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Wednesday On The Plum Tree: In the Sandbox With Dr. Ampat Koshy.

Each Wednesday, I want to feature a rotation of different poets/writers writing about poetry…why they like a particular poem, new discoveries, (could be you) a little analysis. First to make his appearance on The Wednesday Corner is Dr. Ampat Koshy. We have already published several of Ampat’s poems in our various anthologies. We are  very excited to welcome him here onto the Plum Tree.

Dr. Koshy is the author of the popular – A Treatise for Poetry For Beginners, one among four books he has authored or co-authored. He is an assistant professor in Saudi Arabia, a poet, short story writer and critic.

Thank you, Dr. Koshy for joining us on the plum tree.

******

In The Sandbox By Dr. Ampat Koshy

Writing poetry is one of the greatest pleasures in the world. So is reading it and learning how to write it, at least for those who are addicted to it. If one is on facebook, for instance, the number of poets writing these days and the anthologies, poetry magazines and individual or group collections coming out or the poetry pages or groups there are simply mind boggling. As are the sheer number of poems posted everywhere.

In this series I would like to start where it really matters. What people really love about poetry nowadays is imagery. Naturally enough they prefer visual imagery. I teach poetry. Students nowadays are excited by poems being made into videos and images. But those slightly more experienced know that putting an image to a verbal one makes it a one to one correspondence and kills it by killing the imagination’s ability to use the inner eye.

Here is a beautiful poem by Rimbaud.

Arthur Rimbaud 1854–1861

Arthur Rimbaud 1854–1861

It is a green hollow where a stream gurgles,
Crazily catching silver rags of itself on the grasses;
Where the sun shines from the proud mountain:
It is a little valley bubbling over with light.
A young soldier, open-mouthed, bare-headed,
With the nape of his neck bathed in cool blue cresses,
Sleeps; he is stretched out on the grass, under the sky,
Pale on his green bed where the light falls like rain.
His feet in the yellow flags, he lies sleeping. Smiling as
A sick child might smile, he is having a nap:
Cradle him warmly, Nature: he is cold.
No odour makes his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, his hand on his breast
At peace. There are two red holes in his right side.

Arthur Rimbaud
October 1870

– As translated by Oliver Bernard: Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962) (http://www.mag4.net/Rimbaud/poesies/Sleeper.html

How does one learn to write like this?

One needs to observe life carefully, lovingly, intensely and be in love with life with an eye for its amazing details and wanting to find the language for describing it. Then read such poets to see how they defamiliarize things with words, make it slightly askew. An example is Rimbaud using “crazily catching silver rags” in the second line and “bubbling” in the fourth. And the masterpiece is of course “two red holes.” The second is an example of an auditory image but coupled with “light” it again becomes beautifully askew.

Yes. Observe carefully using all the five inner and outer senses, read, jot down for use, keeping in mind that unleashing the imagination fully means using the five external and internal senses.

Too simple a formula, you may think, but effective. Try it. Best of luck.

Dr A.V. Koshy

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamh.co.uk

46 comments on “Wednesday On The Plum Tree: In the Sandbox With Dr. Ampat Koshy.

  1. the secret keeper
    April 17, 2013

    What a beautiful poem with what appears to me as a solemn ending. Such description, so alive and flowing smoothly off the tongue in the reading of them out loud. Rimbaud has conveyed to us such a peaceful image surrounded by natures beauty. Fully expecting the tranquility to be a story told of the living, for that is what surrounds the soldier. But as I stated, the ending is sad. The napping is permanent. The feelings elicited from the poem are delightful until the reader approaches toward the end. Then one is overcome with the unexpected and brought into a reality not predicted at the start. This is a perfect choice to begin your instructions. To be able to write in this way one needs to hone one’s ability of perceiving more closely one’s surroundings and be able to describe them in a more than ordinary way. I am impressed with your first lesson. To write like Arthur Rimbaud would be a great feat. Adjectives are not always my strongest area. Thank you for this demonstration and lesson Dr. Ampat Koshy. It has been revealing and given me something to work on. I would like to add something aside from this first lesson and that is to say that I have read some of your work from the anthologies and felt quite moved by your words, as I am moved by the words now of Arthur Rimbaud. I am into making films but of another kind, not that of using poetry but of the use of a written script of dialogue, But I can only see using poetry in a film if one were doing what some would call a poetry slam and wanted to engage the body in the rhythm of the words as they were being created and spoken simultaneously. But that is a different medium than the art of writing the words down for the purpose of an individual experience that you may or may not share in a reading or posting where other can observe and read your works. I like to hear what poetry I have written out loud, usually to myself, to hear how it sounds and to pick up on the rhythms and sometimes rhymes of the lines as they are spoken. But in this case, this was a good lesson and I look forward to further posts by you. This was most informative and has given me something that I do need to work on. Very appreciative of your knowledge and sharing, Jennifer Kiley

    Like

  2. Pingback: Wednesday On The Plum Tree: Dr. Ampat Koshy. | BUTTERFLIES OF TIME

  3. ontheplumtree
    April 17, 2013

    many thanks Jennifer. I am certain that Ampat will be delighted by your response.

    Like

  4. That is a beautiful response.Jennifer, thank you – wish it could be part of the the post.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      April 17, 2013

      Ah! But it is part of the post as are you. Thank you for visiting us and joining in.

      Like

  5. Regarding film, have you watched Zebra poetry festival poem films?

    Like

  6. Uncle Tree
    April 17, 2013

    ‘Tis terribly true, Dr. Koshy. Becoming a poet –
    well, no one has said, “It is easy.” Why? Because,
    you see, one must learn to hear the taste of music
    in the air, and feel the smell of roses before they reach
    for your fingers – in the hope of being rescued from their
    very own thorns, as they bleed the coldest colors of your life.

