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Seriously, I need to get over this poem. It wasn't one that I intended to put ANY time into, and we are now on the third re-write. But I like it better now, please don't look at the old ones. I am not deleting them only because I promised myself I wouldn't delete the ones I thought were crap (we would be left with very little material here, and they are all apart of the process, right? RIGHT? thank you.) 

A Roost for Words )

This involved a fair amount of poetic license. This poem (in it's earliest, most humiliating iteration) was begun on a napkin, but has been finished and edited in a notebook I try to avoid sneezing in. Also, I don't drink lattes (I needed the extra syllable and black tea doesn't have the same ring of cowardice). But I am too cheap to buy a moleskin and the sentiment is there.

There is one mistake. 10 points to the person who can spot it, but no smugness because I did it on purpose.

I remain,
Georgie

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I don't want to jinx myself, but I think this may be the best sonnet I have written all summer. Big Tent Poetry asked for a poem about something you do with your hands, essentially to write about the motion or action. I didn't quite do that, but it did get me thinking about holding hands. We do with with some many different people and it means so many different thing, but is essentially the thing that grounds us. The inspiration for the first octave was the image of a child running along the beach. It's such a happy image, but carries so many dangers- drowning, pecked to death by gulls, getting lost or kidnapped, attacked by rabid gulls, etc. The original inspirations for the sextet were a) The Coldplay song "Til Kingdom Comes" (Hold my head inside your hands,/I need someone who understands./I need someone, someone who hears,/For you, I've waited all these years.) and an surprisingly beautiful, meandering X-files fan fic I once read in which Scully says to Mulder "I don't want to be alone, who will hold my hand."  (I don't know why I have to write tons and tons of backround for fourteen measly lines) 



 

Across the Beach )
The last lines are either about a meteor shower, or the end of the world. If I am lucky, there will one day be graduate students using their master theses to take a stand on the ever important meteor or apocalypse debate in the work of G. Sand.

(Confidential to [personal profile] merrycaepa : Most of this was written pre-Van Gogh, I swear I only stole the last. )

I remain,
Georgie

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While NOT writing my sonnet for this week (note to self: Petrarch only gives you five rhyming sounds, DO NOT sacrifice one of them to a neat repetition thing, no matter how  neat it is), I re-read a bunch of work from  the summer. Also not inspiring. Why didn't someone tell me I have been writing crap all summer? Oh, you are the silent judgmental types? Cool, we can work with this.

But I really liked the images/concept behind my poems-on-a-napkin sonnet. Always With You, I believe I called it. The writing was awful, though. So I rewrote it.

Voila


 

Word Roost )

 


I like this one much better.

I remain,
Georgie

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This was written on a greyhound bus returning to my home town after a weekend visiting my nine-months-home, while wishing I was back in London. I'd kill for a tardis, but then again, maybe that's not what I am looking for.

 

On Impermanence: Home is Where the Bus Stops )
I remain,

 

Georgie

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So...something isn't working: it's not you, writing project, it's me. Or it's both of us. Clearly an essay and a poem is too much, because I am writing crap, and just getting stressed about the whole thing. And if I am stressed now, then keeping up during the school year is NEVER going to happen. So change of plans: a poem (which has now become sonnets--I can't do the free form thing) or an essay a week.  Ideally I will alternate, the essays are harder but good for me. However, I will be writing a lot of essays once school starts and I think in general I need to be less serious about this whole thing.

And now on to last week's (see I'm behind again) sonnet. Big Tent Poetry asked for a poem about a possession. I was going to write about my "Keep Calm and Carry On Mug" from the British Imperial War Museum (having just watch the Churchill Dr. Who) but when I realized I had left my notebook at home (I write at a coffee shop between taking my mother to work and going to work myself) and that I was consigned to writing on napkins--I realized that the one thing I always have is a blank page, I can't even escape by forgetting my notebook. And Thus:

Always With You  )



