Whisper to Winter

I’m having trouble formatting the text to my desired specifications here, so I’ll instead share a screen shot of a poem that I wrote a few years ago. (After meditating on what a brutal winter it’s been, this title came to my mind, though the content is unrelated, but at any rate the thought made me dig up another old one.)

 

whisper to winter

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An Invitation, a Kiss

I had wondered whether to reserve this blog for completely new creations, as per NaPoWriMo’s criteria, or to share some already-documented adventures from my previous expeditions into poetry. While this space owes itself to April and the creative cause, I feel that a few throwbacks may be in order, given that I’d like to continue updating here on a regular basis, regardless of what season it is (and let’s be honest―it is certainly easier to uphold such a promise with a cache of already-written material to draw upon from time to time!)

But more importantly, I’d like to solicit the participation of you, my readers. If I am to grow as a writer and poet, I’ll certainly need all of the guidance that I can draw. I invite you to apply your thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, etc. to my verses, both new and old, in the comment sections that follow. What did you like about that poem? Why does this pantoum make you cringe? Is the meaning of this line clear? What the hell did I just read? Please, don’t hold back, whether it is praise or judgment―I value your voice.

Perhaps it is fitting to begin with a poem that has garnered both admiration and confusion from those with whom I’ve shared it. I wrote An Aurous Inquiry in November 2009 as part of a creative writing course in my undergraduate studies. In response to Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, I adapted the villanelle form of poetry to suit my needs: I added an additional line (and rhyme) to the second and fourth tercets, tying it into the final quatrain with another such line embedded between what would otherwise be the last two lines of the poem. (If it sounds confusing, I was all sorts of turned-around when I first tried a villanelle, let alone the variations.) So here you have it:

klimt kiss

An Aurous Inquiry

What more can hopeful words do to assist
an eager subject’s sojourn into peace
when all the world has seen the famous kiss?

When gods alight within a gilded mist –
entreat that love might wear a golden fleece –
what more can hopeful words do to assist
such clear divinity?

Beneath drawn lids, two lovers’ eyes know bliss,
for Love is blind; her subjects see release
when all the world has seen the famous kiss.

When silence is the best thing on our lips
and skin is silence, words can only cease:
what more can hopeful words do to assist
such deaf affinity?

Enshrined with sweet abandon in their midst,
the centuries’ eyes upon them matter least
when all the world has seen the famous kiss.

Such sacred peace cares not that words persist,
for lovers’ quills have long designed release;
what more can hopeful words do to assist
the brief infinity
when all the world has seen the famous kiss?

Tribute to NaPoWriMo

There’s a fun website called Wordle that transforms text into artistic “word clouds.” Essentially, it identifies the most used/repeated words and phrases in a selection of text — a speech, poems, journal, whatever you like — and assembles them into a bubble of thoughts & ideas that, theoretically, represents the most prevalent themes of the chosen work.

I’ve copied the text of all of my poems from April (save for the rather silly ode to Trader Joe’s, since its repetitiveness skewed my final artistic result) and created a couple such word clouds, identifying my most-used words and principal ideas. Each image seems like a poem unto itself, I think. I made two for the sake of aesthetic variation, and I think that each has its own distinct flavor or mood, despite identical material — evidence, perhaps, that the artistic arrangement of words can be as influential as the meaning behind the words themselves.

tribute1

Here’s an arguably subtler variation:

tribute2

All in all, NaPoWriMo has been an exciting project, and one that I plan to continue beyond April — though I won’t be as ambitious as to sustain a poem-per-day ratio. If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog so far, I certainly hope that you’ll stop by again from time to time to check out my developments; your readership has been a wonderful inspiration to me (yes, I read the stats of my blog!) and I can’t thank you enough for your support in my endeavors to make this happen.