Wednesday, December 19, 2007
SOME OLD POEMS 2 PONDER
Well, I was going to hold off posting some of my old poetry,..but figure since I am suffering a case of insomnia tonite I guess I may as well go ahead and start posting some. These poems were written back in 1984 when I was a liberal arts student at a local community college. The first one I am going to post for you entitled "That Stranger I," was my first FIRST 'un-rhyming"poem, the one that led me out of the "rhyming rut" so many struggling would b or wanna b poets get caught up in....NOT a good thing, me thinks, as constricts the imagination. Making poetry that doesnt rhyme is like breaking free of old traditions, .......Speaking of un-rhyming poems, one of my favorite all time poems is "The Red Wheel Barrow" by (Dr.)William Carlos Williams and goes like this;
So much depends on
the red wheel barrow
glistning in the rain
beside the white chickens
What is that poem saying to you? What feeling or feelings does it convey, if any? This is a poem that can be compared in a way to Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk" poem/song,...you all remember that?
Driving the highway late one night
He should have looked left
He should have looked right
He Didnt see the station wagon car
Skunk got squashed so.....there you are
You got your dead skunk in the middle of the road
stinking to the high heavens
Roll up your windows & hold your nose
I tell ya buddy it aint no rose.....
Well ya got your dead cat and you got your dead dog
on a moon light night you got your dead toad frog
you got your dead rabbit and your dead raccoon
Oh the blood and the guts are gonna make you swoon!
Now what can we say these two poems have in common? One is rather short and doesnt rhyme, the other is longer and is more of a song (cause put to music) and rhymes,.....but I guarantee you they do share something in common; they both go to show that poetry and song can be made out of ANY subject....even somthing as "benign" as a wheel barrow or a dead skunk.....one thing the WCW poem has that is not felt at least as strongly as any feeling you might get out of LWIII poem is the"feeling" of "contrast". Cant you just see the brightish red of the wheelbarrow as it glistens in the rain besides the white chickens? The colors come alive in that poem.....because of the contrast and the glistning. Oh yeah the LWIII poem/song has colors alright, in the "blood & guts" part,.....but the colors are implied or imagined, not stated, and there is no discription of a color or whatever in the background to compare and/or contrast anything else with. Most of that "big picture" feeling is left up to the imagination whereas the WCW poem makes you not only SEE the contrast and the glistning, but makes you FEEL it as well. That, along with its simplistic subject matter, is what makes it such a great REVOLUTIONARY poem for its time. Still, LWIII's Dead Skunk poem/song is great in its own right also.
Now here is my first "free form" poem, remember, written in 1984:
That Stranger "I"
I was not me, that stranger "I"
who crept, somehow into my life...
That creature I pity!
Stumbling, bumbling, groping along..
donning a mask of pretense...an actress in some tragic play
glossed over, - varnished, in ruby red dress & lipstick,
wreaking of strange perfumes.
Bowing, bending, condensending and
smiling, always smiling
eventhough she feels like
Hitting Him Hard
in the Head
with a stick
or a club