Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

Poetry: A painted Truth

I am happy to feature DiAnne Ebejer on this post. I was interested in hearing more about how writers respond to their differing genres. Here is what DiAnne has to say about poetry!… (Niamh Clune)

Poetry as defined in a simple definition is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices, so as to evoke an emotional response. Now we must keep in mind that there are many kinds of poetry, some of which are lyric, metaphysical, narrative, dramatic, confessional, beat, epic, free verse and concrete. Poetry often forms part of introductory courses in creative writing, and for this reason, poetry displays its excellence deep in the grain of language. Prose is written in phrases, often somewhat ready-made phrases, but poetry is individual,crafted in words or syllables. Everything counts – content, story, genre, diction, imagery, metaphor, syntax, rhythm – and nothing shows this interdependence so well as writing poetry.

My particular love affair with poetry began when my father handed me “Shakespeare Arranged For Modern Reading”  Edited By Frank W. Cady and Van H. Cartmell. Copyright 1936, Second Edition 1946. I was about 10 years old. I still have the book in all it’s tattered and yellow-paged glory.  It was then I started writing little snippets of poetry and stuffing them away in my “portfolio”.  I still have many of them and they are worthy of a good chuckle every now and then, when I need one.

Why write poetry you may say? Because it is a superior way to paint the truth.Truth is often hard to say, even harder to say it to the person you would like to say it to. Poetry is a way to break all constraints in life and put your courage on the page, many times without repercussions and/or consequence.  Poetry then, is not mere fancy, but an attempt to tell the truth in a full and authentic manner. In many ways philosophy and poetry are much alike.Though their creations are very different, both aim at the truth, but a truth based on different perspectives.

It is my opinion that meaningful poetry needs to be underwritten by experience.That’s why I write all my poetry based on the experiences in my life. On the home page of my poetry web site I make the following introductory statement that speaks to this:

“My writing is not imagined without connection to my life.
My life and my writing are the same thing.
To betray the gap between the two
would be to compromise the soul of the words…
Profoundly repressing the integrity of their meaning”.

However different we may be from other people all over the world, in constructing our own world of thought, insight and artistic creation, we are very much alike. I have found this to be true in the responses I get to my poetry. In a broader sense, the history of art is a search for purpose in an increasingly strange and hostile universe. For much of history poetry was the product of the highly educated, the “leisured” class. Now verse is being scribed by more “pedestrian” poets and I am glad this has come into the mix. I try to write my poetry so that others can understand what I’m saying, no matter how simple it may look or sound. I want others to possibly relate to it, take something away with them from it.

And what of the pitfalls of the Poetry genre?  Well, let’s face it…poets are the minority of the publishing kingdom. It is my belief that poetry has the potential to provide a deep insight into all forms of writing and develop into an informed love for all types of literature. I once heard a literary critic say, “poetry is not a gift, it’s an illness”.  I always thought that was pretty funny. Secondly, poetry does not usually sell very well. And, poetry is not easy. The medium is a compact one, needing great concentration to read, and even more to write. First attempts are usually not very good. Re-writes usually end up in the waste-basket. It’s terribly frustrating to lose an entire “good thought” poem because you can’t get to the paper fast enough to get it down.  Unlike a book….it’s fleeting and the thought escapes in a heartbeat.

However, there is good news…even the most pedestrian effort often lifts someone into a vivid memorable experience, and kindles a response in a reader.  That, and that alone is worth a great deal, no, make that a  huge deal, in spite of the pitfalls associated with the genre we call  poetry.

Now for one of those poems I wrote when I was about 11-12 or so….(just as I found it)

No title

You like to lie here and look up at the sky and drift,
And while you are still drifting – You really come to know yourself.
And you are surprised that your mind becomes so different.
and calm – floating out there with the fresh air.
You just are such a different and much better person
Away from all that faces you here on earth.
But – You must come back – kind of sad.
And now you again smell the fresh clean scent of the summer.
Tho’ the scent is the same – How the times have changed for you.
And as you gaze around at material things – your thoughts drift
with the fresh air into the times gone by that seem so real
You kind of hate to bring yourself back to the ground you are standing on.
You long for the clear thoughts you had
drifting out there in the fresh air.
You long for them down here on the ground
so that your steps would be much smoother.
You wonder why you’ve done the things you’ve done.

dianne denlinger

About Dr Niamh Children's Books

I spent many an early morning dancing to the tunes of the little people. Very soon, they began to trust me, (Fairies seldom trust humans, as humans do very strange things to fairies and to fairyland), but I could dance a fine jig, pirouette often, sing a long song and recite a poem, all of which is of very great interest to fairies. They taught me some of their ancient secrets about bees and butterflies, worms and magic bears who know such an awful lot about everything. They also taught me secrets about science and the sky, and how to grow up into someone who is wise (wise enough to still believe in fairies). I like to share some of those mysteries with boys and girls (and grown-ups who still have magic in them) who are inquisitive but can also keep a secret. Sssssssssh! Promise you won’t tell anyone… Are you ready? Now listen well, to the stories I will tell…

7 comments on “Poetry: A painted Truth

  1. theobblog
    January 14, 2012

    Love this thoughtful post DiAnne. You were already writing such mature poetry at the age of 12! And I agree, poetry and philosophy are so closely related. Perhaps this is why Socrates wrote in verse, and why it is possible to describe transcendent reality only through the use of metaphor. Lovely post. Thank You!


  2. Vickie Adair
    January 14, 2012

    Wonderful post with an astute analysis of some of the more profound interpretation avenues when reading the poetic word. Sadly, the observation that poetry is by far the minority genre for publishing companies is very accurate, but this only means that the poet must find other ways to support themselves and write their poetry from passion and truth. Thank you both for a great read!


    • dianneebejer
      January 16, 2012

      Thank you for reading and commenting Vickie. It’s true we poets need a second job! lol! I was actually in Procurement Management for 32 years where writing took a back seat for a very long time. I’m thrilled to now be retired and writing once again!



  3. Brian Bianco (@2bbblaster)
    January 14, 2012

    “Unlike a book….it’s fleeting and the thought escapes in a heartbeat.”
    Even as a writer, this happens but from the eye of a poet, I can sense the frustration, not to mention the disappointment. Poetry is more personal and the toughest hurdle from my standpoint is being able to transfer that onto paper, allowing the reader to feel what you feel. Writers are allowed the advantage of using as many pages as they feel they need to get their message across. Poet’s don’t have that luxury. They must be able to state what is in much more finite spaces. If they pull it off, I stand up and applaud their work. If not, I come away miffed that somehow I didn’t understand the message they were trying to convey but never do I criticize it like I would a book. I just fail in my ability to slip into their thoughts, that’s all.


    • dianneebejer
      January 16, 2012

      Thank you so much for reading the article and for your observations which were so very accurate. I myself have read many poems and at the end said to myself, “what did that say?”: This is why I write very pedestrian poems so that people, hopefully, can understand and relate to them. Some would say that path does not result in an articulate and well versed poet but it’s more important to me to relate to and with people than to sound like a scholar or a talking dictionary. Thanks again Brian!


  4. shiranirajapakse
    January 18, 2012

    DiAnne, that was spot on. As a fan of your scribbles I believe your poetry touches everyone who reads it. Its sad that there are so few publishers willing to publish poetry, but then I guess if they start publishing they will have nothing other than poetry considering the sheer number of poets around. People have been writing in verse since time immemorial in whatever place of the world which proves that poetry can survive despite anything.


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