Artwork to inspire poetry: Persimmon

Persimmon

Above is an artwork of a persimmon.  As today is Halloween, it seemed appropriate to have an orange colored produce item as the subject of the artwork.  Rather than going with the traditional pumpkin, a persimmon was chosen instead.

Some poetry ideas that can come from this artwork are:

  • Poems about persimmons. While a fruit might not seem to be a significant topic for a poem, it can be worked into many poems as an object that ties ideas together.  Think of a poem about someone who has died.  A poet could write about a gathering after the funeral where persimmons are in a bowl.  The fruit could be used as a vehicle to examine different subjects.
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  • Poems about difference from expectations. This persimmon is not a pumpkin.  It is different from what might be expected.  A poet could use the difference from expectations in poetry.
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  • Poems about something new. Maybe some readers may have never tried a persimmon.  This idea of something new could be used in poetry.  A poet could write about a new experience.

Here is a poem inspired by this artwork:

trying to carve a persimmon,
would probably be really hard,
stick to pumpkins

A photograph to inspire poetry: Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Above is a photograph of a grasshopper.  It can inspire poetry.  Some ideas include writing about:

  • Camouflage.  This grasshopper is camouflaged to look like dead grass and leaves.  A poet could see that and apply the idea to poetry.  A poet, for example, might write about an introvert dressing to blend in with their surroundings.
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  • Eyes.  This grasshopper has what appear to be big eyes.  Although presumably its “eyes” aren’t eyes like human eyes, they appear to be so.  A poet could use the idea of eyes in poetry.  A poet might write about the eyes of a loved one.  They could also write about the eyes of someone staring.  They might write about their own eyes, as seen in a mirror.
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  • Naming.  A grasshopper is named for what it does where: it hops in grass.  A person could apply this idea to poetry and write about subjects that are named similarly.  A poet, for example, could write about a field worker or a house cook.

Poem with an explanation: hiding

At five,
before light,
packed up,
to the car,
moved some,
changed the shirt,
pack held,
bathroom time,
one check,
diligence.

 

This poem is about a homeless man.  He was evicted from his apartment, but can’t afford to move somewhere else.  He has a job, and finds a way to live at work.  He goes to efforts to hide this from his coworkers.

The poem starts, At five.  The man wakes up at five a.m. from where he sleeps in the warehouse that he works in.  He has made a space for himself in one of shelving areas.  He wakes up this early because no one will be at work.

The next line, before light, goes with the first, and implies that he does things in darkness to avoid being seen.

The third line, packed up, describes the man packing up his sleeping items from where he was in the warehouse.

In the fourth line, to the car, the man takes these items and hides them in his car.

He then moves his car (moves some), so that his coworkers won’t see his car always in the same spot.  The idea is for them to think that he goes and comes to work.

After the man moves his car, he changes his shirt (changed the shirt).  Because he works in a warehouse, and wears blue jeans and work boots to work, he doesn’t have to change the rest of his clothes.

He then takes a pack of toiletries (pack held), and goes to the bathroom (bathroom time) to shave and wash and make himself look clean.

He lastly checks how he looks before he leaves (one check).

The poem ends by implying that the man was successful in hiding his homelessness.  The word diligence describes the diligence of his behavior but also describes how he is seen by his superiors at work.  They notice that he is the first to arrive each morning and the last to leave.  They see him as a good employee.

The idea of the poem is to describe how the man thinks others will view his homelessness.  He feels that it would be detrimental if his coworkers or superiors found out.  He is worried about the social consequences as well as if he would lose his job.  He believes that his situation is temporary, in that he will be able to save money while he lives rent-free at work and that he will be able to rent an apartment soon.  He also feels that how he lives is the best solution to his temporary problem.  He feels that hiding his temporary situation will be the best thing for him.

The idea of the poem is to have the social view of homelessness in the background of the man’s actions.

In terms of form, this poem uses the experimental poetry form: two and three from this blog.  The short lines had an effect on the presentation of the ideas.

P. S. If you like poems with explanations, please consider showing your support by purchasing a copy of Understanding: poems with explanations. It is available for a price of $0.99 (plus applicable tax if any). It would be a small thing you could do to show you like this type of work.

Poetry topic idea: perspective

Today’s poetry topic idea is perspective.  If a poet writes a poem from a person’s point of view, the idea of perspective can be influential, although in the background.

