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.”

36 Responses to “Me And Poetry”

  1. Susan Zutautas March 9, 2021 at 5:13 pm #

    I love this, Bill. Yes, you truly are a poet!

    • Billybuc March 9, 2021 at 5:34 pm #

      You are very kind, Susan, and I thank you! I hope this finds you well, my friend.

  2. marlenebertrand March 9, 2021 at 5:38 pm #

    Music soothes my soul and one of the things I like about the way you write is that it reads melodically. It is very soothing.

    • Billybuc March 9, 2021 at 5:51 pm #

      I appreciate that, Marlene. That is very kind of you to say.

      I hope you are doing well. My best to you and your husband.

      • marlenebertrand March 9, 2021 at 6:56 pm #

        Thank you very much, Bill. Hubby and I are weathering the coldness here in the mountains. Thank goodness for wood-burning stoves. I hope all is well with you and Bev. Take good care of yourselves.

      • Billybuc March 9, 2021 at 9:03 pm #

        Two cords of wood and a woodburning stove get us through most winters, Marlene. We have a furnace but we much prefer the stove.

  3. My Very Own Writing Coach March 9, 2021 at 6:09 pm #

    So well-done, my friend. I expect that of your writing, but the way you describe the life of a musician is so accurate. Just wondering, is there any of you in that piece?

    • Billybuc March 9, 2021 at 9:05 pm #

      William, thank you! I play keyboard, and I did quite a bit of singing when I was younger so yes, there is some of me in this. 🙂 Nice catch on your part!

  4. Janine Huldie March 9, 2021 at 6:19 pm #

    Aw, Bill I love this assessment as that means I may very well be a poet even though I don’t truly think so. But also can say, you my friend are indeed a true poet. Thanks and wishing you a wonderful week 🙂

    • Billybuc March 9, 2021 at 9:04 pm #

      Janine, I am of the opinion that almost all writers with any talent are also poets. You are a poet! I hope you and the family are doing well.

  5. Shauna L Bowling March 9, 2021 at 7:27 pm #

    Poetry comes in all forms, as do artists, musicians, writers – humans. Poetry doesn’t have to be structured, nor does it need to rhyme. It simply needs to make a mark on the reader and give him/her a moment to pause, reflect, and react.

    That you do well, my friend!

  6. Lori Colbo March 9, 2021 at 9:59 pm #

    I have not studied Tennyson but you have motivated me. Your prose were most certainly poetic, Bill.

    • Billybuc March 10, 2021 at 2:36 pm #

      Thank you Lori! If you are going to study Tennyson, begin with Ulysses! It is a brilliant piece of work.

  7. Lawrence Hebb March 9, 2021 at 10:05 pm #

    Bill
    It sure is.

  8. divalounger March 9, 2021 at 10:42 pm #

    I love it Bill! Prose poetry is one of those forms I haven’t explored much, but I love reading it! So much of poetry relating to the music of the language itself I think–hearing that music, well–that is what makes the writer write–

    • Billybuc March 10, 2021 at 2:34 pm #

      Thank you Audrey! If a poet such as yourself likes this, I feel I am on the right track. Blessings to you always!

  9. nightlake March 10, 2021 at 4:12 am #

    This was a wonderful tribute to street performers. You have brought out their soul in your words. And I think you have certainly written prose poetry:) Wish I could also write half as well.

    • Billybuc March 10, 2021 at 2:33 pm #

      Thank you Nightlake! Do not sell yourself short. You have talent. Keep developing it. It took me years to find my true writing voice.

  10. lantern carrier March 10, 2021 at 11:57 am #

    You write a lot of poetry in your prose. I have told you so before. Ok, perhaps not a lot, but you do some amazing lines! I’ve seen Pamela recently, taking the word ‘majestic’ and doing a great job. All great writers are poets. I told you this before. Equally, all great poets are writers. The Audrey Howitt’s, the Nellieanna’s and so forth. Peace

    • Billybuc March 10, 2021 at 2:31 pm #

      You have told me that before, my friend, and I appreciate your kind words, especially considering your poetic talents. Thank you and blessings always.

  11. Camryn March 10, 2021 at 3:08 pm #

    Lovely to see a post, Bill. Your blog always has a way of brightening my mood 😊. How have you been doing lately?

    • Billybuc March 10, 2021 at 4:36 pm #

      I’m happy to hear I can brighten moods, my friend. I am fine. Busy and healthy and happy. How about you?

      • Camryn March 12, 2021 at 9:15 pm #

        Glad to hear! I’m doing well, thank you for asking!

  12. RasmaSandra March 10, 2021 at 4:16 pm #

    Sometimes poetry comes along unexpectedly and other times we stumble over it. My poetic life began at the age of 8 with my dad looking on and I wrote some poems in both English and Latvian. It was a shaky beginning but with dad being a poet things got better, What is funny sometimes is that I will be writing an article and as I read it through I notice that I have resorted to a poetic form in some paragraphs which I quickly correct but the poetry seems to just flow naturally.

    • Billybuc March 10, 2021 at 4:35 pm #

      It’s a wonderful feeling when that happens, Rasma. How lucky you were to have a poetic father who encouraged your efforts. Thank you for sharing that.

  13. 1authorcygnetbrown March 10, 2021 at 10:03 pm #

    Poetry is a painting in words.

  14. Billybuc March 11, 2021 at 2:32 pm #

    It is indeed, Donna! Thank you for that succinct and accurate description.

  15. divalounger March 13, 2021 at 8:19 pm #

    Music and poetry share a lot of mileage in my world. I think that is true for many writers though. You are so adept in capturing a mood and taking us for a ride through it. If that isn’t poetry I don’t know what is.

    • Billybuc March 14, 2021 at 2:12 pm #

      Audrey, that comment, coming from you, is a huge compliment. Thank you very much.

  16. Andrea Stephenson March 21, 2021 at 5:19 pm #

    You are indeed a poet Bill, with your own recognisable voice and rhythm.

    • Billybuc March 22, 2021 at 1:42 pm #

      Music to my ears, Andrea! Thank you so much!

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