Monday, October 05, 2009

Poetry and the Deep Love Project

I love to rhyme. A couple of years ago I was accepted into a juried poetry project and I learned the hard way that rhyming is no longer in high poetry esteem. At the time I was crushed and deflated, especially because it was clear that my style was, well, comparatively not very polished or serious.
My ego almost walked out in shambles. But don't feel sorry for me. It turned out to be one of the best writing experiences I have ever had. I was probably the least prepared and I was definitely the least published of the group, but in some ways I think I was the most playful and free. I stopped writing poems altogether for a while after that weekend, but the rhyming life can't be stopped forever.
So in addition to the influence of this experience, I wrote this poem during my quest for "deep love." I wanted to let myself be open to love, to feel it, give it, accept it, live it., to drop my guard and trust. To be just myself, flaws and all. And I did. My deep love project didn't turn out the way I expected, and my inflated ego and poor little heart ended up in more shambles, but here I still am: still showing up for love, because the loving life can't be stopped forever either. :)
So don't expect to read this poem in the New Yorker Magazine. But guess what? I don't care. I would write it again!
Deep Love

Shape up
Dig in
Catch a break
Give and take
Steady your chin
Don’t give in
It’s not sin
After today
Have it your way
It’s not too late
So your fate
Will abate
Then it’ll be
Your scenery
With pieces back
And what you lack
Will fill again
And in the end
You will suspend
Concern and care
Instead you’ll dare
Toward brave and true
And wonder who
Could not renew
Every loving act
For you.


  1. This is a good attitude to have. I, too, love rhyming poetry, and very few of my pieces are non-rhyming (my most recent blog entry is actually a poem).

    I am meaning to post one of the rare non-rhyming poems I've written.

    I really like your ethos here: get hurt but don't give up. That's how I try to live as well.

  2. brightenedboy, i have just come from your blog and i'm here to say your poetry is magnificent. thank you for your visit here, and thanks for getting my point. please come back anytime.

  3. It's a great attitude, Karen, "catch a break and what you lack will fill again." The odd thing is that the meter is there, but I hardly am aware of the rhyming. I think it's a sophisticated poem that could find its way to the New Yorker! xxox

  4. I've memorized a great deal of poetry, and it sure makes it easier when it rhymes, yet Edwin Arlington Robinson is my favorite, and he doesn't rhyme, but he makes up for it by being musical--think Simon and Garfunkel's version of Richard Corey.

  5. You can thank Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg for the debate between strict constructionist poetry and Free Verse. The pair of them were nigh mortal enemies over style.

  6. Oh yeah I stretched for rhyme two days running now...gahhhhhhhhhh!

    My dear granny would be so proud.

  7. I like to do rimes too, but I know it is not "cool" who cares, it is your own art, do what you feel like you should.

    I think that you have anyway a pretty cool alternative to it, a really good one indeed. Using metaphors can be also really neat for me.

    there are really interesting, not only morphologically, and phonetically and regarding rythm, like rhymes are, but also semantically then can be magical.

    "We believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colors, and flowers, he wrote, and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things, metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities. - Niezche"

    Check out my last post if you want that talks exactelly about that, I think that by getting your book you transmited me your vibes, because is an interesting coincidence this one.

    Take care and my love

  8. Here's my favorite part ;)

    With pieces back
    And what you lack
    Will fill again

    yup. Love that.


  9. heartening thoughts

    I agree that it is your poetry, your art, it is for you to express yourself the way you want to regardless of what other's think or say or what's in or out

  10. You are brave kj.

    Never be crushed.

    Love Renee xoxo

  11. Sometimes I feel like a rhyme, sometimes I don't.
    Love, however, is always good.

  12. Hello kj - sorry to have been absent for so long! It'll take me a while to catch up on all your posts but just wanted to say that I like your poem. Rhymes are good though apparently they are no longer good for children's books either - hmmm, I can think of several which wouldn't be any good without them!!! Will be over in Blogland soon!

  13. KJ, I love this and playing is the most important part of EVERYTHING.

    much love

  14. I only ever wrote poetry as an escape when my emotions were running high. But since starting blogging a couple of years back they just happen when the mood takes me, and sometimes odd lines rhyme and mostly they don't. But they do say what I feel and i really enjoy doing them.

  15. I've always had a love of dad was very fond of Pam Ayers as well so rhyming nonsense was all the rage at our place! Loved that poem of yours too! :-)

  16. I like it a lot! And I agree, write because your heart leads you, not for the critics. That is the best form of art!

  17. margaret, sophisticated? you may be a jury of one, but i thank you most sincerely! :)

    snowbrush, richard corey and the highwayman were my favorite poems in college (i am very glad to see you here. i have missed you)

    mark, i'm excited to read your rhyming time. p.s. i love that writers and poets like you visit my blog. i am very lucky in that regard. thank you.

    mariana, i welcome and appreciate your comments very much. i am behind in visiting your blog but i will soon catch up. your comment reminded me of aristotle, or was it plato, who said that a chair does not really exist and we put a name to it just to have some context for the idea of it (or something like that!) my love to you too, mariana

    pumpkin, i love it when you tell me the lines you like best (hmmn, hahaha)

    suki, to thine own self be true....

