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Sunday, 28 September 2008

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The other kind of stress

Poets can be sensitive. In a way, that's what poets are known for.

Unfortunately, it can be a poet's undoing. Writer's block, in most cases, is simply a lack of confidence. A person gets so wrapped up in negative self talk, that no matter what they put on the page, it never seems good enough. When it reaches the point that the poet can no longer put words on the page at all, it has become a severe problem. Try to recognize when you are being overly self critical.

Here are some ways that all people, including poets, sabotage themselves.

(Please note that I am adapting some of the material from Walt Schafer's book, Stress Management for Wellness)

Negativising

Focusing only on the negative aspects of a situation. For example, if someone reads your poem and has mostly positive things to say, but you focus only on the criticism, you are negativising.

Awfulizing

Focusing too much on a problem or obstacle until you build it up into a disaster. For example, you decide you can't write today because you can't find your favourite pen and without that, you won't produce anything good.

Catastrophizing

This is when you go into a situation expecting the worst. For example, you decide not to submit your poems to a magazine because you "already know they are going to turn you down."

Overgeneralizing This is when you take a single negative event or piece of data and apply it to a much larger situation. For example, if you write a bad poem, you decide that you must have "lost it" and you might as well give up. Plenty of good poems get written right after bad poems.

Minimizing

This is when you degrade praise or an accomplishment. For example, if you get published by that magazine that you thought would never have published you, you decide that it must have been a fluke or they haven't got many submissions.

Perfectionism

Setting impossibly high standards for yourself or for a situation. For example, the notion that you have to have the perfect word to finish a line and you can't move forward until that word comes to you.

There are other ways to sabotage yourself but I think you get the point.

Don't focus on the negative aspects of your writing. Its good to want to improve, but don't paralyse yourself with unreasonable expectations or poor self image. Just write.


When can I reach you?


Stuck in a roomlet
Of a huge condominium,
I cannot help
Thinking of you
Pressed between strangers
In an over crowded bus
I cannot help
Yearning for you
Burning and burdened with
Taxes, bills and receipts
Still I have a
Room for you.
Invisible freedom,
When can I reach you?

Sunethra KARUNARATNE


The unexpected
When a tiny bud blooms to a beautiful flower,
It never hopes to whither away.
When the sun illuminates the sky with its brightness,
The sky never hopes the brightness to fade away.
When a little nestling is born,
It never hopes to fly away.
When a spider weaves a web with all its strength,
It never hopes anyone to break it away
When the sea touches the beach
It never hopes the sea to go away.
When bees make honey,
They never hope to give it away.
When trees bear fruits,
They never hope the fruits to be taken away
When the earth gives life to itself,
It never hopes people to perish it away.
When our hearts are full of hopes,
We never hope them to shatter away.

F. Fatzana FaZeel


 

Enigma at the fountain

Out in the garden,
In the balmy surroundings
Of greenery of amorphous trees,
There stood a marble fountain,
Which incessantly gurgled
And emanated
The flower of water,
Out of a glittering white amphora,
Which was in the hands
Of a model cupid,
With chubby features, and,
In semi-nudity
With beautiful and crisp curls,
On his head.

A bird perched
On it's basin
'With a regular squak
While sipping water with it's beak,
Which seemed to be an invitation
For a conversation,
With the model cupid,
Who never answered the thirsty bird;
Is it the secrecy of uncertainty
In the ornithic world?
From the God of love
Oh! cupid! Please answer the bird!

S.T. Pushpananda


How beautiful the decay is?

How beautiful the decay is?
The decadence of life,
The vile twists of fate,
The seductive lights.
How beautiful the decay is?
The countless ruined souls,
Fill devils proving grounds,
As echoing dirges sound.
How beautiful the decay is?
Wasted eyes and hearts,
Bruised and broken skin,
Laid under tombstones clean.
How beautiful the decay is?
As lonely mother cries,
Over unborn dream child,
Eyes transfixed, blind.
How beautiful the decay is?
Man's life long lost, gambled,
Pulse turned into rolls of dice.
Crying,"money!" Satan's bastard child!
How beautiful the decay is?
The lives we all live,
The illusions and petty vices,
Yet we say:
"How beautiful the decay is"?
"How beautiful the decay is"?

Christopher NIGHTINGALE


 

You said so

Once you said.....
Once you said
Your love 's like a sun's beam
But I didn't see
Sun rising......

Once you said
Your love's like a fragrance of flowers
But I didn't see
The flowers blooming......
Once you said
Your love's like a river
But I didn't see
The estuary.....
I did see nothing not because I'm blind
Coz your love made me blind.

- Nilanthi DAYANANDA


 Where is humanity?

Humanity, yes
It is a beautiful and wonderful word
I seek and seek, but
I can't find you, yet
Where are you......?
I can't see here
Humans with humanity.

Everyday every minute
Uncountable innocent corpses
Falling on our land.
Everyday every minute
New graves are dug

We can only exhibit
The skeletons on
Winding sheets
The temptations of
These slaughters
Who must be ashamed
Of their pitiless cruelty,
And brazen birth

- Shumangalee KANTHASAMY


 Power of love

Love, Love Love!!!
The most amazing word in the world
Waves love the sea,
Shores love the river,
Moon loves the night
Sun loves the day
Wind loves the space
Man loves woman,
Woman loves man

There is no place in the world without love
There is no person in the world without love,
That is the marvellous word in the world, that....
Hands cannot wipe out
Sword cannot cut down
Cinders cannot burn up
And
The life cannot be without.....

- Fathima SHAMEEMA

 

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