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

Experimental Poetry Form: fifty characters

Today’s experimental poetry form is called fifty characters.  The form requirement is simple: the poem (excluding the title) must have fifty characters.  Characters are letters, numbers, spaces, punctuation marks, returns, and other things that make up text.  The number of characters can be counted by hand, or by using a word processing software.  Other than this requirement, the poet is free to add elements to the form in any way they wish.

Here is an example poem:

Hunger

water
yeast
brown sugar
oil
salt
whole wheat flour

Experimental Poetry Form: Twenty one word lines

Today’s experimental poetry form is called twenty one word lines.  It consists of twenty lines, each with one word.  The idea of the form was inspired by the poem in the post from March 8, 2019.  That poem was a train of thought poem that had nineteen lines, with most being one word.

Although the form could be used to create a train of thought poem (where one idea leads to the next like with word association), it could also be used to write out a sentence or something else.

Here is an example poem that is a train of thought poem:

hunger
food
fruit
stand
roadside
cars
dirt
clean
water
soap
bars
prison
concrete
driveway
mailbox
letter
open
close
business
hours

Some train of thought poems, like the one above, just lead off.  They have no circularity.  Some train of thought poems, like the one from the March 8th post, do have a circularity.  There are other effects as well.

Here is another example poem.  This one is one sentence broken up:

Having
no
shower,
he
did
his
best,
and
washed
his
face,
arms,
and
hands
in
the
convenience
store
bathroom
sink.

Poem with an explanation: emptiness grows

emptiness grows,
and unlike the supposed living,
there is no relief,
with time

the flock flies above,
looking toward horizons,
while there beneath the stone,
the bear lies

nuts and berries,
are absent the hands,
the smell of roast turkey,
fills the air

under the stone,
the night falls,
as the emptiness grows,
in silence

 

This poem is about hunger.  In the poem there is a homeless person who has not eaten for days.

In the first stanza, the person’s hunger grows (emptiness grows).  This ailment, unlike something caused by a virus, does not heal with time (and unlike the supposed living (a virus may or may not be living), there is no relief, with time).

The homeless person is outside beside a building.  People move about around him (the flock flies above).  The people are focused on their lives (looking toward horizons) and don’t notice the man.  It is as if he is hidden (while there beneath the stone, the bear lies).

The man wants for simplicity.  There is this idea, that a person lost in the wilderness, will gather the simplest foods: nuts and berries.  This level of food is what the man desires, but he does not have it (are absent the hands).  About him though, people have an abundance of luxurious food (the smell of roast turkey, fills the air).

The man is metaphorically hidden and covered (under the stone).  In his hunger, he passes away (the night falls).  The stone also symbolizes a tomb.  His death has left an emptiness in the world (as the emptiness grows) but it is not noticed (in silence).

 

The above was a poem with an explanation.  The idea is to help readers learn about poetry through the explanation given.  Readers can learn about symbolism and metaphor by reading how they were applied in a particular situation.

If you like poems with explanations, please consider purchasing a copy of Understanding: poems with explanations.  It is an eBook that contains twenty poems with explanations.  It is available for $0.99 plus tax where applicable.

Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran

Poetry topic idea: hunger

Today’s poetry topic idea is hunger.  Here are some ways to use it in poetry:

  • A poet could write about a momentary hunger for food. Think of an experience where a person misses a meal.  Think of the sensation of hunger they might feel.  This could be used in poetry.
  •  

  • As an alternative, a poet could write about a sustained hunger for food. Think of a person living in poverty, who might only get one meal a day, or every other day.
  •  

  • In another idea, a person could write about someone who is hungry in association with a purpose. For example, think of someone on a hunger strike.
  •  

  • A person might also write about hunger associated with an eating disorder.
  •  

  • Hunger could also be used metaphorically in poetry. A person could hunger for many things other than food.  A poet could write about those.

 

Here is a humorous example poem using hunger:

M. Sakran is hungry,
  (oh … remember the Scotch egg from yesterday)
but will not have breakfast,
until this post is done.

Oh why isn’t the post done yet?!

Post Series: The Poems with Explanations Series: Empty

Empty

Metallic,
being pulled down,
a feeling in a tube,
a feeling in a bag,
a nondescript emptiness,
a sound,
soldiers marching,
empty bags,
metal scaffolding,
and an empty room.

 

This poem is about hunger.  It tries to describe it through abstract imagery.  Here are what the lines mean:

Metallic – this describes a metallic taste in the mouth that a hungry person can feel

being pulled down – this is about the hungry person swallowing their saliva

a feeling in a tube – the hungry person feels an emptiness in their throat

a feeling in a bag – and they feel an emptiness in their stomach

a nondescript emptiness – inside of themselves the hungry person feels empty, but it’s hard to get a hold of and describe

a sound – their stomach rumbles

soldiers marching – the hungry person feels a strange ache in their shoulders and arms

empty bags – with the ache, they feel empty

metal scaffolding – for some reason, they have a feeling that they can feel the teeth in their mouth

and an empty room – the hungry person feels empty inside

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: Eight: The dog outside

A plate of food with knife and fork,
  the dog outside does make a sound,
a feeling of some right and wrong,
and though inertia adds a weight,
the thought of justice fills the mind,
and so the chair is pushed on out,
and steps go to the nearby door,
and food goes in the bowl with sound.

The work is done, a glass is filled,
  the dog outside pants in the heat,
though rationality does speak,
and though it sounds most clearly sure,
a sense the words it says are false,
does cause the legs to move away,
the handle then is slowly turned,
and water flows for the poor hound.

The lightning strikes and thunder cracks,
  the dog outside whimpers in fear,
the logic says that all is fine,
that what is feared is far away,
that there outside all is alright,
but then the thought of being there,
does cause the hand to turn the knob,
and have the dog feel like it’s found.

An ache is felt within the back,
  the dog outside takes time to stand,
and though it seems to be excess,
as the small pills fall in the hand,
those words come back and fill the ears,
and as the pain does the twinge again,
a note is made on the short list,
and the next day new pills abound.

Alone without a voice nearby,
  the dog outside is still and stares,
and though the sense is felt inside,
it takes some time to realize,
that there outside it is felt too,
and so a thought does then occur,
and the small ball is carried out,
and the dog jumps with a large bound.

The dog next door did run away,
  the dog outside sits by the fence,
and though a search is made for days,
the importance of it is low,
until the eyes of the dog stare,
and ask for help without loud words,
and then again the search goes on,
as cars do drive and search around.

The vet was called, the time was set,
  the dog outside did hesitate,
the words were said that this was good,
and words were said of benefit,
but in the car the dog did shake,
and as it went some tears did fall,
and then the sense of this from past,
had empathy grow in a mound.

The man outside did fall and cringe,
  the dog outside did understand,
and the dog barked at the near fence,
and the dog barked with a loud sound,
and men did come in uniforms,
to make the dog have silence then,
but they did see the man who fell,
and then the dog did bark unbound.

 

(38/40) Experimental Poetry Form: Eight