  18. renee, brave? what did i do? i fell in love and hoped for the best. some might say that was not brave but reckless.

    debra kay, life is a rhyme
    and because you
    life is good

    caroline, can you imagine dr. seuss without rhymes. the cat in the hat would be flat. (p.s. i kind of miss you when you're not around, but i'm glad your life is full up!)

    stacey, i peeked at your blog this afternoon and i HAVE to come by and stay for a while. i agree about playing. i have a wicked good sense of humor for sure, but sometimes i take it all too damn seriously. :)

    fire byrd,
    it would be absurd
    not to write
    when your heart's in flight.
    :) i'm glad you're writing. we have to, right?

    sag, i don't know pam ayers so now i have to check her out and i will think of your dad. xo

    manohman, meredith, can you write! i'm double glad to have found you.

  19. What wonderful rythm!
    And you don't wanna be in that New Yorker crowd anyway.
    Even though you well could.
    Very well could.
    Your enjoyment of the writing shows.

  20. Pretty darn cool! I love "then it'll be your scenery" ;) that is supercool!! Hope your doing great, I have a splitting headache tonite but I wanted to stop by and see you and I will be back tomorrow to read your new story, very exciting!!!

  21. I just responded to an entry from several days ago--the one about jury duty. I sometimes come here and read several past entries, but I don't know if you go back and look at the responses or not, so I don't often respond.

    T'was good to have you drop by today. Please tell Emily hello for me.

  22. Love - It doesn't get smaller when you give it away and you've always got plenty more to spare no matter who needs it, but it can't be stolen. - Elsie

  23. fuck the new yorker
    on second thoughts
    who would want to??
    love you kj and all your writing. my niece wrote to tell me that they had read your book and were passing it around to all their friends in johannesburg to read too. now that's what counts!!

  24. val, how nice to see you here as always. clear up that headache: your studio awaits. xoxoxo

    snowbrush, any comment you leave for any post any time will show up in my email. but it surely is nice that you've come by. i'm been wondering when i would have the pleasure of your company... :)

    elsie, welcome. i agree about love but these days i wonder where it goes when it can no longer find its way to its recipient. i'm trying to furnish a small corner of my heart and let that love just settle in...

    soulbrush, your niece sent me an email and it was incredibly affirming. i am so glad my book has affected even one person so positively. it touched me deeply that your niece took the time to tell me. xoxo

  25. "i'm been wondering when i would have the pleasure of your company... :)"

    Ah, but was that a twisted smile with which she spoke? I was here last week, but if you don't even remember my visit, then I guess it wasn't just TOO great of a pleasure, now was it then? So there.

  26. Kisses xxx and bigger kisses XXX.

    Renee xoxo

  27. oh yes the loving life will flow forever like the flow of this poem... and why should we care at all when we flow with it and enjoy it?

    loved this poem
    loved the rhyming
    loved your attitude
    love you

    thanks also my dearest Karen for your visits and sweet words you leave on my blog... they mean a lot to me...


  28. You fit in, you belong, and you are perfect.


  29. I'll come back to read this post thoroughly later.

    you wrote:
    "angela, i am trying to buy a set of notecards to help jeannie and because they are beautiful but i keep getting a message in german that does not let me make it to the shopping cart."

    I'll see what I can do and either Beate or I will get back to you.

  30. Hello Karen, Angela Recarda told me that you try to order my Notecards and have problems to do so - go here:

    and it will work I sure, and thank you!!!!

  31. I hope Beate's advice solves your problem. Let me know if it doesn't, OK?

    So I read your post, and I LOVE your poem, because I can understand it! Art of any kind is so subjective. I think the art snobs keep trying to take it away from ordinary people, and that's a shame.

    Real art for real people. Let's start a movement!

    I like you attitude, and I like your spunk!

  32. snowbrush, is it me? i've just missed you. maybe i'm posting too much. maybe i like your attention. maybe i can't count. in any case, wise guy, it's always nice to see you here. :)

    renee, i'll take your kisses and hugs any day. do you know research says we human beings need at least eight a day (animals count) xoxo

    hb!!!!!! whenever i see your comment here or elsewhere, i start to hope that there is a loosening, that you will freely be blogging. i miss you very much. i think of your welfare very much. xoxoxo

    angela and beate, the order is in!! thanks for the help. i hope my order contributes in some small way, and i will enjoy the cards very much!!

  33. I would like to develop a poetry style that translates well when spoken out loud but not necessarily rhyming.

    I know of a few poets that are also Spoken Word artists, but that is not me....

    it is delightful to hear poetry read out loud so maybe somehow in the future

    the last line of your poem is yummy