Sunday, 26 March 2017

Remiss




You get remiss, the fanlight, the wide doors,
the colours on the walls - nothing is yours;
still the steps are swept every day, kept clean,
a mat laid in rough welcome on the floor.
Heartaches, headaches over the right décor
for only a few days, then - as before -
either the grass beyond turns out too green
or walls close in, aren’t enough anymore.


But even the grass isn’t yours, never -
you dip your toes in it, never possess
a square inch of lawn, not even a blade;
and those blades themselves aren’t forever
all grass is flesh, lasts a minute or less
not too long before entire gardens fade.






Still on my rubai binge only the two above combined somehow, and then added a sestet - does that make it a valid sonnet? :)


Recently, at my local Poetry Circle, there was a debate on whether a poem should stand on its own, or have the context explained alongside it. I have always been in the 'stand-on-its-own' camp - I mean, if I have to explain the whys and wherefores of my poem, then obviously the poem's not doing its job!


Besides, a writer writes something with a certain meaning in mind, but often times the reader interprets it in a totally different way, and that is equally valid. And it's sometimes an a-ha moment for the poet too, to see the poem in a completely different light.  The whole process adds extra layers of meaning to the original writing, why narrow it down and lose the richness? That's been my take so far. In fact it could apply to any writing, not just poetry. 


In the Circle, most people (who are poets themselves obviously) thought the same as me, i.e. standalone, no context won.  I'd love to know what people here think?


Excitement for the A-Z building up, preps on, just a few posts left, I know I would do better if I stopped going back and tweaking and editing ad nauseum the ones already done and research/write the ones that need to be written...this is why writing 'as it comes' is so much easier, things are so much simpler when the post's rough and untidy :) Wow, end of this week we're into April and A-Z!  






16 comments:

  1. Hi Nila! As far as explaining your poem, I remember reading a poet commenting on an online analysis of her poem. She said, 'Really? I wish I'd thought of it that way, LOL!' There's something very personal about our reactions to writing, whether poems or prose...we somehow relate them to ourselves, which is why some poems resonate more with us than others.

    And I'll never look at grass the same way again:

    But even the grass isn’t yours, never -
    you dip your toes in it, never possess
    a square inch of lawn, not even a blade;

    Go, Nila! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pleased or sorry? that this has permanently altered your perspectives on grass :))

      Seriously though, agree with you - each one has a unique take, we see that at the WEP too - the same couple of words, the same badge, such an explosion of variety in the interpretation! People should be free to bring their own lenses and prisms and take away however the light breaks up for them...

      Delete
  2. I fall into the stand along category. We each take something different away, because we bring different experiences and perpectives to the work. Which is wonderful. Have you gone back to a piece of writing years later and found an entirely different piece? I have. which is part of the richness of writing.
    And no, nothing is ours, it is all (or should be) held in trust.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed I have, EC - the stuff written in the past is often editworthy being revisited :) at least mine is :) but it's still fun to see the changes in myself, lots of aha prospects there.
      And agree that it's all held in trust...though this was written from the POV of a tenant in a rental - this is exactly what I meant above when I said readers add layers of meaning...

      Delete
  3. This is like a modern English sonnet. (the regular rhyme scheme ABBA/BAAB/CDE/CDE. It does follow the 2 part structure.)

    You get remiss, the fanlight, the wide doors,
    the colours on the walls - nothing is yours;
    still the steps are swept every day, kept clean,
    a mat laid in rough welcome on the floor.
    -
    Heartaches, headaches over the right décor
    for only a few days, then - as before -
    either the grass beyond turns out too green
    or walls close in, aren’t enough anymore.
    -
    But even the grass isn’t yours, never -
    you dip your toes in it, never possess
    a square inch of lawn, not even a blade;
    -
    and those blades themselves aren’t forever
    all grass is flesh, lasts a minute or less
    not too long before entire gardens fade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Martin. Confirmation of status from a sonneteer of your expertise - means a lot! :)

      Delete
  4. Any writing should stand on its own.
    And I guarantee I always interpret a poem differently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to be in the same camp with a best selling author!!

      Delete
  5. And I stand with Alex and you, et al. We all bring our own baggage to the party, and it affects the interpretation.
    I liked this poem. Rather wistful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to have poets and authors standing together with me... thanks! :)

      Delete
  6. Hi Nila - stand alone as everyone agrees ... though sometimes going back 70 years or more I probably need some guidance ... I need to do a poetry overview course - then I'd understand more easily. I can see the desert here as a misty by-line ... but interesting to read the other comments and your replies. Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So long a piece of writing communicates...poetry can be 'felt' rather than 'critically analysed.' Am not saying the analysis doesn't add to the enjoyment, just that poetry/any writing can be enjoyed both ways.

      I remember reading du Maurier's novels as a teenager, didn't have the foggiest idea about her bio, or the context etc, not a clue about Dona being her fictional counterpart, but enjoyed the stories massively all the same, and again later when I found out, same thing for Gone with the Wind.

      So pleased to have your vote for standalone! :)

      Delete
  7. I agree that if you let something stand on its own, it is often interpreted differently by some of its audience. And I don't think that's a bad thing at all.

    On a related note, I once wrote a comic book script where the sound effect for a machine-gun blast was "Budda-dada-dow!" The artist told me he thought it was extremely clever that I'd combined references to Buddhism, Dadaism, and Daoism. I replied "Umm, actually, I just thought it was a really cool sound effect!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too funny!! You should have just let him think whatever deep thoughts he was thinking :D

      Delete
  8. Definitely, stand alone. I think the words hit each of us differently, the meaning very personal, and seldom the same as the creator. :)
    Feeling this one personally as I pack, give away, and say goodbye to the last 20 years in the same place. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that is tough! I feel you, Yolanda. Moved too many times not to know the challenges of wrenching away from a place one loves...wish you smooth transplanting!

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by! If you are here from the A-Z, please leave me your link. A clicky link would be super, but just your url pasted in will do fine too. Just please, please, don't leave me to figure things out from a Google profile! :-)