Right As Rain

William Wordsworth, the subject of the poem. P...

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by Karen Miner (guest blogger)
Rummaging through poetry’s tool box we find lots of tools to help us express ourselves originally. Previously I discussed the use of metaphor; today let’s explore another tool – “simile.”

The Britannica Concise encyclopedia defines simile as: “an explicit comparison between two different things, actions, or feelings, using the words ‘as’ or ‘like’, as in Wordsworth’s line: “I wandered lonely as a cloud.”

Metaphors differ from similes in that the two objects are not compared, but treated as identical: The phrase “The snow was a blanket over the earth” is a metaphor. Contrast the previous metaphor with this simile: “The snow lay soft as a down comforter upon the ground.” It would be difficult to read the works of the masters without finding examples of simile within some of his/her poems. A common example is:

A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

O my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

The similes shout for attention! Love is like a rose, love is like a melody…a simple thought and yet Mr. Burns burrowed into immortality with such simple tools as similes. How then can we expand our writing using simile as a unique fingerprint on our own poetry? A simple exercise is to begin by choosing the noun that indicates your poem’s theme. Let’s try it together. Assume we are writing about a tsunami.

Noun: Tsunami. With me? Great! Now let your mind roam…what are some words a tsunami elicits? Don’t over-think it; quick! Sudden, Water, Rushing, Fear, Screams. Good! Now expand those words to similes: Sudden as a sneeze, Water tall as trees, Screams exploding like bombs, Rushing like a linebacker.

You’ve assimilated the common descriptive words used for a tsunami, sculpted them, and molded a personal framework upon which to hang the rest of your poem. Give it a try…get wild and weird. Go where the reader least expects! Please share your experience with simile, offer an example from your own work, or just say hello!



IMG_0054 лето ушло

Image by alubavin via Flickr

~ pronounced pae-neh-SEE-eh (noun) – A remedy for everything, for all problems or difficulties; a cure-all, a catholicon. From Latin “panacea,” a herb Romans believed could cure all diseases. The word was borrowed from Greek panakeia “universal cure,” the feminine of the adjective panakeios “all-healing” from pan “all” + akos “cure.”

The Greek adjective pan “all” also appears in Pandaemonium, the all-demon city in the Hell of Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost.’ It is productively used to create adjectives like “pan-Arab,” “pan-African,” “pan-American,” whose abbreviation, “Panam” underlies the name of Panama. “Pan” can also be seen in panegyric “elaborate oration of praise” from Greek panegyris “public festival,” originally based on pan- + agora “assembly” + -ikos “ic.”

I’ve read on many poets in the past few years and found that a lot of them had great trials and turmoil’s in their past. Some even being in asylums and committing suicide. Join me here in reading and discovering more about our great writers of the past. Then turn that knowledge to our on usage and advantage. So with that being said, what I’m hoping to provide in this blog is a “Panacea”, a cure all for poets fighting depression, going on a wild roller coaster ride of hills and valleys, writers block, and various other ailments…

Revise, Revise, Revise

10tips321The first draft of your poem is only the beginning. Learning to draft something as your poem, and then putting it away for a while will often give you a fresh perspective of the poem. The majority of our popular poets often go through several drafts before considering the work “done.”

To revise:

Put your poem away for a few days, and then come back to it. When you re-read it, does anything seem confusing? Hard to follow? Do you see anything that needs improvement that you overlooked the first time?

Often, when you are in the act of writing, you may leave out important details because you are so familiar with the topic. Re-reading a poem helps you to see it from the “outsider’s perspective” of a reader.

Show your poem to others and ask for criticism. Don’t be content with a response like, “That’s a nice poem.” You won’t learn anything from that kind of response. Instead, find people who will tell you specific things you need to improve in your poem.

Many Times

Guest Contributor: Walter William Safar

Many times, while escaping the real world, I used to find my sanctuary in the blissful chest of mother Art. With these poems, I am curing the hungry soul, and it hungers for compassion, love and faith, just like any human soul does.
Hungry and thirsty, I am staring into the very heart of the dark spirit of my own subconscious, and I would feel betrayed for who knows how many times, only to appease my thirsty soul with a torrent of tears, because poetry is like a tear on the face of mankind.
I don’t know much about victories, but I still believe that compassion itself is a victory, and if my poems can awaken compassion in people, than I can count myself as a victor.

