What Should I Say? (Written April 4, 2013)
What should I say when I’m out of words?
When I’m thinking thoughts but can’t be heard?
When all the world is full of sound-
But it’s all just noise to me right now.
In my mind is a story I want to tell,
It’s there, with the birds, like an old church bell.
But the ringing’s too soft for me to hear,
When all the world is in my ear.
It’s pretty and perfect and crazy and wild,
And wanting attention like a spoiled child,
But it’s lost in a crowd and can’t be seen,
So it hid in an alley and ran from it’s dream.
So what should I do to bring it back?
What is it that all of my beggings lack?
What should I say to make sure that I’m heard?
Tell me, what should I say when I haven’t the words?
You know, my literature teacher thinks that poetry is a higher form of story telling that, say, writing a story. I disagree. Strongly. Poetry is too different. You don’t need a story to write a poem. A poem can be anything you want to convey- a feeling, a color, a sound. But then, you can do the same writing a story. But it isn’t the same. I would never- ever, ever, ever- try to turn one of my stories into a poem. I write tons of stories, and am working on a book or two, and I am sure, deep in my gut, that it would be horrible if I turned them into poems, no matter how well I did it. The same goes for my poems- I could never convince myself to write them into stories. More importantly, if I did, they would never by the same. See, I think it all comes down to the words, and how we use them. A brilliant poem could be turned into a brilliant book . . .but it wouldn’t be the same. They couldn’t possibly be the same! I think every story can be conveyed in any number of ways- my brother is writing all of the battles from The Lord of the Rings into poems right now, and it conveys the story well- but that there is an ideal way for each story to live. Poem or story, or any other way to tell it, are just forms to convey the sense of the story, right? And really, they are all really similar. I mean poems make things like rhythm and beat more obvious, but the more I write the more I realize that you absolutely are considering the same things when writing a story. Since I started writing poems more than just when the mood hit me (most of my poems dated from more than a year ago were ones I wrote on a whim when I got bored in class), I started to notice myself counting out rhythm in stories like I do with poems. It is different, definitely. But it is there too. It took me so long to realize something so stupidly obvious. Of course there is a rhythm! If your story has no flow to it then nobody will like it at all! It isn’t ‘art’ if it is so disjointed that it can’t be enjoyed. Meaning it has a rhythm. That might be a weird way to think about it, but it makes sense. Rhythm is natural. The more natural something is, the better we adapt to it. Err…gosh this isn’t making too much sense, is it? But it is the job of the writer- the poet, the author- to put words to the rhythm they want their story to hold through- whatever rhythem they plan to use, in a poem or in a story. Word smith. That is how I have always thought of it. So, as I am making abundantly clear in this rambling mess, if someone aspiring towards the status of ‘Word smith’ cannot find words, they are in a sore spot. And that is hard to do when the world is so full of noise. So I look for quiet places to think, and let my mind free.If that makes sense, and isn’t horribly conceited. (Haha, now do you understand what I was saying in My Library Doors? “Here is a place that we hold dear/ For all the world is quiet here.”)
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