Poem of the Day – Staircase – Andrea Gibson

This is personally one of my favorite poems, Andrea Gibson has a way with words. She pulls you in on her journey, using words in a way I have never come across before. This poem moves fast, within this poem there are separate narratives running throughout it, several emotions, honest emotions.

Gibson’s poems almost always involve her, she lays herself bare and I think that is brave. Which is maybe why I admire her so much. This poem builds such a clear image, I personally can see this poem play like a film in my mind. I think this is because Gibson’s voice is strong and carries each sentence like the last, filled with emotion and compassion.The accompany music fits perfectly, rounding it all off nicely. I truly adore this poem.

Central Library Poetry Reading Group.

 

DSC_0219Today I had the great opportunity to visit The Central Library Poetry Reading Group. Each member read a poem of their choice, which was then discussed further once it had been read.

I found the experience lovely, everyone was friendly and made my time at the group really enjoyable. The range of poem styles that were read, intrigued me greatly.

Reading groups are just as fascinating as reciting groups, bringing popular poets to the attention of those that enjoy poetry. From my point of view today a few poets have been mentioned that I will be looking at. Reading groups broaden interest and awareness of poetry and think that’s really key in keeping poetry alive.DSC_0227

 

The poems read:

To an Old Philosopher in Rome – 1954 – By Wallace Stevens

Epilogue of Haworth Churchyard – 1855 – By Matthew  Arnold

The Deserted Village – 1728-1774 – By Oliver Goldsmith

Afterwards – By Thomas Hardy

I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed – 1892 – 1950 – By Edna Millay

Each of these poems read were historically old, but still had great depth of meaning and touched upon things that can in some cases be related to. Such as death, lust, loss, etc.

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I just want to say a massive thank you to the entire group for a wonderful afternoon.

Please check out their blog – http://towerandfountainpoetry1.wordpress.com/

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014

Poem of the Day – Depression by Rage Almighty

 

I choose this poem to be Poem of the Day because I think it is very powerful, the subject matter itself is very deep and not always addressed so honestly. It’s hard hitting, something people can relate to if they have experienced having depression or even knowing someone who suffers from depression. Rage Almighty has also incorporated a video matching up to the content of his poem, which not only engages viewers but puts depression into perspective.

Breakdown of The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.

Edgar Allen Poe – The Raven (Read by Sir Christopher Lee).

This is a truly great poem that captures the reader/listener with its eerie words of a darkened, depressing room, with a lonely man. As the poem unfolds its clear to visualise what is happening and what emotion it has been written in. I will be analysing The Raven and interpreting its meaning.

The poem introduces a man weak and weary from reading in his chamber, reading a book on forgotten Lore. A sudden tapping sound comes from the door, the man is startled by the tapping sounds. It is then made that the man is looking back referring to the time of year it happened, December.  The man pines for his love, he is filled with sorrow and disrepair due to dealing with the loss of his love, Lenore. Claiming she is now nameless on earth but has a name as an angel.

As the tapping continues the curtains begin to move, as he tried to refrain from answering the door. Reassuring himself it is just a visitor and nothing more, he opens the door to nothing but darkness. His fear starts to set in as he stands in the door way, he speaks the word “Lenore!” which echoes back to him and nothing more.

The man retires back to his room, the tapping gets louder, but from the window this time. He recognises this and explores the mystery of the sound, opening the shutters, in flies a Raven to the top of his chamber door. The raven intrigues the man, out of curiosity he asks the Raven for its name, as if he were a normal guest. Shockingly the Raven replies “Nevermore!” The man realises this is all the Raven can say and that the bird will leave the following day like friends have before.

The man links the Raven saying “Nevermore!” with an unhappy previous master that the Raven has learnt the word from. This distracts him from his sorrow and allows himself to smile. He pulls up a chair and begins to converse with the Raven in front of the door. He ponders what the grim, ungainly, ghastly Raven means by croaking “Nevermore”. As the man reclines into the velvet seat his mind wanders to thinking of the spirit of Lenore as an angel.

As his thoughts get more intense an element of delusion arises as he sees and smells religious based things. This upsets him as he concludes the Raven has been sent by these angels to relieve him of his grief of Lenore, but he doesn’t want to let his grief go. Mentioning a ‘Quaff’ showing he is convinced the Raven and the Angels will provide a drink of nepenthe to banish his thoughts of Lenore.

This quickly changes as the man is angered, accusing the Raven of being a profit of the devil, he is trying to make sense of whether the Raven is there to bring back Lenore or cast the man out into a despairing shore. He continues to demand the truth, still questioning the Raven, who replies with yet again “Nevermore!” Again the man shouts that the bird is a Prophet of evil and can’t decide if he’s a bird or a devil.

The man continues to torment himself by further questioning the Raven, comparing the Raven to God asking if he will ever get to hold his beloved Lenore again, “Nevermore!” replies the Raven. The man continues to get angrier as he has the realisation that the Raven isn’t going to help him, so he banishes the Raven back to the depths of the underworld and into the storm.

He thought the Raven was a messenger who would bring back Lenore but this is not the case, so the man rages at the bird to remove its beak from his heart and leave, never to return, emphasizing that the Raven has been playing on the man’s emotions. “Nevermore!” is again the response; the Raven doesn’t move an inch from the door.

The eyes of the Raven are linked with a demon dreaming, another reflection of the devil. The birds shadow is cast on the floor, from the light behind it almost like a demonic statue, where the man lies dead on the floor as his soul leaves his body into his own personal hell.

The emotional theme runs throughout this poem building from calm to insanity, there is a clear journey readers/listeners are taken on as this poem unfold. The two characters are defined, one through a lot of speech, the other with merely a word. Yet both hold individuality and identifiable roles.

The poem starts in past tense, referring to the time of year and what had happened, but in the final part of the poem it is written in present tense evoking that it isn’t the past and the Raven is still present as the man is dying. Could the poem be the thoughts of the man as he is dying?

The Raven is a projection of the man’s depression over the loss of his wife, his emotions change rapidly throughout as he converses with the Raven which could be perceived as his own mind, asking questions he know the answer too.

Over all The Raven is very intense and can be interpreted in a few ways, I believe that the man slowly becomes insane through the obsession of being reunited with his lost love Lenore. That the Raven is in fact in the mans mind created through severe depression.

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014

Are we all Poets?!

DSC_0234Poetry…

Poetry is something we all have, it comes hand in hand with our emotions. Happiness, sadness, anger and pretty much every emotion you can think of. So why can only some of us express these poetic lines that form in our minds when we have the time to sit and reflect? Whilst others cannot or don’t realise they can?

Are we all poets?

This question has been on my mind for a while. When thinking about styles of poetry it almost so very straight forward to call anyone a poet. For example a metaphor could be perceived as a very basic form of poetry e.g. ‘Her mood was like the storm outside, unforgiving.’ Even something this basic creates an image in our minds. Poems are a collection of words that project an image with few or many words.

Some of us take naturally to poetry, is this because we are more in touch with our emotion, expression or both?  Or is is it because we cannot express our feelings in a normal conversation?

So are we all poets? In my opinion yes, we are all poets but some of us are being poetic unintentionally through the use of emotion. Where as others think poetically and see things in a poetic light. Revealing that poets feel the need to capture memories, sights, sounds and emotions in the lines of a poem as a form of expression or remembrance.

© Poetry Phenomenon 2014