I took a Creative Writing class in the spring of 2013. The class consisted of three section: Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, and Poetry. The idea of writing poetry was a little nerve-wracking since previous attempts had come up pretty poorly. Here are the five best pieces I wrote in the class. Clicking on the name of the poem will bring you each poem's webpage. There is a brief explanation of the thought process or the inspiration behind each poem. In addition, I have tried to visual each poem with a simple piece of computer generated art using the HTML 5 "CANVAS" tag.
This started out as a list poem containing a list of lyrical things. At the time I had bought a book about each of the elements and I thought it would be clever to use a list of elements. It is an introspective poem about someone looking around at all the objects they own and the stepping outside of themselves and looking at all they things they missed. The artwork associated with the poem is 3000 rectangles of random color and size superimposed onto of each other. I have tried to force the randomizing coloring process to go more towards yellows and reds to give the art a more metallic look of either copper or gold.
This poem is a Ghazal. The Ghazal is a form which came to the Western World from Arabia by way of India, Iran and Pakistan. It is composed of a minimum of 5 couplets and each couplet should be structurally, emotionally and thematically autonomous. The first couplet is made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets should repeat the refrain from the first couplet. The final couplet should refer to the author in the first or third person including the pet's name or a derivation of it's meaning. The inspiration for this poem came from this article called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying (click for article) and each couplet was to encapsulate each regret. The artwork is of a night sky with 150 randomly placed stars on a background that fades from white to light blue to dark blue.
This poem was to contain an image in each line. They were to be vivid images with sensory details. I had seen an interesting piece of artwork online by Mark Rothko with the descriptive title of "GREEN" When I look at this piece (seen to the right) I see green fields, but there is a silver haze running through the center of the piece which I envision as pollution. There are two white line running across the top that I see as clouds. I knew that I wanted to write a poem about Climate Change and how man's actions are causing his environment to change. The result is this poem about a farmer and a drought. I then tried to recreate Rothko's GREEN by generating lines of color and then having them blend with the colors above and below them.
An epigraph is a quotation at the beginning of a literary work that could suggest a tone, theme or inspiration for that work. For this assignment in our class, we were given a list of epigraphs and told to write a poem with one of them in mind. I chose a quotation by Heinrich Heine - "There, where one burns books...one, in the end, burns men." Heine was a 19th Century German poet and many of his works were banned by the German authorities and he spent the last 25 years of his life living in Paris. The poem I had in mind was going to be about comparing famous books that had been burned such as Lady Chatterly's Lover, On the Origin of Species and Harry Potter - all of which had been burned for various reasons; however, the poem was not working so I googled "book burning" and found the plaque to the left which included Heine's quote and I realized that it was in a square in Frankfort where I had eaten dinner when I was in Germany. I then sat down and wrote "Fury For Books" anout the Nazi book burning.
This poem is an epistolary poem - a poem in the form of a letter in which you apologize to the recipient. I had been listening to Carly Simon's Tired of Being Blond and got the idea to write about a woman deciding to change for herself. There are many references in the poem to getting rid of things that are yellow - which I used as a metaphor for letting go of fear. I used an imported script font, because I wanted to poem to look handwritten. I used this image of a monarch butterfly to represent this poem. It was my first attempt at getting an image to move on the the HTML Canvas.