It’s Day 17 – IN A ROW! Are you sick of me yet??
Anyway. When I was younger, I figured I could write poetry. Sometimes I wrote things that rhymed, but most of it was free verse. I considered it poetry if I used words that sounded poetic to me, on what I considered poetic themes (i.e. nature and feelings). As I got older, I worked on getting some imagery in there, and even some metaphors and other poetic devices. I occasionally wrote things I was pretty sure (at the time) were deep.
Now that I’m an adult, I hesitate to call anything I would write “poetry” – I hesitate even to try writing it. Because I don’t know what makes a poem a poem. Or rather, I don’t know what makes a poem GOOD. I just know how I think I should feel when I read one: moved, as if I will forever look differently at something because of the way the words were combined.
For example, I’ve never forgotten the sweet image in my mind when I first read this poem where it was posted on my sister’s wall in university:
Song (“I almost went to bed …”) from “The Spice-Box of Earth”, by Leonard Cohen
I almost went to bed
the four white violets
I put in the button-hole
of your green sweater
and how i kissed you then
and you kissed me
shy as though I’d
never been your lover
Come on. So simple, so beautiful.
Now, without claiming this to be the same species whatsoever, here is The Scents of Autumn, by Mini(ish)-Di [age 11 or 12].
Autumn has some special smells,
That come again, every year,
That come reborn, crisp and clear,
Come rolling, ringing like silver bells,
Riding on the wind.
The scent of fire that warms my back –
The smoky smell of burning ember,
A fragrance that I’ll e’er remember.
I watch the bright flames spit and crack
And dance with graceful leaps.
The special smell of autumn trees,
Of fallen leaves soon turning brown,
That dressed the trees in crimson gown
Adds its spices to the breeze
That always comes with fall.
The scent of apples, bright and ripe –
The tang is cheery, fills the room.
It seems to exile any gloom
Like the music of a pipe,
It lifts away despond.
The smell of outside, a sharp, fresh blowing,
Makes its swift way from the North,
Like a banner carried forth.
It clears my mind, and leaves me knowing
Soon it will be winter.
Can you guess which famous Canadian author I was obsessively reading at the time? (Hint: it was someone in whose books words like crimson, despond, ember, swift, forth, and even e’er would actually sound appropriate.)
I remember being proud of this poem – did you notice how I made it rhyme, but all tricky-like? Plus: can you possibly think of a more majestic phrase than “Riding on the wind”??
I’ve been chuckling at my wholesomeness combined with my pretentiousness… but now I’m thinking… maybe I’m still like that. After all, I love my thesaurus to death, as you may have surmised. (Also, I use words like surmised.) And as it happens, I still do have a soft spot for the “special smells” of autumn, aside from the pig manure. Ha ha. Maybe I should just put a sock in it already.