Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Slimy Poetry

To piggyback a bit on Sara's last post - we can use poetry to write about our studies as well as make sense out of the world around us to – as she put so well: write from the outside in.

Sara and I were just chatting on the phone as I was coming back from meeting with an aspiring poet. We talked about showing without telling – about poetry being a snapshot  - of it being about experience not emotion – how we should be putting all the clues on a page without necessarily adding it up for our reader - allowing our reader to discover the meaning by mixing the words on the page with their own experience.

This is what we mean by writing from the outside in as opposed to the inside out. Having the ability to respond to and question the world around us will certainly help us make sense of the dynamic sphere we inhabit.  The idea that we should unceasingly be mining our inner feelings and then putting them on the page for others to read seems a bit selfish to me. It’s the me, me, me attitude that we all hope our kids grow out of as they practice their first steps whether they be literal transition from crawling to bipedal locomotion or in their writing.

It takes a mature self-awareness to embrace the fact that one is not the center of the universe.

And with that grandiose declaration, I give you a poem about tadpoles!


I caught some squiggles in the pond
And put them in a big jar
I gave them bits of lettuce to eat
‘Cause they looked kinda starved
They began to grow real fat
And as their bodies spread
Legs popped out of their sides
And eyes bulged from their heads
Their squiggle tails disappeared
They were no longer polliwogs
My squiggles they are all gone
Now what am I gonna do with these noisy frogs?

©2014 Michael Salinger all rights reserved

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