Poetry topic idea: A Random Time

Today’s poetry topic idea is slightly different – it is variable.  The topic idea, is whatever time it happens to be when this blog post is read.  For example, as this was typed, the time was 8:14.

Using whatever time it is when this is read, a poet could write a poem.  They could write about something happening at the time.  They could find symbolism in the numbers as well.  Additionally, they could use the time as the basis for a form.  For example, the time could represent syllable counts for lines.  For example, if the time was 8:14, then the poem could have alternating lines of 8 and 14 syllables (if the time had been 8:56, a poet could have three lines that rotated, one with 8, one with 5 and one with 6 syllables).  There are other idea as well.

This poetry topic idea is interesting because it would have the chance to be different for the different poets who apply it, assuming that they read this post at different times.

As a note, the time used in this poetry topic idea is intended to be random.  Despite this, it is possible that this was read online by a poet at a predetermined hour (for example, a person might decide to go online at eight).

Despite this, the time could still be considered random because, 1) the poet did not know that they were going to use the time for a poem and so they did not pick the time with that intention, 2) even if the general hour was predetermined, it is unlikely that the exact minute was, 3) a poet could utilize the seconds in the time (for example 8:14:32) to add an extra element if the hour and minutes were not felt to be random enough, and 4) it is possible that the hour this was read was not predetermined (maybe the poet read it at some random time that they had free).

Another interesting thing about this idea, is that it could also be reapplied later.  A poet could, for example, pick some event (like when the phone rings), and decide to write a poem based on the time that that happened.

Poem: Un-done things

Un-done things

The un-ironed clothes,
are pressed inside a small drawer,
that hardly can close.

The plants on the porch,
  the ones in the colored pots,
need to be watered,
or they are going to dry out,
and they will not live there long.

The dog,
is shedding hair.
  It needs to be comb through,
  or he will itch and be so hot,
  all month.

 

There are so many things that are un-done,
the three above are just a few –

another is the fan in the bedroom doesn’t run,

 
there are so many things that are un-done.

 
The pantry that had fifteen boxes now has none,
  and the chair in the kitchen needs some glue,

 
there are so many things that are un-done,
the three above are just a few.

Poem with an explanation: The Flower Shop

The Flower Shop

Roses,
Tulips,
Lilies.

Colors, with textures and shapes.

Different scents.

Baby’s breath,
fern fronds.

Mixed together,
small and large,
tall and short,
according to rules,
but also sight –

and there,
on the counter,
is something beautiful.

Then,
to the case,
with all the cards –

 Congratulations to the graduate!
 It’s a boy!
 It’s a girl!
 For the happy couple!
 Happy anniversary!

Then to the side,

 Get well soon.

Then on the bottom,
in a box,

 Condolences.

The florist glances,
at the note,
from her pocket,
which will say,
where she reaches.

 

This poem is about a flower shop.  It starts with a description of the flowers being made into a bouquet.  Then goes to the possible reasons for the bouquet.  It starts with the happy and moves to the sad.  The poem then ends, with a hidden indication, of which it is.

In the poem, the florist was in some way focusing on the happy things around her, and was willfully ignoring the reason for the bouquet.  She looks at the note, that says what it is for, only at the last moment, because she knows, that while it could be very good, it could also be very bad.

The poem is about the setting of the scene, the idea of why there are flowers, and the fact that sometimes the reason is not good, the florist’s behavior, and the impact of the small note.

The stanzas in the poem help separate the ideas.  The types of cards are indented to set them apart, and there is an extra line space before “Condolences”, to make it even more separate.

A photograph to inspire poetry: A Cloudy Sky

A Cloudy Sky

This is a photograph of a cloudy sky.  It was taken near the end of a rain storm.  Generally, the clouds are darker on the right and lighter on the left.  There is a brighter spot in the middle toward the left side.

This photograph could be used to inspire a number of poetry ideas.  A poet could write about rain, a storm, clouds, the weather, light, darkness and other related ideas.

A poet might see this photograph and view the cloudy sky symbolically.  They could either relate it to a bad time, or possibly, as the photograph was near the end of a storm, to the end of a bad time.

In some ways, this photograph looks like a painting.  If a poet thought that, they could be inspired to write a poem about painting a scene like it.

In this photograph, light is somewhat hidden and somewhat showing behind the clouds.  A poet could see that, and use the idea symbolically in a poem.

Experimental Poetry Form: Two coins

This experimental poetry form is based off of the idea of having two coins.  If there are two coins, assuming they can’t be distinguished from each other, they can be arranged in the following ways:

Heads Heads
Tails Tails
Heads Tails
Tails Heads

(Assuming the coins could be distinguished from each other, there would be different arrangements, for example instead of “Tails Tails” there would be “Tails (Coin 1) Tails (Coin 2)/ Tails (Coin 2) Tails (Coin 1)”)

Using these arrangements, a poetry form can be developed.  One idea would be to have four couplets using two types of lines.  The couplets could be arranged like above:

Line with characteristics A
Line with characteristics A

Line with characteristics B
Line with characteristics B

Line with characteristics A
Line with characteristics B

Line with characteristics B
Line with characteristics A

 

The characteristics could vary.  One idea would be to have the A characteristics be:

 eight syllables, iambic meter, rhyme one

and have the B characteristics be:

 eight syllables, trochaic meter, rhyme two

The idea is that each characteristic set represents one side of a coin.  They both have the same value (eight syllables), but they are opposite each other (iambic vs. trochaic meter) and they look different (rhyme one vs. rhyme two).

