A Curious Girl

The musings of a girl who is curious in both senses of the word. Life, God, and York. Oh, did I say York? I meant Bradford!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Poetical angstings

I've started writing poetry again. Not sure if this is a good thing. It's mainly "journal" poetry, ie. thoughts written spontaneously in a vaguely poetic form, which is my favourite type of poetry to write because it doesn't have to be good. Last year I went to a poetry open mic night and read out a poem on homesickness (everybody say aaw!). One person told me it was very sweet, and another (which, in a way, was more of a compliment) gave me some ideas on how to improve it. Improve it? I thought. But I'm not homesick, and improving a poem on homesickness when not homesick would be profoundly dishonest. I guess I could view it as an independent work of art, exhibiting truths about homesickness for the benefits of my listeners, but generally I don't ever edit my poems (though I do occasionally rewrite them, I always save the old versions) because that would be a bit like re-writing an old diary entry.

Here's one I wrote yesterday.

Letter from the Cell

Dear world, I want out
If you'll have me
This great prison must be torn down
And prisoners released

There's Fear, Anger, Doubt
Holding hostage
Love, Creativity, Peace and Graciousness
The saint and the beast

Prisoner HL83
Cellblock Me

Dear prisoner, stupid girl
These criminals can't be let out
For Doubt is a troublemaker
With his questions and qualms
And Fear a carouser who cannot be calmed
And to keep the world quiet, it can't be denied
That anger is much better off kept inside

As for the others-
In a place where efficiency and
wealth are kings it would appear
we've really no use for those prisoners here

Yours faithfully,
The World

Oh, and this I wrote about a week ago, which I feel apologises for itself in the first stanza. I can't believe I'm so pretentious that I actually use the world 'stanza'. It's untitled, which does not, contrary to popular belief, mean that its title is "Untitled".

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to be the greatest poet
And my humble rhymes entranced a few
To wonderment and awe - but then I knew
That poetry wasn't what I was made for

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to have the perfect singing voice
And to my choice of melodies I could carry a tune
Perhaps I would improve
But the music ceased to move me
And singing ceased to satisfy

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to pass all my exams
I failed them anyway and found I didn't care*
If I had got an A I don't know where I might have gone
But I often feel I wouldn't like it there

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to beat my Solitaire high score
Spending hours clicking at the screen, what for?
A higher score than ever, but to my dismay
A game of Patience laid to waste my entire day

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to have a lot of friends
What I got were funny people
We passed the time, we had a ball
They didn't know me at all

Then I knew that all I wanted was to be taken by the hand
By someone who would see my heart and truly understand
What I'd wanted wasn't living, it was just getting by
A million things to show for it
But no answer as to why I bother to exist
I keep on breathing air
A million great experiences - nothing to compare
To that still subtle moment
When you find out what you're for
And your poor frozen soul isn't lonely anymore

So yes, a little exaggerated, kinda angsty, some dry humour; it's just like me. Try it yourself - journal poetry. Write what you feel like, start each line with a capital letter, and you just can't go wrong.

* Note to parents: This is a literary device known as hyperbole. Now stop hyperventilating :)



  • At 1:59 pm , Blogger Pastor Doug Hoag said...

    Hello Helen!

    Thanks for visiting my gourmet blog of tasty treats and depressive ramblings!

    The last time I tried poetry was when I was in college, and that was over 20 years ago. Maybe I'll try it again.

    Have you read "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg? I started to but ran out of time. But what I did read was good. Zen writing-- very intriguing.

  • At 6:26 pm , Blogger kevin beck said...

    Wow! Great poetry. I agree w/ Doug. Natalie Goldberg's book is a fabulous tool.

  • At 3:12 am , Blogger xianchick said...

    my daughter wrote a kick-arse poem called Bloody Mary.

    (here's some background just in case you guys don't do this across the atlantic... it's a kids' sleep-over party game where you go in front of a mirror at midnight, and if you say "bloody mary" 3 times slowly, she will appear; all bloody and gory and creepy. normally, someone screams and runs out of the room after the 1st one)

    Here's the poem:

    Say it three times, this woman is scary, and her name is Bloody Mary.

    She talked back to pirates and ended with a scoff, in just 10 seconds her head was cut off.

    Close your eyes and spin around, say her name and she'll haunt the town.

    Blood is dripping from her neck, see her and you'll hit the deck.

    btw: Jung recommends writing in the same way you've just oulined in order to better develop your personality! I do it too. It is very enlightening I think.


  • At 8:46 pm , Blogger chris said...

    Great writing!!

  • At 3:41 pm , Blogger revperrin said...

    Good Job maybee you have found a calling.


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