Poems are fascinating. They’re much shorter than novels, but still tell a story like their more lengthy counterparts. And yet, the shorter they are, the more challenging the story aspect becomes–as I discovered when writing Lune poems.
No. I’m not talking about poems who’s topic is craziness–although I’m sure they’re are plenty of those. I’m referring to the creation of poet Robert Kelly(b. 1935). While there are different versions, the one created by Kelly is an American version of the haiku and has three lines with a 5-3-5 syllable style. The limitation quickly challenged me, forcing me to think outside the box in order to write a poem.
My first Lune (see Assassination) wasn’t to difficult. After all, I was relying on historical events to write it and the descriptions I chose–Ford’s Theatre, Lincoln’s Assassination, the chaos it caused–have been hammered to a fine point by dozens, if not hundreds of people who proceeded me. It’s another thing entirely when writing from your imagination.
The problem with drawing from your own mind is that you’re likely to come up with a broad generality which is what I did for the concept of my second Lune poem (see Light of Day). But you only have three lines to describe the scene and finding three lines in the correct syllable format to do justice to the concept and having it make sense is a challenge. A BIG challenge.
I did eventually figure it out and came up with three 5-3-5 lines that made sense. While I’m pleased with the results and will write more Lune poems in the future, I think I’ll leave the ground breaking work to geniuses such as Robert Kelly.
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic claim to it.