Poets employ various means to get their message across in their poems, ranging from rhyme scheme to alliteration. However, poetic meaning can also be translated visually through a form termed “concrete poetry;” indeed, numerous poets experiment with line breaks and typography to present their work in a way that ‘looks’ the way it is supposed to ‘mean.’ Here are 10 poems whose meanings lie in their appearances:
1) George Herbert – Easter Wings
Published in 1633, George Herbert’s Easter Wings is the oldest concrete poem in this list. A poem about flight in its metaphorical sense, Easter Wings aptly takes the form of a pair of wings (the likeness is even more remarkable if you rotate the poem 90 degrees to the right).
2) 40-Love by Roger McGough
The English poet Roger McGough sends readers’ eyes travelling to and fro the way a tennis ball would across…
exhaustion seeps in
weary bones consumed
wasted muscles lax
forgotten memories continue foraging
scratching the very marrow of my soul
twilight years beckon
the applause stops
lifes curtains close
the cycle begins again
beckoning an empty stage of tomorrows tears
But to address the point of this post …. I am sssooo behind on poetry posts because my visual arts life has exploded somewhat in the past couple of months & I have a multitude of projects that have occupied every breathing moment (besides the head cold I got in between) of my creative life …. these projects include:
Birds Beasts and Butterflys Group Exhibition – an upcoming event, I don’t have a post about this as yet
This may not seem like much on paper but these projects have occupied my already chaotic head to the point of implosion – but on the bright side I guess that will make for some good poetry fodder in the coming months….
(the only thing that has kept me sane -from a ‘writing’ perspective – is putting pen to paper when writing Artists Statements)
So, don’t despair, I have not exited ‘stage left’…. i am just temporarily preoccupied…. or something along those lines :-)
And just to prove it, here’s a drawing…I’ll write a poem to go with it soon :-)
dark and deceptive it (I) emerges at night
parting the heavy curtains
of my Mahogany dreams
a floating scourge
pecking at my (own) soul
relentless in its (my) pain
too elusive to grasp
The above poem and drawing is in response to fellow wordpress blogger Leanne Cole‘s post “A Photo that Inspires” – Leanne is a photographer and occasionally posts a photo she asks writers to respond to… I have participated in her photo response posts previously here and here.
You can check Leannes blog out and the original image that inspired my poem and drawing, and other poets/writers who have responded, here.
Today, as part of expanding the scope of this blog, I wanted to share a Sylvia Plath poem – I chose ‘The Applicant’ because it is a great poem and really strikes a chord with me. It explores concepts of meaning in a patriarchal, consumer society from a feminist perspective – which is a favourite theme of mine!!
While searching the web for a version of the poem so that I could copy & paste it into my blog (as opposed to typing it all out) I found this blog post by a fellow WordPressor with a great analysis and a video of Plath reading the poem – so here it is reblogged with a dawing from me :-)