Thursday, January 11, 2018

Some Thoughts On Poetry & Reviews . . . .

Photo K. Iuppa
Lake Ontario, Stormy Skies

Poetry Quote of the Day:

“There’s a sense in which poetry is not so much the writing of words as much as it is the movement of breath itself.  To write it you must pay attention to the breathing of poetry, to all speech as breath, to the relationship of our thoughts and emotions and the actual way they fill our bodies.  This is the emotional, physical centering of the activity of poetry~ Robert Hass

Sit with this quote a while. Let it sink in the movement of your breath.  Read aloud a favorite poem.
Read it slowly. Feel the music of the line wash over you, its breath and your breath.  Now read one of your poems aloud. Read slowly. Again, appreciate the music of the line.

For me, poetry is music, and through the music the images and meaning arise.  I want to be carried away by a poet's artistry.  I  want to hang on their words and listen intently.  I want to know more.
This is the ways it's been since I was small.

The poem that hooked me as a child was Robert Louis Stevenson's  "The Swing" (A Child's Garden of Verse).

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
   Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
   Up in the air and down!

To this day, I love this poem, and whenever I see a swing, I jump on and recite each line as I pump higher and higher.  Mind you, I don't jump off anymore.  I just let the swing wind down.

That said, I think I have revealed two ways of finding poetry in your life.  Reading, yes, always a good choice, and engaging with life, both in and out doors. Sometimes, when I am feeling antsy, especially after spending too much time working on a keyboard, I get up and go out.  It can be a brisk walk on the canal,  or along the lake shore, or a trip to the thrift shop, or sharing a cup of something with a friend. You need to find that balance between being a observer and a doer.  Balance is the key word to this elusive enterprise.

I have made a promise to  the Blog Revival group to be a bit more 'mindfully' balanced this year.  We'll see how successful  I am.

On Reviews:

I have been reading a lot of  book reviews lately, hoping to be steered in the right direction; wanting to discover some authors based on good recommendations.

Reviews can spread the word and increase an author's visibility.  All of us who have had  the "good review" experience are eternally grateful that the reviewer didn't tell us the feared "bald" truth, whatever that may be, like " shelve the pen, and buy dancing shoes, dearie."  

That said, I think I can articulate what I'm looking for in both poetry and prose.  I'm looking for "instinct."  The writer who writes from head, heart, spirit, who risks saying something that is both wild and tame. My personality is willing to listen closely.  I've been known to think about an image, an idea, a form, a sentence for a long time, and I remember.

 It's my promise to write reviews of books  that deserve to be remembered. 






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