I Just Want to go Home,
but I don’t know where it is.
Is it under the blue tropical skies of Panama,
where I played as a child?
Is it in mid Michigan, surrounded by farmland,
where I fell in love each new semester?
Is it in warm and sunny San Diego,
where I lived aboard ship and traveled the world?
Is it back again to Michigan
where all my family live, and some have died?
They say home is where the heart is.
I gave her mine so many years ago.
I just want to go home,
but I don’t know where she is.
I am introducing two new features to Pangean Poetry today. The first one is Guest Poet. I will be finding poets that want to share their work and featuring them in a post. It is my hope that this will bring in new readers and poets alike. The original intention of this blog was to share poems, poets, and to build a community where we can all enjoy the words we love, as well as help each other hone our craft. In the next post I will introduce Cassandra Cahill. I am sure you will enjoy her work.
The second feature is a new page. On this page I will post short stories, essays and general nonsense. It is just a place to get some more of my work out there. I read something the other day that opened my eyes a bit. I will have to paraphrase but it went something like; A completed script kept in a dark drawer does no one any good. So I’m putting my work out there so it can breath and get some light. And if you have a story you would like to post here, send me a message and we can work something out.
Thanks for listening.
Years ago when I first started to write poetry I was of the opinion, I think most people who are not poets believe this, that poetry had to rhyme. My creative writing teacher in high school would give us assignments where the second line had to rhyme with the fourth line and so on. It was easy enough to do and I thought I wrote some good stuff. It wasn’t until I took a class in college that I learned poetry does not need to rhyme at all. Most of the poets that I was exposed to in this class were ones that I had never heard of before. Li-Young Lee, Stanley Kunits, Naomi Shihab Nye and others wrote such beautiful poems that didn’t necessarily rhyme. I went back over some of my older work and tried to redo them with out forcing rhymes. It made a world of difference. What I found was that when you force a rhyme you are not always able to use the right word. It some instances it is perfect to rhyme, in others, at least in my case, it took the poem in a direction that I didn’t really want it to go, but I had to get that word that rhymed with time. There are only so many choices when you do this.
The second lesson I learned was that I used too many words. I asked my professor to critique some of my work. She tore them apart. “Too many words” she said. She explained that there is a difference between saying “she glowed like the sun” and she glowed like sun” (OK not a great example but you get the idea). Taking the work “the” out of the line allows the reader to put themselves into the poem. We all know what THE sun looks like, but if you say simply “sun” then it can be so much more. You do need to be careful and not just take out all the little words or you will get nonsense. Try going back over some old stuff that just doesn’t work for you and, if you rhyme, try them without rhyming. Take out some of the extra words that aren’t needed and see what happens. For me it made some older poems come back to life. I redid those poems I had the professor critique, she like them after that. As a matter of fact one of them even placed in the poetry contest at the college.
From the time I was young poetry is something that I have read, memorized, written, and listened to. My mother used to recite poems to us when we were young. She had her favorites memorized and have tried to do the same. My intention with this blog is to promote poetry, and poets. I don’t care if you are a published poet or just write for yourself. If you have something you would like posted, and critiqued please send it in (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will take a look at it. I will also be posting some of my own work. I do have a couple of books that can be found on Amazon or lulu.com (Sometimes I Think, and Chasing Sunsets). I hope you enjoy what you read here and that you join in on the discussion.