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Author Topic: The Poet's Notebook  (Read 3147 times)

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Offline KetTopic starter

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The Poet's Notebook
« on: May 21, 2010, 12:57:56 AM »
Warning: The thread title is misleading; you may find poetry here, but that is doubtful.

Today I went to the bookstore to buy my textbooks. For my campus, the bookstore is located in a Barnes & Noble (EVIL!), the textbook section all the way at the back, forcing you to walk through tons of books to get where you need to be.

I had stopped at the planner section, trying to find a suitable, non-bland calendar to help organize my days. It was the table next to it that caught my eye. Though small, it was set up for impact. Kudos marketing department. On it were three notebooks. Two were just single subject notebooks, but they were special. Made from 100% recycled materials, boldly decorated in as many hues of green as possible, and way to expensive.

But next to them was a smaller brown book, the cover decorated in sloppy cursive writing, which upon further inspection was lines from famous poems. It instantly begged to be picked up. Inside were beautiful creamy vellum pages, each ninety-five percent blank. The other five percent consisted of a key word/phrase and then a quote or mini ďassignmentĒ to go along with it. As I flipped the passages and read some, I became more and more intrigued.

I am no poet. And while this book is geared towards poets and giving them a way to practice their craft, it has so many other uses.

On a lark I decided to buy it. My mind was made up that I needed this book. You see, on Monday, for the first time in my life, I start college. I'm excited, nervous, and scared to death. I haven't been in school in ten years.

In high school I always hated the fact that the writing done in English classes was always so technical. What happened to creativity? Scanning through my textbook for my upcoming English course, I find it's all technical. I don't want to get so caught up in technical writing Ė I mean for pete's sake, my courses this session are all technical Ė that I lose track of the creative side while I'm at it.

My goal with The Poet's Notebook is to bring back some of that creativity. As a reward to myself each day after I've done my coursework and studied, I intend to sit down and go through this book page by page, using the prompts to guide my mind and just writing whatever comes out.

Seeing as class has yet to start and I cannot stand to be unprepared and feel lost, (I got slightly aggravated when enrollment handed me my list of classes but didn't bother letting me know if there was a syllabus or what the funky codes under location meant, but I digress) I've already read the first chapter of each of my books. So I've decided to reward myself for that (and for finding out what books I needed and where all my classrooms are all on my own) by starting the first page of the notebook tonight. Then I figured I share it with all of Elliquiy.

I hope you enjoy my ramblings.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 01:24:14 AM by Ket »

Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2010, 01:21:52 AM »
May 20, 2010
Notebooks



ĒI save all my notebooks, and from time to time, when I don't know what I'm going to write, I read them over and find the first line of  a poem which I started but couldn't finish and sometimes I'm able to finish it. Nothing you write is ever lost to you. At some other level, your mind is working on it.Ē - Erica Jong

In middle school my best friend and I were quite the pair. Popular, smart, part of a group who had been together since elementary school. In many ways we were totally different, but like the opposite polar ends of two magnets we stuck together. We didn't have any classes together, so in lieu of passing notes, we had notebooks. Between classes we'd trade the books in the hall, whoever had it at during the last class of the day gave it to the other to take home for the night.

We'd decorate both covers inside and out with doodles, stickers, or whatever we felt it needed. Inside, we shared everything. Things about how much our teacher annoyed us or how well we like another. How we were doing in that class, or worrying about an upcoming quiz or test. Who we had a crush on or who we were going out with Ė which in those days pretty much consisted of going to the mall, the movies or the skating rink and holding hands. We talked about other friends, gossiped about enemies. The newest CD by our favorite bands, if we watched SNL over the weekend, what was going on on MTV. We complained about our parents, our sisters, our hair, our clothes, you name it. We praised each other's accomplishments. Plans were made for weekends and we made promises that we would be best friends forever. We poured our souls into those pages and guarded the books from the prying eyes of others with our lives.