I remain,
Georgie



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A catch-up sonnet from last week. I decided to bag the Big Tent prompt for this week and instead wrote about the mummy in the Egyptian gallery of the museum I work it. I may or may not have written this sonnet surreptitiously while on post--I didn't get caught, which is what counts. The idea came to me when I heard a grown man (wearing a "Pirate for Hire" t-shirt) say of the Egyptian collection, that the magical value that the objects had for ancient Egyptians is largely disregarded. While mulling that fact over, I became increasingly frustrated with the visitors response to our mummy, Kai-i-Nefri. First of all, yes, folks it's a real mummy; if the label says human remains, it's human remains. Secondly, everyone seemed to react with either horror (ew, gross, dead body) or awe (look at the really old thing from an exotic culture), which it is. But it's also the body of a human being. We know he died unnaturally young, probably late 20s, and I wished someone would look at that mummy and see a son, or brother, or at the very least a human being. And rather than strangle the next 13 year-old girl who said "Ew, gross," I wrote a sonnet.

 

To Kai-i-Nefri: A Museum Mummy )
And if anyone tells my boss, I'm writing sonnets on the job...

I remain,
Georgie

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I am slowly catching up after my super-busy-week-from-hell, so this essay is not even from last week, but the week before. It was written on 5 hours of sleep, in a coffee shop, the last day of super-busy-week-from-hell, so it's both goofier and more ranty than I might have hoped.

 

Jellical Cats Want a Corner )



I remain,
Georgie
 



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This week's (or actually last week's, it's been a little crazy around here on account of workshop being run at second-job) prompt at Big Tent asked us to write a poem inspired by our favorite poem. Although it isn't my favorite poem, my favorite line of poetry comes from John Donne's Holy Sonnet XIV: "Knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend." It has always struck me as good advice about how to live well, so I used it write a sonnet comparing coming-of-age/entering the work force to storming a castle. The reference about tigers comes from the best advice I got heading off to college: "Smile, be yourself, and watch out for tigers." Thanks Gryff.

Good Advice: How to Storm the Castle )


As always, there are other responses (and some of them awesome--look for the Dylan Thomas inspired villanelle) at Big Tent.

Motivation

Jul. 19th, 2010 09:54 pm
georginasand: (Default)
So I am posting an unfinished poem this week, fate conspired against me I guess. Big Tent's prompt for last week was about steganography--"security through obscurity." I got quickly discourage because, like last week, I felt like I was spending too much energy being clever to fulfill the prompt, than really writing poetry. So in the future, I am going to be more judicous about whether I use the prompt, or just write from another prompt source.

But I am proud of my idea, so I'll post what I do have

Motivation )

Of Use

Jul. 19th, 2010 09:51 pm
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This was written fast that I wanted, which is partially the point of the exercise--I am used to being able to sit over these things for months. But no more! It's also a little more angsty-teenager than I hoped, I but I came up with some less personal prompts for the future, so I promise it will get better.

Also: Ten points if you can spot the clump of sentences stolen wholesale from a earlier post.

 

Of Use )

I remain,
Georgie


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Here's the first weekly essay. It is a reaction to an article in the New York Times about educators discouraging best friendships from forming in their classrooms. It doesn't deal as closely with the article as I would like. I learned a valuable lesson about writing in response to another piece without the piece in front of you. Mostly that you shouldn't do it. As a result my essay is not as tight as I would like it to be. I felt myself torn between wanting to make my point and wanting to tell a story, and it also feels a little preachy at points. But I figure it's better to just post it and move on--that's part of the one essay a week deadline, I need to learn to move on.

Also, and this goes for everything, there will be typos. If my writing was going anywhere near anyone or anything that might consider it for publication, you can bet there wouldn't be a typo in the surrounding 25 square miles, but for now, c'est la vie. That being said, if there is something garish and humiliating, feel free to let me know.


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This week's Big Tent prompt involved taking a common pair of words (their example was love and hate) and letting one side "wander" (say, to love and hat). They cited a poem about the dangers of Love/Hat relationships (when the basis of your affection is the other persons headgear) and invited us to create our own.

My initial list of word pairs included: War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, and Rhythm and Blues, but when searching for a recipe in my mother's battered Joy of Cooking, I came upon a winner: Sugar and Spice. Although the perversion to Sugar and Mice was clear, it resisted being turned into a poem. My last resort was unabashed goofiness, which morphed into three short poems extolling the virtues of vermin.

Sugar and Mice: Anti-Extermination Nursery Rhymes )

Be sure to head over to Big Tent to read the Love/Hat poem and the other submissions. Thanks for indulging my much needed goofiness.

