This one is very sloppy structure-wise, but I’m living this thirties fantasy right now and I really felt like writing some stuff related to that, not sure why. But it makes me really happy!
The entire poem has references to Al Bowlly.
Thank you so much for reading,
FIRST, A QUEST
A little back, I wrote this highly experimental (and primal) composition called MIRROR, in which two subconscious voices would be displayed continuously until they would collapse together and generate this sense of unifying thoughts.
That poem spawned from my fiddling with the concept of multiple voices in poetry. All my compositions are made to be both read and spoken, therefor, all kinds of sound generation are within the bounds of my poetry.
I spent some time wondering about the possibility of poems meant to be read by separate voices, which can be applied to a variety of unique poetic concepts, as well as compounding lyricism with that expression and generate a form of artistic elation of poetry upon dialogue, both internal and external.
MIRROR is not a good example, since its very primitive and faulty in the groundworks of what this exercise proposes. For the ease of division in structural compositions, I will name the first voice “Archeon” and the second voice “Bareon”, A and B for short (I’m not a smart guy). Any number of voices can be used, but in my experiments, more than two can become volatile and overbearing.
SECOND, A THOUGHT
Proceeding to subdivide the purpose of these mechanisms, I’ve found three definitive usages that result in poetic progression:
1. Repetition (no overlay)
a. shining locked within a chest of hope, dimming and reckless,
b. buoying docked at a sea of souls, dim and then… lightless.
2. Interrogation (continuity)
a. eyes shut, where is the flame once consuming and bright?
b. not longer here, just ash, in the shade of innocent white.
3. Exposition (overlay)
a. the scent of olive tree…
b. … that olive tree, rooted in gloom…
a. … is it remembrance, is it pain, is it glee?…
b. … is it doom, is it melancholic empathy?…
(Not actual compositions, just simple demonstrations I etched up in a couple of minutes.)
You might be thinking: well, most of these could be composed with a singular voice. Yes, but their poetic momentum rests on the understanding that two separate voices are communicating an unifying symbol, so that symbol is passed through a lens of duality and then translated back into singularity.
In the case of repetition, giving a sensation of weight applied to certain parts of the conclusion. On the example, words like “locked/docked” and “reckless/lightless” double their weight, by means of stressing their permanence, and allowing their scope to encompass more than just the poetic subject, as in, a descent into a lightless reality tangible by all, inspiring the severity of ones perspective.
In the case of interrogation – the most useful of all – we can halve the stressing of the question and place it upon the answer. That bright flame once respiring consumingly? It is no more, now it has fully devoured, it is ash in its innocent form, fertile and renewing, but still a painful memory. Interrogation allows for the continuity of the poetic narrative, by means of easing the transmission of what is truly meant to be retained and what isn’t supposed to be front-line in the skeleton of the given composition.
Exposition is rather simple, and I would take mostly as a structural aid more than a duality in transmission. It is meant for internal dialogue, and it was the mechanism utilised on MIRROR. It allows for thoughts to unify in two different fronts, giving a sensation of duality when there doesn’t necessarily exist one, often times its just a case of division. Since verses seem to flow into their counterpart voices, it would be a bit too eerie to read it using two separate whole voices, but two separate tones can be utilised rather well. (more on that another day, I’m also producing another Lab with the usage of classical music tempos in poetry, i.e Alegro, Moderato, so on).
THIRD, A COMPOSITION
I’ve been putting off the publishing of this Lab for a while, attempting to etch decent poems that could ally to this minimal theory, but my time has been very scarce and I haven’t been able to compose anything wholesome enough for presentation. I will, therefor, leave you with MIRROR, so you have a general idea of what exposition looks like, and then create the other two during the week, and hopefully publish them as separate posts connecting to this one.
I’m sorry for the apparent laziness, but I promise that I will deliver!
Not an actual good poem, but hey, its old.
Y’all, I’ve been reading too much American poetry, so I’m going through this mixed phase of modernism and romanticism, I hope something good comes out of this because its certainly weird for me to write like this.
Disclaimer: bulletless doesn’t seem to be a real word, but I don’t get why, so I’m gonna use it anyway.
Disclaimer 2: I’ve since revised the second part of the poem, so if you’re reading for a second time, you may find it different than the original. If you seek the original, you can find it here.
A crucible of sincerity, vulnerability and late hours can create some of the most painful compositions.
FIRST, A QUEST.
The image above, if carefully examined, displays three differently animated levels distinguishable by their relation to velocity and, by consequence, Time. This animation device has been used to display certain feelings in a much clearer way: her face is animated carefully and slowly, every frame is fluid, to inspire serenity and placidness. Her hair is animated frantically, with frames leaping between animation with little fluidity, alluding to a chaotic exterior and high intensity movement. The background, although blurred, also happens at a time different from the other two layers, presenting a both static and simultaneously – moving – backdrop. This allows for a certain displacement through the fluidity of our space, allowing Art to perforate the emotional human sensors without replicating at all what those sensors are used to, by thematic association. Our world feels much like that of the animation, it constantly moves, yet we cannot fully absorb all it’s evolutions and changes, in turn, accounting for a hollow movement that we can only relay through “mental bookmarks”, like special occurrences, producing a more stop-still version of reality (similar to the one animated above), instead of flowing realistic approach to time.
