Poetry, rules and rebellion

I have a confession…writing poetry with certain constraints has always made me antsy. I have felt like I was somehow not good enough to write following the rules. So, I have written copious amounts of free verse…avoiding the structure of any fotms.

Then, as I grew as a writer and a poet, I found myself saying I don’t write that way too often. Well why the Hell not? Am I a Poet? Or do I just pretend I am?

So, when presented with a form/structure poem idea, I start by looking up the rules. For me, this is my go to site.

Believe me, I feel like a high school student again. In high school I knew the rules and felt my style was better as free verse. I think that if anyone tried to tell me that I needed to follow rules with my poetry I even would blow it off with poetic license.

The rebel nature of free verse still appeals. I will likely never be the next Haiku or Sonnet genius. Poetry speaks from the heart, and mine is often chaotic and unstructured. The meaning remains though.

So, just out of curiousity, what is your favorite types of poetry? Why?

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Pheonix ashes

I am learning to be a new person, in order to do that I have to quiet the mental gremlins. That is harder than it sounds. I am a survivor. And I am tired of surviving. No, I am not suicidal. But I am trying to change the direction of my life. I am trying to make it where I no longer am having the string of disasters that my life has been up till now.

What that means for me? It means for to start I let my art and my words flow. I continue to put myself out there. I consider writing the memoir that I have been told was something I need to do. That will probably be some of the hardest words I write. I have shared a few of the stories.

To ease some of the panic, I will say that I don’t know if I will publish it. If I do it will be under a pen name.

Journals,  diaries and the journey of the damaged mind. 

        Lately,  I have been trying to do an exercise for my brain in the morning called ‘morning pages ‘. Basically brain vomit put in physical form. This helps me to clear the crap that weighs me down,  and recognize my problems so that I can address them. It actually is helping.  I used to understand the power of keeping a diary… Unfortunately people happened.  Said people used those diaries against me.  So I got out of the habit. I stopped listening to the internal therapist.  And the result?  I have a fair amount of issues that bind my self esteem in a knot.  So by starting to do this at least one time each day,  I am going to see so much of what garbage is buried in my brain.  And I will see what I am able to start working through.  I will be improving who I am.  

        Today I found that I was feeling like a failure because I was not juggling the numerous hats I wear as well as I want to.  Today I was kicking ass as a mom,  but my writing was not going as well as I wanted it to.  I rocked as a friend and I even did decent as a housewife.  But I was doing poorly as a crafter and small business owner.  I was an amazing artist but I felt that I was not a wonderful person…. Now… Read this again.  Today I was amazing but I did not feel like it. That is the place where the exercise helps.  We have to change how we see the world if we want to change the way it sees us. 

     What’s something that you can adjust your way of thinking about?  And how can you use it to make your world brighter? 

Life stories 

    How many times have you found yourself thinking about the past? I am guilty of doing it often.  We are all a collection of stories,  some that we do not tell.  The reason why we don’t varies some,  depending upon the story. Some we are ashamed of,  some we think are going to be boring to the world around us. 

         I am finding out that sometimes those stories are more interesting than we realize. I try to be open about my history and tell my stories,  but some of them do not really sit on the mind as something that I need to tell. Yet,  each of them are a part of who I am.  I am a unique individual who has seen some of the darkness that lives in the heart of man.  I am a survivor who has learned to make do with what I have. And I am a woman who has seen both good and bad,  and came through it ready to try to tell my stories. I don’t know if I will ever be able to write all of the stories of a life survived,  or even if I should.  Not all of my mistakes are ones that any one would learn from… Even me.  Still for now,  I will attempt to continue to dribble my story in small gushes to this blog,  and to my poetry.  Perhaps my journey will aid those who stumble across my words. 

The stories we hide

      I have many stories,  I think that we all do.  Some of us,  the ones who have been through hard moments,  we hide the stories.  We have been taught to feel the shame of those stories.  To feel less because of them.  And I refuse.  

                My memory is still very fragmented. I blocked more of my story out to save my mental health than I remember. Yet,  I remember enough. I am a survivor.  I was abused. I was raped, multiple times. And when I asked for help I was told it never happened. I was told that I was crazy.  

            I might be crazy,  but it did happen. I have been brave before,  I told the man who abused me as a child that I would scream if he came near me again. I was eight or nine. I’m not entirely sure of the exact age.  He locked me in the trunk of his car and told me I would die there. I believed him.  He convinced me that no one would ever believe me. The sad part is he was right.  It took me until I was thirteen to gain the courage to tell anyone. To my shame,  I was told it was not true. 

                So much of my life I have been fighting for my sanity and my life.  I am in my fourties,  and for the first time in my life I am not crazy.  I know my truth.  I will always be the person who was made from the hell I walked through. But I will not hide my truths any longer.  I am not going to let those truths break my spirit anymore. 

Audience 

          Who is my audience?  As an author there is not a day that goes by that I am not asking myself this question.  I have, I think come to a decision on it. My children’s books: the audience is fairly obvious.  Children.  I really write them for my daughter (and now my grandson).  Which is why I believe that the third bedtime stories will be mid grade. The first two were stories written for her when she was small. The third started for a preteen. (And now she is helping me write it.  She was suggesting ideas for the story and is looking forward to hear it when it is done.  She refused me reading it until then.) But I write more than just children’s books.  

        My poetry I have always written for me. So do I really have an audience for it?  Yes,  and no.  It is always going to be how I cope with the world… It is more that then it is written for a particular audience. That being said,  the reason why I published it is because my coping mechanisms can possibly help someone else who may be in a bad place. Or not,  I am not sure it matters there.  My poetry is the clearest view inside of my soul. To tell the truth I publish it because I can.  I have lost so much of my poetry over the years… This is the way of preserving it digitally so I will not lose anymore. 

        Last but not least,  there is Serena’s stories. Anything that I write that is adult in nature will be published under Serena Mossgraves.  Currently that seems to be horror.  I am not sure if it all will be… I just know that I will not be doing erotica… It embarrasses me to write it.  So I figure her audience will be adults,  preferably who enjoy what I write.  

          All seems simple enough.  I only hope that I am able to create a story that someone likes.  

Poetic license 

Recently I asked for advice on my poetry… And it got me thinking.  The advice was given that I need to add smilies and metaphors in my poetry,  because there is no poetry with out it.  Now mind you I added some images,  but some poems just do not work with either.  I feel like I am missing something by refusing to accept that all poetry must have either of the two options.  But,  then I start to question… Who is writing the poem?  

                Yes,  I employ both in my poems,  but not always.  Some poems are just emotions in written form.  If all poetry was just comparison then where is the original ideas?  Images do not have to be a comparison to be evocative.  Sometimes the more you compare the emotional state with something else,  the more you lose of the original idea.  

        Do not get me wrong… I am grateful for the opinions offered,  after all it made me look closer at what I was writing and add more imagery.  I however am not sure that I am willing to completely change my voice because it doesn’t fit another person’s idea of what poetry should be.  

          What do you expect when you read poems?  Which of the poetry styles /rules are a hard and fast thing for you?  Please do respond.  I would love to discuss this idea further.