Contrasts: Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry


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Do you view yourself as a California poet? If so, in what way?

Most of the advice I have seen has stressed moderation above all else, not to do anything in excess. I think that in the creative writing classes it may not be like this, or not necessarily. You can be adopted by poetry youth schemes set up by publishers, and be published, publicised, entered for major prizes, sent on reading tours, awarded residences, and in fact become very well known as a poet before you have anything like a body of work behind you. Of my own generation and its sequel, I think I admire the poets who have resisted the temptation to fall into the categories we have incessantly been pushed towards, especially of course the Great Divide.

So, no names.

I am sick of new poems by all sorts of people which are written exactly as if they are telling you something in a bar somewhere or giving a lecture, plain addressed prose, and the only discernible poetical feature is the line endings, which make no difference. Cambridge was becoming something of a poetical hostile environment.

Because of the heavy involvement of the University it became dominated by a militant fervour centred on political identity which dismissed everything else as reactionary. The move was like re-entering a world which valued difference and authenticity. I felt on arrival that my poetry was loaded with a poeticism or even Modernism which would make me like something from outer space, but quite to my surprise it seemed to present no problems, indeed was met with enthusiasm, and a local small press, Calder Valley Poetry, published two pamphlets by me. I find it invigorating to stand alongside creators of northern ballads and comic monologues, straight leftist poetry and reflections on immediate problems of life and emotion, in rhyming couplets or not.

The other thing is that there was a landscape on my doorstep the terms of which seemed immediately available as a vertical structure — river-valley, woods, pasture, and on the top the vast open barren moors. A rich collection of old reverberant place names and the remains of a major industry now fallen into ruin. How they operate as an ensemble. In poetry, nothing much doing. The s has particularly suffered from massive elimination but it goes right through the century.

And I think there are great discoveries to be made in the darkness that lies behind the accepted history. Banks lives in Waterloo. Contact him at: royal. I was always looking for a creative outlet as a kid. I thought in images, and not in numbers, which is why I was always drawn to stories and poems. I was fifteen or sixteen when I started writing poems of my own. My math teacher thought I was useless, but I ended up winning the English award at my high school.

I had an English teacher Mrs. Tetzner who was instrumental in bringing me to poetry. She was encouraging and kind and thoughtful and never condescending. I wrote a lot of poetry in my last two years of high school before moving on to university. Young poets need to learn what they can do with their language before they are going to start writing well and I needed to try to write, but there were still outlets for my early writing.

I placed poems in student newspapers and journals. Older poets were so calm and self-assured and wise. I try to write usually in the morning. A poem, or an image, or a title either comes to me, and I tinker with it, or not. The main thing is to make time for your writing. My developmental leaps as a writer have always come because of working hard.

That has changed over the years. When I was young, it was the thought some day I might have my own book. Nowadays, after many books, I like to surprise myself. I am stubborn so I try to write a new MS every two to three years. I want to be known as someone who spends a lot of his time writing. I am most happy when I am prolific. I throw it away and immediately start working on another poem. Eventually, the good ones outnumber the bad ones. Gwendolyn MacEwen taught me so much about lyricism and voice.

She was unique. I learned to write narrative poems by reading the poems of Al Purdy or Philip Levine. I also loved Mark Strand and Larry Levis too! It is a vocation. It chose me. Writing poems is by far the thing which makes me most happy so I try to do it every day. These are the things which made me a better writer. They are also currently studying at UCL.

They developed this in a residency in the Pit Theatre at the Barbican in , and are preparing to tour it in They are also writing a collection of nature poetry exploring the body, impairment, and disability through writing about the natural landscape.

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Much of their work explores the day to day experiences of disability, disablism, and being queer and trans in the world, but they also take inspiration from anything from the Bible and Greek mythology to music and daily life. Whether they are writing opinion pieces on assisted suicide, or sonnets about canals, their work draws on a deep value for human existence. The older I got, the more aware of them I become. As I find an increasing amount of writing I adore, I realise the scope and presence of these older poets — both alive and dead.

