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Let it be Poetry

Updated on February 23, 2008

just words

I've been on the editing staff of several college poetry and prose reviews and it is remarkable how much mediocre writing is out there. Not in Hub Pages, of course, but there are many online Poetry contests that accept just about anything - actually they accept everything, because then they get you to buy their Poetry Collection for a mere $60.00 or such.

Poetry.com is one such site. I've submitted a couple of my "mediocre" poems and they raved about their quality. I have been selected to be in their showcased anthology! What a bunch of hullabaloo. It was flattering at first, but I realized my mistake in submitting to them in the first place.

I have a very good friend, a professor emeritus of Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa, CA, who writes a monthly newsletter called "The Reader's Rejoinder." The subscribers submit prose and poetry they are reading to share with other readers. One finds many unusual offerings in this newsletter. Don Emblem, the publisher, is a voracious reader at age 87 and always has some pithy comment on this or that. He also includes many poems by readers. Here is one by Rodney Nelson about his hometown Fargo, ND.

THAT DAY

I came to the town I knew as it would have

been without me

the lake the half-snag willow

where egret had built had nothing in them and

the worn-out green of October when I looked

drew away

a wisp of the feeling I had

clutched at in work met me downtown to which I

followed and no one could see me there

human

movement that had seemed avian

balletic

in July

was puppetlike now and where it

went on I did not go not even into

a room I might have found vacant

I was half

ghost

already in a town without me had

no more than that day to put a word on it

Many readers submit their musings. This is one by Don Macqueen:

Once again, the working of our language puzzles him. Is there a rule that would help him figure out why it is: audible but hearable; edible but potable; sensible but reasonable; laughable but risible; campatible but agreeable; contemptible but deplorable; possible but conceivable; imaginable but plausible...and so on.

Indeed, everytime I write those words I have to think about the use of "a" or "i" which is the correct form? Interesting. English has more rules that are broken than any other, which makes it one of the hardest to write without errors.

Luckily even the worst sentence can often be understood if the letters are juxtaposed effectively:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

My best friend is a terrible speller - even though she is quite intelligent. Seems to be embedded in our DNA or something - some people can spell, others simply cannot!

Back to poetry - that collection of words that evoke images and feelings in a concise and passionate way. I love this very short piece by Ezra Pound:

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these

faces in the crowd:

Petals on a wet, black bough.

It's so deceptively simple - but is full in its meaning and imagery. It's a traditional Haiku, that is a three-lined poem with 7 syllables, then 5, then 7 again. There is a profound rhythm that is penetrating. It takes us out of the ordinary into the extraordinary - a quick trip in our minds. Lovely.

Rainbows pour through my window

Spectral color show

Dancing light brings happiness

That's one I just penned. I have "rainbow windows" hanging in all my sunny openings. They truly always make me happy.

If you'd like your own poetic rainbow, please visit my link.

Until later,

Susanna

rainbows on the wall

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