Lyrique

Why
did she take
the paper flowers
and the huge golden butterfly
inhabiting her head
(along with the stuffed
bird
in her ribcage)
and without saying a word
lay them out
on the wooden
floor?

~Nikos Engonopoulas. from the Poem: Aubade.

–Artwork: ‘Dream’ by Van Renselar. One of my favorite artists. Visit his site here.

* * *

 In general, the writing of fictional characters is dependent on the larger work, and it is the larger work that reflects the author’s worldview.

Lyric poems present a slightly different picture (as can first-person novels, though often to a lesser degree). A lyric poem depends on the development of a single sensibility. That sensibility might involve a construction called “I” that could stand in for the poet, but it could just as easily take the form of a Greek warrior (Tennyson’s “Ulysses”) or a giant toad (Bishop’s “Rainy Season; Sub-Tropics”). Which is to say, lyric poems don’t have characters, they are characters — and characters with an oddly doubled aspect. We hear the voice of the poem, but we also understand that we’re hearing a filtered version of the poet’s own voice. We’re hearing both a giant toad and Elizabeth Bishop; both Gerontion (who may himself be more than one person) and Thomas Stearns Eliot; both “I” and Robert Frost. The poet isn’t so much taking on a character as donning a mask. (from ON POETRY, Flying on in the Reflected Sky: Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Selected Poems’ and ‘Pale Fire.”by David Orr, in Sunday Book Review, The New York Times, published July 20, 2012.)

* * *

 “One secret of personal lyric is that it extends a ‘lyric invitation’ to the reader: identify with me for the length of this document (poem/memoir)–‘become’ me and see through my eyes, think with my thoughts.”

   ~~~Gregory Orr, Poet and Author. From Gregory Orr: memoir as ‘lyric invitation’ at Narrative. Read the complete article here.

* * *

My dad taught me that to be a writer is a decision and a habit. It’s not anything lofty, and it doesn’t have that much to do with inspiration. You have to develop the habit of being a certain way with yourself. You do it at the debt of honor. I’ve written 13 books now. It’s not really important that I write a lot more books, but I do it as a debt of honor. I got one of the five golden tickets to be a writer, and I take that seriously. I don’t love my own work at all, but I love my own self. I love that I’ve been given the chance to capture the stories that come through me.  ~Anne Lamott, Interview at Goodreads

 

* * *

 

9 thoughts on “Lyrique

  1. I admire your ability to write lyric poetry … incredible imagery and awesome art work. Was not able to connect to the artist site at this time – will attempt again later. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Becca. Have been writing poetry for so many years now. Imagery is an area I strive hard to develop – the goal is always to make the experience come alive for the reader. I appreciate you visiting and commenting. I stopped by your blog and much enjoyed it – had to subscribe! 🙂 Blessings, Marissa

      Like

  2. stunning imagery, love the art image, smiles.

    Good Evening:

    How divine when you come to poetry potluck,

    Week 43 is free verse week, submit 1 to 3 random poems, enjoy the fun!

    Hope to see you tonight.

    xoxox

    glad to see you post, missed your presence, and hope to see you share and enjoy some poetic time.

    Like

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