Thursday, August 19, 2010
Blaga Dimitrova, Bulgaria's celebrated poet, novelist and playwright wrote:
As Long as You're Upright
Don't forget to rejoice.
The wise trees whisper
as they crash on failing knees
under the ax.
Don't forget to rejoice!
As long as you're upright,
as long as you encounter the wind.
As long as you breathe the heights.
As long as the ax slumbers.
Daily, the media throws "news" at us in the form of disasters, disorders and disarray. Rarely do we see headlines that inspire. How do we survive each day with a positive attitude in this culture of negativity? How do we remain upright?
Poetry leads us to search for our center and travel outward from it to make connections We can do this in a tone of whininess or search for what works in our lives and in the world.
Nature provides endless possibilities from dawn to dusk with marvels for our enrichment. Inhaling with all our senses gives perspective.
Blaga presented her Ars Poetica as a challenge to writers:
Write each of your poems
as if it were your last.
death comes with terrifying suddenness
You have no right to lie,
no right to play pretty little games.
You simply won't have time
to correct your mistakes.
Write each of your poems,
with blood - as if it were your last.
Creative Write: Today consider life from a Positive perspective. Write your Ars Poetica from a place in nature.
Notice the difference in imagery"
a broken tool half a pair of scissors
a rusted car Cadillac dappled with rust
beautiful woman woman with piano player's fingers
quiet day even the birds overslept
good friend tasty as triple chocolate cake
Try these: summer day, hot morning, wet dress, cheeping bird, frustration, anger, anxiety.
Creative Write: Where will you go with sensory metaphors today?
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Imagine watching the night sky for hours just to see a few Perseid showers.
Over 6000 years years ago, cuneiform texts and artifacts existed in the Euphrates River Valley. This information indicates that individuals observing the night sky saw the lion, the bull, and the scorpion in the stars. Mythology of the ancient Greeks and Romans elaborates on the constellations. In Homer's Iliad,, (7th century B.C.) he describes Achilleus's shield by the craftsman god Hephaistos:
At the time of Homer, the constellations did not connect to myths or gods. They were known as the objects or the animals they represented, such as the Lyre or the Ram. By the 5th century B.C. the constellations became associated with myths, and the Catasterismi of Eratosthenes completed the mythologization of the stars.
Roman Ptolemy of Alexandria created a star catalogue. He grouped 1022 stars into 48 constellations during the 2nd century A.D. It forms the basis for the modern list of 88 constellations officially designated by the International Astronomical Union.
Perseus, son of Jupiter and Danae, was sent to kill the Gorgon Medusa. Looking into her face turned the viewer to stone so he had quite a task. Aided by Pluto, Mercury and Minerva, Perseus accomplished the feat. Pluto lent him a helmet of invisibility, Mercury provided his winged sandals, and Minerva gave him her shield. With the aid of the helmet and the sandals, Perseus reached striking distance without being detected by Medusa or the two immortal Gorgons. He used the reflection on the shield to guide his killing blow.
Creative Write: If you wrote a story about the stars, where would you begin?
Desire does not bring poems. The hunted can only abide how opportune the killer's lunge is and how deftly sharpened its blade.
- Ricardo Pau-Llosa
Poet, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, writes of the inspirational moment as a "hunger of the stalking mind." He feels creativity requires a hunt for the moment it cannot grasp, let alone pity.
What obsesses a writer in the moment that jars from the onslaught of every day thoughts and feelings? Can we hunt for topics or stalk them until they relent? Will they behave if trapped or captured this way?
I do not become a stalker of experience. Ready for gleams that beckon, my notions might not connect immediately. As a result, I feel more like the collector and collator of their sparkle rather tracking them like a hunter. I save experience, surprise wonder in a kaleidoscope to twist, turn and view the assimilation of color and shine. Eventually a series of clicks shift and sort for me.
A series of gleams arrive and dovetail or flee. Why? They relish the freedom of flight.
I keep a notebook with me and record the flashes so later I can spin through pages and observe what will shift into perspective. Shine with silly.
Pau-Llosa likes to use parables as metaphors in his poems. I've discovered the idea of a myth provides potential.
This poem resulted from such a series of gleams that reflected and refracted at a later date.
The Alhambra, red fortress, spreads on a hill,
a sleeping lion waiting beyond the years
layered by conquerors and inhabitants.
In a corner, pricks of stars focus light
where Washington Irving spun his stories.
Where women wept and men plannedconquests,
birds swirled, leaving shadows behind. Visions
slipped into the pools, then vanished.
Behind harem doors, a woman sang her bondage,
sought freedome with each breath. She wandered
rooms, leaving her scent in clove and jasmine.
One day of a different wind, she tied her soul
to a swallow. They flew to a grove in Jaen
So far from fear that once her feet touched,
she blended with the earth. Her blood flows
through pomegranate flowers each spring.
Avocet, winter, 2010.
Create Write: Go through your journal or notebook for words that gleam. Will a poem result? Try writing a myth or parable.
. - Richardo Pau-Llosa