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My Particle (Poem/Article) - by ozwalled

My Particle (Poem/Article)

Okay, so I just read Heavily Armored Hamster's (who I will call HAH or just Hamster from here on in) article about poems. First off, let me say that I find Hamster to be amazing. Pumping out poetry the way s/he does is nothing short of being remarkable.

Being relatively new to this site, the only thing I've done so far in the way of officially contributing has been writing up a couple of articles.

For me, though, poems have been altogether out of the question.

Why? It's not something that I can easily put my finger on, but it has something to do with the general feeling I have about poetry.

I simply don't get it.

I'm one of the people that Hamster was describing who probably hasn't had enough good poetry exposure (not necessarily exposure to good poetry... I guess that I've not had a lot of poetry guidance that has gotten me enthused, is all). As such, poetry remains somewhat of a mystery to me.

Honestly, I still have trouble getting past the idea that a poem ought to rhyme. I really do. I see poetry pretty much as having its origins in ancient songs, where rhyming was the key to having those who heard it to commit it to memory so it could be passed on to the next person and the next, without it ever having to be written down or read. Beyond that, I have trouble. I know that I can be pretty rigid, but I have a real difficulty coming to terms with the legitimacy of what is called "free-verse" poetry. What really MAKES it poetry? I gather that, at least in part, it's a state of mind... but the fact that it's not clearly separate from prose in my mind; that I can't put a set of defining rules or characteristics on it has turned me away from it time and time again. It's hard to want to try what I don't feel I understand at all.

In my mind, I try to compare free-verse poetry to abstract art (or even, to some degree, non-representational art), something I have no problem wrapping my head around whatsoever. I see my attitude toward poetry as being akin to some people's attitude toward some of the world's famous paintings -- so many times have I heard people say things like "I could have painted that" or "it's no better than the work of a five-year-old" or "that's not art" when they see some paintings (especially if the painting is worth a boatload of cash). While some works of art are seen by some as being great, other see them as pure bunk. Some even have the notion that the art is only "great" as seen through the eyes of high society; that they can see right through the Emperor's New Clothes, so to speak.

And who knows? Maybe they're right. Maybe. But could they change perceptions and/ or get them talking by displaying a canvas with an orange and yellow rectangle on it? Could they turn the handlebars of an old bicycle around and have people see it as a bull? And could they be the first to do it? Maybe not. Why? Because part of any art is a state of mind.

So should I be able to understand poetry? Probably. But I'm still missing SOMETHING that I can't put my finger on. I look back to a lead I've always thought inspiring when it comes to art: I can't remember the exact quote or where it came from, but someone said that for art to BE art, it has to exist withing some sort of set of rules; that in SOME way, an artist's expression must be confined to working withing the limitations those rules imply.

For some reason, the idea really speaks to me. So I overlap it with the idea that one teacher that DID have some passion for poetry tried to impress upon me. For her, what makes poetry is that the author tries to use all the "right" words to express what they want to in the least amount of space (if written) they can (not that a poem can't be long if it needs to be).

So maybe a poem is a matter of concise, powerful expression? But can't that apply to prose, too?

And that's around where I usually get really lost. This time is no different. I think it's because part of me always want to do things very well. If I was to actually say that "I write poetry", I'd like it to be because I'm able to use brilliant imagery, that I'm able to use the rhythm of words, that I'm able to use layers of meaning, that I'm able to evoke the right emotions and that I'm able to provoke thought in my audience.

There's a good chance that none of that will be accomplished today or anytime soon. But it doesn't mean that I won't be giving things a shot. The very fact that I could write a poem about something as rich and wonderful as what was presented in the Mother games is inspiring in itself. A work of art in itself, EarthBound's sheer greatness DESERVES to have all sorts of art being produced to honour it. Its world is one of aliens, robots, undead, exotic beings, dinosaurs, sea monsters, dreamworlds, marvellous inventions, runaway cars, vicious inanimate objects, time travel, battles of good vs. evil, saving the world, all mixed with the very quirks that make EarthBound such a wonderful experience. How can I resist pouring my soul into celebrating such a fantastic world?...

More importantly, though, I feel that with Hamster making such a incredibly SOLID effort on the poetry front, that his/her plea for more poetry should not go unanswered. =)

So, in my commitment to become a more well-rounded person (and appease the virtual Tzar of EarthBound poetry), *I* will write a (likely bad) poem to go along with this article. You may start to marvel..... NOW!

***

Protect the Innocent

by Ozwalled

A planet without rings
A pinkish proboscis
A walking, talking head
It still Zooms and Dings.

Friendly. Welcoming.

Amazing to me
Lots of them here
There used to be more
But all of them "he" (and one's an MD)...

Nothing like them
In zoo or in book
On TV, in games
Am I in REM?

Innocent. Trusting. Enslaved.

Travel behind thunder
Armed with honey I never knew was
Struggle through muck
Free a people.

Coffee for the trouble. Peace for the reward.

Good coffee.

***

Well, the poem DID take me longer than expected to write. For someone as poetically challenged as I, it wasn't an entirely easy feat. But with EarthBound as source material, it made the whole process less than painful and altogether possible.

In short: it can be done.

Will it be my only attempt? Maybe. I know it's not what the Hamster wanted, but the way I see it, if I'm ever to do any more, it's a start anyway. At least now, if I feel so inspired to write another poem about Ness, Paula, Jeff, Poo, the Kraken, or anything else EarthBound, I know that I can probably do it if I try.

And if someone as sceptical and unpoetic as me can do it, you can too! Honest! Remember that every journey starts with a single step. You might not be writing them regularly, but at least try it once. Heck, try doing something for just about everything on this site once. It'd be a step in the right direction, and maybe, just maybe, you'll be inspired to do more in some areas. Couldn't hurt too much, right?


Other Submissions by ozwalled

Author Sort Ascending Sort Descending Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Description Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending Rank Sort Ascending Sort Descending
ozwalled Reconstructed Mole
Reconstructed Mole. This one was fun to do as well.
9/5/07 0.00
ozwalled Kraken v1.2
Some changes based on an edit/ suggestion by EB-Freak512mbps of my previous Kraken pic. I'm still not 100% happy with it, so I may revisit this one again some day.
10/30/05 0.00
ozwalled Boogey Tent: Co-op
An Ozwalled and Stevesesy Collaboration.
8/19/06 0.00
ozwalled What Big Teeth You Have
Ultimate Chimera
6/10/10 0.00
ozwalled Mind Blown
Loid, thinkin' explosive thoughts.
6/10/10 0.00

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