• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 120 other followers

  • Archives

  • The Just Poets Tweets

February Meeting Wrapup

Love poems as Lenses

To make a segue from the January Chaucer meeting, Celeste read a few passages from the story of the Wife of Bath.  Did the Wife trade love for money in order to forego money for love?  And just what does she mean by “sovereignty”?  What is it that women want?   


All you need is love, say the Beatles – but what is it?  We went around the room, each person offering a different angle for definition.

Love for its “unalterable” character in Shakespeare’s sonnet 116, or the unmoveable spine in Richard Wakefield’s poem, is slippery business!

Members were given links to the powerpoint via email and handouts with Wakefield’s Writing about Love were at the meeting. 

Why do we write about writing about love ?  and what do we mean by “love”?

Prompts for your own writing:

  • try one word in a fixed place that begins and ends the poem. In the case of Wakefield, it was fun to “rewrite” his poem (some thought it edged on the gimmicky) in couplets.  What happens to words as we move them?
  • maybe you too want to explode clichés about love.  How do I love thee?  Let me compare… images of hearts, roses, fine wine, battlefields… what is this love?
  • The problem with metaphors…  Zbigniew Herbert:  I would like to describe: note how he takes half the poem to demonstrate finding one word to truly describe something (let’s say love) :  It is a fine reminder of underlining in words, the worn out metaphors.  The second half of the poem blurrs a flurry of emotion/image.  This link gives you poem and a bit of commentary:  http://www.oregonlive.com/books/index.ssf/2011/01/poetry_i_would_like_to_describ.html

Patterns for Love

  • Symploce (example from February Poet Talk)
  • Getting to the “spine” of it (Richard Wakefield poem)
  • “old” and “new” :  Elizabethan lute songs interrupt “First Love” by Jan Owens http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/242926
  • using repetition (yet a little more… yet a little more)

— The 12th century Persian Poet behind “Layla” who was a fool for love, joins Eric Clapton.

— How many versions of fool for love do we have?

— How many versions of Love Makes the World Go ‘Round with a Thank You to Precious Bedell


Collaboration is at the heart of creativity.  Precious as a first time participant at a Just Poets meeting was courageous in volunteering to help with this presentation. She spurred discussion about how lyrics that rhyme resemble poetry—some of which would fail without music, some of which stand on their own because of the line.


One more link:
The final slide had one version of Rilke’s “Blank Joy”.

When dealing with poetry in translation, it’s always good to compare several translations if not the original.   This version: http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/rainer-maria-rilke/blank-joy/  is not as clear as this version: : http://paulweinfieldtranslations.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/rainer-maria-rilke-blank-joy/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: