yesterday’s poetry feedback group was less than helpful in most ways, but more than helpful in one major way. My writing, and diction, needs to change unless i want to alienate readers and have them dismiss my work. apparently, and i can see this quite easily, my terminology is a bit archaic, people can’t get their head around my language constructions, and therefore cannot grasp my intent.
i also, and this is equally important, and from my own realizations, need to come up with topics to write about that aren’t quite so cerebral. i think i often use poetry as a form to speak on whatever has been cogitating in the ole noggin. perhaps instead of taking something abstract and putting it into tangible perhaps I should get my hands in the clay before creating the pot.
thus, i must change, in order to reach readers i have to be able to create the scene with contemporary language. this presents a problem for me because i have trouble making images and situations sound fresh and when i try to spice things up i inevitably get a bit old-fashioned. i need to figure out how to direct myself toward the future or tap into the present instead of using the past as my recourse. how do i do this?
it hit the fan today in poetry class, but i do not feel vilified. what i wanted was discussion and by gum i got it. some few were offended, most discussed what exactly i was going for, ranging from satire to prima nocta rights. some wanted me to make the ending different to acknowledge my understanding of rape = bad. others disagreed. everyone had something to say. all was well. i successfully stirred the pot. then i was allowed to speak. i said that there have been a significant amount of rape poems written in this class by various people and that i have had trouble engaging within them. there is the female victim, which women can identify with, but for men there is only the rapist. i said that i do not feel that i am being addressed by these poems.
there was much disagreement to this. i was told i was wrong, that i was being addressed. alas, there was no more time for discussion, because the professor made us move on. if so i would have responded that if i do not feel like i am being addressed but i am supposed to be, then there is a fundamental problem with the poetry. also, i would have said that even if i did feel addressed, i am still offered no frame of reference for how to associate myself as a non-threatening male toward a victimized female. the dialogue takes place between the rapist and his victim only.
overall the class became what i wanted it to. i am quite pleased.
i don’t like to toot my own horn but jmay requested what the class thought of my latest. here are some of their comments:
- cool chess imagery – this is quite an accomplishment. juggler. juggler…
- once again, your depth of historical or thematic knowledge here is applied and over my head, but in this case it doesn’t take away from the grasp on the poem. i really can’t say anything about this poem negatively.
- great imagery, also great use of enjambment… very nice use of words, esp. descriptive verbs & adjectives.
- all around great language, crisp specific word choice.
- your use of meter is…well done and keeps the poem moving forward.
- works very well in sonnet form.
- i really like the way chess becomes a metaphor for politics or the chessboard comes alive and the pieces become sentient.