A photograph to inspire poetry: Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

Above is a photograph of a flower that might be called Rose of Sharon.  It can inspire poetry.  For example, a poet might write about:

  • Some sort of occasion with yellow flowers.
  •  

  • The change of colors from the outside to the in: Yellow, Red, Yellow, Brown.
  •  

  • Something to do with the possible name of the plant.
  •  

  • A comparison between the yellow flower and the sun.

 

Here is an example poem inspire by the photograph:

Shadows fall,
on the yellow hills,
as fires burn,
within the valley,
and the last tree stands,
unmoving.

A photograph to inspire poetry: a fly on a dead banana leaf

a fly on a dead banana leaf

This photograph is of a fly on a dead banana leaf.  It is a fairly up close and detailed shot.  One type of poetic inspiration that could come from this photograph, would be a poem that uses the fly and dead banana leaf as metaphorical symbols for something.  For example, imagine a person moving from a house that burned down.  The person could be represented by the fly and the house could be represented by the dead banana leaf in a poem.  He’s an example:

It was strange,
the sound in the wind,
as it blew through the brown,
and it all seemed to rattle.

Pausing there,
standing upon it,
for the last moment,
before this was memory.

What once was alive,
and seemed to grow each day,
was now a shell,
that was empty and thin.

Living there,
staying there,
understanding there,
as wings now twitched.

The wind blew,
the fly would do as it would,
and there upon stalks,
the banana leaves would flutter.

Bilingual Poem: Regret

Lying on the floor,
unable to breathe,
unable to see,
and thinking,
as consciousness fades,
of all the times,
the smoke alarm batteries,
could have been changed.

Tumbando en el piso,
no poder hacer respirar,
no poder hacer ver,
y pensando,
mientras conocimiento se apaga,
de todos los tiempos,
baterías de alarma de humo,
podrían estuvieron cambiaron.

 

P.S. As mentioned before, M. Sakran is not bilingual.  The translation above was done using a dictionary, by looking up verb conjugation, and by using previous knowledge.  It is very possible that some mistakes were made in the translation above.  Hopefully though, it is close enough, that the message comes across.  If any readers are bilingual, and would like to send M. Sakran a better translation, feel free to do so using the form on the contact page.  It won’t be posted, however, it would be an aid to M. Sakran.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: Perseverance

Pound, pound, pound, pound,
hammers swing against the posts,
pound, pound, pound, pound,
the concrete shakes as it all moves.

Falling, falling,
a stumble goes,
falling, falling,
down the path.

Distance flees,
distance flees,
as metal strains,
and sprockets fly.

Race,
and triumph,
goals,
and dreams,
are over hills,
and over seas.

Race,
and triumph,
goals,
and dreams,
are over hills,
and over seas.

There’s the bell,
there’s the hope,
falling down,
climbing up.

There’s the bell,
there’s the hope,
someone please,
pull the rope.

Movement goes,
movement goes,
empty speaks,
empty speaks.

The bell does ring,
the bell does ring,
and there on steps,
stillness lays.

 

This poem is about a boy in the late 1800s running to the center of town, to tell the people that his house is on fire.  The idea of the time period was to have a plausible setting for someone to have to run to get help for a fire.  A time period without cell phones, for example, was needed.

The poem starts with the boy having already run a great distance.  He is tired and his legs are heavy and they hurt.  He feels the effort of each step (Pound, pound, pound, pound) and feels the pain of each movement in his legs (hammers swing against the posts).  His legs feel heavier with each step (pound, pound, pound, pound) and he feels as though he is going to crumble (the concrete shakes as it all moves).

As he continues to run and tire, his movements get less controlled (Falling, falling) and it is like he is stumbling continuously (a stumble goes).  His running is like a constant effort to stop from falling (falling, falling) and this happens as he moves down a path to town (down the path).

