November 15, 2005

The 6th Poetry Carnival: Ars Poetica

What is a poem? Why do we write? As poets, what is the experience -- the process -- of writing, and how is it different from the experience of having finally written?

This, the 6th Poetry Carnival, explores works inspired by "Ars Poetica": today our poets speak on their art. Not suprisingly, each keyboard clicked a little differently, each eraser, every wastebasket, all 52 spirals on each notebook looked and felt and meant differently to each poet.

Sometimes the significance of the poem was simply the act of discovering it, as in "Poetry Happens", by Adam Graham. He describes the writing of a poem as a sudden experience -- perhaps divine inspiration?:

"It comes in a moment,
In an instant, in a flash,
It comes without warning,
And it demands written down."

For Martin at Complete and Utter Poetry in "Ars Poetica (Occasional Flashes of Lucidity)", poems also emerge unpredictably -- sometimes from the fog of sleep. He describes the experience of learning to capture and cultivate those gifts:

"I grope for things just out of reach-
At last, a phrase is caught
I explore its form
Learn its texture, shape and weight"

In an untitled, two-line poem, Troy Oster expresses the frustration of a struggle for inspiration and purpose -- perhaps that is the discovery of the poem?:

"Stifled in the mundane with an absence of prophetic epihany I exist in unknown pursuit of that unknown which I am to pursue. There would be other days but that was the only day never to repeat itself."

In That Which Drives Me at My Serenity Vijay ponders a poet's need for inspiration in the first place:

"With every passing second, a new life,
With every uttered word, a perfect statement,
With every action done, a perfect event,
Such perfection, this harmony, beyond limits.
Is there a need for reason to write poetry?"

Regardless of why we write, few poets find their work and their approach static. In "Love of Fare", Violet leans on some delicious food imagery when describing her relationship with poetry. She fancies herself a chef, sampling from the plates of many as she assesses and develops her skills as a poetry chef:

"Wine of symbol and sound
liqueur lyrics abound
I’m becoming an addict of diction ..."

Daniel Barkowitz at Talking to Myself discusses poetry as a state of being in "ours, Poetica" -- and its being, perhaps, a metaphor for itself:

"Imagine, were it possible to see
a world where every object was expressed
as reference to another, every tree
a metaphor, and every one addressed

by 'rose' or 'poem' or 'ancient crooked man'."

At GlitteringMuse, Garnet also explores this idea -- does a poem inspire being, or does being inspire a poem? In "Writing a Poem", Garnet discusses a moment spent trying to create, and finding perhaps he already had:

I see the shapeshifting reality bulge
around the illusory hibiscus I could never match.
Veils of words needs constant shattering
to lighten thick, moldy layers of thatch.

Perhaps a poem is an invitation. Andrew Nichols at briefly encourages his poetry, and his readers, to BE the experience in "Philosophical Poetry":

"Dance on God’s fingertips.
Don’t pay too much attention to my reckless advances.
Bitter or sated, always be bright.
Speak to me alone; sing to many universes.
Cry with me, laugh with me.
No matter how we’ve aged, let us touch like new lovers.
Dance with me."

What should a poem do and mean? At Words To Go With Poetry Renee likens a poem to the changing and change-making water in her version of Ars Poetica:

"Sometimes the beauty of the wild water
Sometimes the ease of a canalled stream
Freedom to flow, shaping rocks to pebbles
Raging in canyons, an ever changing path."

In Erin Monahan's Ars Poetica, a poem appears to act as the healing of a self-inflicted infection, a passion, a child, a relief:

"Let it be a draining of pus
from infected palms, wounded
by the blunt edges of your own
spoiled and sod-soiled nails."

Ed Kidhardt's Beachhead explores a related theme of burying that which inspires a poem, (love? fear? passion? hope?) only to find that it's a hardy little bugger, and lives like a rockflower in the most barren and forgotten places:

"The one fatal flaw, it came from the act
of hiding this thing so deep in the earth
though we never watered or tended it
divine intervention gave the seed birth"

In the end, maybe none of us really know why we do it -- just that we're compelled to. In Billy The Blogging Poet's version of Ars Poetica, Billy says he writes:

"To plead to my lover,
to strike an accord,
to relieve my disgust
with my broken down Ford."

And ultimately, he says, perhaps we do it simply because we've discovered we're able to, and it feels good, and that is reason enough.

**To participate in the next Poetry Carnival, join the Google Group!**


violet said...

Beautifully done, Trebuchet. Thanks for hosting!!

garnet david said...

Trebuchet- I can see you really thought about each poem and commented beautifully on style and point of view. Wonderfully done.

You've raised the bar for the host!! And I'm next!

Also, my androgynous name worked!! Yay. you can call me a s'he. that covers both. ;-)

Renee Wagemans said...

Thank you for hosting and taking so much time to highlight each of us

Trebuchet said...

Glad you have enjoyed it so far -- looking forward to the next one already, Garnet (oh, and sorry about the name confusion... i've corrected)... :)

Daniel Barkowitz said...

While you are correcting (oops), want to remove the extra "o" in my name?

I agree with garnet, you have raised the bar on what the carnival can be once again! Excellent job!! And nice to see so many new people as part of the carnival!

I'll admit, when you posted the topic at first I had some trepidation about what would come, but the breadth and depth of responses is amazing!

Daniel Barkowitz said...

I'm sorry to be a nag... There also appears to be a javascript error on my reference link to the poem...

Erin Monahan said...

really an excellent job, so well thought out. Thanks for hosting!

Trebuchet said...

OK, changes made. Anyone else find errors? Sorry about that! Thought I'd clicked thoroughly through it before posting. (Eek!)

Billy Jones said...

Looks great to me.

garnet david said...

I like Troy Oster's little poemlet. I often feel like that, groping in a cloud. I hope he reads this. Keep going Troy! You've already begun...

garnet david said...

I can also relate to Vijay's sentiment. I miss so much other "live" poetry when I'm writing one.

Adam Graham said...

Good post, by name is actually spelled: Graham

Adam Graham said...

I hate to picky, but you didn't link to my post. You linked to which is the main page of my domain, but my poem is located at:

Please fix it as soon as you can.

Thanks again,

Trebuchet said...