A BRIEF LOOK AT POETRY

 

Nursery rhymes, national epics, the brevity of haiku, the ramblings of the ‘beats’, emotional outpourings, intellectual wordplays, and even common jargon and advertising tag lines are all flavors of Poetry.

Many poets sheepishly claim that their particular form of poetry ‘just sorta happens.’ They hear voices or get a flash from the Muse while in the shower, while driving, well, just about anywhere.

 

Though spontaneity and some sort of divine guidance assist many artists, still, the need to hone one’s craft, edit, work and re-work a poem ultimately makes for better poetry.

 

As simple and lyrical as poetry can be, it is nonetheless—‘another language’ that transports us to a less linear world, a world that circles and spirals, often reflecting the worlds of dream, heavenly song or day-to-day reality. A poem can also cut right through ambiguities and pretenses in order to reveal a simple truth.

 

Many poets have an inner guide which helps them to avoid mere sentimentality and self-indulgence. One of my reference points is from William Carlos Williams: A poem is “a small machine made of words” and “there can be no part, as in any other machine, that is redundant.” This does not mean that a poem cannot be verbose, or repetitive, but rather that the poetic machine needs to run smoothly.

 

As a writer, another area to consider is: ‘who do you write for?’ This question may have multiple answers, however, finding some of those answers is worth the effort. Do you write for God or Spirit, yourself, an audience, to woo a lover, a particular person…for fun…the list goes on an on, and though “all of the above” may be the answer, focusing that list can give a greater sense of purpose for one’s writings.

Much like the overflowing springs on the Mountain of the Muses, much poetry simply wells up and spills over. A poet can become a bit ‘drunk’ on the language that flows freely, wherein, creativity lifts one’s mood or purges an overly rational mind.

 

And then, honoring from whence came that gift…. we share our musings, ramblings, and little songs with others so that, perchance, they too may share a sip, or a long draught of poetic nectar.

 

-- Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) poet, essayist, and PPA staff member.

 

PPA welcomes submissions to “Poetic Nectar: Poets’ Essays on Poetry”.

Essay topics are limited to ‘the craft of poetry and poetry related activities,’ and should be of a constructive and positive nature that encourages writers and readers at all levels. Negative topics such as personal attacks or negative critique of a poet or group, glorification of violence, racism or pornography will not be considered.  This format is not intended to promote any personal or organizational agendas.  In other words, this venue is not meant to stir up controversy over personal, political, religious, etc. viewpoints, but rather, to share ideas and inspirations that can assist poets with developing their craft, and providing guidelines for an often solitary pursuit.

 

Email submissions to Mankh

Or mail to: Walter E. Harris III

Walter E. Harris III

PO Box 562

Selden, NY 11784

 

Please include name, phone number, and very brief (1-2 lines) bio.

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