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 Sick in the Mind

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Dec 20, 2001
This poem ©me. Any questions regarding copyright should be posted to this diary.

Sick in the Mind

I want to be sick in the mind

Just like all the greats.

I want to be overcome with craziness

From my mind.

I want it to fill the paper completely,

Quickly, fluidly.

Not the kind of madness that will cause

Undue harm,

But one that will explode from within,


Making the everyday into the extraordinary.

For genius

Comes from it, creation comes from it,

As does

The illness that eventually takes them.

Worthwhile, though,

If the product enhances the lives

Of others

And contributes to the beautiful landscape

Of this world.

Without the great poets past, present, and future

What would life be?

Of course, you say, with them the question

Remains unanswered.

But without them, unexplored,


Is the wonder and inspiration

And melancholy

And exhileration and complication and sadness

And madness

Of the experiences that are our lives.


I want to be sick and deranged,


Beyond any belief or blame.

Do not pity!

That is not what I ask or

Secretly desire.

Simply read, understand, enjoy,

Even judge.

Anything is the purpose of a poet.


Indeed, your thoughts and comments must be forthcoming.


The madness would snatch those affected otherwise.


Perhaps some merely want sympathetic companionship.


Hidden within us until a tug from without.


Are the results of poetry.

Make me sick

And I will ennumerate them all.

My mind

Will rush, bend, twist and create.


With the dazzling brilliance of thought

Until no one

Can question its worth.


Poetry primer. (none / 0) (#1)
by tkatchev on Thu Dec 20th, 2001 at 11:52:03 PM PST
Poetry primer:

To write good poetry, you need to keep two things in mind, first and foremost:

  1. Rhyme.
  2. Rhythm.

You can mix and match these two components -- for example, get rid of the rhyming scheme and add an elaborate rhythmic structure -- but no matter what you do, these two components have to be present. There is no escaping from it, and it doesn't matter how symbolic your writing is; if rhyme and rhythm is lacking, then it's not poetry, it's merely very flowery prose.

Now, the English language is a very difficult one when it comes to writing poetry -- first of all, it already imposes a very strict rhythmic scheme, and there are very few good rhymes in the language. That doesn't mean that you are free to write bad poetry; this merely means that you'll have to use fresh tricks to get the English language to work in these difficult conditions. For example, in Russian, we also have problems with rhyming words, (though it's not as bad as English) but since our words and sentences have free-floating stress, you can create very elaborate rhythmic structures playing with stress alone. See here, for example.

I would suggest using internal rhythm structures in each line, letting the structure of the poem on the whole float. Alliteration and assonance also works extremely well; internal rhyme is very impressive, but hard to pull off. You could try combining internal rhyme and rhythm for a very stylish result, though again, this is difficult to do properly. This is just my advice, though, you don't have to take it seriously if you have your own ideas. Experiment, that it what the age-old craft of poetry is all about.

A final word of advice: the final test for any poetry is when you read it out loud. Better yet, try to sing it. If it doesn't work in "live" form, then it's simply bad poetry, and it doesn't matter how good it look on paper.

Peace and much love...

I disagree (none / 0) (#2)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Dec 21st, 2001 at 01:17:23 AM PST
poetry shouldn't be out rules. it's made to speak your mind. Everyone tries to put conformity onto everything.

poetry doesn't have to rhyme. Formally, yes, maybe it should, but a poem is made to express your emotions. Will you tell a painter "no, this can't be blue, blue is so moody! Don't make it yellow, it looks bad, red's alredady taken and grey is depressing. "

So why should poetry be different? it is a for of expression, as all art is. Why not just leave it as the artis intended it to be. you don't have to like it, but you shouldn't correct. What makes you so right?

He didn't say it isn't poetry at all. (none / 0) (#3)
by elenchos on Fri Dec 21st, 2001 at 01:41:37 AM PST
He said it wasn't good poetry.

Your argument is simply that we should allow the possiblity for poetry to be, like, whatever. It's still art, right?

Yes. But it is almost invariably bad art. It's way too hard for most people to toss out all rules and order and come up with anything good. It can be done, and if you are astoundingly brilliant, it should be done.

But in this case? Ugh. Try to color inside the lines a bit more, or stick to prose.

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

Exactly. (none / 0) (#4)
by tkatchev on Fri Dec 21st, 2001 at 07:35:50 AM PST
You see, the rules are there to help you. Brilliant people in the past have made them up to make our lives easier, so that we don't have to reinvent the wheel. You don't have to take advantage of this opportunity, but remember that if you ignore the experience of your forebears, you'll have to redo a massive amount of work by yourself -- you'll have to start from scratch. That is not as easy as it sounds.

Peace and much love...

Poetry (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Dec 21st, 2001 at 09:16:09 AM PST
"Wilfred Owen
Strange Meeting

It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand pains that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
"Strange friend," I said, "here is no cause to mourn."
"None," said the other, "save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something had been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled,
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery,
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then when much blood had clogged their chariot wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now...." "

So tell me this then, what makes this World One poet worth reading? Or perhapse it is that it has a worthwile subject?

Not all art that does not follow the rules is bad art. And it's almost rude of you to says so. As for the "coloring in the lines" analogy, well what if the fact that it isn't colored in the lines if an expression of the work itself?

Your point? (none / 0) (#6)
by tkatchev on Fri Dec 21st, 2001 at 09:33:12 AM PST
The stuff you posted is pretty good, but nothing really spectacular.

You, on the other hand, are hopelessly clueless if you think that this particular piece of poetry "doesn't follow the rules". It has a fairly standard rhythmic structure, and uses allitaration in a fairly standard way. In short, it would almost be classic poetry if he didn't make so many structural mistakes. The semantic side is also somewhat weak, but that is less important.

Peace and much love...

Well, you know, dear... (none / 0) (#7)
by hauntedattics on Fri Dec 21st, 2001 at 09:50:48 AM PST
Not all geniuses were mentally unstable. And why do you care whether others question the worth of your mind? How about sharpening it and making it worthy of a fully realized person?

In the meantime, listen to tkatchev and elenchos. There is a reason the great poets are great, and random word spewing isn't one of them.


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