Randomosity on Fridays: Poetry Edition

[Edit: Our hearts go out to all the people experiencing craziness and tragedy this week, but especially to those in Boston where most of the crazy has been these last few days. Be safe and take care.]

April is National Poetry Month, which is nifty and totally something we should celebrate more. While poetry is a highly subjective genre (I think even more so than the way fiction is), I think it's a valuable subject of study for readers and especially writers. As writers, words are our tools of choice, and poetry can really make you realize the true power and potential in those tools.

With poetry, the focus is drawn down to the word-by-word level, where everything has to pull double if not triple duty because of the shorter (and sometimes strictly structured) form. So it can really be an exercise in precise diction and imagery, something all writing benefits from. Beyond that, poetry also takes into account the flow of words, the cadence of the lines as they're read, and sometimes even the look of the poem itself. It is a form that operates on multiple levels of comprehension and feeling, which is something we can try to bring to other forms of writing. It's like the literary equivalent of music.

Basically, I have a soft spot for poetry even though I never really studied it (or even read that much of it) from an academically rigorous standpoint. But it appeals to my sensibilities as a writer and reader, and I totally wanted to be a poet (in 6th grade) before I ever wanted to be a novelist.

So anyway, I thought I'd share a few poems to sort of lighten the tone of this dark week. First, you will find a brief medically-inspired Twitter poetry session between authors Lydia Kang and April Genevieve Tucholke, which eventually led to a line of my own.

And my little entry into this:

Here's something a little lighter on the poetry front. It's one of my favorite moments from the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender even though it's sort of a filler episode. Sokka stumbles upon a haiku reading and proves to be rather good at it.

Lastly, since I love you all so much, here's my Brit actor crush Tom Hiddleston reading poetry. It's one of Alz's favorite poems. Beware, you might swoon.

Tom Hiddleston - He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by William Yeats
Shared from sweating-like-a-cornered-nun using Embeddlr

"Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

Q4U: What is your favorite poem? OR Share a line (or two) of atropine poetry!

Happy weekend!


Lydia Kang said...

I have that poetry on my tumblr from Tom! You are so responsible for my crush on him. Thank you for sharing our poetry twitter banter. So glad we nudged you into tweeting your own...talk about a nudge in the right direction!

April Tucholke said...

Alice, have you thought about writing a novel in verse? OUT OF THE DUST was beautiful. And Meg Rosoff's HOW I LIVE NOW combines verse and prose in a way that is inspiring and almost...magical.

Jaime Morrow said...

Everything sounds better in Tom Hiddleston's voice. I'd listen to him read the phonebook. Love that guy! :)

elena said...

yes, I love that moment in Avatar! <3 Sokka! the Twitter poetry sounds like a lot of fun.

linda said...

love the twitter poetry! :D