The summer between middle and high school I went through hell. Oblivious to the adult world, I didn't know until the last minute that my parents were getting divorced, the house was being foreclosed on and my mom and I were moving. Honestly, all I remember about that summer was turmoil. I understand now why my mom did it, but at 14 I thought that being forced to move to a new school district was just her ripping me away from my friends. Yes it was the best high school in the city and she chose it to give me the best opportunities she could. But to start high school without my best friend, after everything that had went on, killed me. I had no one to exchange notebooks with anymore.

As two young kids relying on our parents for transportation, my best friend and I tried to stay in as much contact as possible. Inevitably we drifted apart. We made new friends, concentrated on school, lived our lives. I ran into her mother shortly before graduation and she said she had an extra ticket if I'd like to go. I did and it was wonderful meeting up with my friend again. In the course of talking about what was next in our lives, she brought up the notebooks. We had a dozen or so in total, split between the two of us, but sometime during a purge session we both had thrown them away. Neither of us had ever found another friend to pass around notebooks with, and we both agreed that we missed it.

She left that summer, college bound; I was still trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Her family moved away not long after and I haven't been in contact with her since. I wonder what she's doing now and if she remembers our notebooks.

Offline Chelemar

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2010, 04:01:13 AM »
Ket,
 
I am enjoying your blog very much.  I hope it's OK to post here.  I figured it must be otherwise there wouldn't be a post button.   ???

I too waited to go to college.  Back then, if one was still living with one's parents when he/she graduated high-school, then the parents were financially responsible for sending the child to college.  You had to wait five years then to be able to qualify on your own merit for financial aid consideration. After almost seven years, I was finally able to go.  It was frightening to me too, but turned out to be the best decision in the long run.
 
 Being older, I knew how very much I wanted to be there taking the classes.  It wasn't just the thing one did, it was what I very much wanted.  It pushed me harder and because of it, I ended up with much better grades and got more out of college than I believe I would have had I gone when I was just out of highschool when I already felt tired of school and a bit burned out.  Also, although I doubt I would have wasted my parent's money, the fact that it was my money pushed me hard as well.
 
If you are allowed some electives in the arts, see if you can find some in Creative Writing or even Creative Nonfiction.  Different universities demand different elective course work, but it's worth a shot. :D  They are awesome classes and take away some of the dreary sting of technical English. 
 
I hope you have a wonderful college experience.  That it is not only everything you hope it would be, but that it is so much more. 

Cheers,
 
Chele

Offline Transgirlenstein

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 06:16:41 AM »
I hope college goes well for you.  It is a wonderful experience and I hope you knock them all out of the park.  I know you'll study very hard and make the most out of it.

Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2010, 01:27:38 AM »
May 21, 2010
Gift


ĒThere is that rare poem spun whole from an image buried in the yellowing pages of a haphazard notebook, and I call such poem a gift.Ē - Yusef Komunyakaa


I studied more today, mostly math, as I know that is the subject I'm going to need to work the hardest on. In the process I managed to sprain my wrist holding the book, so now I have a brace on my writing hand. Who ever the brilliant idea that a textbook be so heavy a student needs a pulley system to lift the thing needs to have their brain rewired. One hundred twenty three questions and six front and back pieces of paper later, I checked my answers in the back of the book and found I only had eight of them wrong. Not to bad for someone who hasn't touched algebra in ten years.

I crawled into bed tonight with my notebook and flipped to the second page, reading the key word and quote to myself several times. Just as I picked up my pen to begin writing Ė I actually had nothing coming to mind but was determined to try Ė my cat decided to crawl up and lay right down on my notebooks. (I'm not writing in The Poet's Notebook, I don't want to fill it with scribbles just yet.) At first I was upset. But as a tiny white paw covered the word gift, a smile crossed my face and every ounce of annoyance was immediately gone.

