This week I have been playing with metaphors. Metaphors give us a memorable comparison to understand something which seems inexpressible at a deep level.
Some metaphors have been so used that they have become clichés; so as I write I have to approach them with care and ingenuity. I have to strive for originality. But also intertextuality and allusion are going to be helpful.
I have been working with the ideas of gates, doors and walls, of barriers, and openings, of welcomes and denials.
My journey with gates, doors and walls is triggered by all the news about refugees around the world not being allowed to cross borders, and being put inside camps (prisons?) and separated from their children.
Historically walls are set up to protect from invasion of enemies. They surround cities, castles and more. But all walls have a gate for those who can be trusted to make their way through.
There are famous walls, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall (which one day came tumbling down) and literary walls, like Humpty Dumpty’s wall which he fell from.
As for doors, literature is full of portals, doorways, that take us elsewhere. Often the doors are hidden and disguised, just think the magic wardrobe in the Narnia Chronicles. But there is also the entry to the magical places of Harry Potter at the station, Hogwartz can’t be reached without knowing how to go through the portal.
Now how does one make ones way through a door, I think of the Trojan Horse.
My mind begins to think do people still fear the Trojan Horse, and has this somehow rid people of compassion. They think that everything must not be what it seems, but is always in disguise; a disguise that has bite, a disguise that will destroy.
So now with some of this thinking done, I have some things I can allude to, some ideas about gates and doors, some emotions I want to draw on, and a current happening in the world that frustrates me and I hope we can change.
Now for a poetry first draft to bring this all together.
the Trojan horse
Somehow this horse
is a boat
or a truck
full of people crying
It can’t be real
it is just a tool
to make us open
We won’t be fooled
We must protect our
Oh for a portal to freedom
a falling Berlin wall
and all the Humpty Dumptys
from the wall
Oh for a portal
in that wall
that is going
up, up, up, up
When will you believe
what you see
is not just a trick
and when will we all
sing a welcome song?
I’ll keep working on this poem and see what eventuates.
It is a beginning and I am working with this one to let the subject dictate the shape and direction of the poem.
Questions I ask myself after a first draft like this:
- Am I being a little didactic (lecturing) here? Is that okay?
- In what ways can I improve the poem’s lineation?
- Can I think also about protest songs and bring their intertextuality in ?
- Will this poem be part of a series of poems?
- What other research, including visual research, can I do to reflect on gates, doors, walls etc?
- Which of the metaphors here can be extended?
- Words for gate in other languages?
(c) June Perkins, words and top image.
This could be fun!
Test your memory and see if you can name any poets from the lines I picked randomly during a timed exercise. “Like gold to airy thinness beat” is from Valediction, Forbidding Mourning by John Donne (1573–1631)
This game can be adapted for writers, artists, poets and movie fans!
- There are two versions. The version attributed to the Surrealist Movement is when the weirdest possible head, torso, legs of the Exquisite Corpse are drawn by three different players, each folding over the paper so the next person can’t see the results until it is unfolded at the end of the game.
- “Consequences” is the original name of this literary pen and paper parlour game which has been played since the 1800s Victorian Era. A random sentence is written near the top of the page. The paper is folded over then passed to several other participants who add to it and…
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Butterflies on the wall, a new creation by artists
calls the People of this city to turn towards
the spaces beyond
“Darkness hath encompassed every land, O my God, and caused most of Thy servants to tremble. I beseech Thee, by Thy Most Great Name, to raise in every city a new creation that shall turn towards Thee, and shall remember Thee amidst Thy servants…”
-Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations
(c) poetry words and image June Perkins. This first appeared on Nineteen Months
From the Educate Empower Blog
There were so many lovely books that I came across this year that encourage young readers not only to think about those around them in their own community but also those who live on the other side of the world. Being a part of a community is so important and knowing how to look out […]
Refugee week is coming up and the theme this year is:
Can you write a poem that especially helps and welcomes refugee children coming to our country.
Please send prompt poems and any other poems to:
Please continue to send in 2-3 poems in a word document with a paragraph about what you are doing in 2018 for our July spotlight.
And today’s quote:
This week prompt is to write from a child’s perspective. Write a poem about yourself pretending you are a child in which nothing is true.
Please send prompt poems and any other poems to:
I am on LSL from 28/6 to 30/7. My husband and I are travelling with our caravan to the tip of Cape York and as a result we will be out of range at times especially in “The Cape”. To keep things running well I would like to schedule a month ahead for this time. I was thinking that we could have a spotlight month in July in which the regulars send in 3-4 poems and a paragraph of what you are doing re poetry in 2018. I would need 12 of you to contribute to this idea. If you would like to be part of this please send me the poems and paragraph…
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I was writing a poem today, and wanted to name a character.
For inspiration I looked at an old poem of mine, and borrowed its structure, but then the poem soon had a life of its own. Sorry can’t tell you which one, as it is top secret.
I decided that I wanted the character’s name to be significant to the topic.
Perhaps ‘Dream’ in another language would be appropriate, so I found a website to help me.
It has so many beautiful sounding words for DREAM.
Here are some of the words for dream that also seem to me like wonderful names.
There is something so musical about them.
You can find the language they are from by visiting the link IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
The other thing that I find inspires poems are things of beauty I see, like the tree image shared for this blog.
I have written a few poems based on it, but what would you write about this tree?
It has an interesting true story, in that is was destroyed by a cyclone.
Yet, this image will always fill me with joy and make me want to dance.
But it is also a tree of my imagination now and a place where an adventure might begin.
The tree is a place for stories of the make believe.
(c) Words and Image June Perkins