Note from Erin: Thanks again, Pat, for taking the time to lead us in this five-part poetry series! I really appreciate it! So sorry I wasn’t able to fully capture the formatting of your poems. Please join me in thanking Pat for all his efforts!
This is our final week of the poetry blog. Today, let’s discuss actually writing poems.
I believe that writing poetry is a lot like dancing. Before you can get really good at it, you have to master the basics. Before a dancer can perform a great interpretive, modern dance, s/he needs to master the basic forms of dance, such as tap, ballet, and all of the others. In the same way, before a poet can write a great free form poem, s/he should first master the basic forms of poetry, such as sonnets, odes, lyrical poems, as well as many others. That way they build upon the basics.
What I would like for you all to do is to write one or more poems and share them with us. If you can, write a sonnet, an ode and a lyrical poem, using one or more of the tropes of poetry. If you remember, the tropes are metonymy, synecdoche, personification, irony and metaphor. Then we, as a group, will discuss your poems – what was good about them, and what could be improved.
To start us off, I’ve given four poems that I have written. Please feel free to tell me how I can improve them. I hope this also encourages you to share a poem or three as well.
You Cannot Take My Heart
Listen, Mars’ drum beats, soldiers rape the land;
In similar ways your beauty takes a part
Of my lifted soul by ravaging my heart;
And in defense, my heart’s soldier takes a stand;
Through guile and deceit Mercury finds a way;
Thus do you, earlier thwarted, now by theft
Seek to purloin what little of my heart’s left;
The key though is hid’n, my heart is locked away;
Jove throws his thunderbolt, all is now lost;
Does not compare to the storm that now rages
Within my breast, fighting itself for ages;
My heart stays true; an unimaginable cost.
Through Venus’ charms my heart you now prove,
Belongs not to me – but a treasure for my love.
Power and Chain
Showering blessings upon a downtrodden spirit,
Which until then had been powerless,
Unable to free itself from loneliness –
A categorical love has now drawn near it.
The uplifted soul, without restraint
Has discovered a hidden might
Which before was shrouded in night
Because it was stained by a loveless taint;
Strength flows through muscles and heart,
An intoxication like no other
Found upon this bounteous orb;
Clasping hands and hearts to one another,
This ‘drug’ they can’t help but absorb
To strengthen the bond that should not be torn apart.
These wondrous blessings though come with a price,
That before the cost has been laid
It’s agreed will be eagerly paid –
Until its full force, then cooled, before you lies;
What before you thought was unreservedly free,
Now learned is not so,
For the spirit can no longer go
Where and when it would, unconditionally;
Chained now to one heart, one soul,
To whom only can be given pleasure,
For your heart to hers has been lost;
Realizing her heart is the only treasure
You’ll possess, you gladly pay the cost,
For the power, and chain, of love makes you whole.
I gaze upon four rose bushes
And my heart is filled with wonder;
How can any created thing
Be filled with such splendor?
The perfect shape of tiny leaves,
Burgundy, with dark green edges,
Puts to shame the foliage
Of all other blooming hedges.
The blood-red blossoms open
A canopy of fragile petals,
A flood of color more cherished
Than all earth’s precious metals.
Helpless against your power,
I draw closer to gaze
Upon the tiny perfection
Which on my heart preys.
Then my hand’s own mind,
Without thought for me,
Reaches out, to brush you aside,
That underneath I might see.
What is revealed shocks –
An eyesore rises unexpectedly;
The beautiful roses but hide
The decaying stump of a tree.
A Poem to Science
Mistress, you have failed us,
though you have soared upon the winds,
delved deep into the oceans,
slaughtered micro-organisms by the billions,
saved lives by the millions;
though you charm students and geniuses,
and your knowledge attracts us;
though when you speak all stand up and listen,
even when you have nothing to say.
Why does the world,
why do I,
hate you, in the midst of our infatuation?
Despite all your accomplishments,
your pretty airs,
and your winsome voice,
We still feel alone and unloved.