Saturday, December 1, 2012

Doing Too Much Trying

Yesterday I absolutely could not find a story in the news paper to use for my poem.  Finally, in desperation, I looked at the Horoscopes column.  Yes, I could take a line from each of a few of the months and weave them together in a poem.  A sorry excuse for a poem, but a poem.

Then a funny thing happened.  I started to like the poem. It expressed how I feel right now.  Overwhelmed. It included the little pep talk I give myself at times like this. I told myself that I was taking care of the problems.

Second stanza is me telling myself—who are you kidding?

Third stanza, especially after I changed out one of the lines, is about me restating the problem.  I thought using inversion on the first line to turn it into the second line was just a cheap trick.  But when I read the poem at my poetry seminar today, everyone liked that line the best.  The instructor said it was not just a trick because the inversion added to the meaning of the poem   

The fourth stanza, only one line long, with just a little bit of tweaking, resolves the poem with a happy ending. 

You can see the two versions of the poem below. 

I called the poem Horos because the rules for news print poetry say that the title must come from the headline.  Dumb title!  No, not so much.  “Horos” means dance in Greek, and dance is an apt name for this poem.  The poem is about the dance I do with my emotions when I am feeling overwhelmed. 

I liked the poem because beginning each line with an “ing’ verb, reminded me of waves coming again and again and again. (It also provided rhyme.)  And the short spare sentences suggest weariness, problem piled upon problem.  

And last but not least I found the most wonderful picture to go with the poem.  (See it below.)  a little sailboat all alone on a big ocean trying to make it home amidst the roiling waves.  The waves aren’t that high, but just high enough so it is not smooth sailing. It's the little sailboat that could.

This painting of a sailboat is from Laurie Justus Pace.
Horos  (News Print Poem)                                        Horos (Revised)

Feeling overwhelmed right now.                                Feeling overwhelmed right now.
Chipping away at the problem.                                   Chipping away at the problem.
Clearing the slate.                                                       Clearing the slate.

Walking the walk …                                                   Walking the walk …
    or just talking the talk?                                               or just talking the talk? 

Trying to do too much.                                               Trying to do too much.
Going beyond the call of duty.                                   Doing too much trying.
Seeking a conclusion.                                                 Seeking a conclusion.

The rest of the way is smooth sailing.                         Hoping for smooth sailing.

So, now I have explained my poem.  If I have to explain the poem, it is not a good poem.  But you guys got the poem without the need for explanation, right?
Also, I know a lot of people feel overwhelmed around the holidays.  Overwhelmed with too many things to do; overwhelmed with emotions.  So I hope my little poem helps you out with that.