its weight.
The storm rages… rips every fragile
fragment of nature to shreds.
A life is born, fighting to live
in a desperate struggle for air.
An old life shudders a frenzied surrender
death claims his last gasp.
What once was …
BY LANGSTON HUGHES
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—
I, too, am America.
When Hughes wrote this poem it was a singularly significant affirmation to tell the history of United States through the lens of the African-American experience. It embodies that history at a particular point in the early 20th century when Jim Crow laws throughout the South enforced racial segregation; and argues against those who would deny that importance—and that presence.
Although today, it could be any immigrants story as most of us know all too well.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts. It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”
I’ve been working on poetry forms again. The focus I find is helping me rethink my word usage in my book. Writers are guilty of using extra verbiage that doesn’t add to the story.
I decided to give a Fib aka Fibonacci for short a try because of its rigid structure.
Form: Fibonacci~ 8 Lines~ Syllabic Structure: 1/1/2/3/5/8/13/21
In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are the numbers in the following integer sequence, called the Fibonacci sequence, and characterized by the fact that every number after the first two is the sum of the two preceding. Fib is an experimental Western poetry form, bearing similarities to haiku, but based on the Fibonacci sequence. That is, the typical fib and one version of the contemporary Western haiku both follow a strict structure. The typical fib is a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – with as many syllables per line as the line’s corresponding place in the Fibonacci sequence; the specific form of contemporary Western haiku uses three (or fewer) lines of no more than 17 syllables in total. The only restriction on a Fib is that the syllable count follows the Fibonacci sequence.
to take steps.
A bold move beyond
the usual path love follows.
I want no boundaries, no rules to confine my heart.
I wonder if you are the one to join me on this elusive passion-filled journey.
Finish by Charles Bukowski
We are like roses that have never bothered to
bloom when we should have bloomed and
it is as if
the sun has become disgusted with
and I rebel with words of my own.
or leave you with that cookie cutter ending all’s right in the world?
Last night in our local writing group we discussed a haiku for twenty minutes.A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. Imagine that twenty minutes of animated conversation over seventeen syllables. The group sitting at the table all had different perspectives on the piece. It was a philosophical poem by a younger poet in our group, he was trying different forms to expand his poetic skills. I was very happy to see and hear what he brought to the group after all isn’t that what makes us all great in our ways.
From the time we’re born we absorb information in all manners and that data is processed and stored for future use. As we age, we see it in action and reprocess it forming new skill sets. Writing, observing, reading, talking all are essential tools in a writer’s tool basket that must be continuously honed to improve our craft.
The question last night that arose is should the author end a poem providing the reader the answer or at the very least a strong clue as to the writer’s intent. My own opinion is no, The reader should fill in the necessary information, ask questions, ponder and then formulate their own conclusion. The author is only the instrument to guide the reader in the journey. The beauty of poetry is to take the reader from the darkness and hopefully awaken beauty in the reader’s mind. That ah ah moment when the reader feels connected to the author experiencing the moment or vision. Poetry opens the mind to possibilities outside of the daily norm to me.
My question to you is what do you feel poets should do?
Provide you a window to and let you decide what you’re seeing or provide you a window and the answer.
These are a few of my personal favorites my Buson, Jess, Waters and myself I hope you enjoy:
The light of a candle
is transferred to another candle—
Written by Copyright © 2007 by Yosa Buson
my motto for life
– merit, not sympathy, wins-
my song against death.
i stroke piano’s
eighty eight mouths. each one sings
hot colors of joy
keys raise up high into bliss,
born to sing my name
whippoorwill, hawk, crow
sing madrigals for blind men.
forests blooms through each note.
my eyes: buried deep
beneath earth’s skin. my vision
begins in her womb.
darkness sounds like God
flowering from earth’s molten tomb…
writhed wind. chorded cries.
rain, flower, sea, wind
map my dark horizon. i
inhale earth’s songbook
written by Copyright © 2016 by Tyehimba Jess.
on my hand
written by Bill Waters Published in Brass Bell: A Haiku Journal
Words boldly impressed
Scribbles upon broken soul
An author’s remorse
stood strong alone at sunrise
a beacon to me.
Struggling flowers bloom thru ice
A joyous moment
I took a higher dosage of my prescribed medication so I could attempt to get back on track. Thankfully, I accomplished 29,702 words written with 20,298 to go. I have
59.4 % completed according to Writing.com’s calculator.
I saw Lisa made progress today. I’m happy for Carly she finished. We can do this Lisa.
I got an interesting message from my writing class instructor this afternoon that helped validate my insanity. “BTW I’ve just finished reading your chapters. Excellent!” He gave me an exclamation point, the man never does that. Raz always says save the exclamation point for the best possible moment and only use one in a book to make it damn good.
I’m off to bed, tomorrow I go to Philadelphia to get my Botox injections and to discuss with the doctor about changing my medicines so I have relief longer than a week. This is the third month in a row where the nerve block hasn’t lasted longer than a few days. There has got to be something different to try.
“Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” ~ Bob Marley
“You don’t know you exist until you see your name chiseled in stone or on the cover of your book. That’s when you become immortalized.”~Lyn Crain