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.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Your Poetic Eye: Kumulipo

 Sorry, Toads I have been missing in action, I have been dwelling in paint samples and organization.  For years, we have told my mother see is more than welcome to live with us.  My husband actually said it first.   I think the New England weather is finally getting  the best of her.   So,  I have been busy redecorating.  There is a lot of mixed emotions by both my mom and I during this transition, but I am confident we will make it work. 

   My horoscope recently said I needed to dwell in Kumulipo.

"The "Kumulipo" is an old Hawaiian prayer chant that poetically describes the creation of the world. The word literally means "beginning-in-deep-darkness." Here darkness doesn't connote gloom and evil. Rather, it's about the inscrutability of the embryonic state; the obscure chaos that reigns before germination."   

I feel this way sometimes before I create art, poetry and any format of writing.  We all can relate to the blank page, but there is this state of the unknown, the rich dark soil-as the light comes forth-the spark, the idea, before the birth. 

Wikipedia:  "The Kumulipo is divided into sixteen , sections. The first seven  fall under the section of  (darkness), the age of spirit. The Earth may or may not exist, but the events described do not take place in a physical universe. The words show the development of life as it goes through similar stages as a human child. All plants and animals of sea and land, earth and sky, male and female are created.[6] Eventually, it leads to early mammals."

Below are a  few lines of the Kumulipo:  There are 2102 lines-if you are curious.  I want to address how we create our own worlds with poetry.   What is your before process like?  Do  drink coffee, exercise, read, highlight words, doodle, does music kiss your third eye, perhaps a walk on a favorite pine needle path or maybe sunlight tickles your muse or maybe moonlight makes you howl?

 I want a poem that shares your embryonic state before the birth of your poem.  It can be where your ideas usually find light- anyway you connect your poetic eye to words.    I think to bring your poetry out of the dark abyss, perhaps we need another element to induce our birth.    I want you to take the place where you were born-the state, the providence, the country-whatever you prefer and add the richness of this area to your poem.  For example I was born in Maine-so perhaps I will add White tassel pines, the salty sea or the my state bird, the Chickadee.

O ke au i kahuli wela ka honua
O ke au i kahuli lole ka lani
O ke au i kukaʻiaka ka la
O ke au o Makali'i ka po

In English:

At the time when the earth became hot
At the time when the heavens turned about
At the time when the sun was darkened
To cause the moon to shine[3]

Since this is your birth, where your poetry is born-you get to select the form. 
I only ask a nod to your birthplace, be added to your poem. 

I look forward to traveling to where poetry first breathed life into your world. 


Kenia Cris said...

This is beautiful and very interesting, Ella, thanks for a lovely prompt. :*

Kerry O'Connor said...

You have given us much to think about in terms of the creative process!

Ella said...

Aloha Kenia, I lived in Hawaii, but never heard of this poetic poem. I was thrilled to find it. Thank you~

Hi Kerry-Thank you! I have missed poetry, missed the garden and all the poetic inspiration you all share. My daughter was home for a month and will not return this summer. She is getting an apartment-almost 7 hrs away. So, I made our time together a priority. I am happy to attempt poetry again. I have missed it and all of you!

Ella said...

I meant to write Aloha, Kerry.
Mahalo, to you both~
(Thank you in Hawaiian)

Hannah said...

I LOVE this...thank you, Ella!

Björn Rudberg said...

So nice to read this prompt before bed-time.. maybe that will be the embryo of my poem...

Ella said...

Thank you, Hannah! I can't wait to read your offering. Your alelo-language is always beautiful.

Bjorn-I bet you have one heck of a dream now~

Anonymous said...

Hey Ella--sounds like you are going through a lot-- challenging but rewarding too. But challenging! A lot to consider in the prompt--I am knee deep in my job work, but hope I get some break to think about it--thanks. k.

Jazzbumpa said...

tough prompt

i wrote something

not sure how i feel about it


Gail said...

I tried.

Fireblossom said...

I had a girlfriend once who was always saying that I needed to take care of my wa. So *this* is what she was talking about! (I got the gist, but never actually knew where she got it.)

Margaret said...

I will give this a try in Friday. Obviously late to the party but I do appreciate such a unique prompt.

Ella said...

Karin-I so appreciate you joining in~ Yours is beautiful and has the seasonal tug of war I love~

JZB-You are a good sport! I know this prompt was a challenge~

Gail-Yours is through the birth canal to the light. Thank you for giving birth.

Fireblossom-Intriguing that someone said this to you and now here we are!
Your wa is spot on!

Margaret-Late is my middle name. Life happens-join in when you can~ Thank you.

Jim said...

Welcome home, Ella. You've been missed here. Last 'with you' for me was a "Play it Again" challenge WAY back.
It was good to read your directions even it's late (1:30 PM) here. Who knows, I may have a poem when I waken in the morning?
Best wishes with having Mom close. We enjoyed having Mrs. Jim's mother close for her last five.

Gillena Cox said...

wonderfu, wonderful, wouldn't pass this up for nothing

much love...

Charleen said...

This is just what I needed. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I had to sleep on it, too. Not sure it is what you are asking for but trying is the thing.

hedgewitch said...

Thanks fro sharing this, Ella--it is a meaty, delicious topic. Hope all settles out well for you, and good to see you back in the garden.

hedgewitch said...

"FOR" sharing. Sigh.

Ella said...

Aloha Joy-Thank you! It is great to be back. I look forward to your offering~

George-Go with what inspires you-it is the predawn before your poem arrives. The inspiration soup, the fertile earth that awakens your creative spirit. You can write about a walk, music lifting you. It is the dark state before the germination starts. The before you fully develop the idea-the between.
I hoped this helped :D

Hi Charleen-I have a cousin with your name-love it~ Oh, this makes me smile. I will be by soon~

Gillena-YOU made me crave and long to bask in the sunshine ;D

Jim-Thank you! My mom might change her mind, but this winter is brutal and we have always told her she is welcome. So, I am planning and plotting ahead. This discussion has been open for awhile, but she seems ready now-thanks for sharing with me.

Yes,perhaps your dream like state will allow you to share this state of mind-the before. Mahalo, Jim

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Ellie, this is one fantastic prompt. WOWZERS! Well done! I am babysitting, but managed to block out the shrill little cartoon voices to put something together. I am off to pick him up at kindergarten, so I will make the rounds as I am able to this afternoon. I found this prompt both challenging and inspirational.

Ella said...

Sherry, Thank you! I mean Aloha ;D

Yours is awe inspiring. I wish I could walk the path you painted-so gorgeous~

Your path illuminates, perhaps the cartoons steered the path to the outdoor caress of spring~

Susie Clevenger said...

Ella, thank you so much for the inspiration.

Marilyn B said...

It took me a while to come up with something...

Ella said...

Hi Susie-I love yours and we both have dandelions in our path~ Bravo!

Marilyn B-I look forward to reading yours~ :D

Anonymous said...

Ya, I had nothing except some piss and dust. lol

Margaret said...

I DO NOT like posting and running… and I will catch up on visiting and commenting on this and several other challenges. A few dances and family events lately. I hope this evening will be a lazy one and I can just sit and read all your poems!

Thanks for the challenge - I loved where my mind went with this… pulled up old images - made me think. Thanks, Ella

Margaret said...

…have an opera to go to today - my daughter helped crew and design the set so I will be back late tonight to comment and read. Just wanted you to know I haven't abandoned the garden…