Interesting Facts About Poetry – Old and New #NationalPoetryMonth

Poetry inspires
Poetry as an art form predates literacy. The earliest poetry is believed to have been recited or sung, employed as a way of remembering oral history, genealogy, and law. Poetry is often closely related to musical traditions, and the earliest poetry exists in the form of hymns.

Historical facts about poetry:

Poetry appears among the earliest records of most literate cultures, with poetic fragments found on early monoliths, rune stones and stele. (a stone or wooden slab)

Scholars suggest that early writing shows clear traces of older oral traditions, including the use of repeated phrases as building blocks in larger poetic units.

The oldest surviving speculative fiction poem is the ‘Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor’ written in Hieratic and ascribed a date around 2500 B.C.E.

Greek epics lliad and Odyssey and the Indian Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are the oldest epic poems.

The development of literacy gave rise to more personal, shorter poems intended to be sung. These are called lyrics,which derives from the Greek lura or lyre, the instrument that was used to accompany the performance of Greek lyrics from about the seventh century BC onward.

The development of modern poetry is generally seen as having started at the beginning of the 20th century and extends into the 21st century.
(Source: Wikipedia)

What comes first – thought or title?

Another question, which has always haunted me is what comes first- the title or the content? I have never written with a title in my mind. The flow of thoughts has always been supreme in my mind.

Some of my poems remain untitled for many days and I have to struggle to decide the title.

Robbie agrees with me… “I let the words flow or fit themselves together first. Often the poem comes into my mind and almost unfolds by itself with little intervention. I think of a title afterwards.”

Wendy also agrees: “I never chose a title first. In my published poetry books there are no titles. The poems are sequentially numbered. Emily Dickinson is a poet who did not title a lot of her poetry. Her early editors titled a handful of her poetry.  In general, I am not certain what I am writing about until the poem starts brewing in me, and then I am looking for paper and a pen, which I usually have with me. I have many poems that were written on napkins, bar coasters, or whatever I could find if I did not have paper with me at the time.”

For Ritu, “It really depends on why I am writing a poem. If it is a response to a prompt the title may come to mind first. The topic is already there. If it is a time when words are pulsating and need to flow onto paper, then I will write my poem first and then title it after.”

Miriam lets the title be the first words. At times I just see the title and may be first line. I rarely search for a title.”

Radhika says: “thoughts flow in and my fingers pen them down. At times the flow is spontaneous like the gurgling brook. While at other times the thoughts ebb in a gentle flow. I enjoy flirting with different genres of poetry. With micro poetry like haiku and tanka, I take care to use words that create an impact within the limitation of syllables. Otherwise, my poems are simple and lucid, reflecting my musings, beliefs, emotions or the bewitching beauty of nature. After completing a poem, I try to bring out it’s essence in the title.”

Poetry writing is a natural gift, which can be nurtured and embellished. Poets are born!  Most of the poets find inspiration in nature and human nature.

Emotions reign supreme in most of the poetry, which slowly matures and becomes complex.

Poetry may or may not start with what we feel about us or others but it definitely takes us into a journey of self-realization. We have amongst us one such spiritual poet, Wendy E. Slater.

Today I am going to share her untitled poem:

Wendy-new
Wendy E. Slater

I would never
Build a monument
In your name,
But I will plant
A forest in your honor
To seed the love and life
We share
Into all.

And it will be called
To us:
Our terrain,
The map of our geography—
Exquisite intimate landscapes sculpting
Love.

And to others
It will be something
Like the sacred forest
Where the genesis of the beloved
Will awaken
In them
When they walk the path.

There will be wildflower
Meadows
That will have seeded
In our hearts,
And the warbler, hawk, and owl
Will come
To rest and live
In song, wisdom, and sight
As we will have
Lived our journey in grace.
©2016 Wendy E. Slater

Wendy E. Slater has three published books of modern mystical poetry, Into the Hearth, Poems-volume 14, Of the Flame, Poems-volume 15, and The Ocher of Abundance, Poems-volume 16, that are part of her poetry series, The Traduka Wisdom Poetry series. The poetry chronicles the inner journey of self-discovery and Divinity and opens doors for readers and invite them on their own spiritual journey of awakening and healing into self-forgiveness.  All the poetry can be found on her website:  traduka.com/poetry or Amazon. She can found on twitter @WendyE Slater.

 A reminder: I would be gifting two ebooks –  Sublime Shadows Of Life, my debut poetry book to those two readers who write the most poetic answer to all the posts I publish this month – #NationalPoetryMonth. Happy writing!

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

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

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How My Love For Words Led Me…

love for words

My love for words dates back to those crazy days of playing word games in school, when we perused our pocket dictionaries to accomplish the challenge of finding new words and guessing the meanings.

Despite those word-challenging games, my vocabulary remained so insignificant that I had to look up simple words like ‘gaunt’ to give the exact meaning to my students.

Can you believe that I have been accused of using difficult words in my poems?

Can you fathom my elation at such a compliment?

It is indeed a compliment for a person who has always struggled with words, who was not that blessed to be surrounded by books as a child, who was always eager to borrow books from the library but had to return them half-read!

My early poetry was very simple.

I had written few lines for my outgoing class:

Wish you love, wish you joy
Wish you all that you try
Guiding you was my goal
Avoiding advice was your role.

Shall I ever forget your faces!
Naughty but calm in all cases
Sometimes pleasant, sometimes killing
Sometimes obstinate, sometimes willing.

That laughter, that mirth
Those tears, those fears
All those hours that we shared
Those moments when you dared
To disagree and disobey
Always with me, they’ll stay.
© Balroop Singh, 1997

I was told that it seemed like some child had composed those lines.

The snub steeled my resolve to keep writing.

