Daily Archives: 17 Sep 2006

Maybe there’s still hope!

If I ever have a book of my poetry published, I want it to be called “Poetisms.” I realize that this is a foolish thing, because there are probably already millions of other people who have the same idea, and surely sub-millions of those millions have already published a collection with that name. Also, the word “poetisms” is really silly.

But guess what? Googling “poetisms” results in my site being the second result. Interestingly, the first result doesn’t actually contain the word “poetisms,” but rather is linked to by a site that does.

Now I just need to find people who actually google the word.

Poetism Commentary: "Accepting Denial"

The poem in question: Accepting Denial

This is the last in the series of poems coming from assignments in my freshman English class. Unlike Aftermath and Achievment, I remember the details of the assignment leading to Accepting Denial.

Each member of the class was given five note cards with a word on them, and we were to take those words and incorporate them into our poem. I distinctly remember wanting something “paradoxical,” and I imagine this was because I was still taken with Thomas Covenant and all the discussion of the “paradox of white gold” found within. I remember mentioning the desire for paradox to Mr. Williams, and I also remember a note scribbled from him on my final copy: “I like the paradoxical title!” I suspect he was just humoring me, but I guess we’ll never know for sure.

I am going to dig around some more for the original copy of this poem, because I think some of the wording changed a few years later as I went through a revisionism period. I also want to see if I can find out what my five words were, because I can’t remember, and that bothers me. My best guess is that they included some form of “tattered,” “loathed,” and “denial.”

Now, thus far in my commentaries, I haven’t really touched on what the poems were about. This one, fairly obviously I would imagine, is about being a teenager (or not, but I was teen-age when I wrote this, though it isn’t autobiographical), feeling like you don’t belong, and trying to cover up who you really are to fit in. Of course, often when people do that, others can see right through them, and the acceptance-seekers end up feeling even more unbelonging. In this way, it is also hilarious that the poem was written on Valentine’s Day.

So, they feel like they have “little to lose,” by pretending, but in reality have even “less to gain.” One unforunate part of this poem, though, is that they are “Loathed by many, / Rejected outright by all, save one.” It makes more sense to me now for it to read the other way around: “Rejected outright by many, / Loathed by all, save one.” It seems more fitting that everyone would loathe these people (though “loathe” seems too strong a word), but that there would be some who exercised enough compassion, or at least restraint, not to reject them outright.

I like to think that the one who accepted these tattered youths is God, who I believe loves us as we are, no matter where we may be in our lives, and no matter who in the world doesn’t love us. Unfortunately, the poem feels unfinished from that perspective, as I also believe that God would have some sage advice for these kids, and the fact that is left unoffered strikes me as un-Godlike. Still, I could not then and cannot now pretend that I have all the answers, and will leave it at that.

As a postscript, I am still taken with Thomas Covenant. The Chronicles and Second Chronicles are among my favorite books that I have ever read. I greatly anticipate the concluding books of the Last Chronicles, something I anticipate (ha!) doing for the next several years until they are published.

Poetism Commentary: "Achievement"

The poem in question: Achievement

This poem was for another assignment for Mr. Williams’ class, and, being as lazy as I previously mentioned I am, I used the same theme, just from a slightly different perspective: that of the victor of the Great Battle. In fact, Achievement could probably just be tacked on to the end of Aftermath and we could call it a day. This is double dipping at its finest, folks.

The only thing I wonder is if “All is dark, save a lone flame / Held by the victor / Of the Great Battle,” how exactly is he “crowned / In his triumph / And mirth”? Are bats doing it? Perhaps Daredevil got a sonic resonance from the weeping woman’s sobs? The simplest explanation is that he is only metaphorically being crowned, what with him being the last one standing, as it were. I imagine him taking the weeping woman as his new queen to rule over with him. He hopes she has some mining skills to fetch the gold for their real crowns.

I wonder what kind of grade I got on this poem? I hope it wasn’t very good. I dug through a few boxes last night to try and find the original copy, but I haven’t found it yet.

A funny thing to note: many of my poems begin each line with a capital letter. A lot of the poetry I have seen follows this practice, and I am unsure why. Perhaps Wikipedia knows the answer, but I don’t care enough to go look right now. I continued this practice for quite a while until I realized that was downright silly (though, to be fair, possibly no more silly than another trend I took up: all lowercase letters except for words like “I”). As I do these commentaries, it will be interesting to note the different styles I used throughout the years.