You see, my cat is a gift. He was given to me, flown all the way from Kansas to Virginia by someone I've never met. He was a tiny little ball of kitten screams, staying well protected in his carrier as my two dogs tried to figure out just what he was. Much hissing, growling, scratching and biting later he finally came out, beginning the full speed chase through the house that ended in a tiny kitten desperately clinging to the entertainment center while fending off two dogs with his back paws.

I didn't really want a cat. I'm much more of a dog person. Don't get me wrong, I like cats, but I hate litter boxes. And cats pretty much require those. For some reason I had agreed to take in the little fluff ball, and damn if he didn't purr his way right into my heart. For all that he can annoy me at times Ė and his odd habit of playing in his litter box is definitely annoying Ė he holds too tight of a grip on my heart for me to ever be mad at him.

He's pushy, whines loudly, and is constantly forcing me to trip over him. I can no longer go to the bathroom alone. No matter where he is in the house, and no matter which bathroom I use, he's right there behind me, jumping into the sink and curling up in that way only cats can. I have to pick him up and move him so I can wash my hands, otherwise I'd end up with a soapy, half-soaked and pissed off kitty. At night he howls, and will do so until somebody yells at him to shut up and bribes him with cat nip.

But for all his less than perfect qualities there are so many more that are perfect. The biggest is that he knows exactly when I need him, even when I don't know myself. He knows just how to bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.

Gifts are weird like that. Especially the ones we didn't like or didn't want in the first place. They have a way of capturing our hearts and reminding us of just how much love there really is out there in this world.

Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 12:40:10 AM »
May 22, 2010
Advice


I think it's awfully dangerous to to give general advice. I think the best one can do for a young poet is to criticize in detail a particular poem of his. Argue it with him if necessary; give him your opinion, and if there are any generalization to be made, let him do them himself.Ē - T. S. Shot


Everyone wants to give advice. In general, people like to be helpful to those around them. Sometimes it's needed and appreciated, other times you wish the person would just shut up.

I've frequently struggled when people give me advice. When it's something I've asked for I appreciate it whole-heartedly. Sometimes when it's not asked for but is good advice I appreciate it just as much. But that un-solicited, thanks-I-already-know-that, why-are-you-giving-me-advice-on-how-to-deal-with-a-situation-you-can't-even-deal-with advice infuriates me.

You know, advice is not an easy topic to write about. I've already scribbled away about six lines, deeming them unworthy and not where I wanted to go. I could list points on how to give good advice, but that's easily googled. Besides, who wants to read that? So my thoughts are a little bit here, there and everywhere. I hope you don't mind my rambling.

I spent a little bit of time studying today, but I actually spent a lot of time thinking about where I want to go with my education. I've pretty much decided that I want to not only obtain my associate's degree, but also my bachelor's and possibly my master's. I know I wouldn't be satisfied at an entry-level position with limited promotion potential. I'm going to need a lot of advice during this process. Not just about which classes to take, but which schools will provide me with the best opportunities, how to pay for such an education, how to balance my current life around classes and studying. I'm looking forward to the advice I'll receive from those who have been in my shoes before and from those who are well-knowledged in their field.

There are times we need lots of advice and there are times we need none. Some of it is good, some of it is not suited for our specific situation, and some if it is just downright bad. Take what you need, appreciate it and discard the rest. Use it to your advantage.

I'm going to leave you today with some of the best advice I've ever heard. It's pretty famous, originally written by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune, then somehow turned into an internet hoax and a song. Non-the-less, it all rings true.

Quote
Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 11:58:37 PM »
May 23, 2010
Photographic Moments


Old photo albums can yield a treasure trove of inspiration. Write a poem about the minutes leading up to a group snapshot. Or study a photograph of yourself as a child and jot down as much as you can recall of that time in precise detail and specific images.


I start school tomorrow. To be honest, I'm terrified. A lot of what ifs have been running through my mind and I'm trying my damnedest to keep them at bay. Luckily, for the most part it's working. Either that or the excitement is over-powering my fear.

