Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bring in the clowns: an emotional challenge


Hello all, it's Kay here, back in Alberta after a month away, and I've decided to go 'way outside my comfort zone with this challenge for Real Toads.

I don't know about you...I love parades with pipe bands, brass bands, flowery floats, and dignitaries riding in restored 1950s convertibles, but I do not like clowns.

Many people seem to have emotional reactions to clowns, and many (most?) of those reactions can be negative.

I had to sit on my folding cane/chair under a tree on the Barcelona Rambla for 45 minutes last month while my husband took photos of a long, long, seemingly endless amateur parade, which I couldn't watch. I don't like to see people, particularly children, dressed up to look like pinatas. (Nor can I get the the n with a ~ above it.)

The little drummer boys and girls were cute,
I admit, but that's about it.
The parade was held to support public education in Barcelona, a more than worthwhile cause, I admit, but I couldn't watch it. I could barely go through the photos of it this week. The parade, and the photos, contained dozens of pinata-headed figures, most of them towering above the crowd, upsetting my stomach.

There were no pipe bands or brass bands. There were drum bands—adults playing drums, children playing drums, a few  accompanied by some kind of woodwind instrument, but usually just drums. And some of the drums were homemade. Many might think it cute. I had to cover my ears.



Photos by Richard Schear


I'll provide you with as many photos as I can handle, and your job is to write a poem telling me how you feel about clowns, parades, or endless snare drum-with-whistle music. If you have been in a parade, did you enjoy it? If you have ever been a clown, was it your choice? If so, why?

No length restrictions, no style to follow, just write about the way you feel on the subject and, okay, bring in the clowns.

Barcelona, Spain, February, 2013


23 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

There is something magical in these images from where I'm sitting, Kay. Thank you for bringing this interesting perspective of Coulrophobia as our prompt for today. I regret I am in the middle of end of term exams - piles of tests to mark and reports to complete...I wonder if the is a word describing that particular phobia?

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Fantastic photos and a prompt with a lot of scope, kiddo. Good one! I hope you write about what happened when you were a child, you must have been frightened by a clown at the circus. I shall return. I have an Idea!

Margaret said...

I live the puppet like figures or life sizes piñatas. They are beautiful. Clowns I rarely like unless well done pantomime. Very rarely are they funny, just corner. But a truly funny clown is wonderful. Of course, a scary clown in a horror story is priceless! I'll be back and thanks for the prompt.

Margaret said...

Ok. Typing on my iPhone. Ha can you tell? Among other typos I meant to say most clowns are corny.

Grace said...

Kay, an interesting prompt ~ I am afraid of clowns but have found saintly or religious processions fascinating ~ Will think about this ~

Ella said...

I love drums and loud marching music. My grandfather was a drummer and had his own band. Clowns never bothered me, till two years ago. I took my daughter and her teenage friends to a haunted house. The last room had black n' white clowns and strobe lights. the whole room was black and their make up, all black n' white. They kept popping up right in front of me. It freaked me out~ I never have been scared of clowns-strange!
Perhaps my poem will represent the lack of color, as an artist this does scare me. ;D Thanks Kay~

Emma Major said...

oh it's so good to get that off my chest, thanks for the prompt to do so Kay.

Susan said...

You reminded me of a piece of theatre history, a piece of my history. I still have one of these Pinata heads as you call them. So the poem bubbled up and I wonder if you will see it with logic as well as with emotion?

Lolamouse said...

Kay,
For some reason I always have problems accessing your webpage! It won't load for me.

I learned to type ñ on the computer by simultaneously holding down the ALT key and typing 164 on the number pad. I'm usually too lazy to do it, but if you need to, it works!

Fireblossom said...

"......"

Rita Odeh said...

An unusual topic and a suggestive one. I like the photos and your introduction. The prompt is a real CHALLENGE! Thanks.

The Real Cie said...

I've worked with the elderly since 1988. One time they had clowns come and perform for the residents in a nursing home where I was working. There was one woman, an Alzheimer's sufferer, who was utterly traumatized. She tended to be aggressive but on this particular occasion she was very grateful for my help. She held my hand and let me lead her back to her room. I think a lot of people are traumatized by clowns.

aprille said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marian said...

enjoyed this prompt, Kay. thanks for making me think! and feel, even. :)

manicddaily said...

Hey Kay- I don't know if I'll be able to do a poem, but absolutely understand the phobia! Thanks for all the cool pics. k.

Panchali said...

The topic is very close to my heart. Thanks for the prompt:)

Lolamouse said...

I went a tad over the edge on this one!

Peggy said...

Interesting and unique prompt for sure. Sounds like you had an unpleasant trip! Or at least that part of it. I cannot see the photos for some reason--that are just squares with question marks in the center. But I think I can come up with some response to the prompt. Clowns have never bothered me--have not seen many that were not just people from the community dressed up to paint kids' faces or something. I guess Cirque de Soleil had clowns in one of their shows. Think I'll go read some of the poems you all wrote for more inspiration here.

Margaret said...

Squeezed this in late night... have had a busy past few days... will catch up with visiting on Monday. Hope you all had a great weekend.

Jim said...

I loved the Los Ramblas in Barcelona. We stayed four nights in that old hotel on the right at the far end from the Christopher Columbus statue.

The parade may be the Rice University (Houston) Marching Band, called the Mob. The do not march in an organized fashion at all and are always spoofing someone, generally the opposing football team or their marching band.

I like clowns, all of our kids do. It is the parents' duty to teach the children about clowns and all of the good they do for this world.
..

Susie Clevenger said...

Love all the photos Kay!! The minute I saw the word clown I went to my dark place. lol I even did rhyme something I rarely do!

Grace said...

Kay, my late offering inspired by the graffiti art we saw last Sunday ~

Hannah said...

Excellent prompt and photos Kay, thank you! :)