Response to Poetry Challenge #8.
This can be done as a page or a post. Doing this as a post.
Journal for Poetry Challenge #8
WEEK 1: Jan, 2, 2012
I like a strong message but am especially pleased when the mastery of handling words is directed at supporting that message. This poem does this particularly well! In addition, this poem allows for enough interpretation to remain interesting and worth re-reading and mixes and contrasts the wanted with the unwanted and rejoices at the result.
WEEK 2: Jan, 11, 2012
We all wander about in life somewhat myopically, but some people’s short-sightedness is often at its worst in a relationship: squeezing out promises of freedom from the imprisonment of others. Ben Naga doesn’t hit us over the head with this message but captures it simply and effectively like a black and white photograph of two flies on opposite sides of a glass pane.
WEEK 3: Jan, 17, 2012
Unlike a short story, a poem can exist quite nicely, thank-you, without conflict — relying on beauty alone — just like a flower in bloom — it’s great to see that flower all by itself, I don’t need to see a deer eating away the leaves for the scene to be of interest.
But beauty in poetry is not necessarily effortless. Often times there is very controlled use of components within a form.
In this case the meter and rhyme work perfectly together. The meter supports the meaning. The first two lines are iambs but the third breaks away with “bright” being strong and foreshadows the next deviation in the third line of the second stanza — “fantasies drifting away”. Yes, this would still be a nice poem if each line was iambic, but it becomes special as the meter is harnessed to highlight the highlights and emphasize the meaning. The last line is iambic and musical (“upon a sprinkled spread”) which puts the previous line in context against the prevailing iambic rhythm.
This craftsmanship is not haphazard. Even when a poet is so talented that they do this as second nature, just as a jazz musician improvises great melodic lines that align and contrast with the foundational harmonies, this ability and skill is based on reading lots of poetry and writing lots of poetry. There are no shortcuts to excellence!