In the distance, he can see his goal.  It is a civic building of some sort in the center of town.  As he moves though, because of his strain and effort it seems that the building is running from him (Distance flees, distance flees).  Metaphorically, the boy’s skeleton is like a metal frame.  In his weakness, it is straining (as metal strains).  It is like his body is a machine that is moving too much and too fast and is falling apart as it goes (and sprockets fly).

The boy is going through great effort.  This effort though is meaningful as opposed to effort that is meaningless.  The boy is not running a race (Race), he is not hoping for any sort of glory (and triumph).  He is not running because of some personal drive (goals) or because he hopes for some achievement (and dreams).  All of those ideas are far from him (are over hills, and over seas).

The boy is running a race though (Race).  He is racing to save his home and family.  There is a sense of triumph (and triumph) should he succeed.  His success is his goal (goals) and dream (and dreams).  He is trying to achieve this by running over hills (are over hills) and through water (and over seas).

As the boy runs, he nears the building.  The building has a bell to alert the town to crisis or call people to action (There’s the bell).  Having the bell ring, is what this boy hopes for (there’s the hope).  As he runs, he weakens (falling down), but keeps trying (climbing up).

The boy gets closer and his mind is fixed on the bell ringing (There’s the bell, there’s the hope).  Although he can’t speak, because he is winded, in his mind he is crying out for help (someone please, pull the rope).

The boy finally makes it to the building and people start moving about him (Movement goes, movement goes).  With great effort he tells them his home is on fire (empty speaks, empty speaks).

The people hear the boy and sound the bell (The bell does ring, the bell does ring).  The boy then collapses on the steps (and there on steps, stillness lays).

This poem is about perseverance and effort toward a worthwhile goal.  The boy is very focused on something and internally deals with the pain as he pursues it.

The main form element of this poem is that of repeats.

In stanza one, lines one and three are repeats.  Additionally, those lines are each composed of a word repeated four times.

In stanza two, lines one and three are again repeats.  In those lines a word is repeated twice.

In stanza three, lines one and two are repeats.

Stanza four is repeated in stanza five (although the meaning changes).

The first two lines of stanza six are repeated in the first two lines of stanza seven.

In stanza eight, lines one and two are repeats and lines three and four are repeats.

In stanza nine, lines one and two are repeats.

An additional form element is one rhyme (ignoring the rhymes of repeated lines) that is in stanza seven with the words hope and rope.

*****

Do you like poems with explanations?

M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!

To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog.  Above is a poem with an explanation for the series.  This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book.  It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: Alone

Alone

Was it a cigarette?
Was it a campfire?
Was it lightening?

There was the spark,
unseen,
in the trees,
far away.

  No one was there.

The shingles caught,
at first a smolder,
then the flame.

  No one was there.

Smoke in the attic,
rafters buckle,
and with some time,
the ceiling caves.

  An alarm sounds,
  no one hears.

The smoke in the living room,
windows shatter,
furniture burns,
and all crumbles.

  There are eyes,
  looking,
  but looking away.

Four walls,
three walls,
two and one,
the pile is there,
and all is gone.

  No one was there.

 

This poem is about a person becoming progressively more ill.  The person is alone and has no one to help them.  It uses a house fire as a metaphor.  This poem examines the idea of an isolated person encountering something where they need help.

The first stanza examines the cause of the illness.  It basically questions whether it started from something small (a cigarette), something medium (a campfire) or something large (lightening).  The questions are not answered in the poem.

The next stanza describes the start of the illness.  It starts small (spark) and unnoticed (unseen) (far away).  As a note, the fact that the illness started small is not meant to imply that it started from something small.  The idea is that even something big (such as a fire caused by lightening) still in essence starts with one point.

The third stanza (No one was there) is the first mention that the person is alone.

The next stanza uses a house as a metaphor for the person.  The stanza says, The shingles caught, at first a smolder, then the flame.  This describes the person first feeling the illness.  At first it is subtle (a smolder), but then it is more (the flame).  This stanza could be looked at as describing a person feeling the start of a fever (shingles representing the person’s head and a smolder and flame representing the heat of the fever).

The fifth stanza is a repeat of the third.  It shows that as the person got more ill, they were still alone.