I prefer to be behind the lens of a camera. My mom stole all the photogenic genes Ė even her driver's license picture is awesome Ė but that's okay. Taking photos is more my thing. I like playing with light, exposure, shutter speed. But I now that before I walk out that door tomorrow, I'll have a few photos taken of me. Mr. Ket has already made sure there are fresh batteries in the camera and told me there is no way I'm getting out of it. I'll do my best not to frown and look annoyed in one of the photos.

I enjoy photographing people when they aren't posing. They're called candid shots, and they can really show an audience someone's personality. A couple of years ago I was in New Orleans and there was a group of street performers playing jazz. One member of the group was a young boy, no older than nine or ten, who man-handled a trombone twice his size. He was cocky, eyes bright and defiant as if to say ďYou thought I couldn't do it, but look at me!Ē

A big part of photography is planning. You sit and you wait, lens focused, camera steadied, eyes glued, until that perfect shot appears. You press down on the shutter button and listen as it clicks. Then Ė especially in this world of digital cameras Ė you look at the review screen and dance for joy inside. You got the shot. It's quite a rush.

Sometimes you stumble upon a perfect opportunity. Last year at the National Zoo I was climbing the pathway in the aviary. As I rounded a corner I heard a loud rustling noise and was taken aback by a peacock raising his tail feathers in full display. It took me a few moments to remember I had a camera in my hands, but lucky for me this particular peacock was agitated enough that he posed and rattled his feathers for a few minutes, allowing me the chance to get several wonderful captures.

It's a lot like life. You can plan something, taking care to check every minor detail, wait, and in the end be rewarded. Or sometimes that perfect moment comes at you out of the blue and thrusts itself into your face, waiting for you to seize it. I planned to go to school. I've taken the required steps and waited for weeks. But tomorrow it's going to smack me in the face and make me chase it. And it's going to do that every day from here on out until I'm satisfied that I have finally caught it.

Bring it on, College Education. I'm ready.

Offline Paradox

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2010, 08:17:34 PM »
This is exactly what Elliquiy's blog section needed! Keep it up, Ket. I really enjoyed reading these.

By the way, I encourage you to continue to entertain notions of pursuing a Bachelor's degree. Having taken a few years off before going to college and having attended the same institution you started today and sat in some of the exact same classrooms, I can empathize with some of what you're feeling-- that college is a great place to start, but a person as intelligent as you are will quickly begin to yearn for something more. More chances to prove yourself, more strenuous and challenging subjects, more intellectual stimulation than an Associate's program can provide. When you feel that, embrace it. Relish it. When you have doubts about where you're going with your education, remember that feeling of being simultaneously terrified and excited. Remember why you're there and that you're disproving the stereotype of people who don't attend college after high school and probably never will. You're the exception, so prove everyone wrong! Also, remember that we're all here to support you.

Oh look, here I am being one of those givers of unsolicited advice from your previous blog >_> I actually just wanted to post in here so I would know when you update this blog, but I was carried away.

Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 11:56:44 PM »
May 24, 2010
Around the Corner


Ē[The young poet] should stay the hell out of writing classes and find out what's happening around the corner. And bad luck for the young poet would be a rich father, an early marriage, an early success or the ability to do anything well.Ē - Charles Bukowski


Have you ever wondered what you might have found if you'd just kept walking, took the long road, or just went around the corner?

The best treasures in life seem to be hidden from plain view, awaiting discovery. But they don't require some long arduous journey filled with trials and tribulations. They require just a few more steps.

We humans are creatures of habit. We like the routine, the familiar...dare I say it, the mundane. We know that on a Tuesday evening at eight pm the dishes will be done, the kids finishing homework, our favorite television show just about to start. But we're missing out. Just around the corner is a little restaurant that serves the best food we've ever tasted. Or a community theatre where young and old come together to share their passion for the stage. Maybe it's a person who could become one of the best friend's we'd ever have. A natural wonder, or a marvel of modern man's ingenuity.

