Thursday, November 10, 2005

love of fare

A post pulled out of the January 2005 archives especially for the 6th poetry carnival.

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I realized I loved poetry again a few years ago (the first time was way back in high school, where Mr. Willems made Wordsworth and Shelley come alive). I needed some venue for expressing those metaphors that would suddenly present themselves as perfect comparisons of what I was experiencing, those lines that would inexplicably pop into my head.

I made my first foray into writing free verse poems while reading Writing Personal Poetry by Sheila Bender. It put me on the road to a rewarding and exciting relationship. Since then I’ve written scores of poems, collected binder-fulls by others and increased my collection of poetry books from a mere handful to close to 100 (counting all the slim chapbooks with just a few poems in them - but that too proves my still-novice status, as some of my mentors own whole bookshelf-fulls of poetry books).

One of the most growing things I did as a poet was become a member of a loosely organized poetry community. Utmost Christian Writers came online in November 2003, and when web master Nathan Harms set up a forum, I was one of its first members. There we post our work for comment and critique - and do lots of other chatting too of course. Being a part of that community has done more to keep my interest in and love for poetry alive than anything else.

"Love of Fare" came about through interaction on the forum. One day one of the members posted a poem in which the speaker was using food as a substitute for love. She wasn’t happy with the title she’d chosen and asked for suggestions. In jest I suggested "Love of Fare." One of the other forum members let out a hoot (virtual of course) and asked whether he could write a poem using that as a starting point. Of course I gave permission, but then thought, why don’t I take up that challenge too. Here is the poem that resulted. It still expresses pretty closely my relationship with poetry.

LOVE OF FARE

At the poetry fair
verbiage fills the air
as I sample each poet’s concoction

Haiku-rich canapes
free-form salads, parfaits
of thick verse, sonnets baked to perfection

Wine of symbol and sound
liqueur lyrics abound
I’m becoming an addict of diction

Till I stumble around
very drunk on profound
poems that make my head spin in confusion

But wait, here is a booth
of poetic uncouth
Out of place at this fair, my objection

Then I look at the name
and find mine is the same
it’s my very own poetry section

So where are the trays
and the tasty displays
piping hot and fresh-baked for consumption?

What seemed clever and bold
now tastes cliché and cold
bland and lacking in wise introspection

As I’ve wandered this fair
I have gained, tasting here
a fine palate of discrimination

Now to retain my space
in this prestigious place
I’d best spend some more time in the kitchen

- V. Nesdoly

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(By the way, I have my own poetry chapbook for sale. Check out Calendar here.)

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