P O E T I C --- P A I N T I N G S

"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen" -- da Vinci

To write poetry, you must read and, read some more -- Me

Sep 26, 2009

The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe [My Commentary]

Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849

Let me start off by saying, I refuse to post this poem.

Yes, this is a poetry site, and I do post poems  but this poem The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe just pisses me off!

Why you may ask.

Well, I hate noise.

I hate all kinds of noise -- even the noise chasing its tail behind my forehead. It's all still noise!

When I first read The Bells, I had to put the book down and walk away. In fact I put it down several times. By the time I finished reading The Bells I went looking for a hammer. Sledge hammer, ball ping hammer, MALLET -- anything that I could use to smash any bell I could find.

I wanted to smash the hell out of Poe's bells.

After thinking about my reaction to this noisy poem, I realized that Poe did what an extraordinary writer/poet is suppose to do. They are suppose to invoke emotion from their readers.

Poe did exactly that -- he brought out such strong emotion in me that I had the urge to crush, kill, destroy any bell I could get my hands on.

Then I understood, that's what a great Poet does.

It's not that The Bells isn't a great poem, it's the fact that it is so great that it rung in my ears for days and days. 

Let's forget about the Literary purist who lives to dissect the corpse of a poem. The ones who look to see if the meter is off or the rhyme is forced or the metaphors are cliche. Let them eat the poem or poet if they want.

Poetry is truly a painting that is felt rather than seen.

I felt this poem and wanted to do serious damage to anything that rang, rung, tingled, chimed, etc...

*damn bells I hate noise*

So, if you want to read The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe have at it =====> The Bells

Sep 20, 2009

Rhapsody on a Windy Night -- by T.S.Eliot

T.S. Eliot 1888 - 1965

TWELVE o'clock.
Along the reaches of the street
Held in a lunar synthesis,
Whispering lunar incantations
Dissolve the floors of memory
And all its clear relations
Its divisions and precisions,
Every street lamp that I pass
Beats like a fatalistic drum,
And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium.

Half-past one,
The street-lamp sputtered,
The street-lamp muttered,
The street-lamp said, "Regard that woman
Who hesitates toward you in the light of the door
Which opens on her like a grin.
You see the border of her dress
Is torn and stained with sand,
And you see the corner of her eye
Twists like a crooked pin."

The memory throws up high and dry
A crowd of twisted things;
A twisted branch upon the beach
Eaten smooth, and polished
As if the world gave up
The secret of its skeleton,
Stiff and white.
A broken spring in a factory yard,
Rust that clings to the form that the strength has left
Hard and curled and ready to snap.

Half-past two,
The street-lamp said,
"Remark the cat which flattens itself in the gutter,
Slips out its tongue
And devours a morsel of rancid butter."
So the hand of the child, automatic,
Slipped out and pocketed a toy that was running along the quay.
I could see nothing behind that child's eye.
I have seen eyes in the street
Trying to peer through lighted shutters,
And a crab one afternoon in a pool,
An old crab with barnacles on his back,
Gripped the end of a stick which I held him.

Half-past three,
The lamp sputtered,
The lamp muttered in the dark.
The lamp hummed:
"Regard the moon,
La lune ne garde aucune rancune,
She winks a feeble eye,
She smiles into corners.
She smooths the hair of the grass.
The moon has lost her memory.
A washed-out smallpox cracks her face,
Her hand twists a paper rose,
That smells of dust and eau de Cologne,
She is alone
With all the old nocturnal smells
That cross and cross across her brain."
The reminiscence comes
Of sunless dry geraniums
And dust in crevices,
Smells of chestnuts in the streets,
And female smells in shuttered rooms,
And cigarettes in corridors
And cocktail smells in bars.

The lamp said,
"Four o'clock,
Here is the number on the door.
You have the key,
The little lamp spreads a ring on the stair.
The bed is open; the tooth-brush hangs on the wall,
Put your shoes at the door, sleep, prepare for life."

The last twist of the knife.

**Personal note: Deep thinker this poet makes -- what else can be said!**

Sep 7, 2009

Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander 
A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration
Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other's
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues. 

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum, 
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what's on the other side.

I know there's something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, 

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign, 
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.
I'd say that Elizabeth is one of my favorite up and coming poets. It was quite an honor for her to write and perform this for President Obama. 

Sep 4, 2009


Original Haiku is: A Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five morae, usually containing a season word.
Western Haiku has changed this lovely form from its origins. 

the dragonfly's tail, too
day by day
grows old
-Issa, 1807

More about Haiku