I'm lucky that in my life I've had the opportunity to drive across the country several times. I've sped across it, needing to reach my destination quickly, and I've meandered across it, taking my time to travel roads less followed. Of course the latter being the much better option of the two.

I've seen so many amazing things and met fantastic people. I've seen Old Faithful erupt in the middle of the night and played in the snow in August. I've seen a buffalo almost charge my vehicle then decide to back off. I've met a man who took his pet parrot every where he went. Garth Brooks live in Central Park, a volcano erupt, wild ponies run free on sandy dunes, met crab fishermen from Deadliest Catch, scores of mother ducks leading their babies safely across crowded streets at the same time. I've seen flood water so high on both sides of a road that there was a scant two foot grassy shoulder left and the water went on for as far as the eye could see, as if one was driving across the top of the ocean. I've seen the devastation of a tornado and helped to rebuild homes and lives. I've met a woman who was so in love with the town she lived in I sat in a restaurant for hours listening to her tell stories. I've stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and it was such a fine sight see.

I could go on and on. But my point is I've dared to do it. I've decided that I want to know where a few more steps will lead me, what the scenic route looks like, what's just around the river bend. There is nothing wrong with routine. But if we let it rule our lives and forget to go just a little further, we can miss out on the most amazing discoveries.

So take a few more steps, go down the road less traveled, turn around the corner. You never know who or what you may find.

Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2010, 01:10:57 AM »
Sorry I'm a day late. I had written yesterday's entry last night, but fell asleep before I could type it up and post it.  So today, two for one!



May 25, 2010
Poetry


ĒI wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, proseówords in their best order; poetryóthe best words in their best order.Ē - Samuel Taylor Coleridge


You'll most likely never find me in a poetry class. It's not because I don't like poetry; I certainly enjoy well written verse. But I'm more data entry than data analyze. At least not 'find the deep meaning' then 'find the deeper meaning' then 'find the deepest meaning' type of analyze.

I told my English professor today that I don't like English classes. It's true, I don't. I don't hate them, and I can find parts of them that I enjoy, but overall I don't like them. I'm not one to sit around with a group of my peers talking about certain passages. Book clubs, so not for me. The way I see it, sure everyone gets something different out of reading the same thing, but for the most part the message reads the same to each individual.

I always found my tenth grade English teacher a little odd. He started the class out fine, giving a couple of creative writing exercises. Then he told us that all of our papers for the rest of the year had to be argumentative. It's World Literature, what was there to argue about? Still, we had to read each passage, pick it apart so much that every possible meaning (except for the one the author intended) was thrown out on the table. Then we had to pick what the story meant to us and argue why our interpretation was right. Do you see why I couldn't stand it?

About three-quarters of the way through the year, the teacher had a book of his poetry published and gave a copy to each of his students. It sucked. No ifs ands or buts about it, his poetry was horrendous. He tried too hard. He analyzed too much. When I read poetry, I want it to seem as if it flowed out of the poet's pen effortlessly. I know that's hardly the case, but when it seems that way it just reads better and is easier to understand.

I'm sure I'll do well in my English class. I understand the need to learn different styles of writing, even if they aren't my first choice. Doesn't mean I have to enjoy it. And I won't. Except for the part that requires me to look at my professor while he teaches. Plus one, English class, for having a handsome man at the front of the room.




May 26, 2010
Question


ĒIs encouragement what the poet needs? Open question. Maybe he needs discouragement. In fact, quite a few of them need more discouragement, the most discouragement possible.Ē - Robert Fitzgerald


I question everything. If I don't understand what someone is talking about or how something works, I'm all for asking. Ofttimes the only person I'm asking is myself, then I'll research the answer. Other times I ask everyone I can who may be able to help.

