How To Understand Poetry

Understanding Poetry
Poetry of Mother Nature

 

I don’t remember when I started liking poetry. Probably I was born with it or was fascinated by the lyrics of Mother Nature.

When I walk down my memory lane, one image looms large and that is how much effort one of our English professors used to put into explaining the poetry of Tennyson and Wordsworth. While the latter was relatively easier to understand, the former much more complex and obviously we didn’t like the one who was more challenging.

The real challenges came my way when ‘Paradise Lost,’ an epic poem by John Milton was not taught in the class (or if it was, I must be mentally absent) and even when it was discussed, it didn’t evoke any interest!

While prose can be an effortless reading unless it is stream of consciousness writing, poetry can become quite boring if we are not familiar with its techniques and tones.

Despite the tests and trails, I continued to like poetry and slowly discovered that it is a genre par excellence. It can say a lot through literary techniques, which only an admirer of Literature can understand. I still struggle to understand some subtle messages conveyed through simple words.

I have to read my blogger friend Bela’s poems thrice to understand the undertones that appear enigmatic initially. They also inspire ideas to compose another poem.

Ambiguous ideas in a poem provide a food for thought and chisel your creative skills.

Who has the time and the inclination to read and re-read a poem in this fast-paced world? Only poetry lovers do!

Another lovely friend Sue, who is a poet and a prolific blogger of amazing eminence inspires with her poetry.

Most of my blogger friends are elaborative when they share their reflections on my post. Whenever I post a poem, I get a lukewarm response and I often wonder – is it because of poetry?

Quickly my mind hurtles back, my interactions with teenagers get refreshed, all their expressions, yawns and glances stand before me, bringing those lovely memories of hate-love relationship we had with poetry…when we would try to convince each other why poetry is good or bad and how we could understand it better.

I am not an expert but I have figured out a few ways to understand poetry.Understanding Poetry

How to understand a poem:

All readers have their own approach and interpretation but how imagery is used defines a poem. Can you read between those special words to fathom their depth?

It is better to read slowly. Stop and ponder over at the word that seems simple but abstruse.

“If you’re curious, there is always something new to be discovered in the backdrop of your daily life,” says Roy T. Bennett. Be curious. Inquisitiveness and interest are two important elements that lead to our understanding of a poem.

Poetry can’t be scanned and understood like prose as the former demands concentration, attention and gentle reading.

If you read a poem in a hurry, you would miss the real meaning. Many times words are used as metaphors.

You have to be familiar with most common literary techniques like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, alliteration and assonance.

Imaginative flights of poets can’t be predicted, we have to fly with them to figure out their proficiencies.

Critical analysis of a poem reveals the nuances of its theme, undertones and other signals, which remain hidden to a scanner.

Some poems are ambiguous. Probably they relate to the poet’s past or buried memory, which he wouldn’t like to reveal yet, give a vent to his emotions through writing.

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” – Leonard Cohen

Do you like poetry? Do you read a poem slowly?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

 

 

Dealing With My Dearest Buddy And Reprimanding Bully

creativity

The hangover of travel still lurks around me though I am back on my favorite couch, trying to wake up my creative critter, which seems to have gone into hibernation. Having failed to fuel my imagination for almost a month, I know I can’t pass on the responsibility to my dearest muse who responds spontaneously to stimulus.

When I struggle with self-doubt, Maya Angelou’s words reverberate around me
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Lately I have been spending too much time with the antagonists of creativity, seeking pleasure in the festivities, lounging around with family and friends and gathering some golden moments of delight.

‘Do you want to stay in your self-obsessed boundaries?’ I ask my creative buddy.
She just looks at me irately and closes her eyes.

‘You are my only love, my solace, my dearest confidant.’
She eyed me with a sneering satisfaction and dug deeper into its acrimonious abode.

‘Please come and sit with me, I have some interesting escapades to share.’
‘You have been selfish and unkind. You got mired in self-doubt. You are a procrastinator.’

I was taken aback but I knew she was right. I nodded a little, refusing to agree whole-heartedly with the indictments, trying to keep my vacillating valor intact within me.

‘Your complacency irritates me, your attitude is so annoying and your priorities are paradoxical. I have failed to understand you.’

‘But I love you. You are my only island of amity and tranquility.’
‘Love is not enough. You have to be consistent. You must know that love means ‘loyalty’, ‘obeisance’, ‘venerating’ and ‘eloquence.’

‘If you are not loyal to your words, they become elusive. If you lack obeisance, reflections fritter away. If you don’t revere your ephemeral ideas, they lack coherence and if you are not eloquent enough, your touch with your subtle self becomes feeble.’creativity-quote

The daunting discourse didn’t die down till I agreed to hold the hands of my reprimanding bully, nodding to all her diktats and flying away with her to cross the boundaries of horizon.

She reminded me…‘You have to be intrepid to jump off the cliffs, quit rational thinking and develop wings whenever wanted. You have to keep the fire burning and redefine your priorities.’

I didn’t like her preconditions because family has always been my priority. I have never looked beyond my practical responsibilities but I agreed, as I wanted to win her confidence. I know she is just cross. I know she too knows me well. She appreciates space but when it starts creating wedges, she possesses the potential to bridge the breach.

