Some Poetry

The other day I posted a piece of art (this wolf here) and I’d like to share more art soon. I also have a full review of Breadcrumbs in the works, and several other ideas for posts. For variety, though, I think it’s time to share some words. I took a poetry class two semesters ago which I enjoyed immensely, and that taught me to think of myself once again as someone who writes poems. A lot of things I wrote in that class are too personal to share (sometimes you just gotta write break-up poetry. Some of it was pretty good. Doesn’t mean I wanna post it) but this poem is solidly in the realm of fiction. It’s actually the very first poem I wrote for the class, to fulfill an exercise in iambic pentameter.

 

You never knew how far I went to find

your weary ass that night, when you were dead

upon the doorstep, dead, but not too dead

to speak. And never mind that I was crying,

fainting, rhyming, raging, lying, ‘cause

you rambled dark and dreary, like a mad

man, like a priest. And though your lips were shouting

“Memphis!” and your hands were holding diamonds

still I held your body listless through

the darkly dripping streets. And so we wandered

more like lovers, more like leavers, more

like brothers, till the dawn-glow left us breathless

reeling sightless towards the sea.

 

 

I still feel a little weird about poetry as something one shares, because it seems incredible to me that anyone else wants to experience the same poems that I do. I memorize a lot of verse, and I occasionally inflict it on people because it’s hard to stop once I get going, but if someone asks me to recite a poem, I say, incredulously, “Really?” Do you know what you’re getting into? Won’t you be bored? I’ve come to think of poetry as a mostly private experience. The poems I know are for saying aloud in the silence, walking by houses in a twilight neighborhood where all the doors are closed, or wading in Lake Superior when the sky is black and the stars are white and the seagulls are an eerie concert, just out of sight. This class I took was amazing because it introduced me to so many different kinds of poetry, to good poems being written today, and to people my age whom I respect  and whose company I adore and who get just as excited about poetry as I do. Our professor made us feel worthwhile for everything we produced, and then challenged us to do so much better, and so much more.

Oh, and Wanderlust? I am puttering through Chapter 10, which is now Chapter 11. This is disconcerting, because this chapter has been Chapter 10 for years. I’m sort of writing off the map now, because I’ve changed the ending. What I’m writing now I’ve never written before, so this is the part where I try to get something down there to replace the nothingness, knowing that I’m going to rewrite and rewrite before it’s ever good.

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4 Comments

  1. I think poetry is wonderful and I do some myself. I am not good but it helps me express myself sometimes when nothing else will. I like to rhyme more than complicated poems. I write some on my blog and I don’t care any more if people like them or not because my blogs are for ME!!!! Its wonderful if someone likes it but it doesn’t matter to me when they don’t because they made the choice to read it or not. I am not a huge fan of poetry but have some people who I seem to enjoy more than others. Longfellow, Wordsworth, Blake………….some of the more complicated I can do without. If I have to try to figure out what they are getting at from within their drug induced stupor then I pass it by. Even so,,,,,,,,,,,,,Shelly and Byron and that brotherhhood of miscreants could also put out some good ones that I enjoy. I like the stories, the epics, that grab my imagination. I like poems about nature. Anyway………….among other things you may find a few of mine here.
    http://englishspiritsprettythings.blogspot.com/
    I will keep up with reading your blog and wish you well……………keep it up.
    Janice

    Reply
    • I’ve been looking at your blog, and I left a few comments! I agree with you on Blake, and have you seen his illustrations? I like epics too, especially Beowulf. Rhyming or not, complicated or uncomplicated, my favorite poems are poems where the words have power. I think rhythm is perhaps the most important thing in a poem—it can be more powerful than rhyme.

      Reply
  2. jeanine lebrell

     /  July 12, 2012

    i may call, just to have you say that poem out loud.

    also more like *leavers*?

    Reply
  1. Profanity in Writing (among other things) | Grace Makley

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