I remain,
Georgie



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So to start out on a completely juvenile note, I wrote a love poem. I said I wasn't going to, ever, but Big Tent Poetry asked for a conversation poem. They even went so far as to ask "Is there a question you are burning to ask someone? Is there a person (living or dead) you would love to have a conversation with?" And when you put it like that.

I am not named Eve (I am not named Georgie) but the nonspeaking (and for now oblivious) audience member is in fact named Adam. There are a lot of Paradise Lost jokes in our circle.

The full lines are iambic pentameter, mimicking the conversational Lyrical Ballads of Longfellow and Coleridge. But because I don't know a single real person who could get out an entire conversation (particularly of this nature) in iambic pentameter, there are short lines too. The parenthesis are to play around with subtext. I figure even in a fantasy-truth-telling there are still things I wouldn't say out loud.

To Adam, From a Would-Be Eve )
You can read other great responses at Big Tent's Come One/Come All post for last week, or find this week's new prompt at the same site.

I remain,
Georgie

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Hi, remember me. My name is Georgie, I had this Dreamwidth journal once. And then I stopped writing in November and completely dropped off the face of the internet-planet. Yep, that's me.

It's becoming painfully obvious that online journalling isn't really for me. I over-think the things  I write, I write infrequently, and I don't really have the time and energy to invest in an online community. (I never comment, I know, I'm sorry. It's not personal I promise.) Which sucks, because despite my limited experience with online communities, it seems like Dreamwidth has got something really special.

Since I am having a significantly less busy summer than I had hoped for, I am trying to develop a writing discipline: to write longer more developed versions of the essay-type work I put up here, more frequently. Also, I have started writing poetry. This may be a dangerous thing. At the moment, I have no aspirations of publication, but have found myself trapped in academic-style writing, which is good and valuable for his purposes. But I think it would be all around beneficial (not to mention enjoyable) to hone my skills of articulation in other forms.

Also, since my degrees (to come in two years) will be in almost totally useless subjects (or mostly I intend to do largely unemployable things with them), having a larger body of writing work to use as samples and maybe send to the odd magazine or so, can't be a bad thing. Yes, that translates as: the backup plan for my theater career is writing poetry.

So the goal for summer is a poem and an essay once a week. (This will change during the school year, but hopefully I will develop a somewhat maintainable habit.) This week, since I was still working out the kinks, there is just a poem (there may be two essays this week to compensate). I am using the Big Tent Poetry weekly prompts for my poems. My essay prompts will probably come from me. I am hoping that it will encourage me to listen more closely to , and think more deeply about, the world around me. I have ideas, I just need a discipline to get them written. 

That being said, I completely understand if watching the train wreck that is a college student trying to turn herself into a writer is not your cup of tea. Please feel free to unsubscribe at will, there will be no hard feelings. I will keep my reading list, because although we seem to have precious little interaction, I find the things that you all write fascinating and I have learned so much from all of you. Seriously, you have no idea. But I completely understand access/subscription changes.

But, I would love it if you choose to stick around, comment as you wish. I completely welcome criticisms and pointers, I know I have some brilliant writers out there on my reading list and am not so attached to my words that I can't learn from what you have to say. (I may whimper a little, but it's good for me.)

Thanks for bearing with me.

I remain,
Georgie
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"Because it is beautiful, it is truly useful" ~ Antoine de St. Exupery The Little Prince

Story's are like...actually, no they aren't. They aren't like anything and more importantly they don't do anything. They just are. They are stories and we tell them because it is in our nature to do so. Because we need them. But they don't fight crime, they don't solve injustice, and they can't jump over tall buildings in a single bound. And they don't need to.

It drives me bonkers that we seem impelled, as an intellectual society, to justify our stories. That we can't just put them into the world and let them be. That we have to interrogate them: what does this story do for us? Why is significant? Why is it significant now? Here?

The story doesn't need to function as anything besides a story. Something that people, for a moment, can simply share. Like communion. People don't analyze communion (Well, okay, religion majors do.) But in the moment of communionizing communing, it just is. Bread, wine, bada-boom, bada-bing, and you have something to share.

