Archive | 5:01 pm

Me And Poetry

9 Mar

I was re-reading my favorite Tennyson poem, “Ulysses,” the other day. I’ve had a love affair with that brilliant work since college, fifty years now and still the bond is strong with these words:

“That which we are, we are

One equal temper of heroic hearts

Made weak by time and fate

But strong of will.

To strive, to seek, to find,

And not to yield.”

Holy cow!  The first thing I thought back in 1970, when I first read that, was “there is no way I could ever write poetry like that.” And the first thing I thought of this morning, after reading it for the umpteenth time, was “there is no way I could ever write poetry like that.”

I’m not a poet, at least not in my mind.  But still, I’ve written prose, at times, which seems mighty poetic.

This from the Academy of American Poets:

“Though the name of the form may appear to be a contradiction, the prose poem essentially appears as prose, but reads like poetry. In the first issue of The Prose Poem: An International Journal, editor Peter Johnson explained, “Just as black humor straddles the fine line between comedy and tragedy, so the prose poem plants one foot in prose, the other in poetry, both heels resting precariously on banana peels.”

“While it lacks the line breaks associated with poetry, the prose poem maintains a poetic quality, often utilizing techniques common to poetry, such as fragmentation, compression, repetition, and rhyme. The prose poem can range in length from a few lines to several pages long, and it may explore a limitless array of styles and subjects.”

I can do that; I have done that; hooray, I’m a poet!

I see sunshine and beautiful colors

From an article I once wrote about musicians:

“You’ll find them on street corners, a bucket for tips at their feet, singing or playing for anyone who passes them.  You’ll find them in dive bars and beach bandstands, on cruise ships and free-mike stages.  They roam the cities looking for gigs, twenty bucks a set and all you can drink, or playing for nothing, a chance to be heard, have instrument will play, in a thousand cities across this land, across all lands, worldwide, those little children with dusty guitars, all grown up now, following clues in search of hidden treasures, or simply doing the one thing which makes them feel whole, to play their only reward.

“Playing music, hearing the murmur of the crowd, feeling the murmur of the crowd, providing a respite, for others, from the humdrum existence of living, bringing a touch of beauty into a landscape of drabness, just doing their thing, creating a score for life itself.

“Their music elicits emotions. They have the ability to touch your soul in a way few strangers can, connecting with each of us in some inexplicable way, and oh how sad life would be if they were to disappear from our lives.”

Hey, it’s not Tennyson, but it’s not bad, and it’s a bit poetic, so there you go, prose poetry, I can live with that, makes me feel good, you know? Accomplished, with a smidgeon of talent, and God I love that word “smidgeon,” gotta ask Ann about the origin of that word when I get a chance, but back to the topic at hand . . .

Poetry may well be in the eye of the beholder!

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”