Questioning is a way of learning. Learning is not just done in school, but every moment of every day. In essence, asking questions helps you learn faster, so you can move on to the next topic.

I like how. How does this work? How do you do that? What is good, too. What is this for? What does that do? I like watching documentaries that explain the inner workings of something, or how and object is made, or describes the processes involved in erecting a building or ship. I've always wanted to know what makes things work at the basic level. I don't need tons of details, unless it's something I'm really interested in.

Question the world around you, and never be afraid to ask. You never know what nifty little tidbit of information you may pick up. Live life learning.

Offline Lilias

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2010, 04:14:05 AM »
I didn't acquire a taste for poetry until my second term in uni, and that was entirely down to my more-John-Keating-than-John-Keating, inspire-you-to-go-out-and-conquer professor. You may find yourself surprised yet.

Offline Paradox

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2010, 12:36:54 PM »
I'm an English major, and even I really don't like poetry all that much. I prefer people to flat out say what they mean. Not all prose does it, but prose is often easier to interpret. Last semester, we started British Literature from the Romantic Period and Beyond with Blake. I liked Blake...until we spent three fucking weeks on him. Even the best written work can be ruined by over-analysis, much like you said.

As far as handsome professors go, I once again recommend <name removed> for any history class or culture elective you need to take.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 03:03:30 PM by Caeli »

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2010, 01:30:55 PM »
Quote
Still, we had to read each passage, pick it apart so much that every possible meaning (except for the one the author intended) was thrown out on the table.

I felt this way in 10th or 11th grade English.  We read The Great Gatsby, and the teacher obsessed about how the sports-car or the satin evening gowns being yellow symbolized wealth.  I looked at it and thought - what about the fact that it's a sports-car or satin evening gown in the first place?  Those things aren't cheap!

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2010, 05:08:33 PM »
This is really wonderful to read, inspiring as well :)

Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2010, 10:29:58 PM »
June 13, 2010
Concentrate


ĒIf I had to Ďteach poetryí, which thank God, I donít, I would concentrate on prosody, rhetoric. . .and learning poems by heart. I may be quite wrong but I donít see what can be learned except purely technical things.Ē  -W. H. Auden


I received a text message today simply stating ďMOAR POETíS NOTEBOOK!Ē Had I not been busy with dinner preparations and fielding twenty questions from munchkin about our guests (she met my parents for the first time tonight), I would have replied with great snark that the author of said message needed to lose the demanding tone and send me a grammatically correct message with proper spelling. Instead I replied that Iím a slacker.

Thatís not entirely true. I have slacked on writing this blog, which I fully intend to remedy, because Iíve been concentrating on school. So far Iíve made nothing but Aís, and I am going to keep it that way. I want to make the Deanís List and get an invitation to the honor society. I have lofty goals, but why hold myself to a lower standard?

While this may sound confusing, try to bear with me. Even though Iíve been concentrating on school, Iím having a hard time concentrating, at least in certain classes. Iím actually enjoying Algebra and itís a big help in keeping me focused on the entire picture. But, if I would have known that Introduction to Computer Applications would be so easy (and dull!) I would have just bought the book, read through it, tested out of the class and used that tuition money for something else. The same goes for English; though I do feel I will learn one thing in that class, proper citation. Which I probably could have easily found out on OWL, but oh well. At least the professor is someone Iíd get down on my knees for.*

I donít even want to get started on my college success skills class. In the past ten years Iíve learned those concepts through life experience. All these combined are making me a tad bit bored and enabling me to lose concentration. Several times Iíve put off doing school work in favor of something else that isnít as important, but much more fun. Iíve since stopped that. Every day I tell myself that next semester will be more challenging. That if I donít get through the easy stuff, Iíll never make it to the hard stuff. Idí rather fail out of a difficult class because it was just that damned hard than fail out of an easy class because I stupidly allowed boredom to cloud my judgment. I have to remember how to make the dull sharp, the boring, fun.

