Treasure Island

Writing Poetry

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  • Ron Price (7/23/2005 11:15:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply


    Most writers, according to Doris Lessing, are mildly depressed. When asked what her most joyous moments were she said “at the beginning of each book.”1 I agree that a certain melancholia, a certain pensiveness, a certain level of emotion recollected in tranquillity, are present during the writing process. But there is also: intensity, pleasure, a celebratory joy, on rare occasions tears born in a commingling of sadness and joy, a solemn consciousness, a thankful gladness. I know what depression is like from years of suffering from a bi-polar disorder. I know all the gradations of depression from the death wish with blackness to the death wish in a quiet grey, to the mild depression that Lessing tells of. I know despair, a frenetic hypomania, immobilizing fear, mental chaos and, when I write, none of this is present. There is a culture of feeling which I am in quest of and which I find before I write or during the writing process. There is a freshness of the emotions, a connecting of this freshness with life, with my own heart and with the world around me. It does not always occur with the same degree of intensity, but it must occur to some extent, or writing for me is impossible. When I try, without these oils present, it is like dry, thin, black, soil out in the hot sun: no life, no vitality, no freshness, no heart, a meagre mind.
    -Ron Price with thanks to Doris Lessing, “Books and Writing”, ABC Radio National,16 January 2000; for his Pioneering Over Three Epochs, Unpublished Manuscript,2000.

    No, Doris, ‘mildly depressed’
    does not really describe it for me.
    There’s a fusion of life and death
    instincts, now, after dieing so many
    times in this life and praying for
    friends and loved ones in the
    kingdom of immortality over so
    many years. This is at the heart
    of my creativity and Eros, too,
    with its culture-building capacities,
    its attraction passionee,1 its flowing
    in love, friendship and sociability,
    making reason more sensuous and
    happiness a bi-product of a fresh
    grace infusing the power of thought.

    This, Doris, comes a little closer
    to telling how I tell it, what goes
    on in my inner life where these
    new and wonderful configurations
    seem cast upon the mirror of creation.2

    Ron Price
    17 January 2000

    1 For a discussion of the interrelationship between the life and death wish, instinct, I draw on Anthony Giddens, The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies, Polity Press, Cambridge,1993, Chapter 9.
    2 ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Secret of Divine Civilization, Wilmette,1971, p.1.


    Henry Miller said that in his old age the telephone and the doorbell were his phobias. D.H. Lawrence used to hide in the kitchen when the doorbell rang. Miller used to say “Tell them I’m not home.” I don’t feel quite as strongly as that all the time; phobia is a bit strong, but certainly the tendency is there to avoid social contact through these means. The need for strong friendships which I once had, even into my forties, has gone. I need some social contact, but not much. My big desire is to be at it constantly, at writing that is, every day. The thinking process is a drawing together, a drawing out. It’s right there at my finger tips, meshed in the print I am reading, the experiences I am having and the imagination that comes my way. It comes tingling off my fingers onto the page. When I get too tired I stop. Overall, the process seems continually going on day after day in the context of my roles, my needs, my desires and what I am. I don’t seem to be very good at doing things other than writing. And my story is, like all stories, unique, a form of genuine activity not just busybody work. What I write is an account of my acceptance, my acquiescence, my own self and my many obsessive themes. The joy, or what approaches joy, is in the act of writing, the accomplishment, not the product which often never gets read again.
    -Ron Price with thanks to Henry Miller, My Life and Times, Playboy Press, pp.1-39.

    The stream stays alive and flowing,
    enjoyed, self-revealing,
    sometimes useless and contradictory,
    but its the water in the river1
    going to the sea, up into the bays,
    the coves and inlets; it fills the great
    estuary of my life, rising and falling
    with the tides, between the green
    tree-laden shores where the mountains
    fill the eye in the distance,
    again and again, day after day.
    It comes back to be rediscovered,
    relived again with the magic of words,
    coming out of me right up from the sea.

    1 The Tamar River here is also called an estuary.

    Ron Price
    11 August 2000

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  • Rick Welch (7/20/2005 12:14:00 AM) Post reply

    Hey, anyone who reads my poems and feel like they can kinda relate to them, I'd be glad to help you get through your rough times. I wrote these to vent my anger/depression left over from Jr High, so I am over my 'suicidal thoughts' for the most part, maybe I can help you with yours.

  • Sherry Pedersen-Thrasher (7/15/2005 1:35:00 PM) Post reply | Read 4 replies

    I only hope that something I write connects somewhere along the way..that it touches someone and speaks to them in a small voice. I believe I have so much to say but somewhere between the mind and the parchment the connection is lost in my own translation from feelings to the written word. I don't know.... Poetry has touched me and is teaching me to let loose, to be free and to share of that are usually tucked deep inside, in my secret place..hidden in my heart's heart, where no one can touch them...the place where I am safest.. the place that longs for freedom.. In poetry, I have found a place to fly high.