I sincerely hope I would come up to the expectations of my dearest buddy.

Have you ever been admonished by your creative self?
Thank you for reading this amalgamation of emotions. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

Ode To Poetry

Poetry

Time stands still in your clique
Stream of consciousness flows faster
Solitude becomes sweeter
Silent soliloquies speak softly

Imagination soars in your company
Insights find a crystal clear channel
Enlightening moments ignite ideas
You add a calming color to them
 
Sunsets lend their hues to my words
Moon breathes life into them
Mesmerizing dawn dons divine light
When you visit my affable abode
 
You inspire me to look at the clouds
Creative fairies step out and smile
Somber thoughts spill out to greet you
You enthrall them when you meet
 
You enhance my inner voice
You absorb all my woes
You draw me out of my cocoon
You tell me to keep desires in tune
 
You are my perceptive mentor
I was delighted to discover you
Only you could direct me through streams
Thank you for giving shape my dreams.
© Balroop Singh.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.
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The Bliss Of Blogging…Just For Spreading My Creative Wings

Faith in words & emotions

Blogging can be fun when you don’t have any specific goals, when you can smile at yourself with the thought…Oh! Today’s post is still in a limbo.

Blogging opens magnificent avenues of communication and conversation if you can play with words.

Blogging nurtures our thoughts and ideas and can be creative as well as cathartic.

Blogging introduces us to like-minded persons whom we may not have met but there develops a bonding beyond friendship.

This friendship is strengthened with words…words that define us, that introduce us to each other, that lift us out of the mundane into our splendid world of imagination.

I am holding back today’s scheduled post as I am basking in the glory of one such blogger friend.

There was a time when my blog was more like a ghost villa, my own words wandering here and there aimlessly, always smiling at each other.

They were the friendly ghosts, waiting to welcome, to befriend warm-hearted writers who could appreciate the humble efforts of an aspiring artist who loved to paint with words, who carried emotions on her sleeve and could only write poetry.

Little did she know that this genre is no longer read and more so in the blogosphere, which held pro bloggers in high esteem.

She started writing prose too, learnt to elaborate on ideas albeit poetry remained her favorite form of writing.

Slowly the ghost villa got lit up with wonderful blogger friends, poets and authors whose brilliance sparkles on the pages of Emotional Shadows in the form of their reflections that they share.

I value each one of you and would like to express my gratitude for being here. I cherish your friendship and support and look forward to an emotional bonding, which gets stronger with time.

Today’s words of appreciation are inspired by one such author friend Joe Perrone Jr. who even invited me over to his own blog. I am thrilled beyond words and would like you to join me in my moments of delight.

Please click on the following link to walk out of the shadows into the glow of my friend’s brilliance:

https://joetheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/out-from-the-shadows-and-into-your-heart/

HAPPY READING. Please share your views. Thank you

Balroop Singh.

Confessions Of A Writer Who Loses Track And Feels Disillusioned…

counter-writers-block

I have been trying to write a book, trying to compress most of the experiences of my life, honestly into it but each time I go back to those pages, some kind of darkness descends on me.

I get wedged in those dark corridors. I feel stifled.

My thoughts veer into those unknown crevices where I have buried many setbacks, a thousand emotions and disappointments, which have been struggling to wriggle out.

I have endeavored to approach it from a different angle, interspersing it with fictional characters and situations to camouflage the darker moments but each time I have returned disillusioned.

My progress has been dismally slow; I lose the inspiration just after writing a few words. Meanwhile I have completed two books. My poetry flows most naturally and this has been a good reminder that I lack the will to come out of those long, narrow alleys, face sunshine and move forward.

The hope

But sunshine has been my lifeline, my motivation, and my most trusted friend who has always provided me the impetus to welcome positive thoughts.

I have been pondering who is the real culprit and why this unknown entity lurks around me…

There is one main character with ghost like eyes, prying at me all the time, holding my hands, scaring the life out of my fingers, paralyzing them, shooting at my thoughts, stealing all the ideas, showing daggers and making me quit.

Each time its approach is different. Sometimes it visits me right in the morning, even before I open my journal, exerting a strange power over my actions, distracting me into some meaningless activities.

The vice like grip of this monster holds all the words that seem to drift away, leaving me powerless.

There is always a villain, I reassure myself. I have the liberty to portray this villain in the darkest shades.

Devilish influenceLove Of Writing

Whenever I move ahead with this argument in my mind, I can race through some more pages, which reveal many more fiends, glowering at me through the words.

I refuse to give up. Nothing can bog me down. I continue to write. A day will come when all these devilish characters would stand exposed.

They will lose their hold on me one day.

Do I regret having buried them? Probably that was the only solution at that time.

Probably I didn’t have the maturity to handle their power at that juncture.

Now I can’t let them keep visiting me. Now I need to extort them out of my life. Words are more powerful than the sharpest weapons.

So I have been using just words.

“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” – Anne Tyler

Thank you for reading these random thoughts. I know you too have some. Please share them.

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Balroop Singh.