I know I can do these things. When munchkin brings home a good grade from school, we tack it up on the fridge. We have about half of the front covered. Iím taking my A papers to my mom, and sheís putting them on her fridge. Iím going to cover her fridge in Aís, then move on to my grandmaís fridge. And once thatís covered, we may just have to buy a second fridge so I can cover that too. I will control my concentration.



*Side Note: I told Daddy this weekend I was no longer going to call people hot or hawt. Instead, people I deem attractive and worthy of a romp in the sheets are now people Iíd get on my knees for. I know, Iím a dork.


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Iíve failed to mention this before now, but I want to thank everyone who has left comments. I truly appreciate that you enjoy what I post and your words of encouragement mean a lot to me. Ėhugs-

Offline Paradox

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2010, 03:18:15 PM »
Actually, the message said "MOAR POETS NOETBOK!"  :P

Pardon the demanding tone; I just enjoyed this blog and wanted it continue.

As for the mind-numbing dullness, that will pass as you sign up for newer, better classes. The citation thing is definitely important; just be prepared for a few psychology or sociology professors who require APA instead of MLA!

Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2010, 10:00:28 PM »
As long as they state they require a different writing format.  I'm all good.  Speaking of writing...



June 14, 2010
Write

ĒVery few people at any one time ever write poetry that is any good. But surely all of them will read it and teach it with greater sympathy and understanding for having tried to write some.Ē Ė W. D. Snodgrass

I could go on and on about writing. I think the majority of us here on E could. A love of writing is what brought us here. (That and Vekseid offered me cookies Ė he must be perfecting the recipe or something, itís been two years now and still no cookies!) Some of us are published, some are trying to be published, and others just enjoy writing as a hobby. But, itís our common love for the art that brings us together.

I dislike (I wonít say hate, thatís too strong) everything I write. These blog posts, story posts, school papers, even notes to friends. I never feel like Iíve said enough. I always worry that itís so poorly written that the audience will have no understanding of what Iím trying to say. I know we all feel this way at one point or another, but for me itís every single time. Just posting is an act of bravery for me.

My father is a journalist. Writing has always come rather easy for him. It does the same for mostly, until my brain starts kicking in. Iím not used to the writing process of pre-writing, rough draft, editing, final draft. I understand pre-writing to gather ones thoughts together coherently, why do you need all the other steps? Or, a better way of putting it Ė why the need to elongate the other steps? My rough draft and editing are all done at the same time on paper, then the final goes into the computer.

It probably all stems back to my distaste for over-analyzing things. Iíve learned in life that while mistakes can be made, 99.9 percent of them can be avoided by just taking things at a relatively slow pace and reading the instructions. And, yes, there are instructions when it comes to writing; we just have to read them off the file in our brains. The neat thing about instructions for writing though is that while they do need to be followed in order, they can also be completed together to make the task easier and keep our pens moving.

Again, I dislike what Iíve written. I feel like Iíve jumped all over the place and didnít make a point. But, at least I got it all written down, which is still a big step!


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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2010, 10:46:10 PM »
*hugs* Sounds like how I feel whenever I post something. Never feel like it's quite good enough for myself, let alone anyone that I write with.

Offline KetTopic starter

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2010, 01:46:29 AM »
I spent an hour typing up three entries that I had written but never was able to post due to being crazy busy and sick this past week.

My computer decided to force-restart to install new updates during this middle of the session, and stupid me hadn't saved periodically.

Clipboard failed me and lost everything.

Eff you, Windows Updates, eff you.

I'll try again tomorrow afternoon.

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2010, 09:38:41 AM »
Windows updates induces rage in me as well. Unless it's an urgent security update, I should not have to tell the nag-box to go away every four hours.

At least they coded it so you can postpone it.

Looking forward to seeing those entries~ <3

Offline Transgirlenstein

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2010, 10:48:32 AM »
Ugh, I hate the window updates as well.  I had two of them back to back the past few days.  Damn annoying.

