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Writing Poems by Arthur Thomas Ware

Updated on September 28, 2010
1977.  MacQuarie Island. Introspection and poetry go together when the days are short and the nights long
1977. MacQuarie Island. Introspection and poetry go together when the days are short and the nights long

How to write poetry

It is quite difficult to reveal to the reader how to write poetry because good poetry is more than simply 'something of the mind.' Unlike the limeric, where one simply matches sentence endings, good poetry comes from the soul.

Of course, in writing poems, the habit of ordinary, every day writing helps a lot. If you are a habitual writer - and I talk not here of business letters, or quick texted messages, but of the 'writing habit' - then the chances that you'll be able to write poetry will come more readily.

If the feelings that arise in you are strong enough, and you have a literary bent, the poems will come.

340 days of rain, sleet, and snow, but the wildlife love it. Here in October we see the gathering of the elephant seal harems

Sea, rock and sky. A view looking southwards down the east coast of MacQuarie Island.
Sea, rock and sky. A view looking southwards down the east coast of MacQuarie Island.

The Candle was written pre-MacQuarie Island, back in 1972

 

By Arthur Thomas Ware in 1972

The Candle

Oh, flickering flame that gleams,

And radiates such friendly beams;

Your colours splendid, rose, yellow, blue,

Dance around the soul of you.

 

We look into your wavering light,

Intrigued by how you warm the night;

One solitary candle, wax and string,

Yet melancholy, romance you can bring.

 

You move down your candle hours,

Just as we move down through ours;

When flame wilts, flickers, and is gone,

Does it, like man, move on, move on...?

 

MacQuarie Island, sub-Antarctica; a few square miles of land amidst ten million square miles of grey and white flecked ocean

MacQuarie Island's isthmus, where the base camp is located.  Here it is in the mid 1980s, about eight years after my own sojourn.
MacQuarie Island's isthmus, where the base camp is located. Here it is in the mid 1980s, about eight years after my own sojourn.

 

By Arthur Thomas Ware in 1977

Ideas

Through hands words fall,

Body’s  means of heeding call;

Whence comes thought?  Who can say?

Higher plane, through brain of clay?

 

Do we select?  Do we take,

Ideas that we thing we make?

Like chocolate from a store:

Why, and what do we think for?

 

Wall-to-wall wallows and beach to beach elephant seals.

October, and the female elephant seals arrive to give birth to pups and to mate.  They take up a lot of space.  Yes, that's the old bull in the right foreground.  "Winner takes all," in MacQuarie Island's Mating Game.
October, and the female elephant seals arrive to give birth to pups and to mate. They take up a lot of space. Yes, that's the old bull in the right foreground. "Winner takes all," in MacQuarie Island's Mating Game.

The Pledge - Like Mr. Bo Jangles, most expeditioners tended to "drink a bit."

After a prolonged bout of hard work and even harder drinking this poem resulted.   It speaks for itself, I think.   

The Pledge

When red eyes meet reflection and you’re feeling so forlorn,

Teeth-cleaning hand doth tremble, oh, so early in the morn;

When vision is a cloudy fog, and you’re sitting shaking on the bog,

Feeling sicker than a dying dog – then you know you should leave off the grog

This morning came a message, now it’s time for me to tell;

That I should give away the drink, and dry out good and well;

Yes, the tom-tom drums decided and they sent this message through:

That a certain time of abstinence can be very good for you.

So your’s truly has decided to give the grog away,

And not a drop will pass his lips until the Firest of May;

So let there be now tempting hiss, of “Come on, laddie, let’s get on the piss.”

To alcohol, here’s a goodbye kiss, I’m giving it a total miss.

But never fear, my drinking friends, for I’ll be back quite soon;

Just a week or two, my hearties, just a half-phase of the moon;

So remember, mates, and mark the day, I’ll imbibe again on the First of May,

So save my place by Collin’s Bar - I’ll be coming back to have a jar.

Wandering Albatross.
Wandering Albatross.

 I hope you enjoyed these few brief words on how to write poetry.   Writing poems can be very rewarding, and very healing of the heart.

I wish you well in your own endeavours.

Keep smiling,

Tom

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