What does the poem-pot hold?

I keep returning to old poems I wrote a few years ago and looking over their rhyming structure (or lack of) and wondering how I could improve them. As a result, I have been distracted from writing numerous pieces of recent stuff for my next assignment.

Maybe that’s not all bad though. Maybe I need to revisit old sites to see if they still withstand the principles and guidance so far explained. Maybe at the end of the course, new-old poems will dust themselves off and be all shiny again.

I’ve been reading a few poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (as has been suggested to me). I’m amazed by how the words appear to just fit perfectly into place, and to not sound over-complicated. Maybe I over-complicate things in my head as I’m planning poems and that’s why I tend to stutter and stop.

I’m trying to get my head around the poetry that I own without feeling bogged-down with them. I only really began reading the “Staying Alive” anthology (given to me as part of my course literature), as I began this section. I just didn’t know where to start. Since then I have been reading the suggested poems in the section, some – like G M Hopkins –  that I have discovered I have, plus a few extra’s hidden away on a shelf or in a drawer.

I’ve also been listening to music (as I often do), finding some beautiful rhymes and structures regardless of the melody surrounding them.

Take two of my favourite songs at the moment, for example.

1)      Florence + The Machine’s “Heavy in Your Arms” (single: Heavy in Your Arms, 2010) The opening lines “I was a heavy heart to carry/My beloved was weighed down/My arms around his neck/My fingers laced a crown” And so it goes on throughout the song – even putting together confession and blessing in oblique rhyme. The rhyming is subtle, effective and captivating.

2)      Jamie Rodwell’s song “You’re Beautiful” (album: Not Ashamed, Soul Survivor & Momentum, 2009) is a love song. I suppose, without a melody, it would be a sonnet or something similar. It opens “I see your face in every sunrise/The colours of the morning are inside your eyes/The world awakens in the light of the day/I look up to the sky and say//You’re Beautiful//” The rhythm is steady and unfaltering, and is taken right through the song.

I return to these when I need some inspiration in rhyme and rhythm.

Thanks goes to Mslexia magazine on their brilliant article and glossary on rhyming types in their April/May/June 2011 edition (More info at http://www.mslexia.co.uk/index.php)

Here’s a You Tube Video for Jamie Rodwell’s “You’re Beautiful” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpDpeyFoxBA

making pots and poetry

To rhyme or not to rhyme? It’s a case of “if it fits,” if a rhyming scheme fits, then let it, but make it like a beautifully tailored item of clothing. If a rhyming scheme doesn’t seem to fit, then don’t try to make it fit – it just becomes a horrible mess. Even so, there is always the area in between…
Gathering the information, the material, the background for the next assignment and related poems has been quite interesting, and in some ways, exciting to see the history and origins of words reinforce my main idea.
In gathering this material, I have tried different ways to put pen to paper, i.e. not starting at the top of the page, drawing pictures, mind maps, doodling, etc whilst doing so. Above is a series of pictures and photos of what I have done so far.
Sadly, I have realised too late, that TIFF files are really difficult to work with. Much of my work this time has been in Windows Journal – a fab program but hard to convert to an internet and blog friendly format. I will find a way to put the documents on the blog.