Poem with an explanation: know the truth that it is day

twenty past three
and it was getting late
the force of the wind
was blowing strong

in the night
the monsters roamed
and in the light
the drums did beat

and so in the day
the steps were taken
to the woods
and back again

and days and days
did move on by
and by the fields
the hills were climbed

and then one day
it was two

and birds did sing
and butterflies flew
and flowers bloomed
beneath the sun

but in the caves
the ogres watched
and said their words
of vileness

and rain did fall
on butterflies
and clouds did cover
all the fields

but listen you
who walk the paths
the words of ogres
are not the end

walk the fields
and climb the hills
and look beyond
toward the sun

know the truth
that it is day

 

This poem is about a person losing weight, but rather than their accomplishment being applauded, they are looked down upon.

In the poem, a person starts off weighing 320 lbs.  This is referenced as a time (twenty past three).  The time reference is continued with the idea of getting late.  This refers to the idea that the person’s health is poor, and if steps aren’t taken, they might not live as long as they could.

The person finds themselves short of breath.  This feeling makes them worry.  This is related in the lines the force of the wind/was blowing strong.  The word force also relates to the fact that weight is a measure of force.

The person has this experience and it keeps them up at night (in the night/the monsters roamed).  They are worried that because of their weight, they might die.  The next day (and in the light) they are so worried that they can feel their heart beating inside of themselves (the drums did beat).

The person decides to make a change (and so in the day/the steps were taken).  The person starts walking (the steps were taken).  In the beginning, they can’t go very far and simply walk from one door of their house to another (to the woods/and back again).

The person keeps walking (and days and days/did move on by).  As they do, they find they are able to go farther and they leave their house (and by the fields/the hills were climbed).

The person keeps walking, and then one day, they fall below three hundred pounds (it was two).  It was two ties back into the idea of time from before.

The person is very happy (and birds did sing/and butterflies flew/and flowers bloomed/beneath the sun).

This happiness though isn’t shared by others.  The family of the person puts down their accomplishment.  They say the person is still overweight.  They say that being less than three hundred pounds isn’t an accomplishment.  They say the person hasn’t done anything.  They criticize the person and call them names (but in the caves/the ogres watched/and said their words/of vileness).

The person is saddened by this (and rain did fall/on butterflies/and clouds did cover/all the fields).

In the poem though, someone else speaks.  They talk to the person (but listen you/who walk the paths).  They tell the person that the words of their family aren’t what is important (the words of ogres/are not the end).

They encourage the person to keep on working (walk the fields/and climb the hills).  They tell them to look past the negative comments (and look beyond) and see the accomplishment they have made and where they are going (toward the sun).

They tell the person that the words of their family are lies (know the truth), and that the reality is they have done an amazing thing (that it is day).

This poem relates to something that happens in life.  A person can accomplish something that makes them feel good, but if that accomplish doesn’t meet the expectations of others, the person might be criticized for achieving so little in the eyes of others.  The poem express the idea that this is wrong and that people should feel good about their accomplishments, even if they have more to do.

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Poetry essay: The experiences of a poet aren’t seen

Yesterday’s essay was about what goes into a poem that isn’t seen by readers.  It focused on the work of writing and changes to a poem that happen before it’s finished.

This essay focuses on something else that goes into a poem that isn’t necessarily seen by readers – the personal experiences of a poet.

Sometimes poets write poetry that express ideas and emotions and are about situations to which they aren’t connected.  For example, a poet might write a poem about having a heart attack, even though neither they nor anyone they know has had one.

This idea isn’t bad.  A lot of knowledge of experiences can be gained without direct experience.  A poet can successfully express things even if they haven’t been through them.  Also, the emotion and ideas a poet gets across aren’t somehow less just because the poet hasn’t been through something.

In other cases though, a poet has gone through something before they write a poem.  Maybe the poet had a heart attack.  Maybe the poet went through something else.

Sometimes readers can tell that a poet has personal knowledge of something.  The poet might include details and ideas that someone who hasn’t been through something might not know nor understand.  This can come across to readers, especially if the reader has been through the thing the poet is writing about.

In other situations, a poet may directly tell readers about their experience in addition to the poetry they write.  For example, a poet may let readers know they had a heart attack before the readers read their poems about them.

In other situations though, readers might not know what a poet has gone through.  Sometimes a poet doesn’t tell readers, and sometimes readers can’t tell when they read a poem.

These types of situations can affect both the poet and the reader.

From the poet’s perspective, it can feel somewhat unfulfilling to have their work seen as just another work, when to them it is very personal.  Imagine a poet went through a traumatic experience.  It might feel bad to them to have people read their poetry about it as if the poet had no connection to what they were writing about.  It might make them feel bad to think that readers might view their work as if it was written with an outside perspective of something.  There is something about going through an experience that makes expressing ideas about it personal.