Sometimes, a poet might be writing about a detached event, such as rain.  The poet might write that the rain is either positive or negative, depending on how they themselves, or the subject of their poem, views the rain.  For example, a poet writing about a farmer, might describe rain positively, whereas, a poet writing about someone participating in an outdoor event, might describe rain negatively.

In other instances, there are two parties and some connected event.  Think about two people arguing over something.  The something might be the same, but each person views it differently.  There are many situations where two people can be involved in something and see it differently.  Imagine a situation for example, where one person gives a gift, that the receiver of the gift resents.  The gift giver thought they were doing something good, but the receiver saw it as bad.

Interestingly, a poet might not realize that they are applying perspective in their poetry.  They might not realize that they are writing about something from a certain point of view.

Some ideas for using perspective in poetry might be:

  • A poet could write a pair of poems, one poem looking at something from one perspective and the other poem looking at it from the other. For example, a poet could write about a wedding.  They might write one poem where someone at the wedding viewed the marriage positively and another poem where someone viewed it negatively.
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  • A poet could find a poem they previously wrote, examine it for perspective, and write a new poem from a different perspective. For example, a poet might find a poem they wrote where they describe the weather negatively.  They might think about someone who experienced the same weather, but saw it positively.  They could write a poem from their perspective.
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  • A poet could try to write a new poem from a perspective that they don’t have. For example, they could write about a political issue from the other side’s point of view.

Artwork to inspire poetry: Orange Bell Pepper Piece

Orange Bell Pepper Piece

Above is an artwork of a piece of an orange bell pepper.  It shows the part of the fruit a person would eat, the pith and two seeds near the top.  This artwork can inspire poetry.  As some ideas, a poet could write about

  • Cooking.
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  • The idea of identification. (Is a bell pepper a fruit, a vegetable, a berry, a pepper or a chili?)
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  • The idea of acceptability (part of the fruit is eaten, but part is thrown away).
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  • The idea of focus. Most of the artwork is taken up by the pith.  This may seem to be an unusual focus.  A poet could apply the idea of what is focused on to life situations.

Here is an example poem:

at the wedding,
someone asked,
about the centerpieces

Experimental Poetry Form: Repeat Pattern

This experimental poetry form comes from part of yesterday’s poem.  At the end of the poem, there were the stanzas:

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not pause,
before her words.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not speak,
the truth to him.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she said no.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she spoke truth.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
he spoke those words,
those days ago.

The four syllables per line and the four lines per stanza, were a thought through element of the poem, that came early on in the poem’s writing.  The repeats however, were something that developed as the poem was written.

As you can see above, there is pattern that is as follows:

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

Line C,
Line D,
Line E,
****.

Line C,
Line D,
Line E,
****.

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

The pattern above seemed to form a cohesive pattern and inspired today’s experimental poetry form.

Today’s form is called Repeat Pattern, and has the following characteristics:

Stanzas: 5

Lines per stanza: 4

Syllables per line: 4

Repeating Pattern: AB** AB** CDE* CDE* AB**, with the letters representing repeats, and the *’s representing individual lines.

An example of the use of this form can be found in the partial poem above.  Again, the full poem can be read in yesterday’s post.

Poem: he wondered why

He did see her,
when he came by,
and thought that she,
did see him too.

One day he asked,
if she might like,
to spend a day,
about with him.

She thought and said,
that that was fine,
and she would like,
such an idea.

But when he left,
her friends did say,
“No, not with him,
he is a dud.”

She thought and felt,
that what they thought,
did mean so much,
to who she was.

She said to them,
she did not think,
and she would not,
go out with him.

The next day came,
and he came by,
and she went off,
and hid away.

Two days did pass,
and he did show,
to ask about,
the day agreed.

But like before,
she hid away,
and he stood there,
right there alone.

But with much hope,
he did come by,
upon the day,
that was agreed.

He stood with hope,
and flowers too,
and waited there,
for her to be.

But she was off,
with all of them,
who said that he,
was such a dud.

And they did laugh,
aloud with glee,
but in her heart,
she knew his pain.

And there he stood,
as time did pass,
until the truth,
did fill his mind.

He knew inside,
like times before,
that what he saw,
was a mirage.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not pause,
before her words.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not speak,
the truth to him.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she said no.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she spoke truth.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
he spoke those words,
those days ago.