At the moment I am working on two small poetry books which will be sold along the canals.
The question came up: should poetry be self explanatory, so people will read and understand about what you are writing? Shall Poetry be made according to the rules and regulations of language – grammar and spelling – or can the poet just play with words?
The discussion came about due to a line in one of my poems were it looked as if the word “leave” should have been “leaf”. My answer is: it can be both, both meanings, whatever you want. When you read it in the context of the poem it even can be both, but I spelled it as leave meaning departure.
Leave has several other meanings like holiday, farewell, exit, goodbye and leave as a verb has similar meanings; depart, go, retire, pull out, set sail, abandon and next to it you have ‘leave out’ which means exclude.
In the poem: “Where the leave touches the stream” followed by “soft reflection drifting into a motion of no direction” So it cold be both a leaf from the tree just fallen in the canal, or a departure or even a holiday. That makes it, in my opinion, special; that makes it literary art created with words, being creative with words.
If text needs to explain something you should not be creative with words but weigh the meanings of the words and use them in a clear matter.
old text Cathach of St. Columba
The druid in Celtic society, as the wise people, memorised their knowledge in the form of verse and poetry. These poems are not self explanatory but a way to train your memory as the Celts didn’t use books or script to store their knowledge like the Romans did.
When we look at these old poems, specially those that were written down in Ireland, we will be puzzled as time changes language. A language is not static, so the text can’t be a true text and will always be interpreted. Even more so when a text is translated in an other language.
We use language mainly as a form of communication. Art can become a form of communication but also can be open to the imagination, poetry can be imaginable, being dream like – even unreal – that shows the beauty of poetry and language: using words in a dream like way to stimulate the readers imagination.
Language can be just like a picture we all see it in a different way, as Rene Magritte said: “this is not a pipe” under a picture of a pipe.
My poetry will be with a photo but the poem doesn’t explain the picture, both will show a way of seeing. The human imagination comes in many shapes and forms and we shouldn’t be afraid of it. Some of my poems show how I see the photo, or the moment the photo was taken this doesn’t mean that you should see it in the same way as me. The title of one book is; “the little book of drops” yet every drop shows a lot more than just a drop of water.
Dusky glimmer in the rain
gives a dashing stroke without a brush,
to avoid the flashing witty twinkle
The dropping becomes the prism without the cutting edge
The colour palette holds the Rainbow against the light
The beast gets a revelation on her hair
No more hiding away in the dark corner
She slowly wander to the glowing ball of water,
hangs on while it falls from the movement of her legs,
a lost tick
What do you think?