An inquiry into poetic tendencies (courtesy of Carol): 1.Where do your poems start? What causes you to sit down and write a poem? Is it a certain emotion?
They typically start with the question of whether I have anything to write about, and I'm usually curious to know what it is. It's also typically a 'want to do' break from a 'have to do' day. 2.Do you have different stages to your poetry? Can you see how you've matured or changed over the years through your poetry?
Been at this for a good couple of months, and so far find that I do lots of second guessing. It's a learning process... 3. Do you have a favorite poem that you have written? What do you like about it? What does it say about you that you like?
I think so far I like the one called Ripple Effect, which was written after very intentionally reading through some Keats poems on a day when the ice melted from a nearby lake. I like how a moment to be shared develops and the turning to look and find that person. 4. Do you have a favorite that someone else has written? What does it do for you? Does it give you an answer or cause you to think a certain way? Does it motivate you?
Somehow I gravitate to Frost's 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening', likely because I memorized it as a child at my father's prompting (I think there was money involved) and I later made & published a version called "Distilling by Drops on a Friday Evening" which is heavily adapted to the chemistry lab world where much of my life has been spent. I like Frost's simple, clean ways of evoking an image - at least that's how it seems to me.
5. Do you only write poetry or is it a part of a vast array of writing methods that you use to express your self or your thoughts?
Most of my writing is carefully worded emails on technical work-related items. On rare occasions I work some haiku-form bits into the text:
These are wonderful I wish I could write such things but not enough time
this one was written upon waking up with a toothache on a Saturday morning and not having a very clear idea of what to do next - it doesn't hurt so much now, which is inexplicable. I was going to delete this one, but here it is anyway.
"Get thee to a dentist chair!" the weekend is begun a painful tooth begins to flare this is not fun, I do declare
what have I done to earn the right to twist and turn in bed at night
but surely this is not amiss or so I think after her kiss
meanwhile I will sit and write and on that tooth try not to bite
Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio" includes a chorus by the Janissaries. These guys were typically 'recruited' from captives of the Ottoman empire (starting around 1330 - it's amazing how easily this type of thing can be looked up!) and given a kind of elite training in customs very foreign to the land of their origins. In a way, this created a new race of sorts, which grew to a point of revolting and later, control. And they made a type of marching music.
There's an essay about 'Race and Language' in the Harvard Classics by E. A. Freeman which explores the question of what defines people groups. (A great line from that essay: "We may thus seem to be landed in a howling wilderness of scientific uncertainty")