PHOENIX RISING – DESTINATION: POETRY – WHAT’S GOING ON?

Conflict

We’ve discovered that people do thing in specific places; the Who and the Where. But WHAT are they doing. In a story or bit of prose, this would be considered the plot. So why not in a poem? It expresses a vision to us. What is happening; what’s going on?

Poems describe an unchanging scene; a single thought, feeling, setting, experience or image. But they can also be a record of events that take place over a period of time. They can demonstrate change giving two points of view, offering the reader a chance to draw their conclusion. But the PLOT becomes a purpose-driven action by a character or an interaction between several, allowing you to imagine a certain outcome.

Characters at the center of the plot (protagonists) rarely head out on a set course without some conflict, making us question whether they’d be successful in their endeavor. It could be an internal quandary – the characters own personality or short-comings that holds them back. The desire to attain a goal can lead one to change or grow from the experience to face the reality of their dilemma or weakness.

But also, external conflicts; struggles with someone or something else out of our control can cause this road block to success. This foe (antagonist) can provide conflict, and could be a person, the environment, natural forces or societal pressures.

The dissection of this plot provides these basic aspects:

A beginning when the goal is set…

A middle when the characters struggles to achieve their goal…

An ending, the resolution of the character’s quest – successful or unsuccessful or even, undetermined (unresolved).

This week’s prompting has you consider a plot for your poem. Write a poem of any kind in which an attitude of someone (even yourself) becomes the thing that presents a dispute or conflict. Work towards defining the what, the attempt to resolve it and any outcome to the situation.

As always, the purpose to these exercises is to get you writing serious drafts which could be polished into finished works. Prompts are merely suggestions, meaning as long as you are writing poetry it is a good thing! But equally,the fact of you attempting to stick to the prompt could enhance your poetic prowess! Rise up!

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Thanks to all who continue to explore these weekly promptings. Hopefully you will gain some expertise to aid you in your poetic travels. If so, you make doing these presentations wholly worthwhile.

PHOENIX RISING – DESTINATION: POETRY – CHARACTERS

compass

“Destination: Poetry”

We come to this magical place by design, not  by accident. Poetry is more than what we do. It is a “place” we go to express ourselves; it is a quiet alcove of words and rhythm. Poetry is a wild party; is is a source of solace and remembrance. We all have set our course for poetry.

As with any vacation spot we are curious about the landscape and people. We inquire about the weather and the activities that are available to us. We want to know all we can before we head off to our idyllic escape.

Here in the land of poetry, we have similar  thoughts. As we begin the month of June we will explore more of what makes poetry special to us. Our focus for the month will be the basic concepts of the poetic process. Inspiration comes from people we’ve come to know. The settings and locations with which we have become familiar. There is a certain “plot” or story we tell in our poetic ramblings. We convey a sense of mood, tone and theme in our poems. And so this leg of our journey begins.

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Who are these characters that inspire us? They are the people who are referenced or addressed in the poem. They feel, act,choose and reflect in the poem. A vital person in a poem is  the speaker (real or imaginary) who exposes their heart and mind in the words we read. It could be the poet or not. For the sake of argument we will say it is not.

The speaker might express in first person, telling of personal experiences, thoughts, and insights, using the word “I”, or in third person (them, her, him). Other times they talk in second person, referencing “you”. Poets write in second person more than prose writers. 

“Reader’s Digest” has a series they explore called “My Most Memorable Character”. We all know someone who has influenced us, done something selfless for someone or had been a pillar to the community. A relative who was quick witted, or had a special skill of which people were aware and by which they were influenced. Maybe your children/grandchildren have done something remarkable in their young lives. 

As opposed to last week where we wrote a memorial to someone, we are writing of this “Memorable Character”. Tell us all about this person in our land of poetry!