I generally try and start the day by writing. The words inside me want to come out, so I write. It can be hard to put my phone down and make a start, but when I do, the hours rush by. I love the lush writing of some of the Victorian poets, and I think it leaves traces of excess in my work. Similarly, poets like Cardenal, Neruda, Belli — their engagement with nature and the earth-as-body has really influenced the way I write about myself, my body, and nature, while AIDS poets such as Paul Monette have impacted on the brutality of some of my work, the refusal to compromise or give the reader something polished and beautiful.

Because it is by writing that I prove to myself that I exist in the world, writing allows me to process and make sense of experiences I would otherwise really struggle to understand. It lets me leave a mark on the world, and contribute in some small way to changing it. If you want to perform at all, then bringing your work to open mic nights is often a good idea. A New Jersey native now living in Virginia, she honed her skill as a poet in college and created her most complex poetry following the death of her mother.

Her earlier poems are lyrical and expressionistic, while her more recent poetry is narrative in style. She is currently a visiting poet and poetry teacher at three high schools in her area. She loves music, photography, poetry, her Cavaliers, and the love of her life, her husband Bud.

I would escape the tension in the house by going outside to play or by going up to my room to externalize my emotions through writing. With the exception of one short story I wrote at the age of 12, all of my creative written expression has taken the form of poetry. My mother had a literature anthology in the house, and I read a few of the poems in the collection. He had used the Imagist poem to illustrate a pen and ink drawing of his.

My full immersion in the works of older poets occurred when I majored in English Education in college.


  1. Mary Oliver!
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I fell in love with the poetry of T. I studied Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg, but I was not fond of the style of the beat poets. I cannot recall when I began to read the works of Sylvia Plath, but I was drawn to her from the start. When a poem is capable of engendering such a powerful philosophical and metaphysical reaction among high school seniors, it is a poem that must be taught!

I do not write poems on a daily basis, but I do edit poems and my second manuscript on a regular basis. When I force the writing process on myself, I am not satisfied with the result. Loss, pain, sorrow, death, reflection of past and present experiences, and the mysteries of the mind and soul motivate me to write, but last winter, I was provided with a great motivator. After reading my more lyrical poetry, GenZ requested that I provide them with some narrative poems, so after a lengthy creative drought, I began writing again.

Several of those poems wrote themselves in the middle of nights of sporadic sleep and anxiety in the early 80s, and many of them are the remnants of dreams. My work ethic has improved greatly since I first learned that my debut collection of poems would be published.

Since that time, I have worked very diligently to produce poems that I believe will blend the lyrical and narrative types smoothly in my second collection. Eliot is my favorite poet, and I believe my style of writing blends the Modernist style with the Post-Modernist style of Plath and Bishop. My poetry is usually not straight-forward or easily interpreted by most people. Though the Modernists purposefully wrote obscure poetry, my intent is not to confuse people, but it is to bury the core truth beneath layers of meaning.

Although I liken sharing my poetry with the world to unzipping my skin and letting people see inside, I nevertheless keep my most private realities hidden. For the most part, I enjoy reading and teaching the poetry of the early twentieth century. Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, former poet laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The reason that I admire the aforementioned modern poets has to do first and foremost with their facility and manipulation of the English language. I believe that I have a facility with language and that I have stories and metaphysical ideas to share with family, friends, and any poetry aficionados who are willing to invest some time and thought to understand poetry that is not simple or straightforward.

I would recommend that the aspiring writer attend a workshop or class and read as much literature as possible in the genre of choice. I am presently working on my second manuscript, which I intend to submit to GenZ this fall. The title is Fragmented Roots , and, unlike my debut collection, this book contains over forty poems that I have written in recent years. I wrote the majority of the poems in my first book during the 70s and 80s. The title of my second book is taken from one of the poems in the new collection, just as A Consecration of the Wind is a phrase from one of my poems in that collection.

