Listening to the beat

I’m finding the rhythm section (pun intended) really quite hard. I can happily find, read and identify rhythm in other poems but really find it difficult to do with my own. Especially when related to emotion. Emotion is best portrayed in relation to breath and breathing. For example; when fearful or anxious, people often find themselves breathing faster and shallower; an angry person may try to control their breathing or force it out in short bursts. So how can I then transfer this into poetry? While at the same time trying to avoid rhyming or end rhymes as much as possible?

I’ve written a few short pieces, which I will take you through my thinking, and why I probably won’t use them in my final submission for the section.

The Six o’clock alarm

Screeches into my sleep.

I reach out to poke the

Buttons until it stops. Monday.

The first of the month.

May!

I stretch and curl under the cover ready

For my unexpected lie in.

 I’ve tried to portray relief – relief that it’s bank holiday monday, relief that work is suspended for one more day. However, I feel that I lost the rhythm after “reach out to poke the buttons until it stops. Monday.” I did not feel that this ended with this line – after all this is not relief. Nor do I think that the rest of the piece is suitable. It looks too disjointed.

My second piece I had better success with.

I’ve been tortured by this musak

for twenty minutes,

been told twenty times ‘you’re in a queue’.

I want to take that Yamaha butchery.

 Yes folks, it stops there. I couldn’t think of an ending. I chose the topic of being “on hold” to portray frustration (you could also add anger into that if you wanted). I spend much of my working life “on hold” to agencies, services and companies. And yes, I have been tortured by various musak adaptations of some of the classics for twenty minutes or longer.

Well, I liked the idea, and frustration can easily be written by using shorter sentences and this is the result.

On hold for twenty minutes.

Told twenty times “you’re in a queue”.

Patience wearing thin.

This is torture.

One more second. Just one

and I will scream.


I came to a crashing halt after I wrote them. I wrote acouple more pieces, but I dont know if I have the rhythm correct. I keep asking myself what emotion am I trying to convey, and what typifies that emotion. I keep drawing a blank. What does relief look like written? Is happiness an emotion or state of being – how can I write that?

I make more problems and questions than solutions and answers.  

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