Writing Poetry – Accessible or Organic?

April 29, 2016

recuerdeme

In the MFA program at University of N.C. Wilmington, I was told to make my poetry accessible and understandable. It has occurred to me that this is strange advice actually. Are the Imagists accessible and understandable? Personally, I feel that if it is easily accessible then why not just write prose?

I read back through many of my poems and find them very raw, very organic; many come straight to the page from my sub-conscious. They are written in order to make sense of an insensible world. Every word set down is stripped down to its essence, describing an emotion I had no words for. I pour the images that I receive from my subconscious to the page.

Instead of trying to explain to you or even to describe to myself the feeling(s), these poems say it all. If they confuse you, make you uncomfortable, make you feel something – that is what I was feeling at the time I wrote it.

Try to not understand the words. Let the image I paint form in your head and feel what I feel. For instance, in The Grounding Fence (which the younger generation in the MFA program tore apart), you can actually feel what I feel during a panic attack.

It is useless to attempt to make sense of the words I write; that was not my intention in writing them.

I hope you enjoy these poems; I hope you come to understand how important poetry has been to me in healing.

Karen

My collection of poems, Recuerdeme, is available in print and digital format.

The Grounding Fence

by Karen Y. Hamilton

 

Her mind rests upon the fringes of normality,

waiting and watchful.

The fence it rests on contains the white

and black of the universe.

 

Now and then it teeters totters tips

one way or another

slipping through spaces

of surreal dreams.

 

She is there here everywhere no where.

The fence grounds her

and she holds on while

the storm gathers.

 

She is resting on the fringe,

dangling leather straps,

worn and tattered.

She rests.

About Karen Y. Hamilton

Walt Whitman says about his autobiography, Specimen Days “…At any rate I obey my happy hour’s command, which seems curiously imperative. May-be, if don’t do anything else, I shall send out the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed.” This is what I feel at this juncture of my life, the need to gather together memories of my ancestors as well as my own memories into some semblance of order. Because all of those fragments, all of the fragments that make up any life, become stories. I am the mother of three sons, who affectionately (I hope!) call me 'gypsy mom' because I tend to wander around a bit soaking in the universe's wonders. I am currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. I have published essays with Heritage Press, Florida Living, and the St. Pauls Review. I am currently working on a book of poems about the Florida Everglades pioneers and a memoir about grief and the bonds of friendship. I live in my hometown, Jupiter, Florida and work as a freelance writer and curriculum specialist.
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