From the reader’s perspective, a reader might not fully appreciate a poem if they don’t understand the poet’s circumstances.  A poem about homelessness, for example, would be read differently if a reader didn’t know the poet had been homeless, than if they knew they had been.  In these situations, a reader might not get the depth of emotion the poet is trying to express.

For poets writing about something they personally have been through, there are some steps they can take to improve the situation.

First, as mentioned above, a poet can tell readers about their situation.  This telling can take various forms.  It might be many pages of explanations or just a short note before a poem.

This can be a good way to explain things in some situations.  Sometimes what a person has gone through is so significant that readers should overtly know about it before reading the poet’s work.

Second, a poet can try to include details and emotions in their work.  They can focus on those things that only someone connected to an experience might know.  They can write about what particular moments were like and what particular experiences felt like.

If a poet does this well, readers should be able to understand that the poet is at the very least knowledgeable about what they are writing about, as well as potentially connected to it.

For poets, having readers understand the connection to your work can be important.  It can be important for both the poet and for the reader.  If a poet can in some way get this connection across, both will be better for it.

Poem with an explanation: Don’t ever go

Hello.

Is it play time?

Time for a walk?

Hey, what’s that?

What’s this thing?

Is this moving?

Where’s home?

Hello.

Hello.

This is bad.

This is bad.

What’s this place?

This doesn’t look good.

This is that place, isn’t it?

Noooooooooooo.

Why this place?

Why?

Was it the shoes?

The noise?

Something?

It’ll change.

It will.

Home is good.

Home.

Home.

Home.

Is it time to go?

No, that’s the wrong way!

This is bad.

This is bad.

Who’s that?

Ahhhhhh!

That was bad.

Who’s that?

What are they doing?

Ahhhhhh!

Ahhhhhh!

This is bad.

This is bad.

You’re not nice.

You’re not nice.

Is it time to go?

Leaving?

Yea!!!

Hurry.

Into the thing.

It’s moving.

It’s moving.

What’s that?

Home?

Home?

Home!!!

Home!!!

Yea!!!

Hello.

Hello.

It was horrible.

Horrible!

Don’t ever go.

Don’t ever go.

 

This poem follows the thoughts of a dog during a trip to the veterinarian.  The dog is simplistic in how he views things and sees things from an emotional level.  Things are either good or bad.

Although the poem is about a dog, it can be viewed as a metaphor for the human experience with medical care.  The human experience in medical care can be one of uncertainty, fear, and feeling that things are happening to you.  The dog’s experience reflects this.

The poem starts with the dog greeting his owner (Hello.)  The dog questions why his owner is there (Is it play time? Time for a walk?)

The dog has a harness put on and is taken to a car.  When he sees it, he doesn’t know what it is (Hey, what’s that?).  When he gets inside, he questions it further (What’s this thing?).

As the car starts to move, the dog questions what is happening (Is this moving?).  He wants to go back to where he was happy.  He wants to go back home.  He expresses this through a question (Where’s home?).

The dog feels a sense of abandonment from his owner.  He says Hello twice to his owner hoping to get some sort of comfort.  When he does not, he feels the negativity of his situation (This is bad.  This is bad.).

When they arrive at the vet, the dog questions where they are (What’s this place?).  The smell of the place fills the dog with foreboding (This doesn’t look good.)  The dog realizes where it is and questions it (This is that place, isn’t it?).  The realization fills the dog with despair (Noooooooooooo.)

The dog wonders if he is being punished (Why this place? Why?)  He questions if it is because he chewed shoes (Was it the shoes?), barked (The noise?), or anything else (Something?).

Fearing the place, and hoping for reprieve, the dog promises to change (It’ll change.  It will.)

The dog doesn’t like where he is.  He thinks of his happy place (Home is good.)  While he waits, he keeps thinking of it (Home.  Home.  Home.)

The dog and owner are then called into the examination room.  As his owner gets up, the dog think’s it is getting relief (Is it time to go?).  As the dog is lead further into the office, he realizes he isn’t going home (No, that’s the wrong way!)

When the dog goes in the office he is very scared (This is bad.  This is bad.  This is bad.)

The veterinary assistant comes in.  The dog question who it is (Who’s that?).  The assistant takes the dog’s temperature, which the dog does not like (Ahhhhhh!  That was bad.)

The veterinarian then comes in.  The dog again questions who it is (Who’s that?)  The vet then checks the dog over, which the dog doesn’t like (What are they doing?)

The vet then gives the dog two vaccinations.  Both fill the dog with pain (Ahhhhhh!  Ahhhhhh!).

