Originality


37f179f7dc9c4bc253f21dc3621458e9_002                                                        Melba’s Kind of Self -Portrait

Writing can be the most fulfilling activity. I know that it gives me great satisfaction and pleasure. The fulfillment augments when someone tells me that my poems inspire them or have made them look at things from a different perspective.

All of us want to be acknowledged and praised for our work even when we do not consider it work. For me writing helps me release tension. I learn. I think and I am inspired to read the work of others so that my writing becomes more meaningful.

But I also want to be creative and original. I want people to say, “This is unlike anything I have ever read before.” Perhaps this is not realistic but should it be the poet’s or writer’s goal.

Since my retirement a little over a year ago I have pondered the idea of originality. What does it mean to be original? I started watching more movies on Netflix and TV shows and looked for originality. I found some that seemed original but many that had repetitive story lines and themes. For example, many of the new reality shows promote competition and require people to either spill their guts out about their personal lives or ask them to do outrageous things like eat bugs or wrap snakes around their necks. Original perhaps but not anything that will remain memorable I do not think.

Movies made for TV usurp most cable channels and many even say that the screenplays are original. Some producers claim the stories are real life. So I guess that makes them original.

I looked up some quotes about the idea of originality. Therefore, I am not being original by quoting these thoughts or concepts here but I do hope to get some original feedback and opinions about what originality is or should be.

My drawings and photographs are original. My poems are original. My problem is that I want to be extraordinarily original. Please send me your comments and thoughts.

Here are the quotes:

 

“What is originality? It is being one’s self, and reporting accurately what we see.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Great works of art “are not the product of single and solitary births; they are the product of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice”

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Quoted in http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/papers/alfrey.html

“Originality as a part of the big picture, where everything else is balanced and in place, can be a wonderful and valuable thing indeed. When it has a definite purpose to express something that cannot be done by conventional means it is special, and those types of innovations are far more effective, powerful and beautiful.”  Tom Hess quoted from http://tomhess.net/Articles/Originality.aspx

 

” Originality can come only from what you bring of yourself to your story. In other words, originality is not a function of your novel; it is a quality in you.”

Donald Maass

Quoted from http://writerunboxed.com/2009/04/01/what-is-originality/

 

“The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity.” – Thomas Carlyle

 

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: because if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

~C. S. Lewis quoted in http://undiscoveredauthor.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/quote-c-s-lewis-on-originality/

 

“Seems to me – if I was an author, I would want to try for a title that was just a tad more original…..Just saying….”

– Quoted from http://cataids.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/originality-in-titles/

 

“What does it mean to be original with your art? Can you truly be original when you follow the wisdom of those who preceded you?”- Patrick Ross

Quoted from http://artistsroad.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/creativity-and-originality/

 

“Poetry demands originality. It is, however, unfair to expect brand-new poets to produce fresh, original work all the time—even the most seasoned poets struggle with this task. Poets often find that they must first imitate what has come before them—by reading the work of others and by imitating the work that inspires them—until their own unique voice begins to come through. And by honing the craft through dedicated practice, a poet develops his or her own style.”

http://writersrelief.com/blog/2008/03/fostering-originality-in-poetry/

 

Here is my concept of originality in a painting I made a few years ago.

 

OriginsMelba Christie (C) 1993

 

 

 

Happy Birthday William!


Happy Birthday William!

by Melba Christie (c) 2014

 

Pardon me if I sound presumptuous

As I do not mean to be bold

Perhaps it is not proper of me

that I address you by your given name.

But I am honored if you allow me to do the same.

 

You see my seventh grade teacher is to blame

as she made it very clear

your poetry would become so dear

to all of us

She made a huge fuss

and made us memorize whole stanzas

and on your birthday every year

she would have what she called Shakespeare’s extravaganza

 

Also I feel I have known you all my life

you describe much of my strife

besides my father’s name was William too

and maybe this is why I could not help

but to be attracted to you

 

I never want to “speak an infinite deal of nothing”

I feel “the best is yet to come”

as I slowly but surely become

a poet to be followed

an honor I hope is bestowed

upon me before my death

“For in that sleep of death what dreams may come”

““True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings.”

