Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poetry Day! - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

So, as usual, I'm late to the party, but I just found out that Shannon is hosting Poetry Day! (Also, you can win ALL of Lisa Schroeder's YA verse books, so go check out her blog!)

Some of you may remember a while back I shared one of my totally amazing teenage poems. *cough*

I thought today I would share another, as well as one I wrote when I attended an SCBWI Conference workshop taught by the amazing Ellen Hopkins who walked us through the steps to creating a real live poem in 15 minutes, and then one of my all time favorite poems by one of my favorite poets e. e. cummings. It'll be the good, the bad and the ugly, in reverse!

The Ugly
This is a poem I wrote at 14, inexplicably, about narrowly losing out on getting NKOTB concert tickets in a radio station scavenger hunt. I remember it was sort of a joke, intentionally melodramatic, but I don't think I realized just HOW over the top it was at the time. Still, it's a true representation of the trauma I felt about hesitating when I had the chance to grab those tickets - thereby ruining my entire life!

Note the excessive use of punctuation. (!) This is quite possibly the worst poem in the history of the world. You've been warned.

My love for you is real!
Couldn't you tell?

My need for you is real!
Couldn't you feel it?

I've never found anything
more perfect than you.
My search for you was
long and hard.
I looked everywhere!
And then I saw you.

You were my beacon of hope.
A light in the hazy shades
of gray in which I live.
Pain. Grief.
If it weren't for my shyness,
my confusion you would be
I was so close, but in the
struggle someone took you
away. Never to be seen again.
And now my dreams will
never be fulfilled.

The Bad
This is the result of a series of exercises that culminated in spending about 5 minutes jotting down a poem. It's rough, but I kinda like it. (Also, Ellen liked it, which makes me squee every time I think about it!)

he lied
of all the people i
he was the last
i'd suspect

too easy
i was too easy
to trick
too willing

he sucked me in like quicksand

swallowing me whole
crushing my chest
until my stuttering heart
went still


he spit me out

no longer a girl
but ice
cracked and mangled
by his teeth

no longer solid
but in pieces

no longer stupid enough
to believe
in love

The Good
I'm actually not big on love poems, and most of my favorite things about e.e. cummings has to do with his formatting and unique world view, but this is a beautiful poem.

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Also, I spent some time reading through my old high school journals while looking for poems and found this interesting line. "We went to a party at M's. It was cool but we left when that guy started chasing people around with an ax." Sadly, I don't remember this event, but I think that fact alone - that it wasn't so shocking that I'm haunted by it - says so much about my teen years and the kind of YA I write.


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh the value of a concert ticket! ;)
You have some serious imagery going with the lines about crushing your chest and spitting you out. Intense, real.
Thanks for sharing. And the cummings is, indeed, beautiful.

Shannon Messenger said...

OMG-I am DYING laughing at your NKOTB poem--that is priceless. (And sorry, I still think the retelling of Disney's The Little Mermaid that I posted yesterday takes the cake for worst poem ever. I used the word Daddio in it. Nothing tops that. Nothing!

Thanks SO much for participating and blurbing me--you are awesome. And your SCBWI poem is really good. I can see why Ellen Hopkins liked it. Don't sell yourself short-I see talent there. :)

Nisa said...

I never could get on the NKOTB train. Hehe!

It's definitely a poem to squee over!

Um Axe? Yeah, that should have been pretty memorable. *grin*

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

I really did like the one in the middle (the bad) and especially enjoyed the lines no longer a girl/ but ice.

Also, I love when poems have no capital letters.

Finally, e.e. cummings is amazing and wonderful.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

My favorite was the one you labeled "bad".
I loved it, actually. My favorite lines:

"no longer a girl
but ice
cracked and mangled
by his teeth"

I'm glad you participated in Shannon's poetry day. :-)

Nina said...

Oooooh I like the one that starts with "he lied" :)

Thanks for sharing!

L.J. Boldyrev said...

I lol-ed because I had a similar experience with The Ugly, only mine was Ricky Martin. *hides*

And an ax?!? Yikes lol

Patty said...

Awesome stuff!
I like the second one a lot, actually.

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