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2010, 02:07:21 PM »
Yessssss....as soon as it restarted and finished installing updates, it gave me the little "Download new updates for Windows!" box.

I wanted to smack Bill Gates around with a rotting fish. I may switch to Apple when it's time for a new laptop...

Offline Transgirlenstein

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2010, 05:58:48 AM »
I've been considering the same thing Ket.

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Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2010, 12:49:49 AM »
Itís hot and I canít sleep, so Iím finally going to get these posts up. And hit save repeatedly, so Word and clipboard donít lose my stuff again!


The Sincerest Form of Flattery


Closely read the work of your favorite poet, then write a poem in his or her style. Try to cast their approach on subject matter that interests you most.


I couldnít help but laugh when I read this. Imitate the style of my favorite poet? Seriously? Never going to happen. I donít have the longing and fascination with death that Emily Dickinson did. That girl was the epitome of emo in her day. Thanks, but Iíll stick to writing about happier things.

Short entry I know, but really Iíve got nothing. Iím sure I could throw out a big snarky post about people who imitate certain celebrities, but all one needs to do is look at a photo of Lindsey Lohan to know why itís a horrible idea. I think itís best I leave this topic be and move on.



Inspiration


ĒIím sure that writing isnít a craft, that, something for which you learn the skills and go on turning it out. It must come from some deep impulse, deep inspiration. That canít be taught, it canít be what you use in teaching.Ē Ė Robert Lowell


My muse is a fickle little bitch. Like myself, sheíd rather be on some tropical island, sporting a sun dress or a bikini, some fruity rum beverage in a kitschy coconut cup in hand.

Sheís not just some tourist; no, sheís that kooky lady in the gargantuan straw hat (made by local artisans!) that only leaves the island when absolutely necessary. Sheís got her own cabana on the beach, complete with studly cabana boys and girls, a private penthouse suite at the top of the resort, and sheís bullied the staff enough that they cater to her every whim.

Sometimes I donít blame her for staying in paradise, sounds like a great place to me. Other times I want to wring her delicate little neck. I can work and slave over a paper, only to be sitting there twelve hours from the deadline with absolutely nothing and having no help from her. Itís like she canít hear my frantic SOSís and Maydayís because the drumming from the luau is entirely too loud.

Every once in a while sheíll show up totally unexpected and start flitting around my keyboard like a jumping bean hopped up on crack-cocaine. Before Iíll know it, sheíll have turned out more than five pages, all of which are on topic and well written.

I donít understand that girl. Maybe my muse has a muse of her own who is more of a spoiled brat than she is. I just wish I knew of a way to lure her into spending more time with me. Until that day comes, though, I am greatly thankful for the fleeting moments in which she graces me with her presence.




Tradition


ĒYou run into people who want to write poetry who donít want to read anything in the tradition. Thatís like wanting to be a builder but not finding out what different kind of woods you use.Ē Ė Gary Snider


I had this long post to go along with tradition, and before when my computer blipped and lost all I had typed, it disappeared. Granted, I have the original copy written down in my notebook, but Iím thinking itís a good idea that clipboard failed me, at least for this post.

Iíve decided that what I wrote is entirely too personal. Not to mention slightly controversial. Itís a part of my soul that, at the time, I had thought would be okay to share. Now I think it would be for the best, for myself and anyone who does actually read this, that I keep certain secrets of mine to myself.

I donít intend to replace the post by writing something else about tradition, simply because itís already been written. I just canít share it with you. Iím sorry for that, really I am, but I feel itís for the best. Maybe one day Iíll be ready to share it, and I thought I was, but I was mistaken.

Now Ė letís get back to happiness and snark!


Offline Paradox

Re: The Poet's Notebook
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2010, 07:24:14 AM »
Happiness and snark can't always be the norm, or else they would lose their special value!

I enjoyed that extended analogy about your muse and the tropical island.