7 days - 7 poems - Day 6

I should start off by welcoming my readers from around the world!

Guten Tag my dear German reader.

привет to my friend in Russia.

Anyong to my 4 (yes 4!) Republic of Korea Koreans. (I would have used your alphabet but don't have the font package, friends.)

Hey to the 5 Americans.

The 2 of you who reside in other, &*ndjher*!!!!

Bonjour to Canadians. I'm not numbering you because I think a lot of you might be me.

"But Camel Attack!, you're not the United Nations. What's up?" you might be saying.

Explanation: when I finish a post, I use a link shortener before pasting the shortened URL in Facebook and Twitter messages. The link shortener gives me statistics on who has clicked on said link, and what geographic area they (or at least their servers) are located in. The past week I have had a steady increase in the number of people clicking on the link, but mostly from Canada and the US. Until yesterday, when the 'cousins' arrived.

I investigated and found another Twitter account, with 2500 plus followers had tweeted my post, mentioning the blog name and a random line from the post, rather than a straight-up retweet. Based on the account's posts I don't think it's a bot, but who knows. I'll just be grateful for the extra (periodic) readers rather than wondering too much.

Also, I am now an international sensation. Hey South America, Australia and Africa, who's going to be the last populated continent to get with the hottest thing going (ie me)?

Preamble over. It's poetry from here on out and today a villanelle.

Like a sonnet, the villanelle has all sorts of fun structures to consider.

A'aA'' abA' abA'' abA' abA'' abA'A''

That means the same rhyme is used a lot, and where the letters are upper case it means the exact line is repeated verbatim.

Here's a nifty little Dylan Thomas number to give you an idea.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And now you've read that bit of lovely, it's time to be disappointed! Like with the sonnet I feel my content really suffers because of the structure. Instead of writing a poem by looking for the right words I find myself writing to fit the structure. The structure gives me a sense that finishing itself is an accomplishment regardless of the lameness of imagery that is used. Now, I assume if I stuck with it I might improve, and writing a really good villanelle or sonnet would undoubtedly leave me with satisfaction oozing from my ears so I'm sure I'll come back to them at some point.

They'll be there when I want to challenge myself, searching for a magical collusion of meaning, words, rhyme and structure.


Hold the creative maelstrom close,
Beneath an ever-aching pride,
To guard from providential blows.

Don't walk where everyone else goes,
Stand fast against strange pipers pied,
Hold the creative Maelstrom close.

Better to take advice from crows,
Or when the world seems trued and tried
To guard from providential blows.

Just another one amongst Joes?
A speck to be chopped up and fried?
Hold the creative maelstrom close.

Don't, though, miss your own show of shows.
Creative's a peach, ten miles wide
To guard from providential blows.

No one knows a thing, even those
voted to office must elide.
Hold the creative maelstrom close
To guard from providential blows.

Immediate comparisons: Thomas does a way better job of making each stanza a unit, as opposed to my choppy, three sentence structure. Working towards larger, cohesive thoughts is definitely a goal. Also, apparently the meter is not a big deal as long as it's consistent so maybe I will experiment with a few once I have learned what they are exactly.

Heh, and finding words that rhyme - rather than trying to shoehorn in close, pretending it's cloze - might be a good idea too.

One more to go! I've had a game of streetcar tag on my mind all week but it hasn't yet made an appearance. Maybe tomorrow's the day?

And finally, if you're reading this in some RSS feed make sure you go over to the blog proper. My poems read better in orange on grey.

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