 

This is why I sing

today and everyday

“O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful!

And yet again wonderful”

God knows I never want to be dull

 

So today, the 113th day, of this year 2014

and on the 450th anniversary of your birth,

I celebrate with great mirth

your sonnets most of all.

They taught me about the complexities of love

and how we fall

to romance, destiny from the heavens above.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILLIAM!

 

 

DSC_2011

 

DSC_1863

 

 

List of Sites about Shakespeare and his Works

http://www.williamshakespearefacts.net/list-of-shakespeare-sonnets.html

Let Poemattic know how you do on this Quiz.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/quiz/2014/apr/23/childrens-books-shakespeare-birthday-quiz

Article

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/william-shakespeare/10777409/Shakespeares-450th-birthday-Now-all-the-world-is-his-stage.html

 

 

 

12 Favorite Quotes to Write by in 2014


where letters  lay

I found an old notebook as I was trying to give some order to the stuff that is stored in the attic. I always sit as comfortably as possible when this happens because I end up reading the whole notebook in remembrance of things past.

These are quotes I had jotted in some entries and they added up to twelve of my favorite quotes about thinking and writing. Most of them are by my favorite poets and writers. I decided I would use them to remind me of what will be most important throughout this brand new blogging  year.

I hope you find some worthy of adopting for your use.

1. “A poem is never finished only abandoned.”

– Paul Valery

* I found a few poems I abandoned and will work on them again.

2. “As for style of writing, if one has anything to say, it drops from him simply and directly, as a stone falls to the ground.”

– Henry David Thoreau

3. “The act of writing is the act of discovering what you believe.”

– David Hare

* This has been so true for me personally.

4. “When everyone is against you, it means that you are absolutely wrong – or absolutely right.”

– Albert Guinan

5. ““Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
– Virginia Woolf

*Her life too.

6. “How do I know what I think until I see what I say.”

–  E. M. Forster

7. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”

– Maya Angelou

8. ““Delay is natural to a writer. He is like a surfer — he bides his time, waits for the perfect wave on which to ride in. Delay is instinctive with him. He waits for the surge (of emotion? of strength? of courage?) that will carry him along.”

– E.B. White

9. “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”

– Emily Dickinson

10. “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

– Buddha

* I try to write with this purpose.

11. “To live a creative life we must first lose the fear of being wrong.”

– Joseph Chilton Pearce

* Fear does take over sometimes. It is usually the fear that was instilled in me by my seventh grade teacher. I always her voice inside my head. “Be clear and precise and for heavens sake be careful with your grammar.

12. ““There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”

– Beatrix Potter

* I loved her books as a kid.

Happy Blogging!

Melba Christie

 

 

 

 

Poets are Everywhere


 

Poets are Everywhere

 

 

 

                        Poetry is life and a poet can be found anywhere. It is so delightful when poets are appreciated and celebrated.  Poets interpret life for us on every level. In my earlier post I highlighted Michael Hoppe and his musical repertoire inspired by some of the best poets. I look for this inspiration everywhere I go and it does not fail; I manage to connect to that magical world each time. This place is such a place.

Melba Christie (C) 2013

See Poetry is Life by Melba Christie

 

 

 

 

 

 

WordPress Bloggers Quotable Quotes


I continue to read the great material the WordPress bloggers write every day. I feel like I have access to many muses with such diversity of discourse and thought. Thoughts about thoughts that can be mind boggling at times. To all those who follow my blog I am very grateful for your continued support. You inspire me to become more thoughtful about the words I choose and about what I write. Thank you. Happy blogging!

