Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

 

Beautiful-Autumn-Leaves

The old man sits beneath a dwindling shade

And recounts how the days have changed

And how time passes by

And soon the autumn gales shall come

And shake to wakefulness the drowsy summer hearts

And break the boughs of the maple tree

And let fall a rain of dead and brittle things.

The old man sits and ponders this.

It’s twilight, not yet the end, but far from the beginning

And his birdfriends are beginning to up and go

And his bones are starting to chill

And become brittle- boughs on a maple tree

And what could’ve been and what was and what shall be

All stop by

To say their hellos and goodbyes

And hurry away before the evening light

Fades to blue and starry sky.

Like everything will be.

Eventually.

Autumn. Twilight. Seventy-three.

No, it’s not the end. But it’s not the beginning.


I wanted to write a poem about the end of summer (since everyone here at LAS returns to school tomorrow.) But I also didn’t want it to be literally about summer/autumn either. At least not entirely.

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In tower cloud-tall

In star-bright sky

Where Dream and Destiny meet

Mingling in lover’s kiss

She sits at her desk

Ink-black quill in hand

Steeped in blood and gold

With one stroke, fortune rises

With another, doom falls

Each letter shaping future

In scrawling dark calligraphy

Shaped by her pale hand

Death she writes

Doom she writes

Love she writes

Hope she writes

A thousand things and a thousand more

And ten thousand more thousand thousands beyond

Within a single heartbeat

She writes on and on

Never stopping

Hand gliding over time’s parchment

History writ in letters both grim and bold

What words she writes

What stories she tells

What destinies shaped

With Fate’s feather quill

She was the Grey Lady

Keeper of Gates of Pearl and Obsidian

She would watch forever-and-a-day

And make sure nobody would ever breech those mighty walls

But upon a moonlit midsummer’s night

When faerie queens and elven lords walked the darkened woods

He came to her

A simple man in simple clothes

A lyre strung upon his back

“Stand back!” she proclaimed. “I am guardian of these gates and none shall pass, not for forever and a day.”

“I have no interest in passing those gates,” said he. “But I came in search of she they said guarded them. For the talk is that the Grey Lady is beautiful as moon and sun and stars.”

“Is it so?” asked she.

“Truly, my lady,” replied he. “the talk is false.

For the Grey Lady is far more beauteous

than any mere light in the sky.”

“No flattery shall stir me from my post,” warned the Grey Lady,

whose cheeks were red as sunrise

And in whose heart a spark gleamed

Seed of fire and child of thought

“And I do not ask you to,” answered the man.

“But would you mind if I sat here and played?

If only for a moment.”

“I see no reason to send you hence,” said the Grey Lady

So the man sat down

And upon his lyre he played a song

Under starry skies he sang

The two of them together

On that moonlit midsummer’s night.

Poem – Just After Midnight

Posted: July 22, 2016 by J.A. Prentice in Poem
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Black skies

Grey water

Pale moonlight

Cold steel

Red stain

And a white flower, tossed forevermore on a relentless tide…

 

Writing Like Taylor Swift

Posted: June 29, 2016 by Jaden C. Kilmer in Article
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Fearless leader Prentice is currently experiencing the joys of a post Brexit UK. Never fear, I’m here to try and step up my slacking article writing duties in the interim. Today’s piece will teach you how to win ten grammys and become the best selling musician in the world. (Your results may vary.)

Taylor Swift. The Pennsylvania talent has been topping charts since she was a teenager with country songs tinged with pop, and has evolved into a bona fide pop sensation. Her appeal is startling in its wide swath of demographics. There’s me, a self-described “recovering hipster” who wouldn’t listen to anything but vinyl indie records senior year, who’s currently writing this to the soundtrack of Taylor Swift’s 1989. There’s screamo bands like Our Last Night and We Came As Romans that like her enough to cover her. There’s baseball star and all-around macho man Anthony Rizzo who walks out onto the field to “Bad Blood.”

So what’s going on here? It’s not like Taylor’s got a once in a generation vocal talent. Her music isn’t virtuosic. It’s usually pretty simple. So that leaves one answer: It’s her writing.

Taylor, sole writer or co-writer of all her songs, has a distinct style of songwriting that is deceptively talented. The way she writes creates songs with massive appeal yet enough sincerity in the emotions to not feel like her lyrics are packaged on an assembly line. Take this verse in “All Too Well.”

Photo album on the counter/Your cheeks were turning red/You used to be a little kid with glasses/And a twin sized bed

You’ve got the whole picture from just that, don’t you? The emotion, the place, the tone. She doesn’t say “you were embarrassed when we looked at your photos from childhood.” She shows you what’s happening. It’s the oldest rule in the book: Show, don’t tell. She’s an expert at creating a big picture in a few words.

To get a little more advanced in the writer’s tool shed, Taylor also loves to break out synecdoche: making a part of something stand for the whole. She’ll say “four blue eyes” in “State of Grace” and you get the picture of her and someone else looking eye to eye. She describes someone in “Blank Space” as “new money, suit and tie” and again, a few words paint the whole picture. If you look closer at her lyrics, you’ll find they’re stuffed full of moments where she employs snyecdoche: She’ll open a song with simply “Midnight.” She’ll describe an argument by simply saying “a slamming screen door.” I could probably write a full length article simply listing examples.

Her use of synecdoche ties into the basic idea of show don’t tell. To write like Taylor Swift is to create as full a picture as possible in as few words as possible. It’s concise, restrained, and simple. She doesn’t dazzle you with fancy words or overly complex narratives. She doesn’t waste time. And it’s probably because she only has three or four minutes to tell her story. (Worth noting her lyrical masterpieces, “Dear John” and “All Too Well,” are both over five minutes) This is an approach to writing that resembles two unlikely comrades: The Beatles and Ernest Hemmingway.

Did I just compare Taylor Swift to Ernest Hemmingway? Yeah. They may write about vastly different subjects and in different genres and mediums, but their central philosophy seems to be the same. To be clear, concise, and evocative.

Hello, Friend (Improvised poem)

Posted: February 20, 2016 by Jaden C. Kilmer in Poem
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Hello, dark spirit, harbinger of things

most unsettling and vile

As you sit and stare and stare and sit

on the dead tree’s branch

It is good to see you, I’ve been waiting

This winter’s far too long and far too cold

But soon it will end and soon I will sail

To the next place

The other realm

And the moon will envy me

And even the stars shall tremble

Beneath my dark beauty

Hello, friend

Waiting

Posted: February 18, 2016 by Jaden C. Kilmer in Poem
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Someone once said to me

“all we are is simply this

piles of star dust on a rock

floating through space

and waiting to die”

And this is true

But as we wait

As we take our journey into the aether

As the stars dance around us

As we struggle against the infinite

And make light in the void

As we fleeting souls in our ephemeral nature

Wait to dance with the specters

There is a beautiful between

A liminal space

A tiny little thing

Called life