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I love re-reading good books. Every time I read them I notice something new or see something from a new perspective. Each time I read those words, new things have happened in my life, so each time is different. Each time I fool myself into thinking that I already know everything there is to know about the story, and after each time I feel that there’s a new detail that is clearer to me.
The past few weeks I have dedicated a lot of my reading time to poetry. I am determined to find poetry that speaks to me. I want to find a poet that I enjoy reading. It has not been easy but some day I will succeed.
After reading some of the dreariest and driest verses ever penned in the history of mankind, I was mentally beat. These poems I had just finished were written by an author whom I admire. He has written some of the most magnificent stories I’ve ever read. Who this person is, is not important at the moment, sufficient to say I was incredibly disappointed and thoroughly bored.
That’s when I decided to set up an award system. A way to compensate for the torture I was putting my brain through. I would reward myself with a re-reading of a book I love. To layer each poem I tried to digest, with a few pages of something really enjoyable.
So I started the next tome of poetry, a collection of W. B. Yeats, and I started my old-tried-and-true-re-read. First of all I want to say that I, to my surprise, honestly liked some of the poems I read. But the biggest surprise was that, in this book that I have read ( and re-read more than ten times,) there are references to a Yeats poem that I had just read.
My mind was blown and I kept having that poem turning and turning at the back of my mind during the rest of the book. There had been so many common symbols, even a quotation. There had been a recurring theme in both poem and book. It had been there all along and I had not known, had not seen what was hidden in there.
Sometimes, the new experiences we have in life will show us things that were hidden to us. Things we never imagined possible. We get thrown into situations that will change the way we see everything around us, for the rest of our lives. Sometimes we wonder how we could have been so blind how we could have missed the signs. Other times we just marvel at the wonderful way it all turns out. Just like a good book, we can never tell what life will give us with just a quick glance. We have to give it time and attention, and maybe some day we can say that we are getting closer to knowing what is really going on.
The month of poetry is on its last day. I felt I had to summarise it here somehow. I hope that those of you that joined in enjoyed yourself, learned something, and that you feel proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Poetry is hard but it’s also easy.
It doesn’t have to be complicated but it can be.
It doesn’t have to make sense but it does to some.
I’ve written about so many things this month. I wrote mostly in simple rhymes but I also explored sonnets and stream of consciousness and my knight in shining armour – the haiku.
Occasionally, I’ve had some trouble thinking of subjects to write about. Those days I usually went to seek help from the haiku.
Haikus are three line poems where each line has a determined set of syllables; five, seven, five. They should contain a juxtaposition (I can’t explain it better than; a contrasting thematic element, a change of colour.) And some sort of seasonal element.
I’m far from an expert on how they’re supposed to be written, so I usually do them freeform and just stick to counting syllables.
Thanks to the shortness they’re pretty fast to jot down and you can make them about anything you like. I’ll share two of mine that were written in April.
Vibrant, free in sky
Graceful, delicate and spry
You are butter – fly
Now, haiku number one was one of the last I wrote. I asked a friend for a random word and he said “butterfly” so I wrote about that. I tried to incorporate a rhyme and I think that from a haiku view, it’s not too bad.
Chicken, carrot, boil
fennel, merguez, little grains
Let us eat couscous
My second haiku comes from my more nonsensical pile of poems. I was preparing couscous for dinner and tried to come up with an idea for my daily poem. It is far from the prettiest work I’ve done but it makes me smile and yes, the food was delicious.
I am almost sure that I will write a poem-a-day next April too but for now I will only scribble my little verses when the mood strikes me. To my Swedish readers I would like to finish by wishing a pleasant Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis night) and I hope I will see all of you (not just the Swedes) back here next time I post. Take care of yourselves and remember that even if you only managed to write one poem this month, you did great. Poetry is proud of you.