Monday, January 28, 2008

My Mind--The Problem

Here's the thing: it's week one, and I'm a failure...

I don't know how else to say it.

I've been trying to write a poem all week and all I have are bits and pieces of phrases that I like, but can't use.

And why can't I use them?

Because they have to do with God/religion. And so, for the purposes of my chapbook for grad. school, they are useless.

I hate having to conform to fit in. But, it's the truth. If I have poems that deal with God as a real "entity" (as my professor puts it), I will be hard pressed to be taken seriously as a poet, and it will be even harder to get into a graduate program.

I could write about god, but not God (if you understand what I mean). And for some reason, that's the only poetry coming out of me.

So, I have nothing new to post here, and I suck.

With that, here's an acrostic poem for your perusal. I wrote it last month.

Sacred space
Approaches my soul.
Covenants broken by sin,
Renewed by blood and body.
Anguish replaced by peace as
Minutes visit paradise, and
Eternity slips into spirit.
Now, I am whole.
The Lord is with me.

This is the kind of stuff that's coming out of me, and I'm going to have to figure out a way to break away from it (at least for the time being).

Any suggestions?


Amanda said...

Okay, well here I go trying to keep you accountable. Maybe in a different way than you meant, but here goes.
#1 You broke your first rule to stay positive. The title of your post gives this away.
#2 when you wrote "It’s not about the end result here. It’s about using my creative mind, and giving myself pieces that I can work with in the future in order to build a chapbook to help me get into grad. school." you did not state that every piece would be grad school entrance worthy. Just write what is coming out of you and then maybe when you have gotten these God pieces out and on paper, you might then be creatively open to other poems. Of course I know nothing about writing, so take it for what it's worth.
Love you!

Liz said...

You're right, on both accounts. I needed you in my head early when I felt like a big 'ole loser...

M said...

I love this blog idea. If I were gutsier I would steal your idea. But I am not gutsy enough to write my own poetry blog, just enough to comment. Is that annoying? if so I am sorry.

So, some feedback:

Your current poem has a lot of vague, abstract words in it: sacred, anguish, peace. They are made concrete in part by the acrostic, so we know you're talking about the sacrament. But what I'm wondering is, how else can you make the abstract concrete for us? How can you show us sacred, or peace, instead of just telling us?

There's an exercise that's been really helpful to me as I have struggled with this. You take an abstract word, you give it a color, a smell, a taste, a feel, a look, and a sound. Then you go back with those images in mind and rewrite the poem. Good poems make the abstract concrete and the concrete abstract.

This is such a cool blog. I love it.--Emily M.

Liz said...


I LOVE your tip for making things more concrete! I'm definitely going to use your suggestion. I think it will help a lot!