Stories function, not as microcosms or as metaphors or a symbols, but as little pieces of beauty that can be shared among people. A sort of communion, between people who know each other well, people who have thousands of years of history together but still tell the stories because that is what reminds them of what holds them together.  A megillah. And orange on a Seder plate. Or between people who have never met but in passing, who sit together in a dark theater--don't sit together, sit six rows apart and never so much as make eye contact--but because now they know the same story, have something to share.

I remain,
Georgie





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“I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.”~Mitch Hedberg 

There was a catacylismic earthquake in Haiti, and were it not for my Dreamwidth Reading List, I wouldn't know about it. How sad is that. The Christian Science Monitor is my homepage, and I still didn't notice.

I love this place, I do. I love being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but students and books and academia. I love the focus, I love the community. I love the bubble. But not once, in the three hours I was out of my room (including in an Atlantic History class) did the fact that there was massive earthquake practically next door, come up. Not once.

And even if it did, what can I do about it. I am trapped in in the middle of Minnesota by geography and by the fact that I have a paper due this week and reading for tomorrow. I see funds popping up on the internet (again, thanks Dreamwidth) but despite the fact that I work fifteen hours a week, I have no money to give because it's all going to paying the exorbiant tuition for this bubble. I am barred from participating in the world by the institution that is training me to live in it.

I remain,
Georgie
 





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The proof that the little prince existed is that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists. ~ Antoine de St. Exupery.

I have yet to write a real "I am twenty and therefore a real person" post (something about being in the middle of exams at the time) so here goes.

A continual joke among the people in my world is the prerequisites for being "a real person": the having of a retaining wall (or any sort of landscaping), or kitchen appliances (especially a toaster oven or blender), having your own space, having control over your own soul.

Twenty has always seemed to be "that year" in my mind. Part of it is because in Christian Science, that's the year you graduate from Sunday school. So even before twenty was synonymous with freedom, it sounded a lot like adulthood. The other part is that nothing exciting happened at any of the other "grown up" ages.  At twelve and a half I fasted for Yom Kippur for the first time, but that had more to do with it being my first Yom Kippur than it did with being twelve and a half. At sixteen I wouldn't even get my learner's permit for another six months. At eighteen I registered to vote and stepped quietly into my civic duty, but wouldn't actually vote or gain anything resembling real independence until just before my nineteenth birthday. I might have signed a field trip permission slip.  At twenty one I doubt I will drink any more than I do presently, which is almost not at all anyway. My excuse used to be that I wouldn't drink until it was legal, but it turns out I don't really like how alcohol tastes and I feel no regret for having had exactly one illegal fruity drink in my life. At twenty five I am sure I will rent a car, but in terms of coming of age rituals, it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.

At nineteen I couldn't be the person who accompanied my camper to the hospital when she broke her leg, because "what would it look to the parents if they should up to find that she had been left with a nineteen year old." But at twenty, things seem really different. Even in the last month I have been accepted as an adult both by people who knew my when I was very small and those who hadn't met me pre-realness. At past Thanksgivings I had been "a kid" both to my younger aunt and my much older cousins wives, but this year I found myself sitting in the same corner as them, bouncing the newest baby in the family on my lap, and laughing and chatting as if I  weren't actually fifteen years younger then them. Because those fifteen years suddenly didn't matter like when I was ten and they were twenty five.

So I am pretty sure I am not imagining this real personhood thing. But I'm also fairly certain that becoming a real person wasn't instantaneous. They say that even in the child of seven you can see the man of seventy (who, exactly, they are, I don't know), but I can tell that even in the last ten years I have changed  so much to become the "real" person I am.  Ten years ago I'd never worked in a theater, was barely interested in history. I didn’t know I was smart.  I was also in fourth grade, had just gotten glasses and was just figuring out that I had asthma. I wouldn't go to summer camp for the first time until the next June. Harry Potter had just been written. September 11th and wars were still two years off. The Red Sox hadn't won the World Series and I didn't even know what International Baccalaureate. I didn't think about the things I think about. I can say with a fair amount of confidence, I wasn't a real person yet. Because those are the things that made me real. Real and Loved (like the velveteen rabbit*).

I am now,  bogeret l'rehut nafsha--an adult with control over my own soul. And I laugh.


