World Poetry Day

Someone else questioning what poetry is, I’m really pleased to see this. A very interesting post, looking at what poetry is, from a different angle is quite an interesting take in comparison to my own post.

Scratch That

Given World Poetry Day was yesterday, the 21st of March, I figured I’d write a little something about poetry. Which, of course, led me to the very first and most obvious question. Below, you’ll find both question and answer (sort of, not really, maybe, ask me again, and it will change.)

What is poetry? 

It’s life.

Poetry has taught me to be concise but if you need more than that, I suppose I can elaborate. Poetry is akin to the ocean. We’ve lived in and around it for thousands of years, we’ve explored it in every way we know how, and as the years go on, the more we realise how little we know. There are unplumbed depths we may never reach. Every time we think we know all the different kinds of poem in the ocean, we see a new poem – a poem that changes gender before our…

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Poems, Pics and Vids

Poetry as a written piece to read alone is often interpreted in our minds, we visualise what we are reading as we follow the narrative of the poem. The thing about reading is, every single one of us is likely to read and interpret a poem in a different way to how it was read and intended to be perceived. Something that I think helps with helping readers interpret poems is visual based content like, photos and videos. It is easier for someone to visualise the narrative of a poem by seeing clips or photos that relate.

The idea of using multimedia to boost understanding and interest, it shows adaption. I would say the majority of popular poets out there that have a sufficient fan base, have published, CD’s, uploaded performance videos or have experimented with audio overlaying a video that relates to their poem topic.

This poems, pics and vids approach works well especially sharing online; it has become rather successful especially on social media site. This is because hardly anybody has time to read a long block text poem, but they do have time to watch and listen. There is a notion that as time has gone on we have become impatient, we want everything instantly with minimal effort. I personally think that’s why these poetry videos have accrued and I’m sure there are others that also think this.

We are in the digital age everyone is hooked up to continuous flowing material; it’s easy for us to find anything, anywhere at any time.  It’s all about exposure, a lot of videos based on poems will show a poet performing, this makes viewers feel connected visually and emotionally, this is because we can hear their voice, the tone, the narrative and its intentions. We can also see the poet, we can read their body language, we feel like we are on the same level, I’m a person and so is he/she. Poetry has broken this boundary of paper and books; it has started to feed our visual cravings.

Poetry will never ever become just an online source but I think that videos, audio and images will get more and more integrated in to poetry online. Which over time could boost some more interest, poetry performance is very popular in America currently, there is movement here in the UK, events are held and videos do go viral, the exposure is present but the popularity is lacking. The more these videos circulate, the number of views will rise, which at a steady pace should show a rise in popularity.

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014

Poem of the Day – Shel Silverstein – Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

I chose this poem because I thought this poem was quite strong, its very short and to the point. There is a clear beginning, middle and end, sometimes with other poems this gets lost with the vast amount of paragraphs. Shel Silverstein retains with well, this poem is quite sober in a way, I almost feel its like she has this idea of where she wants to be but she isn’t there yet.

From Paper to the Web

DSC_0156As technology has progressed we have had to adapt. We now have access to millions of online sources. As we have adapted to the use of the World Wide Web, we have witnessed the internet progress from a basic format to being able to create high quality sites, pages and posts. Everything is linked to an online source, to spread the word and increase popularity, not only that but these sites are accessible anywhere. Most forms of literature are now available to download to computers and products such as kindle. This applies to most forms of literature, books, poetry, articles, newspapers and many other formats.

Poetry is popular but it’s not advertised which causes a decline in the exposure of poetry in society. It is obvious that literature will always have a place in society but will continue to decline as technology progresses. What is clear to see through the progression from paper to the internet, is bringing poetry into the modern age by using a mixture of text, video and photos which works to increase interest in poetry. There are a range of sites and most are linked to social media sites, such as facebook, twitter and youtube. For the majority these links show a reasonable online presence but not always a following that would create a long lasting effect.

It is not only the progression to online we are witnessing when it comes to increasing the awareness and popularity of poetry. A rise in performance, spoken word poetry is overtaking written based; this seems to be the latest trend. This modern take on poetry captures the true intensity of a poem; minimal interpretation is need from the view. Whereas when reading a poem it is very easy to read the context, narrative direction and emotion wrong. These performances are posted online in multimedia style posts, video footage of the performance itself and audio which is considered visually pleasing.