    Like

  7. the secret keeper
    April 17, 2013

    Reblogged this on the secret keeper and commented:
    This is the first appearance of Dr. Ampat Koshy ontheplumtree blog. He has presented a great introduction into what to expect. I am impressed and learned from his knowledge. I highly recommend visiting Niamh Clune’s blog to see first hand what a fine sense of poetry Dr. Koshy has to offer. jk the secret keeper

    Like

  8. ldbush21
    April 17, 2013

    Reblogged this on ldbush21 and commented:
    Poets be aware, read and ponder.

    Like

  9. Madhumita Ghosh
    April 17, 2013

    An excellent write. A perfect poem quoted as illustration of the point the poet writer Dr.A.V.Koshy makes here. Looking forward to read this column every Wednesday!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      April 17, 2013

      Won’t be every Wednesday. But we will be posting in rotation with some wonderful poets.

      Like

  10. Pingback: Wednesday On The Plum Tree: In the Sandbox With Dr. Ampat Koshy. | ldbush21

  11. Santanu Halder
    April 17, 2013

    great write up Sir..like it..Thanks Bina di for sharing it on fb

    Like

  12. Thank you Uncle Tree. It’s fantastic sharing with the group of artists.

    Like

  13. Than you again Jennifer 🙂

    Like

  14. Thank you ldbush21 🙂

    Like

  15. Madhumita Thanks for always being a support 🙂

    Like

  16. Thanks Santanu 🙂

    Like

  17. Pingback: Wednesday On The Plum Tree: In the Sandbox With Dr. Ampat Koshy. | Whisper Stone

  18. Shawn MacKENZIE
    April 17, 2013

    Reblogged this on MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest.

    Like

  19. Pingback: Wednesday On The Plum Tree: In the Sandbox With Dr. Ampat Koshy. | West Coast Review

  20. Steve Corn
    April 17, 2013

    Imagery is close to my heart, painting a picture without visual aids. A great image poem has no need for them. I used Elizabeth Bishop for an example a few weeks back. I also added my 2 cents about writing to all the senses. Great points and a great example. The turn in the poem is another great technique and well employed. I may post on pivoting a poem soon. Thank you for your contribution!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      April 17, 2013

      Thank you Steve. I look forward to your post on pivoting a poem.

      Like

  21. Payal Pasha
    April 17, 2013

    To start with, the poetry by Rimbaud is stunningly beautiful! I actually uttered an ‘oh!’ in the end. Then follows your wonderful write up. I very much look forward to following your advice and write some good poetry. Looking forward to Wednesdays.

    Like

  22. Sue Lobo
    April 17, 2013

    Poignant & brilliant poem from Rimbaud.Even though from another era, still fresh today. Writing like that flows from a mind that lives fully, whether from within looking out or from without looking in. Sadly, some of the most beautiful writing stems from sadness, loneliness, pain & suffering. Thanks for sharing this with us all, much appreciated.

    Like

  23. DiAnne Ebejer
    April 17, 2013

    An excellent post Ampat and a perfect poem to illustrate the depth and meaning of the message you were conveying. Thoroughly enjoyed this!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      April 17, 2013

      I am sure that Dr. Koshy will be delighted with your comments, DiAnne.

      Like

  24. Sangeeta Talwar Suneja
    April 17, 2013

    A poet who loves poetry, is a playful artist, seeking actualization of the senses and self in one’s poetry. Dr Koshy is one such poet, and I am lucky to have met him online and in real life, he inspires his fellow poets by all means. His evolves with his poetry, and the poetry of others. A wonderful piece of poetry and a great insight into the art of poetry. Thank Dr Koshy.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      April 17, 2013

      Many thanks for this, Sangeeta. I am certain that Dr. Koshy will be delighted with your comments.

      Like

  25. DiAnne Ebejer
    April 17, 2013

    Reblogged this on DiAnne's Place II.

    Like

  26. 1. Thanks Whisper Stone for reblogging.
    2. Thanks MacKENZIE’s Dragonnest for reblogging.
    3.Thanks West Coast Review for reblogging.
    4.Thanks Steve Corn. 🙂 – looking forward to that one on pivoting.
    5. Thanks Payal Pasha.- go for it.
    6.Thanks Sue Lobo, I could not agree more.
    7.Thanks Dianne, honoured!
    8. Thanks Sangeeta, beautiful compliment,

    Like

  27. Thanks for reblogging it Dianne 🙂

    Like

  28. Patricia Tilton
    April 17, 2013

    What a moving and beautiful poem. It really touches the soul.

    Like

  29. Thank you Patricia

    Like

  30. Sunil Sharma, famous and distinguished Indian poet comments: Talking Rimbaud these days is talking celibacy among the teens! Everybody is in a tearing hurry to get noticed, published reviewed and awarded. Ampat Koshy—a standout figure in the rat race—is an Arnoldian figure who exhorts, guides, coaches and directs all the pen-pushers to their sacred calling and by exposing them to the world-heritage of the musical and the poetic, aims to convert them into real priests of the Sublime through his careful editing, selection and exposition of those precocious children who made an ugly world beautiful by their profound literary talents.
    Under Ampat’s watchful eyes, Rimbaud—and other venerable figures—will teach you a lot, provided you are listening in this age of attention-deficit and info-overload.

    Like

  31. Susma Sharma Gurumayum
    April 18, 2013

    very interesting piece.. and very helpful.. thank you..

    Like

  32. ty susma 🙂

    Like

  33. Pingback: One Must Be A Seer | the secret keeper

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