The dog doesn’t like where he is (This is bad.  This is bad.)  He feels a sense of betrayal from his owner (You’re not nice.  You’re not nice.)

At this point, the dog’s owner gets up to leave with him (Is it time to go?).  The dog, in disbelief, questions if they are leaving (Leaving?)

When the dog realizes they are, he cheers (Yea!!!).  He wants his owner to hurry (Hurry.) and get into the car (Into the thing.)

As they drive away, the dog is filled with glee and it cheers (It’s moving.  It’s moving.)

As they go, the dog recognizes the area as familiar (What’s that?)  He thinks they are getting near home (Home?  Home?).  When he sees his home he cheers (Home!!! Home!!! Yea!!!).

When the dog arrives home, he greats another dog that lives with him (Hello.  Hello.)  He tells the dog of his experience (It was horrible.  Horrible!) and warns the dog to never go (Don’t ever go.  Don’t ever go.)

Poetry essay: Imparting emotion to poetry

In writing poetry, there may be times when a poet wants to impart emotion to their words.

It could be, that the topic they are writing about is personal to themselves.  Maybe they or someone they are close to has experienced something that they are trying to express.  This topic might be one the poet feels connected to and strongly about and they want to express that emotion in their writing.

Alternatively, a poet could be writing about something that they don’t have a connection to.  A poet, for example, might be writing about a social issue.  They may have no direct connection to the topic themselves, but they still want to impart emotion for the reader.

As another alternative, a poet may be writing a fictional poem or one with fictional elements.  In the poem, a character might be experiencing an emotion.  This might have nothing to do with the poet personally and may not be connected to a societal issue.  It might just be an emotion the character is experiencing in their own circumstances.  As the poet writes, they might work to have this emotion come through for the reader.

There are a number of ways that a poet can have emotion come through in their writing.

Details

One way a poet can increase the emotion of their writing is to include details.  When a poet includes details regarding a situation, it can add authenticity and help relay the experience.

For example, if a poet was writing about cancer treatment, they could increase the emotion of the poem if they wrote about things like a chemotherapy pump or having a chest port.  Having these details, and expressing what they are like, can add inherit emotion to a poem.

Play acting

If a poet is writing a poem that could be read as dialogue, one way to increase the emotion is to play act the part.  For example, if a poet were writing what it was like for someone to explain how their spouse died, and how they are a widow or widower, they might try to act it out.  They might try to actually say the part and act as if they were explaining to someone how their spouse died.  They could try to feel the emotion of their words and say them in a realistic way.  They could then write what they said.  This would help impart emotion to their writing.

Actually feeling the emotion

If a poet is actually experiencing an emotion, this can help them when writing about it.  If a poet is actually feeling joy, for example, then this can help them express joy in their writing.  They can write what joyfulness is like, because they are joyful.

Fewer words and setting apart impact lines

One way to have more emotion in a poem is to have fewer words and to have lines of impact set apart.  Sometimes brief is best when describing an emotion.  Sometimes the less that is written, the better.  In these instances, if the emotional impact is set apart, this can increase the emotion by having a pause and by letting the emotional aspect stand alone.

Careful word choice and order

In line with the idea of fewer words and using impact lines, a poet should also focus on careful word choice and the order of their words when they are trying to impart emotion.  Because of the experiential nature of emotions, the exact words used and the order of them can have an effect on the experience.  Think of experiences that are contained moments.  An example might be a man proposing to a woman, or a man and a woman telling one of their sets of parents that they are having a baby.  Because of the significance of these moments and the fact that they happen at a specific time and place, the way the words are said can be very important.  In a sense, there is only one chance to have the moment.  This can make word choice and order very important.  The same idea, in a sense, applies to emotional poetry.

Overt metaphor and symbolism

Another way to impart emotion through poetry is through the use of metaphor and symbolism.  Rather than having obscure ideas, to impart emotions the uses should be overt.  A reader should be able to understand what the metaphor is referring to and what the symbolism represents.  The idea is for the reader to realize they are reading metaphor and symbolism and to have that realization impart increased effect to the emotion imparted.

An example might be a poem where someone dies as a flower loses its petals.  The waning of the person’s life is overtly represented by the flower losing its petals.  This helps the idea of the flower to impart increased emotion to the idea of the person’s death.

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: Brewed Tea: Feeling

On the way to the vet,
she trembled and shook,
with each breath the dog took.

Her hands shivered,
as the small Roly-Poly,
curled up slowly.

A fog of condolence,
shadowed the candle of reprieve,
but a firefly did believe.
 

(12/40) Experimental Poetry Form: Brewed Tea

 

P.S. Today on MSakran.com, there is a new set of photography, artwork, poetry and fiction.