Friday, March 10, 2006

A Perfect Book for me

From Chapter 1
The word poetry sends chills down the spines of many otherwise strong and balanced people. Perhaps you have flashbacks of being called on in class to read a poem aloud....Or even today you're still not exactly sure what sets a poem apart from any other bunch of words thrown onto a blank page.

After the perusal of the above in the first chapter of the book, my eyes welled up as I hugged this bright yellow book without looking around to see if the coast was clear, which is what I usually do before affectionately caressing software engineering books on object oriented programming at the local Barnes and Noble store.

Perhaps I was too quick to blame my non-native linguistic background for my lack of appreciation for poetry. I cannot for the life of me understand what makes a literary piece poetic, and apparently I am not the only one who feels this way. Consider the following:

Crazy Horse came back to life
in a storage room of the Smithsonian


Other than the indentations and line breaks which appear artificial, it could very well be a normal sentence about the Indian chief who "came back to life" (whatever that means) in some storage room of the Smithsonian Institution. And I could take any one of my past blog entries, break it up into lines arbitrarily, and call it a poem, couldn't I?

You have the right
to remain
Everything you say
can and will
be used against you

The first cartoon in the book shows a cop reciting the Miranda right while placing a handcuff on a criminal. One of his fellow officers turns to the others and says, "Hey you guys, shut up! Listen to the way Hensen does this. It's beautiful." LOL.


At March 11, 2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

I'm gonna get this book...TONIGHT! Thanks.

At March 11, 2006 7:22 PM, Blogger The Gig said...

I never thought of it that way, but you are right. When writing poems, I have to be really motivated by something or someone or I have to be in certain surrondings in order to really put my words on paper.

At March 12, 2006 4:26 PM, Blogger Gary Means said...

For me, what turns prose into poetry is the cadence combined with the mental/emotional/spiritual ambience it creates within my heart.

You mention prose poetry. In my "Quote for Today" entries, I often take a prose quote and break it down into phrases as I "hear" it in my head. (I did this just before I came here.) This helps give it more meaning to me. It causes me to slow down and think about the meaning of each words, or each phrase.

This main seem artificial or annoying to some, but it helps me meditate on the heart of the message, at least the heart as I perceive it.

BTW, I think it is very cool that you picked up that book. I may have to do the same. Even though I've written hundreds of poems, poetry really intimidates me. I think of my poetry in the same was that I do my musical compositions -- doodling. I am clueless when it comes to iambic pentameter (if that's even the right term.)

Here's one of my poems anyway.


In the quiet darkened room,
the innocent face
of my sleeping child
fills my heart with joy.

Memory of his childish voice
calls out and brings a smile.
I gently stroke his face,
kiss his brow,
and pull his covers up.

I start to leave,
then I turn,
and look again.

Unbidden comes
a thankful prayer
for this simple time,
and for this sleeping child.

At March 13, 2006 11:44 AM, Blogger Oricon Ailin said...

In all my CJ training, I never considered the Miranda Rights poetic. But, hey, it give them a whole new life! hehehe

At March 13, 2006 1:38 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

buck - I hope you picked it up. It's a good one so far.

gig - That is what the first chapter of the book says. One must be really inspired to write one.

Gary - Thanks for the poem. Hopefully when I am done with the book, I will be more appreciative of it. Right now, even Robert Frost's poems don't move me.

Heather - "New life" LOL! You are bad. That reminds me of this cartoon I read a long time ago.

So these men are lined up to the guillotine to get their heads chopped off. So one guy in line turns to another and says,

"Hey I got another joke for you. Our crimes are in the past, but our future is just a-head."

At March 14, 2006 8:37 AM, Blogger HollyOak said...

I spent the last portion of my high school career immersed in the strange world of teenage poetry. As I read the works of the masters now, I can't help but giggle at some of the things I read then.

I saw a dog
The dog did not look good
The dog got wet
The dog still did not look good


It's funny to me that I can appreciate poems like that as much as I do the poems of Gerard M. Hopkins.

At March 14, 2006 7:19 PM, Blogger Natala said...

i just seperate my thoughts ;)

your site
is wonderful
me to
outside myself.

see... fun, isn't it?
I love writing poetry!

At March 15, 2006 9:58 PM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

Most poetry is definitely not what I was taught in high school. I think it would have been too easy of an assignment to write just any poem so they always made you do it in meters. Blah, proves once again that high school really doesn't teach much about real life.

At March 17, 2006 2:14 PM, Blogger Elevated said...

Just make everything rhyme duuuhhh :P

I though I was a poet goddess in Jr. High when I realized the words dove and love rhymed...and I used them often lol


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