Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The poet in me

Although my own ability to create poetry is best described as a struggle, I love to read good poets, and there is nothing like sitting by a lit fireplace, candles on the mantle and listening to someone with a marvelous voice reading poetry aloud. You close your eyes and just float away to other worlds and experiences.

To me, poetry is the ultimate distillation of words in a manner that paints a picture, moves the soul, brings to life an emotion, event, or love. I admire those who can seemingly flow the words out-- maybe they don't flow as easily as it looks but a good poem never a
ppears tortured into being. It always looks as though-- of course, that's the only way it could possibly have been written. Poetry brings writing to its knees.

Most especially when it comes to rhyming, properly formed poetry, I am no poet. For me to rhyme anything ends up with some word at the end of a line wrestled into place with no meaning for the rest of the poem. I have written stream of consciousness poetry for years but only recently have attempted to refine it into a finished work. Mostly that inspiration comes after reading some gifted blogger poet's work and once again wondering if magically the ability transformed itself to me... Not yet.

I am always uneasy when I put any of my poetry out. I usually have preferred to not embarrass myself and say instead, uhm those are just words there, not actually a poem, as I cast a sideways glance to see if anybody thought they might be poetry. If they do, I'll smile and be pleased but have not wanted
to take the risk of having anybody think I might have meant it to be-- in case it isn't.

My history with poetry is a bit checkered. When I was in seventh grade, I was a little geek of
a girl who wanted to fit in but coming from the country, wearing glasses, not much money for clothes and having stringy unstyled hair, it wasn't easy. I was the girl you remember from when you were in school, the one who got picked first for spelling bees and last for any competition involving sports, and then the captain wished they hadn't had to pick that last one at all. PE was my bane and I wasn't all that thrilled to be valued only for my spelling.

So there
I was in the junior high literature class and the young male teacher was making some very serious comments about poetry. I made a joke which wasn't really like me, but hey, I wanted to be thought cool and everybody knows poetry isn't cool. Of course, they know no such thing. Anyway he looked over at me with all the wrath only a teacher of that time could produce and said-- Shut up! I did, of course. I doubt I told my parents as they'd have agreed with him. He succeeded in embarrassing me totally and finished my entire career of making jokes at the expense of poets. I survived the red face and decided I'd have to find other ways to fit in.

The irony was I did and do like poetry. There are poems that bring tears to my eyes-- great poems of epic tales as well of love lost or gained. I savor poems that tell of nature's beauty and the meaning of life. When I was in high school, I compiled, in a type-written booklet, all of my favorite love poetry bringing to the project all the angst only a teen-age girl can conjure up.

I am not knowledgeable about all of the modern poets. I know a few. I am not fond of poetry with words strung together with seemingly no meaning. I like poems to move me, make me think. Generally my favorite poets have been from times gone past. The emotions they write about don't go out of date.

Why write on poetry if I can't put in one of my favorite passages! It wasn't easy to decide which, but when I think of my goals for my art, when I consider the kind of person I want to be, how I see life, it's said well by four lines in William Blake's Auguries of Innocence--

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And hold heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."

8 comments:

Winston said...

Those lines from Blake have stayed with me through the ages. I recently found a notebook from my early teen years, a collection of poetry, prose, and my own immature babblings from those formative years. There, one of the first entries was "To see a world in a grain of sand..."

I have not tried to write poetry in many years. What is called poetry has changed so much over the years, and much of it I do not understand. But I still like to read others.

robin andrea said...

I started writing poetry when I was very young. I think one of my first poems, when I was 7 years old, began "Now that I am old..." Imagine that! I like the work of trying to distill a thought into as few words as possible. Although, I also like the epic poems that go on for pages and pages. But, my favorites crystallize a moment, like a fine brush stroke in chinese lettering.

Parapluie said...

Pairing images with poetry has great creative strength. I think you can do it.

Dick said...

I have never read much poetry but have found a few that really resonate with me. Those that do, are wonderful and I find I react to them in ways I never could with pure prose.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I've loved poetry since I was a child too Rain; and started writing it then. But, I didn't start to write seriously until I was a young adult. I've posted many of my poems on my blog. I love finding pieces while I'm visiting other blogs. It's amazing to see some of the wonderful writers out there. Give it a go Rain...it's all self expression...there's no right or wrong about it.

Rain said...

Thank you all for the encouragement and I did join the poetry marathon to try and stretch my abilities in an area I'd love to be better (but where I will enjoy seeing what others do anyway). The idea of illustration and poem appealed to me a lot.

Thank you for coming and commenting, Joy. I tried to get to your site but didn't have any luck this morning but will try again later. Blogger was up to its usual temperamental self-- hope this comment posts. I will look forward to reading your poetry. There are some very gifted poets blogging. Some I have already found.

beissirissa said...

Interesting blog about your hot passion poems, keep up the good work hot passion poems http://www.beautifully-wicked-poetry.com

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