Each time I read the Fragmented Roots manuscript, I am intrigued by threads of imagery that appear throughout older and more recent poems. Desire to made things, change things, learn things. I found it while trying to read everything. I had the good luck of not reading contemporary writers till I was nearly fully formed. Of course, they are my best friends and most bitter rivals. I love Catullus and hate him. Write as early in the day as possible, walk, eat, rest, then edit before sleep, even better edit while sleeping.

Try to talk to very few people, too many voices make for confusion, hesitation. I spent most of my work life as a blue-collar worker, my family is working class. I bring that to writing. Put in the time and occasionally there are results. They challenge me to get better technically. I consider poetry a craft. I want to be as memorable and as useful as my poetry heroes. These are poets whom I know personally, and whose work is meticulously crafted; poets who strive to change how one can see the world.

They have also avoided imitating their own earlier work, a pitfall that swallows many writers after they have had initial success. A dream book. No idea where it wants to go as of yet. Might grow smaller or bigger. If you knew in advance where a poems or book was going, what would be the point of writing it? Or reading it? He genuinely believes that narrative, the things we write into being, can change the world. When I was about seven, I had a nature poem printed in the school paper.

My specific memory of it is quite fractured this is true in general, unfortunately. As a teenager, I wrote copiously. Probably because to me it was the form with the greatest freedom of expression, and it could be instilled with the rhythm and movement of an experience, not just the description.

My writing was my attempt to deal with that, and to figure out how and why the way I saw the world seemed to be so very different from what happened inside the brains around me. To the heart of it, music; my mother sang to me all day long, even before I was born. She continued to do so from the second I arrived, and right through my childhood. My very earliest memories are the real magic of rhythm-and-words combined. A relative gave me a Margaret Mahy collection when I turned five — I still have it, and I can see how her highly poetic language infused itself into me.

To the actual formal skeleton of it; school. I think I was fortunate enough to escape some of it because of growing up in small-town Aotearoa. The school curriculum was already beginning to realise that the Literature of the Conquering Empire was not all there was to it, and that perhaps kids here deserved different fare — that there were unique and important voices coming from our own soil, too.

S Merwin, G. M Hopkins, E. I write wherever and whenever I possibly can, I have no set schedule at all. I jot notes constantly as they come to me smartphones are a huge blessing , and a lot of my process is internal rumination on those before I get to the full writing-down stage. My other love is long-distance running, which is very compatible with writing in this way — the physical flow state and the creative one are very linked for me.

Sometimes I need to jot more notes while I warm down before they get lost, then write a bit more solidly in the evening. I cheat by not being able to stop. I want all those other brains to be dropped into whatever intense moment my brain has just gifted to me. I know, now, that not everyone can do this for a long time I thought everyone did — but I also know that poetry can bring it right to them and slide it inside their senses. My work ethic, my adherence to it, suffers from never having enough time. True multi-tasking is a difficult animal for me — my brain scatters its attention in a million directions at once all day long, and the actual act of working on a poem focuses all of that intensely.

Spending early years flicking between E. The Margaret Mahy approach to life as an intense and quirky feast for the senses runs deep through my work.

Content: Prose Vs Poetry

Discovering other writers later on, such as Janet Frame, who felt the same way but often for the darker and stickier bits of living, kept that magic well and truly alive, and now lets me explore every facet of what it means to continue to breathe despite the innate intensity of doing that. In my own work, I think I owe all of them and so many others a debt for the gift of being able to seize a moment, capture it from many angles, strip it of familiarity and re-contextualise it — and not letting the rules of language be a restraint to that in any way.

As I mentioned, Neil Gaiman constantly re-frames the world in ways that I love. Because it hurts not to. Because of that sense of poetry-as-ultimate-sharing, which in turn gives me the validation I need as a human being. And because being in love with language is contagious, — spreading such a beautiful malady is the gratitude-price for possessing it, and becomes a gift to myself as much as anyone else.

