Sunday, May 18, 2008

tell the truth: you're excited to post your links

It's time for show and tell. Use the comments section to post links to poems you've written based on our "truth" poem. Hope you had fun with it!


paisley said...

well,, as always i am happy when i see it is indeed time to link to my poem... i hope i am not alone...


Nathan said...

Here's my take on this week's theme:

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting, guys! mine is in progress. it's on the list of things that are in progress.

p.s. nathan: i love the name of your website: "exhaust fumes and french fries"

Nathan said...

First, I had trouble posting a link to my poem. It's called "Consequences" and it's at my blog Exhaust Fumes and French Fries on Wordpress. There's a member's link on the Poem home page.
Second, I'd like to talk about paisley's wonderful poem, "Freedom."
The structure and honesty of this work are really great. To be able, as the speaker does, to look at one's past motives and actions as if for the first time -- this probably the ultimate act of honesty.
The first half of the poem gets at those moments of disorder and upheaval that many of us have had and that always seem like freedom. The image of the speaker's "life in a garbage bag" is emblematic of these moments.
I love it when the poem turns into its second half, when the speaker, at 45, really looks at themselves. It reminds me of what a good poem can really do -- make us see in a completely different way. It can make us strange to our selves.
I think it shows great skill that the poem is not merely a judgment. That the speaker isn't saying I was wrong now I'm right. There's a strong sense that in order to see the road truthfully it had to have been traveled. In other words, the speaker's point of view at 45 would not be possible had they not taken the journey they had.
This leads to the wonderful last lines when the poem tells us to "stop running." To make us turn around and really look, to really see ourselves and the world around us, this is the most important task a poem can do. I'd look forward to reading more of paisley's work.

Anonymous said...

from Therese--I decided to write about what it would feel like to me if I were the target of the hurtfulness, if I were the person about whom others were saying or writing hurtful things. So here's my poem (very rough draft). Slashes indicate my line breaks.


Her little poems were rather/
well-made, as serviceable as little/
Swingline staples stored inside/
a cardboard box, waiting quietly for/
their turn to be punched out/
by yet another daily standard/
writing prompt. They held together/
on the paper, a bit bent from all/
the pressure, but doing their job.
But the truth is, they were rather/
boring. The truth is, what we really/
wanted to read about (we wouldn't say so/
unless she was dead) was the story /
of all those mavericks--the staples that/
broke away, that jammed the system/
and struggled, that drew our blood./

Anonymous said...

from Therese--Both Paisley and Nathan wrote poems that have "pulse" -- warmth, urgency, truth. Both poems remind me of song lyrics: repetition (almost in refrain), accumulation, and a final circling-back. Nicely done, poets.

Anonymous said...

Nice variety of responses! Maybe I'll manage to finish this weekend...

Nothing to add re: Paisley & Nathan, really fine work.

Therese, the tone of disdain in your poem is one I think every writer secretly fears, and the closing lines, too -- do we go deeply enough?

Thank you, all!

Nathan1313 said...

The staple in Therese's poem makes a great metaphor. It made me think about risk and safety in poetry. Is there ever really a "safe" poem? One that won't "draw blood"?
It's easy to sit down and make a list of topics that would cause pain but impossible to make a list of topics that would never be painful. You know what I mean?

Anonymous said...

from Therese--Thanks for reading my little poem. Remember, it's a VERY ROUGH DRAFT. I know the central metaphor isn't finely tuned enough. But I needed to post something (even if not perfectly finished) before I leave for Memorial Day weekend. Everyone be safe.