The sixth stanza continues the progression of the illness.  The fire spreading in the attic could be looked at as representing the symptoms of the illness spreading in the person’s head.  By the end of the stanza, they feel it in their throat.  This is one way of describing the spread of the illness (which continues the way of description from stanza four) but other similar notions of the symptoms of an illness spreading could be applied.

The seventh stanza is like the third and the fifth, in that it shows that no one is with the person.  This stanza uses a somewhat different expression though.  It uses the metaphor of an unheard fire alarm to describe the person calling for help, but getting no response.

The eighth stanza continues the progression of illness symptoms.  One way to look at it, would be to say that the person started feeling something in their lungs (The smoke in the living room), their eyes began to hurt (windows shatter), they felt pain at different parts of their body (furniture burns) and they were overwhelmed by the symptoms (and all crumbles)

The next stanza is like the previous indented ones, in that it expresses the idea that the person is alone.  The stanza expresses the idea that there are people (There are eyes) and these people are observant and aware (looking) but they are just not aware of the person that is ill (but looking away).

One important point about this poem, is that people are not actively ignoring the ill person in the poem.  The person in the poem is isolated either by circumstance or by their own doing.  It is not though, a matter of neglect.  People are not willfully not helping the person, they are simply unaware the person needs help.

The tenth stanza describes the person getting severely more ill (as described by the walls of the house collapsing).  The person is very weak (the pile is there) and eventually, the person dies (and all is gone).

The last stanza is a repeat of the third and fifth.  It say, that the person died alone.

In terms of form, this poem is free verse in the sense that there was not a predefined from applied to it, nor a strict structure applied while it was written.  Despite this though, the poem is not entirely free of structure and still has form elements in it.

The first stanza consists entirely of questions.  Each question starts with Was it.  Additionally, the first two stanzas, start with Was it a, and then a word that starts with the letter c.

The second stanza starts with a line that is relatively longer in appearance than the other three lines in the stanza.  The first line says something, and the next three describe it.  The three short lines are meant to be choppy in a sense so that each point about the spark is made.

The third stanza, is repeated in the fifth stanza, and again repeated in the last stanza.  These stanzas are all indented to show a separation from the other ideas of the poem.

In the tenth stanza, the first two lines are similar.  They show the progression of the house falling in.  The third line breaks the form pattern (it does not continue two walls, one wall).  The idea of the break was to speed up the collapse of the house (and therefore the deterioration of the person).

*****

M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!

To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog.  Above is a poem with an explanation for the series.  This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book.  It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.

Poem with an explanation: Fire place

The fire glowed as words of ode were read aloud.

The soup simmered, its broth glimmered, in the black pot.

And by a chair there laid a pair of two small dogs.

 

The above poem utilizes the experimental poetry form: Lines with internal rhymes that was described on this blog in the June 5, 2014 post.

The scene is of someone sitting by a fire in a large chair, reading poetry, while they cook soup in a pot over the fire, and dogs sleep on a rug in front of the hearth.  The scene is winter, in the evening and it is relatively dark inside the home where the scene is.

The poem is short, and rather than telling a story, simply shows a scene.

Poetry topic idea: Fire

Fire is a very interesting poetry topic idea for a variety of reasons.

One reason is that fire can appear in settings in a spectrum of situations from good, through indifferent, to bad.  Fire, for example, is found in fire places, grills, and campfires.  It is also found in matches and lighters.  Additionally, fire is seen in disasters, arson, and war.  Because fire is found in this wide range of situations, it can be used in a variety of poems.

Another reason fire can make an interesting poetry topic idea is because it is dynamic.  Fire moves, it changes color, in grows and shrinks.  The fuel source of fire changes as it burns.  The air around fire changes.  This dynamism can make fire an interesting topic for poetry.

Fire also has a certain fundamental quality.  Fire provides light and heat in a basic way that has been utilized for millennia.  Fire can happen naturally.  The fundamental quality of fire can be useful in poetry.