12.12.12

Believe in the fear.

Have faith, my dear.

Remember the days

of a more simple time;

when poems always seemed to rhyme;

when smiles and laughter came from someplace real-

Untouched by the darkness,

where wounds could heal

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I am THANKFUL for…

Yes, this is another cliché ‘what am I thankful for’ post at Thanksgiving.  BUT let me say that gratitude is never cliché.  I don’t think you can ever talk about, write about, or think about GRATITUDE too much.  Every single day is a gift from our creator.  My prayers always start with “God, thank you for the GIFT of life today”. 

I didn’t realize how very, very precious life is until I was 24 and breathing what I thought were going to be my last breaths.  Unfortunately, for some of us that’s what it takes.  Hopefully, for anyone reading this, you can just take my word for it…be grateful for every single day.   Even the miserable ones because even in the darkest days there is light and a lesson: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17).”

Above all else, I thank God.  He is #1 on my Gratitude List and everything that comes after is merely a bi-product of his greatness.  Psalm 100:5 praises: ” For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”  Without his love, mercy, and grace I would be nothing and I would have nothing.  I could list 100 things/people/miracles that I’m thankful for, but it really just all comes back to Him.  What are you thankful for?

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. – Psalm 100:4

Writing Rules

While I don’t agree that in order to be a great writer, you HAVE to follow certain rules, I think these are definitely helpful guidelines to try to stick to and incorporate in your writing world.  Check it out!  Maybe it will help you too…

 

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The Paramountcy of Personality in Poetry

T.S. Eliot once said that poetry is “an escape from personality” and that it should be considered apart from the poet’s personal life.  However, what happens when poetry is NOT separated from the poet’s life, but instead it is considered very much a part of its significance and meaning?  Eliot is not wrong in his conviction, but he is not necessarily right either.  One problem in the exploration of this issue is that there is no right or wrong answer, but perhaps that makes it all the more interesting to discover.  The broad and sweeping question to examine is, is all poetry autobiographical and if so, why is this important?  Yes, all poetry is autobiographical in one way or another because the issue in the poem would not be written about if the poet did not have some direct or indirect connection to it.  It does not matter how large or small the connection is, without some extent of autobiographical focus, it may seem that the poet does not have much authority over the issue, and that is why this topic is an important one in the genre of poetry.  There are certainly counterarguments to dispute the argument that all poetry is autobiographical to some extent; there are schools of critical opinion that deny the relevance of it, as there are also problems that arise from poetry being directly related to poets’ personal lives.  What I’ve discovered about critics is that something that they may find to be meaningful, others may find to be pointless, and I think that is extremely important to keep in mind when studying a poet and his work.

The poet’s personal experience in their poetry makes it more accessible for readers.  Sometimes adding personal experience to a poem is the only way to tell a story, or express whatever it is the poet wants to convey.  It is difficult for poets to veer away from personal experience when writing poetry because usually real people and real events inspire it.  Therefore, emotional reality and literal truth are sometimes difficult to keep out of a poem.  On the other hand, one problem that may present itself in the 21st century is a continuous focus on the individual life of the poet.  A perpetual focus on the way autobiography performs in poetry runs the risk of easily becoming too narrowed and limited.   Coleridge once said, “To please me, a poem must be either music or sense; if it is neither, I confess I cannot interest myself in it”.  This raises the question of whether a poem must possess some popular intrigue in order to be accepted by its readers.   Goethe’s term “unfathomable,” which he defines as ‘that which we cannot exhaust, that which we cannot come to the bottom of’ rather than that ‘which rebuts our understanding’.  This quality of the ‘unfathomable’ is what poetry must possess to be able to stand the test of time, and that which we cannot exhaust can be found or come to the bottom of can be found in the personal.

(image from www.vibeplace.com)

Nothing Lasts Forever

Nothing lasts forever.  Seems like common sense, right?  Then, why are we somehow surprised when a relationship ends or a job ends or a dog dies?  I suppose it’s because God made us emotional beings and we would not be human if we did not experience emotions of sadness or anger when we lose something we love. I guess that is the beauty of life.  The word that is coming to mind right now is acceptance.  We must accept these beginnings and endings in order to fullly live our lives or else we will remain paralyzed by our own inability to move on.

Nothing lasts forever.  Instead of interpreting that as negative, let’s make the choice to let it free us.

Fall in love with your life today.

Flashback…

She was in a blackout.  Wandering around the dirty, isolated area between 10th Avenue and the Westside Highway of Manhattan searching for the police precinct where she thinks her recently arrested boyfriend is.  Luckily, it’s spring so she doesn’t freeze in her skimpy club outfit, but it wouldn’t matter much anyway.  The lack of blood circulation to her brain from drinking the entire bottom shelf has temporarily disabled her physical senses.  Later, she will learn that these blackouts which have become a normal part of her weekends are actually the beginning stages of brain damage.  She’s traveling light since she misplaced her purse at some bar with the word “Dilemma” in it and all she has is her cell phone, which she can’t use because the screen is too blurry.

She’s back in her Upper Westside apartment when he comes barreling through the door.  She’s not sure how she got home with no purse and no money.  She barely finishes the thought before she’s knocked to the floor and his hands are around her neck.

Before and After

Where would I be without You today?

broken,

bruised,

bleeding,

and far, far away.

 

A sadness envelops me.

It permeates through my skin,

breaks through my bones,

sinks like an anchor to the bottom of my heart.

It’s cold and damp.

 

You released my neck from deathly hands,

you lifted my obssession.

You sent Grace and Mercy to meet me,

and I walk with them, never turning back.

Holy, Holy, Holy.

You, You, You.

It’s all about you.