Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ella's Edge

Ripples by *opticnerver

Hi everyone! Today I am going to share another exercise from the book, "Writing Poetry from the Inside Out"  . We are going to try an exercise involving our inner and outer worlds. The author  Sandford Lyne shares more than his own experiences and prompts. He shares other poets views.  He mentions Ralph Waldo Emerson and his essay, "Circles".  Emerson writes that the beauty of a circle is that another greater circle can always be drawn on envisioned around it, and that adding circle upon circle can go on infinitely and perhaps forever.  You can see a stone being thrown in a pond and how the ripples expand outward.  "Emerson saw all this as symbolic of our consciousness and its growth; inevitably, there is no shore, no limit to our knowing."  Bottom line it is all about expanding our awareness.  Writing helps our circles grow, reading and sharing does, too. 


The Phantoms of the Brain by ~richworks

Here is our exercise:
On a piece of paper draw a line down the middle. On the left side write the word INNER and on the right side write OUTER. Now we are going to gather words and phrases.  Write something inner that is going on with you on the left side. It can be simple, I'm angry, sad, stressed...Write any feelings it can be today or yesterday, or last week.  On the right side jot down and describe what captures your attention in the outer word.  If you can go outside or look at a window. Observe the weather, the trees, the sky, do you see a bird?  Collect ideas, thoughts from what you "see" in your inner and outer worlds.
Only write down what captures your interest.  Here is the author's paper:

INNER:                                                                                         OUTER:

judge lies                                                                                      fields of flowers
Senate hearings                                                                            autumn sun   blue sky
panel power                                                                                 the forms and shapes of things
sexual harassment                                                              

                                                                                                      I walk a hill between woods

Whom to believe, both
prominent and
accomplished jurists                                                                     each perfect thing I see

how to know what
really happened                                                                            self-blazing flowers


sun sets daily.. love never by ~sinanTR

The day the author jotted these notes down was when the hearing of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill was being televised.   It was a case of alleged sexual harassment of Hill by Thomas.  A difficult case to witness.  The author was thinking about this case when he went for a walk and collected his thoughts.  He thought about these two being the only people on earth that knew the truth.  How the Senate hearings were simply another mirror or projection.   Here is his poem:


I walk
till elevation comes.

The field of flowers
tell no lies,

nor harasses one bloom another
with its incumbent power.

None hold an office;
none are impaneled to judge.

Each is en-sunned
with its own mysterious angel

of color and form
to make a field of flowers,

harmonious, far-flung,
and free. 

The author explains he didn't see a conclusion about this case, but that he needed altitude. He was disturbed by the case, but this was his disturbance that lead to this poem. He collected his inner and outer thoughts to regain his balance.  

"Your job is to find and express how you see things...  This exercise helps you capture a moment in time. Yes, you can embellish, but it is about following the thread that connects your inner world to your outer and see what you can create."  He mentions his favorite inner, outer poem by poet Mary Oliver.   

Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End?

There are things you can't reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.

The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.

And it can keep you busy as anything else, and
The snake slides away; the fish jumps, like a little
out of the water and back in; the gold finches sing
from the unreachable top of the tree.                       

I look; morning to night I am never done with
Looking I mean not just standing around, but
standing around as though with your arms open.

And thinking; maybe something will come, some
shining coil of wind,                                              
 or a few leaves from any old tree-                           
they are all in this too.                                             

And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world              

At least, closer.                             

And, cordially.                              

Like the nibbling, tinsel-eyed fish; the unlooping
Like goldfinches, little dolls of gold                     
fluttering around the corner of the sky                  
    of God, the blue air.                                                    

              ~Mary Oliver                           


hedgewitch said...

This is an interesting exercise. My day is crazy, but will see what I can do. I love the concept of infinite circles. Thanks for the challenge, Ella.

Marian said...

interesting! thank you, Ella, something to wrestle with. er, something with which to wrestle. hee.

Anonymous said...

Love the exercise, Ella - though I'm not sure I did justice to it. :)

shawnacy said...

really good exercise, ella.and the mary oliver poem... she is able to speak things with such simplicity.

hedgewitch said...

I hope this fits the prompt, Ella--couldn't think of anything with more ripples shared by the inner and outer, past and future, inside and outside, than love.

Laurie Kolp said...

Hope I did it right. Thanks for the challenge, Ella.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love the exercise, but will have to come back to it this weekend - I have no intellectual stamina at present.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

GREAT exercise, Ella......I especially love Mary Oliver's poem, she is my very fave poet. I shall give this a whirl.........pun intended:)

Karen said...

I have this book, and have been meaning to try some of the exercises. So, today was the day! Thank you for the prompt, it was a challenge!

Ella said...

I had to run across the border, I'm back~
I have to drive to another state to get my meds. It is what it is...
I now can relax and read your poems!
I don't see there being a wrong don't worry!
It is just a way to observe and mesh both worlds. I jotted and collected some ideas in the book store today.
I had an idea before I left. I am working on mine now! Thanks for playing~
Karen-How exciting! I haven't read all of mine, yet. I am savoring it!

Sherry-Yes, that was a great pun!

Kerry-No hurry, whenever time permits :D

Laurie-I am sure you did! I don't think there is a wrong way :D

Hedgewitch-Love would tie it all together in a wondrous way~

Shawnacy-I was so pleased he loves Mary's work~ He is right, she really knows how to bring both worlds together, effortlessly!

Turtlememoir-I bet you did ;D
Thank you~

Marian-lol, you are cute ;D

Hedgewitch-I'm having that kind of day myself!

Mary said...

Well, I gave it a try!

Kay L. Davies said...

Excellent idea, Ella. I love the idea of never-ending ripples, but I still can't wrap my head around anything new yet. I'm still confused from our visit to the cabinetmaker. New kitchen next month. Yay!

Anonymous said...

"Walking Down A Field" is a great poem; thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

I tried - not sure I understood exercise, but interesting. k.

Daydreamertoo said...

Another great prompt Ella. Thanks

Margaret said...

I tried my best... this is a great idea and I want to try it again.

Susie Clevenger said...

Love the challenge..Mine isn't exactly what was suggested. I will write one later when my mind is listening to the carpets being

Hannah said...

I'm not sure if I did this quite right...The exercise part turned into a bit of prose rather than lists and my poem a bit of a reiteration of my prose but I enjoyed it. Held some venting qualities for me today. Thank you, Ella!

Mary B. Mansfield said...

A very interesting exercise indeed. I think my poem that sprang from it has a different kind of a feel than my normal writing, kind of nice to stretch just a bit :)