Thursday, June 4, 2009

Poetics 2

In trying to choose a topic to write about, much like the object poem, its usually been a week long exercise of jotting down potential ideas until my time is up and I need to produce a poem! I've found that by the time I am ready to write, I have become comfortable with my topic and just jump right in! For this poem, I thought about seasons of the year, foods, recipes, geographic locations, until I came across a theme that was more moving for me. As I listening to my heart and mind, I felt that "the heart in longing" is something that ignited my thoughts and emotions. All the things that came to mind were from me repeating that one line and following it through with a thought. I wanted to make it dynamic by keeping some things tangible, while others were not. As most of it is personal, I tried to make the language more universal so that we can all relate with "..wanting to be cushioned, high above within the clouds", and "wishes on the brightest star..." I was inspired by Shonagon's poems and how she had an implied narrative while arranging short lines, that may seem abstract, yet connect beautifully with each other. I wanted my poem to resemble her prose style so that rather have each line stand starkly on its on, its developed more like story format. It was interesting to hear the feedback about how my poem could simply be a love poem, rather than something so heart wrenching as the heart in longing. That, I must admit goes back to my personality because I have a tendency to be an optimist, regardless if I was longing for my first child, finally after trying to conceive for 6 years or missing my dead grandmom! Nonethless, I feel like the poem was liberating in some ways because I drew out so many deep themes about longing-that is not just about romance, but about people in my life who are no longer there, or past experiences from long ago, or even that rusty nail. The picking up the rusty nail was an act of stopping to pick up something that also, once was a shiny object and which resembles how the longing is felt over time and how like the nail, we too are changing, maturing, aging. I feel that with each exercise, I think that it is teaching me how to express these thoughts and feelings in a simple and efficient way.

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