Post Series: Advent: Poetry topic idea: snowmen

Today’s poetry topic idea is snowmen.  Snowmen are sometimes made by people during this time of year.  There are a number of ideas about snowmen that can be applied to poetry.

For example, snowmen might make a poet think about ideas of temporariness, transience, or mortality.  A snowman is a temporary thing.  At some point, it will melt away.  This idea can have significance.

Another idea that can come from snowmen, is the idea of fragility.  Although a snowman can look substantial, it is actually very fragile.  A small amount of force can damage it.  This notion of looking strong but being weak can be applied to other things.

As a third idea, snowmen could remind a poet of a sentry or a guard.  A snowman stays where it is put and appears to watch.  This notion of guarding could be applied to other things.

Here is an example poem using the idea of snowmen:

the child
made snowmen
in place of those
who would not be there
that Christmas

Post Series: Advent: Bilingual Poem: Saint Nicholas

Today is the day of Saint Nicholas.

As you look around,
and see Santa everywhere,
know that there was a real person,
who did greater things,
than the man in the red suit.

 

Hoy es el día de Santo Nicholas.

Minetras ustedes miran alrededor,
y ven Santa en todas partes,
saben que hay estaba una persona verdadera,
que hizo asuntos mayor,
que el hombre en el traje rojo.

Post Series: Advent: Poem with an explanation: and waiting alone

making the list
ordering online
receiving the boxes
wrapping them
putting the tags
leaving part blank
putting them under the tree
and waiting alone

 

In this poem a lonely person buys themselves Christmas gifts.  The person goes through steps.  They make a list of what they want, they order the gifts online, they receive the boxes, and they wrap them.  When the person puts name tags on the gifts they leave the “From” blank.  They are afraid that if someone does happen come by that they will see that they bought gifts for themselves.  They don’t want this to happen, so they leave the “From” blank so it will look like they received the gifts.  They then put the gifts under their Christmas tree and they wait alone until Christmas to unwrap them.

This poem shows a lonely person trying to have some feeling of the holiday.  They could have bought themselves things and just had them, but they decided to wrap the items to feel like they got gifts.

The person is self-conscious of their behavior though and hides what they are doing to a degree by leaving the “From” spaces blank on the tags.  This is for the reason mentioned above, but also because the person just feels lonelier when they acknowledge what they are doing.  Not having the “From” helps them to ignore their reality some.

As an aside, if any readers know anyone who might be spending Christmas alone this year, do something for them.  Send them an email.  Send a note on social media.  Send a card.  Send a gift.  If possible, see if the person wants to visit you on Christmas if that is possible.  Help the person not have the circumstances in the poem.

Post Series: Advent: Poem with an explanation: the gift was seen

seemingly thoughtless
and seemingly cheap
harsh words were spoken
on the bright morning

with reluctance
the ladder was climbed

summer nights
the bird did call
and in the yard
in the panic
the gift was seen

 

In this poem a person gets a gift that they don’t like that later proves to be important.

In the poem a person gives another person a smoke alarm as a Christmas present.  The receiver of the gift thinks it is a bad gift.  They see it as thoughtless and cheap.  They say harsh words to the giver of the gift on Christmas morning (the bright morning).

After some time, reluctantly, the receiver of the gift installs the smoke alarm (the ladder was climbed).

During the following summer the smoke alarm goes off at night as the house the receiver is in catches on fire (the bird did call).  They are awoken by the alarm and run out into their yard panicking.  At that moment, as their house is burning but their life was saved, they see the value of the gift they were given (their life) (the gift was seen).

Post Series: Advent: Poetry topic idea: anticipation

Advent is a time of anticipation.  There is anticipation of Christmas.  Anticipation can make a good poetry topic idea.  A poet could write about anticipating something and the ideas and the emotions that go with it.

Here is an example poem:

wrapping a gift
wondering what
they’ll think of it

 

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Post series: Advent: Poem: Why is all this going on?

Why is all this going on?

To an outside observer,
someone who had no previous knowledge,
it would all seem,
a bit absurd.

People,
are putting fake trees in their houses.

Thousands of little light bulbs,
are being strung outside.

People are shopping everywhere.

Movies are playing
with singing snowmen.

There’s talk of reindeer
flying in the sky.

Why is all this going on?

What is all this about?

Why are millions and millions
of seemingly rational people
doing all of this?

There must be a reason.

There must be something behind it.

There must be something
with meaning
and importance
and significance.

This all can’t be
just some long festival.

There has to be a reason for all of this.

There has to be an answer to the question.

There has to be a reason,
why all of this,
is going on.

 

P. S. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving. Because of the holiday, there will not be a new post on the blog November 28, 2019 – December 1, 2019.  The next new post will be on December 2, 2019.

Post Series: Advent: two pomegranates

two pomegranate

Above is an artwork of two pomegranates.  It is a photograph that was cropped, made black and white, and altered some.

The artwork shows two different sized pomegranates.  One is large and one is small.  This idea can be related to Christmas gifts and their perceived value.

Some gifts are perceived to have a large value, and other gifts a small value.  This perception can affect the person giving the gift and the person receiving the gift.

A poet could write about the contrast between gifts with a high perceived value and those with a low perceived value.  They could write about how the perception is created, how the gifts are given, how they are received, and if the perception is correct and what that means.

Here is an example poem:

in the house full of food
a fruitcake was delivered
and received
with the reception
that might be expected

in a moment
of thoughtless re-gifting
the fruitcake was brought
to one whose hunger was hidden
and it was received
with silent joy

Post Series: Advent: Artwork to inspire poetry: twelve acorns

twelve days

Above is an artwork of twelve acorns.  It is a photograph that was made black and white.

The twelve acorns represent the twelve days of Christmas.  Each acorn could potentially become a tree, symbolizing the potential of the twelve days.  The acorns are stacked in a Christmas tree type shape.

The artwork can inspire poetry.  Here is a poem inspired by it:

there can often be
great potential
in the little things

Post Series: Advent: Bilingual Poem: This year, do something different

This year,
do something different.

Don’t get,
a plastic tree,
that looks alive.

Don’t get,
a real tree,
that was alive.

Get,
a living tree,
that is alive.

 

Este año,
hace algo distinto.

No obtiene,
un árbol de plástico,
que parece vivo.

No obtiene,
un árbol legítimo,
que estado vivo.

Obtiene,
un árbol que vive,
que es vivo.