As a side note, M. Sakran would be interested to see any poems written and posted in this form today.  If any poet uses this form today, please use the tag “Two Coins” so M. Sakran has the opportunity to find and read the poems.

Artwork to inspire poetry: Table with a book and a candle

Table with book and candle

This artwork is of a table with a book and a candle.  It has five objects in it: the wall (grayish blue), the floor (purple), the table (orange), the book (green) and the candle (blue with a red and yellow flame).

The artwork was done in a way as to have a certain style.  It is not detailed, the colors generally cover large areas of the scene and the shapes are simple.  There is also some white and gradations of color.  Additionally, the book and the candle and flame were done over the colors of the wall and table.  Also, the colors of the table and floor were chosen so as to be somewhat less than usual.

The idea behind the artwork is simple and subdued and it is meant to inspire poetry that is like that.

Poetry topic idea: Puzzles

Today’s poetry topic idea is puzzles.  In this case, a puzzle is a picture that has been cut into many interlocking pieces.  There are also other meanings to the term, and these, as well, could be used in poetry.

One way to look at the idea of puzzles, is to examine it metaphorically – a picture is take, it is broken apart, it is reassembled.  This notion could apply to things in life – there is a moment, something disruptive happens, things are rebuilt.  This idea could apply to many situations and can be used in poetry.

A poet could also take a different perspective, and write about a puzzle with one missing piece.  They could write about how a person or persons in a poem respond to this.

A poet might write about puzzles as something done on a rainy day, and have a lighter poem.

A poet could think about the different pictures that could be in a puzzle, for example grand landscapes, and write a poem about one of them.

A poet might use the idea of a person assembling a puzzle when they don’t know what the finished picture is.  They could write about the process of the person realizing what it is.  This idea could apply metaphorically in poems.

Poem with an explanation: Tension

Tension

She sat inside the house,
on the sofa,
rocking her feet,
back and forth.

The time went slowly,
11:13,
11:42,
12:07.

She knew the time,
she measured it,
1:45 pm,
20 minutes to drive,
20 minutes to get dressed,
10 minutes early,
10 minutes extra:
1:45 – – 12:45.

She sat,
the time went,
and early,
at 12:32,
the tension inside,
made her stand.

She focused on reality,
she focused on realism:
 all the lights were red,
 in her eyes.

At 1:17,
she stepped inside:

tile,
walls that seemed plastic,
chairs lined up,
and someone hiding behind glass.

In incoherence,
she explained,
and through the blur,
there was understanding.

She filled out the form,
that was filled out on the phone,
and sat.

She sat.

She sat.

Those who came after,
went before.

She sat.

She wanted to speak,
but thought,
“Why tell the tiger,
where you are?”

She sat.

A door,
a smile,
a name,
a routine – for half.

The lights were bright,
it all was muddled,
and then she heard

 

This poem is about a person going to the doctor’s office to find out what illness they have.  The poem’s topic is serious and so a free verse form was used.

The first four stanzas of the poem, focus on the person nervously waiting for the time to leave to go to the doctor.  She sits anxiously.  She watches the clock.  She meticulously calculated the time, and when the tension overcomes her, she leaves early.

As she drives to the doctor’s office, she tries to be calm, but her underlying tension, makes her feel like all the stop lights were red.  She has the sense of wanting to be there and not wanting to.  This is in the fifth stanza.

The next two stanzas describe her initial experience of walking into the office.  She notices the time – the exact time.  This is from her nervousness.  She notices the floor and the walls and the furniture.  In her perception, the receptionist is hiding.

Then, in the next stanza she tries to explain why she is there.  She may have rehearsed in her mind what to say as she thought about and lived the event in her mind beforehand.  Things get confused for her though, but she is able to communicate.

In the next stanza, she feels a sense of frustration.  She sits filling out a form, that has information that she gave to a person on the phone, when she made the appointment.

The next six stanzas focus on her waiting.  She consciously feels herself sitting as she waits for the doctor.

Then, in the next stanza, the door opens and a smiling nurse says her name.  This stanza expresses a dichotomy.  For the nurse, this is routine.  The nurse even tries to be pleasant.  For the woman in the poem, things feel unreal and uncertain.

The next stanza has the whole experience of the woman in the doctor’s office.  It describes it very vaguely in the first two lines.  This is meant to reflect how the woman would feel.  The stanza, and poem, ends with an answer, but not an answer.  The woman hears her diagnosis, but it is not explained to the reader.  The idea was to give the reader a small sense of uncertainty, so that they could relate to the woman in the poem.  There is no period at the end of the stanza, because it is not really an ending.