Be aware that truly doing that often hurts. Then go out into the messy old world. Throw yourself neck-deep into living, then open your eyes or whatever sense you use to engage.

John Donne

Then open them again. Caitlin potentially has a new book deal coming up something a bit different for her so I also foresee some serious editing time on the horizon. Pivoting, swinging, standing firm, the compass is here made dancerly: the reader observes it performing a seamless pas de deux , where both partners respond to and support one another intuitively. This ornate pair of compasses is part of a set made by Bartholomew Newsum c. This interest is also in keeping with the Renaissance appetite for Classical oration. While the speaker observes his beloved physically struggling with illness, he undergoes mental suffering.

He rails passionately:.

Spanish literature

But yet thou canst not die, I know; To leave this world behind, is death, But when thou from this world wilt go, The whole world vapours with thy breath. As well as revealing heightened, frenzied feeling, these dramatic declarations also demonstrate an emotionally charged mind still able to construct logical, orderly argument. Careful endstopping — the punctuation at the end of each line — steadies the pace. Such features also show a concern with exploring cognition and the ways in which we form and organise our thoughts.

However, it might be more rewarding to see them as concerted attempts by impassioned speakers to better understand the wonder of huge ideas — God, mortality, love. Thinking is, for these personae, an act of reverence towards these ideas. Michael Donkor is a writer and is currently working on his first novel Hold. The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License. John Donne and metaphysical poetry. Michael Donkor explains what makes John Donne a metaphysical poet, and looks at the creative and distinctive ways in which Donne used metaphysical techniques.

Arresting language: Questions and imperatives Questions Metaphysical poetry is often characterised by the freshness and energy of its narrative voices. The speaker boldly asks: I wonder by my troth, what thou and I Did, till we loved. Were we not wean'd till then? But sucked on country pleasures, childishly? This more antagonistic function of enquiry chimes with questioning in 'The Canonization'. Commands are used similarly in 'The Sun Rising' too Conceits Inventive metaphors — or conceits — and comparisons are perhaps the most widely known hallmark of metaphysical work.

Micrographia by Robert Hooke, This astonishingly detailed illustration of a flea fills a huge fold-out page, 43x33cm. Poems by Shakespeare, Donne and others in Margaret Bellasys's commonplace book, c. Poetry and Food. Poetry and Feminism.

Key Differences Between Prose and Poetry

Calling All Love Poems. From Poetry Off the Shelf February From Poetry Off the Shelf April Share the somatic pleasure of poetry on Soundcloud. Prose from Poetry Magazine. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Responsibilities. By Joanie Mackowski. From Audio Poem of the Day June By Lily Gurton-Wachter.

A new tradition of war poetry exposes the hidden relationships between power and language. Valentines for the Romantically Challenged. Variation on the Word Sleep. From Audio Poem of the Day May Encounters with the Element Man, William B. Ewert Concord, NH , Oryx and Crake, Nan A. Talese New York, NY , The Tent, Nan A. The Year of the Flood, Nan A. Days of the Rebels, , Natural Science Library, Author of introduction Catherine M. Further Readings. Bouson, J. Davidson, Arnold E.

Martin's Press New York City , McCombs, Judith, and Carole L. Hall Boston, MA , Nischik, Reingard M. Lang New York, NY , Stein, Karen F. Library Journal, August 9, , Beth E. Maclean's, January 15, , review of Two-Headed Poems, p. Newsweek, February 18, , Peter S. Prescott, review of Life Before Man, p. Prescott, review of The Handmaid's Tale, p.

Contrasts:  Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry Contrasts: Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry
Contrasts:  Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry Contrasts: Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry
Contrasts:  Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry Contrasts: Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry
Contrasts:  Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry Contrasts: Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry
Contrasts:  Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry Contrasts: Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry
Contrasts:  Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry Contrasts: Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry

Related Contrasts: Inspirational Meditations in Prose and Poetry



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