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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fires of Inspiration (Part Three) - Poetry

Fire and light found in Fire Flies and Will-O-Wisps reminds me of Poetry.

The definition of poetry is nebulous. It is differentiated from prose by an attention to sound, using alliteration, rhyme, meter and assonance among other things to create consonance, and an intentional layering of the meanings of the words with symbolism and similarities, similes and metaphors, to create depth of thought.

Often prose will employ these tools too, but not to the same degree, though prose can be described as lyrical or poetic. In fact, most good story writers are
poets and/or use a lyrical style of writing. Song lyrics are usually poetry put to music. Nursery rhymes and chants are poems.

In music and chants the meter becomes most important, because some patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables lend themselves to songs and chants better than other patterns.

Poetry is a fascinating, hit or miss experience, for me. There is a lot of poetry out there that doesn't trip my trigger. But when I find something that does, it's a really cool experience, well worth wading through the duds [personally speaking] to find the gems. Then it's a great idea to memorize the gem or put them to music.

There is a great Norse myth about the origins of poetry. It can be read at this web site : Mead of Poetry

Some of my favorite public domain poems include:

Who Has Seen the Wind? By Christina Georgina Rosetti [I also love her poem, The Goblin Market.]
      Who has seen the wind?
           Neither I nor you:
     But when the leaves hang trembling,
          The wind is passing through.

     Who has seen the wind?
          Neither you nor I:
     But when the trees bow down their heads,
          The wind is passing by.

La Belle Dame Sans Merci : A Ballad, by John Keats [First Stanza]
     O what can ail thee, knight at arms,
     Alone and palely loitering?
     The sedge has withered from the lake,
     And no birds sing.

“The Law of the Jungle”, By Rudyard Kipling From The Jungle Book [My first memorized poetry.]
     Now this is the Law of the Jungle – as old and as true as the sky;
     And the Wolf that shall keep in may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

     As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back -
     For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

To a Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church, by Robert Burns [From near the end]
      ...O wadsome Pow'r the giftie gie us
     To see oursels as ithers see us!

One of my all time favorite poems is William Butler Yeats's poem The Stolen Child. You may be familiar with the refrain:

     Come away, O human child!
     To the waters and the wild
     with a faery, hand in hand,
     For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

 Loreena McKennitt   has done a nice musical rendition of this poem by the same name on her Elemental Album.

Other poems and poets I enjoy are Fireflies in the Garden, Tree At My Window, and The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost [Not included here for copy right purposes]; The Rainy Day; The Arrow and the Song; and The Children's Hour; by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and The Ballad of True Thomas and The Ballad of Tam Lin [Scottish Ballads], Edgar Allan Poe [try the less well known stuff to hear something new, it's all good], Ogden Nash, Jack Prelusky [good children's poems] and Jeff Moss [ Also good for kids.] There are many more than I can include here. I recommend you try to find some favorites of your own if you don't already have some.

I had an idea recently having to do with introducing poetry to children early with the use of puppets. I call it Poeupetry. Here's a link to our first video of it on YouTube : Poetry Facts

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