But I still remain,
Georgie


georginasand: (Default)
" We'll all grow up someday, Meg. We may as well know as know what we want"~Amy in Little Women

I listen.
I listen over tea, or dinner, or homework, or the invariable ten minute walk to class, or Meeting, or rehearsal.
I listen and I proofread papers, run lines, and take up sleeves. I give hugs and some advice. I am proud and "disappointed" (never,of course, angry. Just disappointed).
I laugh, and I laugh, and I "knock, breathe,shine, and seek to mend,"
and I listen.

As Anne Edwards says in The Sparrow  "I've turned into the semi-mom of an odd bunch of children." And I love  it.

When i imagine anything about my life in ten years it involves a kitchen table

This ability to listen is, I know, a talent and a gift for which I am very grateful. I don't think there is a production or a grade in my entire life that I am more proud of then the listening that I have done and the ways I have been able to help my friends.

But there (as there always is) a catch. I know more about most of my friends than I think a lot of people do. And as a result I know more about their friends (some of whom I am also friends with) than they know I do. When a close friend starting dating The Boy Scout, he joked  that I must be on some sort of committee created to analyze his behavior. And I can take confidence keeping to Olympic championship levels.

But I don't give confidence. I rarely talk about myself and when I do I regret it. I either regret it during and waste a lot of breathe apologizing profusely. Or I regret it after and end up feeling like I have shared too much about myself.

Same goes for helping. I will read papers, take up sleeves, fix jackets, listen for hours at all hours of the day or night, make and keep promise with joy. I love it; it genuinely makes me happy. But I get plagued with guilt if I ask the same of anyone else. Like clearly The Roommate, with whom I am very close (would trust with my live, soul, and light designs) is going to think I am lazy if I ask to borrow her bike when she isn't using  it because she is slaving away in that chem lab of hers.

So what gives.

I don't want to end up bitter because I give so much of what I want but can't (for what ever silly reason) receive. And I love, more than even I have words to express, this aspect of my life. It is, without a doubt, the most salient aspect of my life, the part that makes me feel real, regardless of whatever else I am doing. I assures me that I am real and good and loved. But this thing, this catch, it nags.

So what  gives.

I remain,
Georgie





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~ "I intended an Ode, And it turned to a Sonnet." ~Austin Dobson

Sonnet written for extra-credit in a Shakespeare class. I'm rather proud of it, so here it goes. It's about waiting, complete with gratutious nod to Samuel Becket

A solitary sailboat stuck in unswayed

Water, a wandering warbler waits for

Dusk, and a daring day dreamer delayed

Far from fortune, all paused outside the door

That opens on to an unknown which lies

Ahead. Brighter, broader, more beautiful

Than the present. From hope deferred time flies

To the sick-somethings of the dutiful

Who wait for the tree of life, but do not

Climb it[1]. For a wish is not so secure

But, like a fruit, can with neglect rot;

Steadfast patience cannot it ensure.

But if good things come to those who wait[2],

then that which never comes may just be late.

 



[1] From hope…of the tree of life: In Waiting for Godot Vladimir says “hope deferred makes the something sick” trying to quote Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

[2] Final syllable intentionally missing.





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“The most annoying thing about the saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is that it is usually true” ~ Anon Y. Mous

shamelessly stolen from McSweeney's:

Dear Herr. Velociraptor,
Thanks for ruining my ability to take reading quizzes or objective English tests without serious psychological trauma. Seriously, the words "you could have gotten an A instead of an A- on that test, but you were thinking too hard" escaped the lips of my current English professor (who has a soul, by the way).

Also, it turns out that I'm competent, borderline smart. Thanks for holding out on me.

Sincerely,
Georgie

Dear 18 years of Christian Science Sunday School,
I. thought. we. were. over. It would be nice if I could take simple precautions for my health without the crushing guilt. I'm not trying to cheat; I'm trying to be careful. I know it; you know it, now leave me alone.

I turn twenty on Saturday. Goodbye.

Sincerely,
Georgie

Dear Ed. Psych Professor,
I know this may come as a shock to you, but I am a mature, independent adult. I don't want you to like me; I want you to respect me. If I am wrong, tell me. And please, please, do it without all this "I value your contribution" nonsense. If I'm wrong, how valuable was my contribution, really? Also, you may not have a personal space bubble but I do.

Sincerely,
Georgie

 




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