Poetry Primer

Though I plan to return to further Brave New World posts in the future (first three posts are here, here and here), today I thought a change of pace might be warranted.

With the frigid temperatures cooling much of the country, it’s always a good time to concentrate on warmer distractions. How about Spring … the growing season, a season of lush green plants and succulent fruits. That’s actually one of the things I love about seasons: I don’t mind snow or heat or rain for a brief period, because when I begin to feel impatient with certain seasonal elements, I know I can always look forward to the change I know is coming.

In the comments section of a recent post, a fellow-blogger admitted he was “not a big fan of poetry.” He said:  “It hurts my head too much to figure it [a poem] out.” Thankfully, he also said he liked the sonnet in that particular post; he understood the metaphor I used.

Many readers (whether online or otherwise) echo this blogger’s general aversion for poetry. I wonder if it has anything to do with high school literature classes where we were taught by teachers who may have detested poetry themselves? (Just a thought.)

Truthfully, I sympathize with Doobster418‘s honest admission. Poetry is often obscure, frustrating and at its extremes, just plain balderdash!

When I write a poem, I attempt to paint a picture, sketch an image, or in some cases, capture a universal concept/feeling with which people will easily identify. (I’m not suggesting my method is any better than any other poet’s; it’s simply the path that makes sense to me.)

Today’s sonnet is designed as a challenge for both poet and reader. Even though poetry strives to engage one’s intellect, poetry succeeds best when it also engages one’s sensual imagination. See if this one does it for you.

How-To-Write-A-Poem, plums from life, intoxication, truth, beauty, goodness, writing, sonnet, poetry, poem
Sonnet: How To Write A Poem


11 thoughts on “Poetry Primer

  1. Okay, there you go picking on me again. Sheesh. I’m just not a symbolic guy, and so much poetry is symbolic. I agree with you that my literature teachers probably didn’t teach it well.

    Having said that, though, I did like today’s poem. Never before have I had such erotic thoughts about a plumb. Although I have had some prurient feelings when it comes to certain pomegranates I’ve met.

    1. You make me laugh! You did note in the post where I said I understood your point of view, right? Glad you enjoyed the post, despite your dislike for poetry in general. (For what it’s worth, I’m not sure I had any literature teachers who cared about poetry either. Maybe one.)
      I anticipated the poem might seem erotic; a normal expectation when dealing with the senses … but I expected it could occur in regards to the plum — not the plumb! (And pomegranate is a difficult word to fit into rhymed poetry.)
      Thanks for reading & commenting!

      1. I was plumbing the depths of my ability to recognize symbolism when I reached deep inside to psyche to appreciate your little bit of plum erotica. It must have plum tuckered me out so much so that I added a random “b” to the end of the fruit, which yielded an entirely different word with the same sound but a completely different meaning, which is called a homosexual. No, that’s night right. A homo something. Homonym, homophone, holdthephone, or something like that. .

      2. Ugh. “No, that’s night right.” No, that’s NOT right. It makes no difference what time it is…day or night, it’s NOT right. Sheesh. You see how all this poetry nonsense has me all flummoxed?

          1. It’ll grow on me? You mean plums? Plumbs? Mold? Oh, you mean poetry. No worries. Reading poetry always motivates me to take a cold shower.

          2. Ha! Let’s hope no plums grow on you, your plumbing continues to function properly (for your showers, cold or hot) and the only mold you experience is your frame conforming to your favorite chair!

  2. Well, I liked your poem, Renee! And it got me all worked up. . . About poetry! The last couple of years my Sunday School class has started the year with the My One Word book. I guess you’ve read about it on my blog. As usual I wrestled and wrangled and nearly strangled trying to find my word for the year. It came to me yesterday as I was talking to the dog over breakfast. I had a day ahead with nothing planned because the plans I had had changed. I told Eujane, “I have a free day ahead and I’m not going to ruin it doing chores or thinking about what I ought to be doing. It’s a free day and I’m going to be FREE! And voila! My word knocked me in the head! And then I was inspired to dedicate this year to writing only free verse poetry. I’m not very good at it and I would like to improve. The freeness of it makes me a bit nervous!

    1. That’s exciting, Debbie! I think you had told me once about the one word idea. How fun for 2014 to be FREE — that can have many expressions! I understand your trepidation about the “freeness.” There are times I feel the same way about the sonnet form; wouldn’t I just like to launch out like you into FREEness? But my love of the form keeps me grounded. Look forward to reading some of your creations!

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