Questions Left Unvoiced

This year seems to have started well. Oh, and happy new thing to all of you!

I went to the Dan O’Connell gig on Saturday, my reading went OK (Culture & Politics, Dr. Frankenstein, Eulogy For The Cassette), Anne & Norman’s set was amazing as per usual and I seem to be having more luck writing than I had last year. One poem, two close to poems and another that I’ve been working on for nearly a year is getting closer to the finish line.

For the last few years I’ve been making a new year’s resolution to write at least one poem a month. Admittedly, not the most grandiose of resolutions, but I figure it’s something I can build upon. So this month I’ve already got two poems, and hopefully a third on the way!

Anyhow, my second work this year is something of a dramatic monologue, all the questions you want to ask in different circumstances but are never quite sure if you should or not. I found it interesting how, while separate thoughts, they tell a story as a whole. Have a look under the cut.
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Another Man Done Gone

Quoting from The Age article here : “Sekou Sundiata, the Harlem-born poet, performer, artist, activist and educator who inspired audiences at last year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival, passed away in New York yesterday from heart failure. He was 58.”.

I discovered a site several years ago where you could download mp3s of amazing poets reading their own work. The site is no longer there, but the first person I discovered on it was Sekou Sundiata. Brilliant poet, teller of stories. Lyrical, passionate, his work was spiritual, regardless of actual content. His use of rhythm and cadence was gorgeous.

Then I discovered he’d released an album “Longstoryshort”. The album is one of my favorite albums, musical or otherwise. I was very lucky to catch “51st Dream State”, one of the few performances of any media that I’ve wept from. I wish I’d seen “blessing the boats” (read the article for the story behind that performance).

If you are interested, listen to “The Sound Of Memory” to hear what I’m talking about.

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What is poetry?

What is poetry?

I have, at different times, wondered about this, thought about it, rolled my eyes on hearing the question and wanted to smack someone for asking same (admittedly, the person in question was drunk and aggressive)

Admittedly, thanks to the inimitable Stephen Fry, star of stage, screen and the talking type wireless, I have an answer that I think I’m happy with.

To quote:

“Poetry is metrical writing”.

It is writing where consideration is given primarily to the weight of each word. It’s relationship with the rest of the piece.

I know that prose writers, be they fiction or non-fiction, take this into consideration. The difference I think is a matter of precendence. If a prose author were to take the care and crafting word by word that a poet does. I expect that many books would never be completed.

An author expects to clear a few thousand words a day, a poet expects to find a few thousand words in their latest book.

Like all attempts at putting a definition to an artform, they are by nature a little liquid. Partially because someone will invariably bring up something that tries to push boundries between one thing and another, or tries to mess up the definitions. Personally, I think they confirm the boundaries. To transgress a boundary, you have to kind of define and accept it’s existence. Otherwise, it’s posturing.

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