Monday, April 18, 2011

Falling in Love Again

By Tracy Astle

Have you ever let someone or something you love slip away only to reconnect with them/it later and wonder why you ever let that distance creep in? This month I've reconnected with an art form  I had forgotten I love so much. Poetry.

Over in the ANWA critique group we have been celebrating National Poetry Month with a daily challenge. Every day there's a different form given for us to try. Thankfully, it's a jump in or out whenever you like kind of thing. I must admit that with my time constraints at this time of year, I haven't jumped in and written too many poems, but I have been staying up later than I should each night just so I can read what others have written. I've been educated, entertained, enlightened, engaged and moved by what I've read.

A poem is such a beautiful thing. Whether it's whimsical or serious, personal or public, thought provoking or a simple distraction, a poem by its nature distills the subject at hand down to it's essence. Although there are some longer forms, most poems are much more like a snapshot than an epic motion picture. Because of that, the author has to think very precisely about what they want to convey and then make every word work to share that vision with the reader. I know every word counts in all forms of writing, but in a poem there are so many fewer words to carry the load. It's like the difference between listening to a soloist as opposed to a choir. In a choir you can have some weaker voices and still have a great choir, but a soloist must be strong since every note they sing is noticed. There's no room for slacker words in poems; every single word has to do its job.

Here's a little sample, one of my favorite stanzas of a poem set to music, taken ffrom our hymnbook -
     How great, how glorious, how complete
     Redemption's grand design,
     Where justice, love and mercy meet
     In harmony divine.
So much clarity and power in so few words!

So, let's here it for poetry! I'd love it if you'd share one of your favs in the comments. I'd love it even more if you'd come join the fun over on the crit line. Try your hand, if you like, but at least come read. Consider this your personal invitation.

7 comments:

  1. Like you I have really enjoyed all the poems posted both the fun and the serious. One of my favorites is a parable type poem by my paternal grandmother, The Old Black Hen. My favorite from childhood is the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

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  2. I don't get modern poetry...that said I do love and re read constantly (and quote) Kipling, Frost, Pope and Poe.

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  3. I have lots of favorites - and enjoy reading poetry frequently, though these days its most often children's poems. Like Terri, I don't get modern poetry too much, but I love the older poets - Tennyson is a huge favorite of mine.

    One of my most favorite from Childhood and on is by James Whitcomb Riley, it's called Little Orphant Annie

    LITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
    An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
    An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
    An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
    An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
    We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
    A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
    An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
    Ef you
    Don't
    Watch
    Out!

    Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
    An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
    His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
    An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
    An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
    An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
    But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
    An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
    Ef you
    Don't
    Watch
    Out!

    An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
    An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
    An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
    She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
    An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
    They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
    An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
    An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
    Ef you
    Don't
    Watch
    Out!

    An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
    An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
    An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
    An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
    You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
    An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
    An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
    Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
    Ef you
    Don't
    Watch
    Out!

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  4. I love this post! And National Poetry Month is a great time to celebrate the creative process.

    I also find it fun to read poetry to my kids. I love Winken, Blinken and Nod. They like the shorter poems and nursery rhymes

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  5. I too, have found myself writing poetry this month. I am enjoying my journey and am feeling like I want to keep it up. Here is the link to one of my newest ones (I wrote it yesterday)
    http://pitterlepostings.blogspot.com/2011/04/home-at-last.html
    If you get a chance, go ahead and read it and let me know what you think. I hope you like it.

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  6. This is such an amazing blog!!!

    If you have room I would liek to award all the writers of the blog the Powerful Woman Writer Award.
    You can go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  7. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to comment. Love the conversation.

    And love the poem Goofy J. So fun.

    Terri - I still remember when I was introduced to Poe's writings. Totally got under my skin in a way that nothing ever had up to that point. He definitely writes memorable things.


    In behalf of all of us on the blog team here - THANKS, DEIRDRA!

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