Sunday, May 6, 2012

Taking my medicine

***
The trouble with reading poems



Poems and poets

scare me,
never know what they really mean --

                       the words

they pick
tend to be
                        exotic and sometimes unpronounceable

                        or

                        normal but still suspicious


common man
                            experiences distilled
  searching for hidden puzzles to solve
complications simplified or multiplied
                       complications               tongue-tied

                        a mosaic of visions flows thick as cold syrup
                        sweet bitter sweet

Reading poetry is like taking medicine,
it makes me sleepy
and gives me funny dreams.


***

I was recalling a funny reaction of someone when I suggested reading a poem. Would've thought I was asking her to swallow an odd shaped pill. Expanded on that with my own thoughts, and mixed it up. But yeah, sometimes it is like that, sometimes. ;)


**Shared on Open Link Monday, at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. 

27 comments:

Daydreamertoo said...

It is so difficult sometimes when you read others to know if it is what they are feeling at that time, if it's real or, if it's all imagination. So, we then hesitate to comment because we don't know if we're going to say the right thing or not.
I so agree with you on this. Well said in such lovely poetic form too :)
Thanks for your note on the moon. Being a Cancerian, both she and water have such a huge pull on me.

Raven said...

This is very lovely and a poem to which I can truly relate.

Ravenblack said...

Daydreamer: Always a pleasure to read your work. :)

As to your comment, thanks, that is how I feel sometimes. I don't know what to say after reading. I truly respect the author and the work but I find that it is beyond me to comment. It's either the subject or emotion is not something that is familiar to me, or I don't know anything about it at all. I'm not sure sometimes if I might offend an author with some off comment that he or she didn't expect. Yes I admit sometimes, I'm afraid I might get it "wrong".

Habit from school maybe.

Raven: Thank you. :)

Fred Rutherford said...

Yeah, poetry is like medicine. Each piece can solve a different woe in different people. I've always viewed poetry as having two possible meanings. The poets meaning and the correct meaning, which is whatever the reader gets. Which is so much so, that even when the poet reads their own work, it matters not if they remember why or all the cool little poetic devices they used to make it, it's what they get out of it as a reader. The poet is simply a conduit, speaking for some muse or what not from a different place. Anyhow, just how I've always felt. But even so, it's still nice to see someone get your work they way you wrote it. But that really makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. It really is whatever you get out of it. Yep, kind of a lot like medicine, yet with medicine, you often have been diagnosed with something, and prescribed something that is intended for your ails, poetry, well, you never do know. Which Is why I love it so. Very cool write here Raven, just a great piece. Thanks

Ravenblack said...

Fred, thanks for your thoughts on this. :) The way the words and the poem affects reader and poet might be interesting to explore in itself.

>>"yet with medicine, you often have been diagnosed with something, and prescribed something that is intended for your ails, poetry, well, you never do know. "

I do find that some poems might not be understood now, but they can become relevant later. :) So there's some accumulative long term effect too.


On another note, I've just read Billy Collin's The Trouble with Poetry -- he proposes that the trouble with poetry is that it makes one want to write even more poetry. And I agree with that too. :)

dsnake1 said...

:D

very neat! i think the fun with poetry is that a piece of work can be interpreted in many ways. sometimes once a while we read something that made us go wtf but generally we have a pretty good idea about what the poem is about. whether it is what the poet intended does not matter, in my opinion. the trouble is, yeah, i am afraid that a writer may be offended if i made a comment that he may not like to hear. but hey, he should be happy that i made an effort to comment in the first place. :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

I think your description of how poets use normal words in a way that makes them suspicious is one of the most original and accurate things I've read about the process of writing.

Abin Chakraborty said...

you know, it is precisely this abnormality of poetry that makes it special. but then again, laughing at what we do is good as it prevents us from taking ourselves too seriously.

Mark Windham said...

it is indeed that way sometimes...loved the last stanza

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Very clever observations, and the comments are interesting too:) Your poem sparked an interesting conversation!

Brian Miller said...

ha poets are a weird lot arent we...the way we see the world and then try to translate it to words on a page, infusing emotion...and then some adding big words that are nearly undecipherable...nice play on collins as well...really enjoy his work...

Shawna said...

And sometimes a poem doesn't mean anything, but the reader is the one who brings the complexity and forms his own funny dreams. ;)

turtlememoir said...

Nice job... and I had no problem understanding your poem - I get that reaction too from time to time. I love the way your poem looks on the page

chromapoesy.com said...

How well you capture our quandary, the confusion, desire, and art all jumbled together. This is amazing, for me this speaks volumes, and I am so grateful you do read and comment but more importantly that you write. I find your work inspiring, thank you.

Cressida de Nova said...

I do not understand a lot of poems that I read but if I like the rhythm or the words it does not bother me.Makes it difficult to comment sometimes. My interpretations are usually way off.

Heaven said...

I know what you mean...some poems I can't get at all, but some resonates with me strongly. Obviously your post today sparked a response, so its good ~

Richard King Perkins II said...

Even though I write poetry, I am not a poet. But I think most poets would agree that it is difficult to write a poem about poetry that is fresh and relevant. This one is.

Ravenblack said...

dsnake, Kerry, Abin, Mark, Sherry, Brian, Shawna, turtlememoir, Anna, Cressida, Heaven and Richard: Thanks for the awesome feedback and interesting comments which has in turn gave me more to think about.

Abin: Yes, I agree with you. I do find when I take things too seriously, I don't enjoy it and don't enjoy reading either. So yeah, I try to keep it light, I just be a student. :)

dsnake: I appreciate any kind of comments, even one's that's negative. I feel anxious everytime I post a poem.

Anna: That's quite a compliment. Thank you. I think you and Fred have helped me appreciate the more 'difficult' poems. It's fortunate for me that I came into blogging again and encountered your works.

Cressida: The way off ones are the ones that makes me think. I do admit I don't want to give an off-comment but it has happened. I can only hope I don't cause distress.

manicddaily said...

Very charming. Your own poem avoids those pitfalls! K.

Ravenblack said...

Thanks, K. I try to avoid those.

Timoteo said...

There is a lot here that makes me grin. I think we should take it to heart, and learn to laugh at ourselves.

Ravenblack said...

I agree. Thanks Timoteo. :)

Raven said...

This is very good it is so real ... ha! But I cannot really see you feeling this way. You have a magic way with words that is uniquely your own so, I don't think of you being say perplexed by the words of others.

Ravenblack said...

Raven: Thank you. There are works that perplex me, and there are those I don't fully understand. :)

Jannie Funster said...

This is wonderful too!

Where would we be without our cold syrup funny dream poems to dive into on a regular basis??!! I feel so sorry for those who do not indulge.

xo

Ravenblack said...

:D

Bodhirose said...

Oh gosh, yes! Sometimes...