Writing Poetry

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Mike Finley Male, 65, United States (4/25/2006 3:27:00 PM)

To Andrew Konisberg

Poem: 3153233 -.PRAYER: 'To Understand History'
Member: Andrew Konisberg

Comment: ...typo 'swathe'? I'll try and leave a comment that actually makes sense, Mike. I enjoyed the tone...a conversation with a higher entity...neither full of blame nor praise...but I thought your use of language could be crisper: 'bleeding nations', for example. Also, as we are almost consumed by propaganda from all sides, a call to decipher a 'truth' to history is valid...all religion/ spirituality is a quest for some kind of enlightenment/ nirvana. So, that seemed to be a positive narrative effect of your poem. I was wondering if, perhaps, you could be a little subtler in the rest of the narrative...you seem to paint everything with a big brush which dampens the overall effect of the poem. The language and references appear a little random...perhaps, you need to find an anchor to this piece.

I think youlre right on all counts, Andrew. I challenged myself in the Forum to write a set iof prayer-poems. Poems that are prayers and vice versa. But I don't really know what the rules are yet. Since I challneged myself publically, I rushed them into 'print' here. So they cntain all the limp moments of any first draft.

Let me work on it some more, and thanks for your kind comments!

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  • Rookie Aldo Kraas (1/26/2007 10:32:00 PM) Post reply
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    I am not alone
    You arived to wake me up Lord
    This morning
    So nice to see your face Lord
    And your smile Lord
    By my side you are
    Guiding me where we are going
    Through the Black forest
    For a walk
    Lord do not attemp me to steal
    Lord do not attemp me to kill
    Lord do not atentp me to sin
    Lord do not attemp me to lie
    Lord do not attenp me to run away
    For what?
    Because I have no where to go
    Lord I must admit that is hard for me to say I am sorry

  • Rookie Mike Finley (4/26/2006 6:54:00 AM) Post reply

    You gave me wonderful ideas, Andrew, and I am very grateful to you. They carried over to this morning's contribution. One thing you warned about is cliche. And it's funny, I am as vain about avoiding cliches as any other self-conscious writer... and yet, in a prayer, the situation is different. You want to be CLOSE to cliche, so as to include a wide 'swath' of people. You want to be right next to cliche because God is a pretty orthodox concept - you cannot put him in a Captain America suit, or describe him other than he/she/it is. The prayer can bear a little individalism - but not a boundless amount of it - or it becomes too private to share.

    What is fantastic about this to me is what it suggests about ALL POETRY. That all poetry may cry out to be razor-close to cliche - so as to include more people IN. And less 'individualistic, ' as the #1 sought-after quality.

    It is the difference between an apostle, who is trying to fire people up without wandering TOO far from the reservation... who bears the full weight of reality natural skepticism... and the Rimbaud-poet, who doesn't give a flying fig what YOU (or I) (or God) think(s) .

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