Posted tagged ‘Egg is not a lightbulb’

An Egg is Still Not a Lightbulb (Crafting Poetry)

September 29, 2011

I have lately been following a terrific poet-inspiring blog called dVerse Poets Pub;  I’m a bit new to the pub, and in anticipation or what, last week,was a day to post “works-in-progress”, I posted, this morning, a draft poem  (Dolphin Dream).  But instead dVerse Poets Pub has requested poets to think  today about the craft of poetry!

The craft of poetry!  Thinking!  I don’t know which is more difficult for me.   Both take some measure of disciplined focus and wild abandon.  I do a lot of revision when I write;  at the same time, I rely a huge amount on unconscious leaps.   Increasingly, these leaps probably arise from synaptic gaps (or gaffes), as much as from inspiration.    I try to use these gaps as starting out places, and then, ideally, I go over and over them to iron out the rough edges.  Good to leave some rough edges though.  And, of course, to add music.

A form can help as it can supply some of the discipline and focus.  (As well as the music.)

And now, here’s a poem about it.

Villanelle to Wandering Brain

Sometimes my mind feels like it’s lost its way
and must make do with words that are in reach
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day,

when what it craves is crimson, noon in May,
the unscathed verb or complex forms of speech.
But sometimes my mind feels like it’s lost its way

and calls the egg a lightbulb, a plan a tray,
and no matter how I search or how beseech,
is pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

I try to make a joke of my decay
or say that busy-ness acts as the leech
that makes my mind feel like it’s lost its way,

but whole years seem as spent as last month’s pay,
plundered in unmet dares to eat a peach
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

There is so much I think I still should say,
so press poor words like linens to heart’s breach,
but find my mind has somehow lost its way
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

(Sorry to those who have read the poem before, a reposting.  It’s also in my book, Going on Somewhere, by Karin Gustafson, available on Amazon.)