In fact, Art has a plethora of examples using different composite time frames to convey a sense of “overlook” or “outlander” sentiment among its viewers, mainly present in sensorial arts like music or painting.
To literature – an Art intimately connected with the frugality of time and how it can be controlled within its frames – this device most likely has been used, but never deeply explored. In this first edition of poetry lab, I will attempt to harness my marginal composing experience to translate those planes of time dissonance into the realm of poetry. As I’ve done a good amount of experimental poems in my short time here, I’ve never taken the time to explain the processes or missions behind those experiments, and now I’m headstrong on taking you on my composing journey:
SECOND, A THOUGHT.
First, we need to figure out how to distend time properly within a written line of text. Poetry, by its very sonorific nature, makes this superficially easy by use of verse length and syllabic control:
I dreamt of latent love, yet within, darkness still reigns unkind, (11 words, 15 syllables)
Air to flame, implored by sinuous shadows, (7 words, 11 syllables)
Extinguish their fear to die. (5 words, 7 syllables)
Following an ordered decrescent sound, each verse has the same amount of syllables as the words of the verse that precedes them (11, 15), (7, 11), (5, 7). This, however, inspires a singular timeline instead of multiples ones, giving a sense that time is accelerating and thus, “running out”. But why not the contrary? Why does it not recall time just slowing down? This is annulled by the temporal references in all verses, displayed in a gradient from past (dreamt, implored), to present (extinguish, to die).
Like mentioned above, this does not relay multiple times but instead, just one flowing in-unit but changing exponentially. We can, however, salvage this later when we compose full stanzas by separating their descriptive nature through the usage of this method. So, instead of separating verses according to time, we will separate stanzas according to what line they represent by giving them symbols:
Stanza 1 – first tempo (11, 15) (plane of interior occurrence, introspection, visual devices must appear here)
Stanza 2 – second tempo (7, 11) (plane of exterior sensorial captures, noise, static, distortion and interruption, sound devices must appear here)
Stanza 3 – third tempo (5, 7) (plane of universal awareness, no sensorial, visual or sound devices can appear here, detached information must not contain emotional draws)
This is merely scratching the surface of what this method can produce, as a shift in the structure mid-composition can relay powerful messages of emotional re-focus, or give a sense of expanding/shortening of knowledge at any given point. The main objective here, however, is that the poem is able to speak to itself and the conversation won’t sound too unphased, so we will stick to the good ol’ repetition, by creating one more set of stanzas with same structure, but different in essence.
As the composition is mainly experimental, I will utilise common meanings I’m familiar with for the sake of my mental sanity (and short amount of time per day I have to compose), those of love and solitude in a frugal world where such things are generally devalued:
THIRD, A COMPOSITION.
As demonstrated above, I initially compose the first part of the composition within a relatively ordered and rhymed structure, using the lines written above as a visual guide to building the remaining verses. Although this version partially gets the job done, it’s still rather obscure that frames shift between stanzas, and I attempt a more lax yet word-based second part in an attempt to compensate the rigid/restrictive shape of the first version:
I’ve since let a day pass before writing that second part, as to refresh my information absorption and be less likely influenced by the same recurrent pieces of reception still being digested within (a great advice I’ve accidentally left out of my poetic tips). This second version, although not apparently very different from the first in terms of how it was constructed, manages to convey both the message, the subject and the quest of time much better than the previous, not by means of its structure, but by how words are ordered coupled with how they intertwine, generating a sense of shift from when they fuse and when they don’t (thus, sound shifts).
I must now refine and finish the composition on my own, and publish it similarly to all other poems on the website, but that boring part I intend on doing by myself.
I’m not a professional or academic in this subject, therefore, all conclusions are from my viewpoint and might conflict with certain academic standings out there (although from my research, I’ve found none), but none of this is fact or close to it, I’m just trying to have some fun with words and I hope you’re entertained as well!
PS: Tell me what you think of posts similar to these, I’m planning a bunch more since I have about 20 pages of notes about different composing methods I would like to attempt!
Estou feliz de-novo, como tal, a minha poesia está a recuperar. Peço desculpa pela supressão de conectores, estou a tentar usar sonoridades mais brasileiras, sendo que são também mais compactas. Como gosto tanto das duas variantes de Português, pensei, porque escrever só numa?
(Cá em Portugal, chamamos Alfaiates ao que no Brasil se dizem aranhas d’água, pequenos insectos que deslizam sobre águas paradas)
Maybe one of my most thought out compositions, this one is mostly surreal, in the style of the elder french poets. It drawns purely from existentialism and it can be somewhat complicated to unravel, so if you have any questions, just pop em up.
(Disregard the graphic elements, I was trying these out on paper and then tried to replicate them here)