....from 'Poetry Splash!' e-zine Issue 018
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>>THE FIVE SENSES AND THE FORCE OF POETRY<<
An article by Arvind Passey.


1.LOOK AS YOU LISTEN.
A word spoken, a sniffle stiffled, a tear crashing onto a dream, one
little laughter decibel tip-toeing into hearts, a knuckle-crack nervously
opening some door,...can all be sounds that go unnoticed, unsung. Stop
merely hearing them. Capture their sound bytes and have a good look at
them. They will tell you more than their sounds that your ear has heard.
Take a walk down the pathways that sounds carve and you will see what a
poet aught to really see. Then write about it. Honestly.

2.HEAR WHAT YOU SEE.
Lipstick on a collar, a wobbly knee, sparkling new jogging shoes,
thumb-print on a floppy-disc, a missing shirt-pocket,...are all visuals
that are ready to whisper their secrets into the ears of a poet. Why?
Because a poet is ready to pro-actively listen to their story, however
improbable it may sound to the logical amongst us. Their story is not the
story that our ear would hear. Their story meanders between what what has
happened and what was intended to happen, between what should have
happened and what could have happened. So, hear! And then put it all on
paper. Truthfully.

3.FEEL THE TEXTURE OF YOUR WORDS.
Dont just pick any word that comes along and fit it into an emotion and
then try to pass it on to yourself first as a poem! No, dont ever do it.
Feel each word as you would feel the texture of a piece of cloth you are
intending to buy. Just as you relate the season, climate, place, time,
environment, ambience, and your own task to the texture of cloth that you
buy, so must you insist on the texture of the words you choose for the
poem that you intend writing. Simple.

4.SNIFF YOUR WAY INTO A SITUATION.
A whiff is all that one has at times. Despite the aroma and all the sweet
smells, a poet sniffs his way right into the heart of truth to find a poem
sadly curled up in a corner waiting to be rescued. Or maybe, a poet is
just blasting his way through the world's worst odours to discover the
sweetest smelling flower ever to be enshrined in words.

5.MAKE IT TASTE GOOD.
'A poem should not mean
But be.'
(Archibald Macleish)
Like the delicacies on a platter. Like actions and deeds instead of
cluck-clucks of mere sympathy. Repeat your lines aloud and hear the
effect, see what image it conjures up for you, feel the texture of the
words you've used...and decide if the final dish is worth it or not!

6.MAKE IT FUN.
Discover what makes it fun for you and your poetic urges. If the poetic
inclination wins, you win. Most importantly, enjoy writing your poem.
Don't let it be a drag, or that is what you'll ever write.

'Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.'
(Maya Angelou)
If writing one poem has given you fun, don't stop. If having fun is your
dream, give birth again to the dream -- write another poem!