I dived into the sea of emotions
Floundering around I met poetry
She smiled at my naivety
But her song soothed my nerves
 
Warbling wistful notes of manumitting
Embracing her all-pervasive freedom
Effacing nonchalant, noxious attitudes
Of those who scoffed at my words
I felt an ebullient moment of accomplishment!

Keeping in mind the words of one of my favorite ghazals, written by Nida Fazli…

“Duniya jise kehte hain jadoo ka khillona hai, mil jaye to mitti hai, kho jaye to sona hai” (Urdu) –  What we call this world is a mystical toy, as useless as dust if you have it but as precious as gold if you lose it. (translated from Urdu)

The enigma of poetry through the wonder of words is thrilling beyond imagination. I keep landing in new worlds, where horizons keep widening and new mysteries keep unfolding. The quest to know more words continues with the encouragement of all of you, dear readers.

April is celebrated as National Poetry Month here and I am inviting all the poets I know to share their views about poetry. If you are interested in participating, please stay tuned. If you want to share your poetry or want to be my guest, you are welcome to contact me.

Thank you for reading this introductory piece to love for poetry and celebrating National Poetry Month. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Why Some Relationships Remain Shallow?

Dealing with Shallow Relationships

Some relationships never grow beyond the ordinary. Why? This question may seem a little prickly but the answers remain within our reach.

My observation seems to suggest that arrogance and hypocrisy are the two major malefactors albeit their tentacles spread wider than we can comprehend.

If Indifference doesn’t bother you, if neglect has crept into your relationship, if you seek perfection, if you remain frozen in time, seeking change, if you expect your partner to change …no miracle can save you.

Have you ever tried to catch a butterfly? If you haven’t, I beseech you to try! Patience and perseverance that you would learn while trying to catch those winged whizzes would add another dimension to your personality. Connections that are made with heart go beyond immeasurable depths.

Relationships grow if they are nurtured with trust. “Secrets are festering parasites to a relationship, devouring their hosts from within, leaving behind a empty hollow husk of what once was.” – Mark W. Boyer

Do you repose all-embracing trust in each other?

Lack of trust is an offshoot of arrogance. Those who keep secrets within their heart just because they can’t trust their partner completely fail to understand the significance of this value. Probably they consider themselves better or suffer from their internal struggles. Some insecurities gnaw at their heart, which can never be dispelled if they do not share them.

Do you keep the channel of communication open?

Lack of honest communication creates chasms that keep growing wider. When we share our weaknesses, our failures, our thoughts about day-to-day activities, when we bare our heart honestly, we can expect the same from our partner. Some persons are intuitive enough to understand while others have to dig deeper to tell their introvert partners to speak out.

Do you try to dominate?Shallow people quote

Control and dominance has no place in a good and healthy relationship. Any such attempt by either partner would lead to confrontation, thereby resulting in conflicts. While conflicts are an imperative part of decent relationships, anybody who tries to control our thoughts, smother our personality, impose his/her desires or manipulate us ingeniously falls below the expected level of reverence. Such a person can never earn it back.

Do you hold silent grudges?

Passive aggression can cause unimaginable harm to relationships. People who are passively aggressive hold a lot of negative energy within themselves and it molds their thoughts. Since they choose to withhold all those feelings of anger and resentment within their heart, wearing a mask of pretended goodness, it cannot reach anybody.

Do you pretend to be truthful?

Lack of truthfulness trivializes the solemnity of relationships. One lie leads to another, one broken promise manifests itself into growing resentment and disillusionment slowly gives way to doubts, which keep mushrooming and clouding our mind. A true confession, an honest apology and forgiveness may cement a wobbly trust.

Do you look into the eyes of each other?

Digital world has robbed us of intimate moments. With eyes on their digital devices, preferring to text than talk, giving half attention to your partner prevents deep conversations. How rightly has Erik Pevernagie observed: “When there is no interaction in the neural network and no breakthrough into the mind but only a shallow skin experience, living together might be very torturous. If a heartfelt bond has not been molded, nothing can be broken and thus nothing needs to be fixed.”

Shallow minds can not think beyond their own desires and diktats. If you are struggling in such a relationship, it is time to introspect and break free before it gets too late.

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

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 


 

Alone #writephoto

se-ilkley-2015-saturday-142

Abandoned, I stand alone
Deprived, deluded…
Deranged [they say]
Due to my own indulgence.

Muted by the charges
Of undue affection,
Of care?
Of neglect,
Of discrimination?

My heart always bleeds
For all the affection
I showered
For all the favoritism
That I poured.

A deep, unspeakable regret
Gnaws at my heart
Why was my love
So selfless, so unbiased?

Entrenched in time
I stand here
Watching the new face
Of love, of friendship and trust!
© Balroop Singh

Thank you to Sue Vincent for an inspiring #photoprompt.

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

Love Changes

I am delighted to inform all of you that my new book ‘Emerging From Shadows’ is ready for pre-order.

Please click here to order it.

Emerging from Shadows:book
Ready for pre-order at Amazon

The poem that I share today is not a part of this book. Enjoy!

      Love Changes

Last night we met in that street
The street where we fell in love
Only to see our dearest dream
Getting adrift, floating far away

Did you see…did you try to fathom?
It didn’t look back
You didn’t even try to talk
The silence was deafening.

Misty eyed, I felt its caressing touch
It’s inaudible soft sounds,
It’s gentle reminder of
Deadly desolation all around

I could feel the detachment
Dumbstruck, peering into darkness
Hand outstretched, stumbling,
Searching the silhouettes…

I could sense the unspoken
I have fortified those emotions
Knowing well they are now insignificant
How much has our love changed!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

You can pre-order my new poetry book ‘Emerging From Shadows.’ It is available for pre-order here.

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