The Last Note Begins with See Sharp: On Transforming Your Thoughts into Poetry

In the first four weeks of April, Shelf Talk published the series An April Quartet in honor of National Poetry Month.

Each blog post was centered around an accompanying resource list, An April Quartet: In Alto, Poets Face that Discordant Sound, An April Quartet:  Some Soprano Sops Up a Poem’s Bread (the Rising), An April Quartet: Bass Note of Blue, the Flowering and An April Quartet: Tenor, in the Tenor of these Times, Raise Your Voice High. While framed in music, the posts highlight the unique voice and range of expression each poet brings to their work as they “talk back” to life in all of its moments.

You can experience these poems in several ways. They can be read and heard. You can, also, watch poets read their work.

What if someone, perhaps you, wants to do more than read, listen and watch? What if you are so inspired that you want to take the next step and begin to write your own poems?

It happens! Some people are happy to just to relish the reading, not only the content, but are keen on the myriad forms and techniques by which poets write a poem into the world. Others, respond by beginning to compose a few words in their minds eye. Maybe they’ll write them down. Many people become overwhelmed at the idea of trying to figure out the rest of their fledgling poem and abandon it. Continue reading “The Last Note Begins with See Sharp: On Transforming Your Thoughts into Poetry”

An April Quartet, Part IV: Tenor, in the Tenor of these Times, Raise Your Voice High

What do you say, to yourself and others, about these days we are living through? How are you describing the events, people, known and unknown, the circumstances and situations you witness or find yourself encountering? Your words may be heard by a few, by many or you alone, either way you give voice to the tenor of these times.

Is the sound of your voice An Octave Above Thunder or is it filled with Planetary Noise? Poets endeavor to describe the indescribable capability of words to transform the ordinary into something newly imagined. The poet is a seeker, they seek to give voice, to answer the unanswerable hours of a day. Continue reading “An April Quartet, Part IV: Tenor, in the Tenor of these Times, Raise Your Voice High”

An April Quartet, Part III: Bass Note of Blue, the Flowering

This Spring greets us with peril and possibility. More than a movie, more than any play or book in which we can flip fast to the end and find out what happens, walk out, grab a snack or turn the dang thing off we just don’t know, do we, when this will be over?

We find ourselves in the unlikely circumstance of being in a cast of characters in the great play of life. We are finding our way across the set, learning our lines, taking in each scene and looking for clues on how to solve the mystery. The new role that has been thrust upon us can feel chafing, burdensome and is, for many, more dire by the day.

Continue reading “An April Quartet, Part III: Bass Note of Blue, the Flowering”

An April Quartet, Part II: Some Soprano Sops a Poem’s Bread (the Rising)

When poetry is on the menu how can you go wrong? There is such a bounty of poems, in the world, about our favorite pastime that you can have your pick and there’s plenty more where that came from! We have to start somewhere and that somewhere is right here.

The resource list, An April Quartet: Some Soprano Sops a Poem’s Bread (the Rising) offers an assortment, so to speak, of the ways in which a poet takes the meat of a poem and prepares a nourishing soup. Ok, maybe you would never make soup with meat.  So, kind reader, I offer Philip Nikolaev’s Vegan Symphony #9 as an alternative to sate your appetite. Continue reading “An April Quartet, Part II: Some Soprano Sops a Poem’s Bread (the Rising)”

An April Quartet:  In Alto, Poets Face that Discordant Sound

This is how April will find us, still, in the throes of this great viral mystery. Who shall be next? Who will escape, sometimes, barely? Hold on! Persist. Where to find solace and perspective? In poetry, perhaps.

In honor of National Poetry Month, we have prepared a map of sorts. A poetic map of terrain only poets dare travel. Poets have not shied away from the most difficult moments of any day. We turn to poetry to reflect, find relief and to learn. A poem can teach us how to see our way through the most terrible of times.

The resource list An April Quartet:  In Alto, Poets Face that Discordant Sound, includes links to online poems, e-books and e-audiobooks. Continue reading “An April Quartet:  In Alto, Poets Face that Discordant Sound”