Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Poetic 4 (I Remember) -- Eric Whetstone

I found the I remember format to be pretty simple to write, but deciding on what type of memories to use was more difficult.  I ended up going with the kind of sad memories since they seemed more prominent in my mind and attempted to follow a kind of timeline through my life.  The poem starts with the simple problems of childhood, like losing a toy or getting lost and then gets into the more ‘real’ problems of life.  I was worried about not being able to hit the recommended length of 300+ words but it turned out to be far easier to write too much rather than not enough.  The fact that the I remember format allowed for a variety of structure made it interesting to decide on whether or not it should follow a timeline or be as they came from the mind, or what type of focus it should have or whether it should even just act as an outlet straight from the mind to the page.  It was easier to just jot down all the memories I had on a piece of paper without worrying about anything in relation to the poem and then pulling them out of the list (the poem really resembles a list/catalog of memories through time).  This format has power behind it, considering how it forces to author to remember memories (some of which I didn’t want to remember) and can be used as an outlet for frustration (which is how I felt after some of those memories forced themselves to the surface of my brain, memories I had wanted to forget).  I could also see how the process could be used to recount tales of happiness, and I was actually thinking about experimenting with the form as a use of documentation not just for one’s own memories but for those of a small group (it would be neat to get a group of old friend’s together and to hear their memories from their varying perspectives in an attempt to write a poem collectively in the I Remember format).  I found this to be the easiest poem to write in a literal sense, but also the hardest to think about since I often found myself drifting down memory lane and not even writing, but just sitting there daydreaming my ideas away.  I think the form as written by Brainard is a good start for it, but I feel like there are so many other places and other ways the phrase I Remember could be used to create other forms of poetry.

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