For poetry blogs/websites to run successfully there needs to be a variety of content and context to gain and maintain interest from online audiences. These sites are one of the main ways to keep poetry alive as well as making people aware of events and news. These sites much like poetry literature will not disappear as long as there is interest.

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014

How to connect with your Poem

This is really helpful exercise, clearly planning out the structure a poem with questions works really well in creating a direction for a poem.

Preforming is always quite a big deal to the majority of artists so by practicing by conversing the poem, sounds like a great way to remember line as well as acting like the audience are people you know.

This sounds perfect for beginners as well as those that want to brush up on their poetry skills. Awesome stuff!

The MOUTHY Poets blog

With all the work we have been doing on our poems after the past few months, a few of us are feeling a bit disconnected with what they are really about. On Friday Anne got us to really have a good think about our poems and reconnect with them. The closer we feel to what we’re saying, the more likely it is that our personalities and thoughts will shine through.

So, when trying to connect with the essence of your poem, ask yourself these questions:

1)      Who is the character in your poem?

2)      How old is he/she?

3)      What is their favourite item of clothing?

4)      What item does he/she always carry in his/her pocket?

5)      What is his/her special talent/skill?

6)      What is his/her greatest fear?

7)      What is his/her greatest hope?

8)      Who is your character talking to?

9)      What does the addressee look like?

10)   How…

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The MOUTHY Poets Blog

Mouthy Poets is an awesome blog, with several members updating the blogs content. The blog seems to be a community of poets/bloggers coming together with brilliant fresh posts. The range of posts including, poems, poets, discussion and a lot more. There’s a combination of fun, serious and educational style posts, which I personally think is a really great way to interest a wide range of people, style and age wise. The posts are quite long but broken down into short paragraphs making each post easier to follow.

I thought the personal feel of the blog has been well thought out, it’s almost like the posts are personally for you. The blog is really hooked up to social media site which is important for gaining popularity. The use of facebook and twitter combined shows a huge support for The MOUTHY Poets. I think this blog starts on a level with people, tending to several different types of poetic ability, as well as considering professionalism with a hint of fun.

I found this blog really inspiring; it is well worth a look.




Poem of the Day – Jesse Parent – To the Boys Who One Day Date My Daughter

This poem was sent to me by a good friend of mine and I really please she did. I love the concept of this poem! It’s comedic and serious which I think is a great balance. The topic matter is something parents everywhere can relate to! A serious warning wrapped with sincerity, I think it’s a really touching piece.

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014

Apple and Snakes


Today I’ve been checking out Apples and Snakes a poetry events website, it’s focused on poetry events happening around the UK. With well planned events advertised months in advance, which I think shows the success of not only the website but the organisation and planning put into these events.

There are workshops available for poets to improve their skills; I’ve never really seen so many places offered on one website. I think it’s well worth a look if you’re a starting poet of just want a few tips; I took a look at a couple of the links and each one seemed encouraging and positive. With support for the young as well as adults, from poetry slams to educational projects, Apples and Snakes seems to be a very popular, positive team of organisers.

I think the whole education element is great, one for adults and one for children, I love that Apples and Snakes are keeping it fun for the kids but a little more serious for the adults. Making people of all ages aware of what they can do and what sort of poetry is out there to experience. I think that’s brilliant!

The events available can be narrowed down through selecting where you live, saving you going through all the events that you cannot get to, a really nice time saving feature. The whole site is chic and the layout is easy to navigate. It is simple to see all the pages available, Apples and Snakes have narrowed it down to nine main pages, which I personally think are relevant and not just space fillers.

There’s a great mixture of pictures, text and videos on the site, it keeps it fun and interesting. I think in comparison to some poetry website Apples and Snakes is really modern and plants a fresh idea of poetry in the viewers mind. With a lot of poetry sites they are aimed at an older audience and the sites are quite sophisticated and complex, which can be overwhelming and boring at times. So I really did find this site to be a breath of fresh air.

Really worth a look even if it’s just to take a look at some new poets, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something or someone you like the look of.

Here is the site:

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014

Poem of the Day – Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
Its one thing to describe something you’ve seen, but its talent to bring something you’ve created to life. This creepy creature that Lewis Carroll brings to life is freaky, scary and almost alien. I absolutely love this poem its one of my all time favourites, this reminds me of my childhood. I think most people can remember hearing this in their English class as a child, as their teacher read this poem with character and emphasis. Its memorable, slightly dark and wacky for its time. This poem is truly a magnificent piece that people of a variety of ages can treasure.