Mythos & Marginalia

life notes; flaws and all

j.g. lewis

original content and images ©j.g. lewis

a daily breath...

A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .

it was so

     scarcely we remember
       humble beginnings

   the when
                the where

     not consequential

   the why
                     however
        a true miracle

     for a time
     it was so

                 until it wasn’t

there are no humble endings

     but we are humbled
     by even its existence

08/12/2022                                                                                             j.g.l.

communication

Sadly, our voice
is not always
strong, or not always
there ,when it
is needed.

It is hard to know
what to say, or
how to say it,
so often we
remain silent.

Silence stops the
process of
communication,
but it does not
stop the thoughts.

08/09/2022                                                                                   j.g.l.

Mondays are just young Fridays

A sign I’ve been glancing at, daily, since I noticed it a week back at a regular coffee stop where I try to begin my day with a dark roast cup of bravery.
   I try to take the time, every morning, to scribble out my current considerations, deliberations, and contemplations on images and memories that have come to me in my dreams and in reality.
   If your first meal of the day is the most important, shouldn’t your first thoughts be as well?
   Take time to write them down. It’s important. What you are thinking affects how you continue to navigate your self through the coming hours or weeks.
   “The bravest thing you can be is yourself.”
   How much courage is required to make it through the remainder of the day? Is a single cup of coffee enough to provide the fortitude required to step further into the day?
   It’s a good start.

08/08/2022                                                                                         j.g.l.

I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
well-rounded,
other times
dull or
occasionally
broken.
Still I write.

j.g. lewis
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.

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Words Are Waiting

Posted on March 20, 2021 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

Afternoon by Dorothy Parker

It’s not what you read, but what you see, that goes to the core of what you will believe.

I once read a quote where an eight-year-old described poetry as something “where they don’t use all the page” Over the past couple of days I’ve read quote upon quote, a few poetic philosophies, and an inane pseudo-essay including obviously misunderstood academic terms, explaining what poetry really means.

Nothing I have read is as accurate as the child’s description.

Poetry does, undeniably, require space to breathe on the page. Sometimes, when properly done, only a few words are required to present the poet’s wit, wisdom, or worth. Although it is not simple, poetry is involved and too many people are determined to make it complicated.

Truly, poetry is more than words on a page. The craft, art, and undertaking of poetry goes beyond language, and it does so with more accuracy than any other written form.

If words were simply words; love songs would sound like streetcar alerts, love letters would be as romantic as minutes from a board meeting, and a poem would read like ingredients on a cereal box.

Words, indeed, have a meaning (some words have more than one) but even the description of a word does not define the meaning of a poem. Each word has an essence, and a backbone, with sentiment, soul, emotion, and memory stuffed inside. A poem takes these words and gives them space to resonate.

Poetry can heal or poetry can hurt. We read the words and we respond.

Yet, there are people who look distractingly deeper at poetry and, most times, complicate the process. They study the metrics of the meter, confuse the cadence, look for implied imagery, and search for the metaphor instead of the meaning.

This practice shows little regard for the poet who has already taken sufficient time to work through the mechanics of language and the moral or message, taking into account catastrophe, context, and heartbreak, stanza size and line break, and the politics of the atmosphere.

By the time a poem is presented, the poet has already struggled with the format, whether it is an orderly sonnet or set out in a measured stanza. Even free-form involves an acceptable purpose.

Over and above the poet’s intentions, a poem speaks for itself. It just happens.

Poetry does not take words at face value, yet it does not beg for description, interpretation, or even attention. All it asks for is endeavored understanding.

Your understanding may not, or will not, be the same as the writer, or that of the person sitting beside you on the bus, or another soul halfway around the world.

That’s good. It’s more than good, it is right. Everything else on the planet is so set in its way (even as we evolve or disintegrate), that so much seems too consistent. Except poetry.

Poetry needs to be consistently unpredictable so that we can receive it in the mood or the moment. It should be comforting to know there are words waiting that will accept the way you see them, or feel them, or believe them.

As soon as you have to study a poem it becomes a chore instead of a charm. There is no is no risk/benefit analysis required of poetry, don’t go looking for it.

I read a lot of poetry; far more than I write. Each year I take a volume of a celebrated, “classic” dead poet and, for the entire year, devour the work one poem per day (and some days even more). Last year it was Wordsworth, this year Emily Dickinson.

I’ll absorb, I will react, I will reread and recite, but I dare not call it study. If I call it anything, it is appreciation; and it may not even be that. And my reading is not limited to only those volumes, nor is it limited to treasured bards of years gone by. I’m still cherishing the recent work of a woman who is very much alive, and there is always a book of a recent, or lesser known, poet in my day bag. It might even sound corny, but I breathe poetry. Inhale and exhale. It’s just what I do.

I’d encourage you to do the same. Armed with a poem, you’ll be better equipped to take on the world. By avoiding the news (fake or foolhardy) for 10 minutes a day, or stealing a few moments away from text books, bible study, or gossip pages on your mobile device, you will better understand the human condition.

Try it. A poem a day, every day. There’s even an app for that and it’s free, functional, and quite enjoyable.

Just read it. Leave the analysis to sales reports, tax returns, and political maneuvering, and instead be moved by the writing. Words are important.

Poetry matters; let it speak to you, and for you.

Tomorrow is World Poetry Day
Take a poem to lunch

© 2018 j.g.lewis

 

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