    Replies for this message:
    • Aldo Kraas (1/27/2007 12:48:00 AM) Post reply

      I agree with you 100%

    • Greg Dent (7/21/2005 4:48:00 PM) Post reply

      Poetry is what makes us human.....It is the oldest known written communication. It separates us from the beasts, and gives us a unique place in the universe to call our own.

    • Casey Rock (7/15/2005 4:30:00 PM) Post reply

      I think you approach poetry in a much similar way that I do and I have read some of your poems-I believe they are quite moving! Just wanted to let you know that your poetry is, in fact, 'connecting so ... more

    • Michael Philips (7/15/2005 4:27:00 PM) Post reply

      Sherry, I know what you mean about havin ... more

  • Sinnaminsun Sinnaminsun (7/14/2005 9:45:00 PM) Post reply

    Hello, I am new to this site, and I just posted many of my poems here. I would appreciate feedback on them, and constructive criticism. Thank you so much :)

  • Sarah Elise (7/5/2005 7:06:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    thunder resonates
    oh so deep within my chest
    lightning flashes 'fore my eyes
    brightness at its best

    my tired road is getting wet
    raindrops sooth my mind
    stormclouds clearly do not know
    the right ways to unwind

    mist on roses clear my thoughts
    brings them to the sky
    darkened shapes; clearly growing
    birds may wish to say good bye

    humid air is unforgiving
    trees all bend to their expense
    then they stop, in leafy splendor
    will this thunderstorm dispense

    i dont know what to call this piece. please tell me how you think i could improve the wording, if you can.

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    • Tony Jennett (10/9/2005 5:33:00 AM) Post reply

      Advise? Punctuate. Depersonalise - too many 'I's and 'My's tell me what a clever girl you think you are. but don't let me discourage you. Your early effort is very promising and 'Who never made a mist ... more

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  • Abdul Sattar (6/28/2005 9:21:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Heart feels the grief -[br]
    Eye Tears for relief --[br]
    Mind thinks for decision -[br]
    After having some mischief -[br]
    How to complete this poem? and what should be the title? Please respond as soon as possible.

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  • Arshad Ansari (6/27/2005 4:12:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I have submitted some of my poems today. I am not sure whether my poems deserver to be here. But then, i feel elated when i read them myself. Maybe, someone would enjoy it at least, if not appreciate it. I am writing poems in my second language and i have not done intense studies in the language either.

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    • RoJa Mitchell (7/12/2005 7:18:00 PM) Post reply

      i´ve posted some poems in english too, my first language it´s spanish.... i know it´s hard, but, i think everyone here it´s willing to help us amateurs out.. anyway, i´m about to read your poems, may ... more

  • Gwilym Williams (6/27/2005 10:37:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    To improve your poetry writing you must read, read, read and read the really good poetry by the top poets: Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Dylan Thomas, R S Thomas etc. or in America and other lands many others. And then you must stand on their shoulders, take a deep breath and go for it. But you must never quit with the reading. Probably you should read 20 great poems for every moderate one you wish to write. There are no short cuts! And there are no excuses! There are some great poems and poets on this very site. What are you waiting for? Oh a final thought, if you read rubbish you'll write rubbish. Read the best you can find. Expand your vocabulary. Here endeth the first lesson!

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    • Sherry Pedersen-Thrasher (7/15/2005 9:31:00 AM) Post reply

      I could not agree more. I have been told that for every poem we write we should read one hundred others. Yes, there are certainly no shortcuts in this arena. A very thought provoking post. Please ... more

  • Rachael Boczek (6/26/2005 11:40:00 AM) Post reply

    New to this site and I've read a few poems, some just were plain sick but funny! Some were amazing and I'm going to start writing my own poems onto here when I get the guts to face your cruel judgement! HAHA! Nah been told I was pretty good but that dosent matter till you all vote, leave comments on my poetry too if you please. Thanks.

  • john tiong chunghoo Rookie - 1st Stage (5/31/2005 12:20:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    i find poetry very therapeutic. it gets ideas that come out of my mind into words and help me realise a better part of myself. i mean it gives me another dimension of myself. poetry should be used as a tool to help people know the different aspects of their existence and in psychiatry to help troubled people.

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    • Sara S (2/13/2009 7:39:00 PM) Post reply

      I totally agree... it helped (still helps) me.....

    • Sara S (2/13/2009 7:38:00 PM) Post reply

      I totally agree- it really helped (still helps) me........

    • Kelly marie Berry (3/3/2006 3:26:00 AM) Post reply

      can i say that i think that you are dead right. i had problems and found poetry helped me so it can help

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