The Poet and Imagination

I am going!… I am leaving you, world!
How horrible this admission echoes
in the company of solitude.
And while the northern wind, like an invisible carpenter,
peels the bark off the old wooden cross,
an old homeless man, with his trembling hand,
leaves a red rose at a nameless grave,
my future home.
And while hyppocrites pretend to be compassionate,
I know that they won’t shed a tear for me.
There are wonderful people who can shed their tears,
but they won’t know where my grave is.
The old homeless man stares at the grave,
wondering whether death might come for him
before the black soil covers the body
of his brother in poverty.
It is sad to end up in a nameless grave,
but the world doesn’t care too much about sadness.
Perhaps a priest might come to the funeral by chance,
but not to hold a farewell speech,
no, rather to see if the nameless grave
takes up too much space,
and maybe a flower shall rise from the black soil tomorrow,
like a beautiful bride to the soul of the dead poet.
The time to leave is approaching… my tired body
is waiting for the blistered hands of the grave diggers
to be lowered into the nameless grave.
Oh, Lord, give me time enough
just to fill this white paper,
my sad testament to the cold world.
Above me, a turquoise butterfly is wistfully flapping its wings,
as if it came to his poet’s funeral.
It is so young and beautiful,
as if it arose from my poem back when I believed in the world.
There is nothing left for me apar from my imagination.
Yes, world, me and my imagination used to knock
on your thick door for days, months and years,
but you would always send us away like tramps.
I wanted to ransom your sin with my poems,
but you always crumple them and threw them into the bin.
You threw away your children… your conscience!…
It is time to leave!
You know, Lord, that I’m not one of those who give up
at the halfway point.
Now I am standing in the same place
where I took off into the world, followed by childish dreams,
and the reverberating echo of my mother’s wishes,
I am going, leaving behind imagination
which is feverishly clinging on to me…
I know it would like to go with its poet,
but there is no space for it down in the black soil.
Wise men say that the imagination
is the mother and father to every poet,
but I am just leaving…
leaving for a world without imagination.
I am taking all my life’s legacy with me,
a stack of white paper, a dry pen,
and ink as hard as flintstone,
because I haven’t immersed my pen in it in ages,
but what good is any of this without imagination?
Where I am heading, there is no place for imagination,
my faithful squire, is there?
Death is silently standing in its black cloak,
everything on it is black apart from… apart from…
Oh, Lord, can it be that death is crying…?
Never in my life did I see such a big pearly tear,
slowly sliding, silvering all the darkness surrounding death,
and in death,
how strange it is for death to cry because I’m leaving,
and the world… living people… they don’t even turn to see.
There is no fear in me, only sadness,
not because I am leaving this cold world,
but because I am leaving my imagination,
and it needs me so much,
because there are so many sheets of white paper left unfilled.
I am leaving!… Do not worry, my imagination!…
Just wait for me in the same spot!…
From our poems, a new soul shall arise
and enter a new mother’s womb
to bring a poet into this world
who will be luckier than I was.

©Walter William Safar

There Is Still Much Mirth

Yet in solemn winter, beauty must end
And the singing of birds sure fade away,
No longer in thick leaves to sit and lend
A joyous tune to the children who play;
So all the color from the world does fade
Throughout the land into one sullen hue,
Thus under the snow sweet flora is laid
The color and splendor taken from view;
Grasped so swiftly, and shaken to death
All that is lovely and warm on this earth,
By the abject rue of cold winter’s breath
Still truly I say there still is much mirth:
For in my heart true, I sing soft and coo,
Thankful refrains of this joy that is you.

Breakfast Of Champions

If a diamond is forever, then
love is the San Francisco treat.
Just a little dab’ll do ya
so be all that you can be.

It’s the cheesiest, so just do it
you can have it your way.
So reach out and touch someone
it’s the best part of waking up.

And, like a good neighbor, there’s
love and no more tears.
Once you pop, you can’t stop for
nobody does it like Sara Lee.

She lets her fingers do the walking
promise her anything, but give her love.
She’s come a long way baby
and brings good things to life.

But when it rains, I see it pours
and I deserve a break today.
For a mind is a terrible thing to waste
does she…or doesn’t she?

Her love is good to the last drop
so don’t treat your puppy like a dog!
Celebrate the moments of your life,
And don’t leave home without them.

I fly her friendly skies, they’re great
and I can have it my own way.
Keeps going, and going, and going
She is the pause that refreshes.

Takes a licking and keeps on ticking
nothing comes between me and my girl.
She tastes great though her love is less filling
i can’t believe I ate the whole thing!

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