Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 106 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis


A Little Zen Thing Here;

"As Water Adapts To The Container Adapt Your Thinking To The Form"

 You're probably looking at the heading thinking, "Where the hell's he going with this?" Hang with me...I said in yesterday's blog that I was going to be shifting gears to catch up with my poetry rewrites. As much as I've been talking up fiction writing on this page you might wonder if I've gone a little over the ever-present edge. (That would be one way to get an actual break...Sitting in a floor-to-ceiling, upholstered room...Wearing an "I love me" coat, giving myself a 24/7 hug...Counting my toes and the buttons on the wall!)
Poetry can be the perfect adjunct to prose. There are even times when they get together as prose poems. The genre forces the writer to step away from stultifying narrative and work the world of symbolism. It pushes you to become more familiar with your own language and the intricacy of linguistics. It can also open a world of possibilities as far as plot, character, setting, and structure is concerned.
As I have...Uh...let's say matured. I have been drawn back in time and across continents and oceans to hone my appreciation of poetry. I have written in sonnet form, both Elizabethan (Shakespearean) and Italian (Petrarchan). There are more modern language sonnets, such as the works of Edna St. Vincent Millay and Archibald MacLiesh. Of course there are the plays of the bard, or Bacon, or John Donne's longer works that are laid out in quatrain. Then there's sextain or sestine, which is not a dirty Limerick but a stanza of six lines and obsolete. Obsolete means it's fun to toss out at a workshop and listen to the groans. Travel to the east and check out Haiku or Tanka. The continent of India gave us Urdu, Doha and Mahl, among other forms.

In the modern world, there are the wonderful, terse rhymes of the New Yorker's early days, led by the esteemed Dorothy Parker. There has been Blank and Free verse and as I've mentioned before, the latest surge in prose poetry. And what the heck does all that have to do with the price of good Afghan Blonde? (Go ahead...Look it up...We'll wait.)

With every step out of your comfort zone you become a broader, better in formed reader. If you attempt to copy the forms and styles, you become a better informed writer. If you become better informed, you are more capable and adroit in your chosen genre, style and voice. Even that scion of the rough and abrupt, Charles Bukowski, was incredibly wide read and self-educated. If you don't believe me, try looking up some of the references in his works or some of the papers written by those who weren't put off by his shock value language.

It's like yoga for your brain and soul. Stretch the brain and let the soul breathe in the exotic, the unfamiliar, the strangely beautiful. You, in turn, will become a larger part of your own art, and a much more eloquent voice in a world too often drowning in the mundane or timid., love, write...(deep breaths).

Want to follow or subscribe to this blog? There are gadgets for that on the right side of the page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.


Dane F. Baylis

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