If as a new born babe I was a blank page to be written on I have become a note-book, spiral bound and scribbled on all through. Do not write off my crossings-out. They are the better part of me. (not so much the roads not taken, as the by-ways tried, found wanting, crossed by others which I took instead -- or walked back on myself.) All this is written on one part or other of the I that I know or the me that others meet from day to day: face, psyche... heart perhaps. it's there in conversation, in writing, on a walk, in dreams or idle thought. I'll recognise in some unguarded moment, threads long buried, briefly brought to light. But no one ever was a blank page to be written on. Some things were there before I saw the light of day. Others came as a response to my environment. My father's craftsman's hands did not come down to me -- unless from them came art. For sure from them: a strong sense of inferiority -- today how flat-packs panic me. A D.I.Y. refuse-nik, product of the myths the family concoct. So when the small boy said I'll be an artytett the myth was born: my brother was to build the houses I designed. (It might have come to pass.) Was I as would-be artist damaged, incomplete? Perhaps - the theory's rife. From illness and from myth and self- fulfilling prophesies came emphasis on inner life, abhorrance of conformity and love of books and poetry, heresy in faith, dislike of uniform and uniformity. The child is still in me; I feel his impish ways, his love of the irreverent, his prompts to artlessness. Face to face at times we stare as to and from a mirror, broken, multifacetted: a nose, a broken piece of mouth, an ear, a cheek bone out of place, and all of them irregular. .................................Hobgoblin2011, at dVerse Poets' pub, prompting for Poetics, set us to compose a self portrait.
extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
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Sunday, 28 October 2012
Trying to Know Myself
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Dave, I really enjoyed this. Loved verses 1 - 3, definitely would like to see your crossings out.
I agree no one was ever a blank page.
And the child there within you? I see him too. And the artist in so many ways.
I feel I really got to know you through this poem, Dave.
I like the idea of being a spiral bound notebook Dave - this means I can easily go back to episodes in my life with hardly any effort. A good metaphor that.
wow this really picks up for me as it goes along...what a scene there in the end facing the child you were...a little abstract...but very cool...and i like your thoughts on what was there before even the story began...
You dug deep, Dave. Thanks for sharing this with us.
(Stands up and claps) Bravo! What a marvellous poem. I loved the part about "the roads not taken, as the by-ways tried, found wanting, crossed by others which I took instead - or walked back on myself".
Many thanks. Your poem has definitely put a spring in my Sunday step. :-)
Greetings from London.
abhorrence of conformity
and love of books and poetry,
heresy in faith,
dislike of uniform
The child is still in me
It's good that you maintained your non-conformity and everything else. The child in you allowed us to savor all the goodness of poetry that you had extended all these while. Thanks for sharing!
It is interesting how childhood memories are still such a large part of older adults. We are indeed not blank slates.
I deeply enjoyed this, Dave. First the image of the spiral notebook is such a great choice - I can picture it with all the rings, some bent, the little ripples at the side of the torn-out pages, and the cross-outs - another terrific metaphor there, and all that they add in - the genetic component - the "predestination" by parents that is true and that is not - that is genetics vs compulsion!
And the last image was especially powerful for me - I too recognize the impish child - but you described the face to face confrontation in beautiful terms, I especially like the lines about as in the mirror.
Well done. k.
I love your painting Dave...the notebook with crossings-out, I can relate....and always keep the child in you. You will never grow old ~
I also like the nonconformity aspect of this..and you know yourself well enough to move beyond the artificial barriers put up by others...and the notebook..very effective..
Clever use of metaphor to illustrate experiences experienced by many
I think I could have known all this from your work; but it's a lovely, poetic iteration of who you are, how you see yourself, always an impish child, always an artist and lover of words, always tying and untying, finding and re-exploring, always thinking, always changing, always writing...yes, that's how I imagined you all along.
hail to the child's "impish ways"!
I like that the byways were tried!
Thank you so much for sharing, Dave, you are giving us readers a chance to get to know you.
This is a wonderful poem.Simple with meaningful substance. I could relate to much of it.Ha...intimidation by flat packs..loved this!
I flatter myself that I see Me in your apologia too.
Aloha from Honolulu
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Dave, really nice job with the self-portrait. Really appreciate that you really took this prompt and ran with it. Tons of cool insights in here
Do not write off
They are the better part of me.
is my favorite stanza in here, but the entire piece is strong, with a fantastic last few stanzas as well. Great portrait. Thanks for sharing
This is a lovely piece. Thank you Dave. The roads meandered down several times are an image which leapt to my mind.
I like the concept of the inner child but have to confess that, when around people who release their inner child onto the unsuspecting, I have longed for a babysitter.
Thank you for a wonderful comment - the sort that reminds me why I blog in the first place. Much appreciated.
The Weaver of Grass
Yes, you spotted the point of it. Very reassuring that. Thanks.
Thanks Brian. Yes, I agree it is a little abstract, but I was struggling with this one.
A Cuban in London
Thanks muchly - I lust hope other commenters don't think I'm paying you!
Thanks, but I suppose I ought to confess that I'm not quite as non-conforming as I once was. We wrinklies tend to become less anti you know.
Yes, something that has often impressed me. Maybe the subjects of the memories were more vivid at a younger age.
Thank you so much for this. It really does mean a lot to me to get such a critique. It is both rewarding and helpful. Thanks again.
Wel, sometimes I feel the child is straining at the reins, but I know what you mean, and I thank you for it.
Hi, a warm welcome to you. Thank you for your visit and your so kind comments.
Good to have you aboard!
Thanks John. Really appreciated comment.
Such a lovely thing to say. But being brutally honest, I suppose I ought to say its how I'd like to be, but whether any of us are what it says on the tin... thank you for such a supportive comment.
I bow to your hail. Thank you.
Thank you. Yes, that is how I see them. And myself lured onto the roads that crossed them.
Good to have the opportunity. Thanks.
Thank you - flat-pack intimidation seems to know no boundaries!
That's brilliant if you do. Hey ho!
Much thanks for this. It was a brilliant choice of prompt and although I took a while to get into it, I found it rewarding once I was in. Really good to have your thoughts on it.
The Elephant's Child
Great reply. Enjoyed reading it and loved your meandering roads. Yes, that puts it exactly. As to the inner child, I do know what you mean. I guess we're back to the difference between childish and child like.
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