From: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/texaspoet
“Many write poems to sell. Others to gather a form of following of one’s ego. My only reason in writing my poetry is to share my own personal journey with others.”

From: http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/to-curse-or-not-to-curse-that-is-the-question/
“While I know that real life is not all sunshine and daisies and curse words are employed quite regularly in the everyday language, I don’t see their purpose or literary merit when it comes to fiction. Some might say that it’s realistic and manages to show just how angry or peeved a character is, but as someone once told me, you don’t need to use swearing to show that. A good writer will be able to show the reader just how angry their character is by employing other techniques.”

From: http://nhwn.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/top-10-gifts-for-writers/
“What do you give a writer? You can’t bottle inspiration, buying an agreeable agent would probably be out of your budget, and I don’t think the antidote for writer’s block has been discovered yet (though I’m betting a placebo would do just as well).”

From: http://101books.net/2012/09/20/ian-mcewan-on-his-writing-process/
“I love hearing about the writing process of successful novelists. It makes me realize that these people are just like me–they’ve figured out there is no set formula on writing and they do what works for them.”

From: http://nhwn.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/writers-are-teachers-are-you-ready-to-teach/
“TeachNow changed my understanding of what it is to be a teacher. I learned that the teacher doesn’t need to know everything. I learned that teaching is less about instruction and more about helping students rediscover what they already know. I learned that teaching is also about holding space and giving students permission to explore and experiment and create. My friend just posted this quote on Twitter and it reminded me of everything I learned with TeachNow: “The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.”
~Seymour Papert

From: http://akissofbliss.wordpress.com/
“If others are putting you down or pointing out your flaws, then consider the source. Smile, and outshine them with your positive attitude.”


What is Poetry to Me

Poetry ignites me;
It allows me to see things clearly;
To touch things with my eyes,
To be able to feel with my nose,
To dance on my hands,
while in the meantime time, I keep drumming, drumming, drumming away for life to be lived.

Poetry to me is the opportunity to say what my heart was afraid to say out loud.
It’s an opportunity to connect to myself and find my soul.
It’s an opportunity to reach Nirvana and bring someone with me.
It’s the sweet feeling that comes within a split second to help you realize you have written
A unique verse to soothe your soul and maybe someone else’s
When I recite a favorite line of mine
And I sigh, take a deep breath, and nod my head in approval
I realize how poetry is life itself.
It is my life
Poetry dares to ask myself about me
when I need to know me all over again.

                         –  Melba Christie

What is poetry to you? I would love to hear from you.

Poetry Books

Reasons for Writing a Poem


10 Reasons for Writing a Poem

1. To tell someone how much you care

2. To describe something beautiful

3. To keep a memory alive

4. To instill courage

5. To help someone forget something dreadful

6. To tell it like it is

7. To help yourself figure it all out

8. To inspire

9. To keep your sanity

10. Just because…. 

 by Melba Christie

Photo by Melba Christie

Welcome to Poem Attic


We have not had much of a winter season so I started to do my spring cleaning to take advantage of the mild weather. I vowed to get rid all I could that was stored in our attic. We collected quite a bit over the thirteen years we’ve lived here. As usual I begin with great fervor then manage to sit comfortably on a big cushion and before I know it I am reading my old poems. I pay particular attention to the rewrites and the notes I had written in the margins to myself. I look at the dates and relive the moment that may have inspired the poem. Then I start writing again on related or similar themes. Sometimes I simply follow through with some of the edits I had suggested. I never get around to throwing out any of the stuff I had planned to discard.

I suppose many writers do the same thing. But I think poets become reengaged in the process. I started reflecting on how poems evolve and why the ones that end up in an attic or any place for that matter somehow come back to inspire new thoughts. I feel like I have found new treasures. Although sometimes I find one poem I really hated from the beginning and just tear it to shreds.

I will share some of the poems I rediscovered and I hope that you will send me your comments. I hope that you go back into your attic and look for those poems you have written in the past or the new ones that were reborn.