Saturday, May 4, 2013

My Chapbook

Here's my chapbook from my Craft of Poetry class. I warn you I am not a poet so don't hold any expectations. :D I've moved things around a bit because I have a poem on submission and there really isn't a need for a title page on here. Enjoy!


Critical Essay
At its core poetry is a written history and personal interpretation of life and the workings of the human mind. The greatest value in poetry is its ability to reach inside a reader and either unite them through recognized experiences, or shake them to the core with thought provoking prose. I am still not interested in reading poetry beyond Shel Silverstein; however, I have a great respect for the art of creating a work that can evoke powerful emotions with an economy of words. I would like to take the things I’ve learned from this course and incorporate them into my picture book and novel writing. So much of what is required in the craft of poetry is useful and applicable to those endeavors.
While Riccio says, “narrative poetry is concerned primarily with telling a story” I think that all poems have a story to tell. This is what draws people to it. Whether through the use of powerful imagery, or the use of white space and visual pacing, such as Jackson’s use of it in his poem “Emergency” (70-72). This vivid imagery and intensity of pacing draws the reader in, and when skillfully crafted can quicken the pulse and wreak havoc on the readers emotions for complete strangers they would normally have no emotion ties to. It is this expert handling of craft and evoking of emotional and physical reactions that draws so many to both the reading and writing of poetry.
So many elements of the craft of poetry are useful to not only poets, but wordsmiths of any genre. The importance of utilizing an economy of words is necessary for affective writing in fiction as well. And while meter may not be as central a part of fiction writing, pacing certainly is. Keeping a reader on the edge of their seat, wanting for the next lines on the page is what every fiction writer strives for. The cadence of language is universal whether the work is meant to be read aloud or silently. The mind has a way of being attracted to patterns and sounds and in this the poetic elements are essential.
Though I may never consider myself a poet I am thankful for the elements of craft that I have learned within this course. As stated above pacing, imagery, and most importantly mastering the economy of words will be tools I hope to utilize and eventually master in my own writing. It is possible to write without knowing and understanding the elements of craft, but in order to write in a daring and new way, you must first know the rules in order to break them.
  

Chapbook Table of Contents
I.                   Title Page
II.                Critical Essay/Introduction
III.             Table of Contents:
Poetry in Moments: Ars Poetica Poem 
9        Days Late: Four Temperaments Poem 
Leading Lady: Imitation of Gary Jackson’s “Gothamites”
Holding the Ocean: Form and Meter Poem 
What Else Could I Do 
The Eyes Have It: An Imitation Poem of Shel Silverstein’s Style 
Final Stop 
IV.             Notes Pages:
a.       Notes on the inspiration for the poem 9 Days late
b.      Inspiration of the poem Leading Lady
c.       Inspiration of the poem The Eyes Have It
d.      Inspiration of the poem Final Stop
V.                Author Biography


Poetry in Moments
A thousand tiny elephants stomping through,
words tumbled and jumbled.
A need,
to make long dead people proud.
Beneath layers of muck.
Doubting if this simple task
is too much—yet not enough.
Headache gained,
fear receding.
Hair pulling, nail biting,
A wall of faces judging, having earned their place.
Still, still, still here.
A hummingbird in a hawk’s disguise.
Fake it long enough and it can be true.

 9 Days Late
9 days late,
3 tests,
24 hours of pain,
Heart rate drops in tandem with blood pressure,
The pain and the fear weaving together into a crescendo of tears and blood,
8 pounds 2 ounces later,
Tears of joy, fear turned to elation
A boy to bring about a change.

9 days late,
2 tests,
0 hours of Pain-scheduled,
Nothing but joy,
A new love to expand the heart,
7 pounds 14 ounces later,
Love expands despite,
A girl’s tear stained face.

9 days late,
2 tests,
0 hours of Pain-scheduled,
Silence meets the ears, bringing tears and fear,
A mother’s cry met by a baby silence,
A first breath gone wrong,
A worn heart breaking as new lungs collapse,
The thrumming of hope takes flight,
2 hours of hope dashed as a new life slips away,
Back to the beginning, with no middle before the end.

4 months later,
9 days late,
4 tests-digital confirmations,
3 unscheduled stays,
0 hours of Pain-scheduled,
Too scared to let go,
Fear-all consuming,
6 pounds 3 ounces later,
Fear disappears-replaced,
By a baby girl that comes into the world, laughing.


Leading Lady
Let TVLand have its June Cleaver,
Disney have its Mary Poppins, Max
his Ruby. We have our Connor.
She is toughened.

True she’s only a woman,
but not one girls dream about
becoming—fighting for survival,
saving a son that would save them all.
Our lady keeps company
with outliers, self aware machines,
keeps time by the exchanging of clips.

We’ve heard the rumors—
from psychopath
to savior of the future generations. How
she’s forty now, yet still keeps
pace with police and machines
able to destroy the earth.

Some of us bet she’s even
Home-grown, right her.
Not some fantasy
or misogynistic creation.
but one of us, who had to decide
she was going to be strong,
take this dim future back
into the hands of humanity,
show those sentient robots
how a woman defends her home.




Holding the Ocean

You
Were there
Holding hope,
That I’d reach out.
The need for flesh clear,
Your face—falling from high.
Wind blows, salt burns—an ice heart
Glistening, blazing, your hand falls.
Moments passed in the blink of a life,
The back door of the ocean never closed.





What Else Could I Do

You left,
in the slender hours before dawn.

You left
the lights burning their way through our groceries.

You left
me angry, sated, so full I became empty.

You left,
every day only to return again—until

you left
me standing beside a chasm in the ground.




  

The Eyes Have It
They say eyes are a window to the soul.
That no matter what people say, you can go
Look someone right in the eyes and know.
So tell me then, if you can
With so many eyes upon it, does a potato
Have a soul too?





  

Final Stop

The station, empty
in the slender hours of morning.

A slight rustling of feathers
against brick, the mortar crumbling—
in spots. A picture of the newest show
hanging slightly askew in its rust framed perch.

The hum of life trickles in with the people,
shaking off the snow like a toddler in the throws of a tantrum.

Engines grind to life
another day of rushing by the dead girl
under the tracks—she waits for night,
where she is mourned by the silence.



  

Notes

9 Days Late: I had to interview a friend for another class assignment and we discussed her children and their births. In talking we discovered this odd truth in numbers with all of her pregnancies. 

Leading Lady: This poem is an imitation of Gary Jackson’s “Gothamites” (Missing you, Metropolis 27)
The Eyes Have It: This poem was written as homage to Shel Silverstein’s style.
Final Stop: Poem inspired by in class selection of noun and verb pares.



  
Author Biography
J.C. is a student at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA pursuing a major in Professional Communications and minor in Creative Writing. When she isn’t chasing messes left behind by her children or dogs she’s reading, writing, or tweeting.

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