Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kenia's Wednesday Challenge

Bread on my knee
stars in the distance far in the distance
I'm eating bread and looking at the stars
I'm so intensely lost in thought
that by mistake I eat
a star instead of bread.

It was really hard to choose a poet to introduce to you today. I had three great Brazilian candidates in my list, but not much time to collect information about them, so I made up my mind to go for another important Turkish poet on my shelf: Oktay Rifat. 

If I don't see through my window,
if you don't pass along the street out there,
believe me it's all over. A dusty haze,
a rider heading for the mountains.
But now you stare
from where you left off - again.

The thing with Oktay Rifat is that I can't understand much of him. This book of his, I usually open it and read something. But it's not often he grabs me. Oktay was another very important contributor to significant changes in Turkish poetry. He won a poetry prize, he had many books published, poetry books and novels as well, he wrote free verse... still he can rarely reach me. 

Lately, I've been reading Oktay a line a time. I study his word choice and style. One line at a time I think I'll be able to learn to love him, not because maybe I should, but because it's an exercise on self-knowledge to me. Why is it that I can't enjoy his writing? How can I change the way I feel about it?

Have we lived only a little, have wegrown old just a little...


Be mine without losing yourself or diminishing...


Had to be silent in the great tumult, get up at an ungodly hour, the hour when birds fall. 

In two different occasions,  I was watching this movie, Burn After Reading and it was so boring I slept halfway to the end. Twice. When I woke up in the second occasion, I remember wondering 'how come these Coen brothers are said to be so brilliant and they don't grab me?' I made a committment to watch all movies made by the two of them so I could have a real, accurate opinion about what their creations were like. Guess what happened? I started to respect them after watching Fargo, and to love them after watching A Serious Man. I really believe one can get the same result with a poet and that's why Oktay's translated works sit on my shelf.


My challenge today is not a difficult one. It consists of getting a poem of a famous poet you don't feel very fond of and finding at least a line you could respect him for writing. Write on the same theme, or the same style the poem was written in. Make the chosen line the title of your poem. (I would also appreciate a link to the original poem!)

Link your poem below and don't forget to link back to IGWRT! Happy writing!


Lolamouse said...

Good idea! I'll have to do some thinking on this one. BTW, I LOVE the Coen brothers.

Margaret said...

This is fascinating! Great idea and challenge.

Marian said...

wow. this will require some thinking and i may have to burn after reading. love that film, by the way! :)

Daydreamertoo said...

Great idea for the prompt. Had to think hard about this one. Thank you Kenia and all at toads.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a real challenge to find what is excellent in a poem which has failed to resonate. I shall have to crack open a poetry book and start reading.

Shawna said...

I love him. That opening poem may be the best one I've ever read.

If I knew you, I would break into your house and steal that book right off of your shelf because I am thrifty to a fault and I do not have a problem with theft.

Wait, did I just write a poem?

hedgewitch said...

I sort of turned this a bit sideways, but I think it's close to the spirit, if not the letter of the prompt. Anyway, I had a lot of fun with it.

Laurie Kolp said...

Sorry I'm stopping by so late, but things are crazy with the end of the year stuff plus my daughter's dance recital this weekend. I just wanted to say how much I like your honesty, Kenia. You have encouraged me through your words to take on this challenge!

Cloudia said...

Bread & Stars! Yummy

Warm Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } (°>

Hannah said...

I have a problem. I can't find a poem I don't like. Any way, this is a great prompt idea, Kenia and I really like how you're stretching yourself to grow to love poetry that is difficult for you.


Shawna said...

The poet whom I really want to love but just can't is Emily Dickinson. How do you all feel about her?

Hannah said...

Phew!!! That was a struggle...I figured out a way though, I looked up sexist poets and found one to "not particularly like," i.e. loathe!! Just kidding! That was great thank you, Kenia and everyone in the Garden!

Isadora Gruye said...

---Pardon that language, but I think this challenge was fucking brilliant. It conjured a poem right out of my brain in seven minutes. Thanks for that!!!!

By the by, as a Minnesotan who had her life interrupted for several weeks while they filmed A Serious Man at the grocery store where I buy smokes and pastry, I feel torn on the Coen brothers.

vivinfrance said...

This prompt encourages us to masochism! Joking apart, it also encourages open-mindedness. But poem is not new: I encountered the original when studying, loathing it so much that I immediately wrote my parody. The only thing I can find to like, even mildly, is the format - which has not reproduced exactly as I or Ted Hughes used it.

Marian said...

whew! i feel like i just got started on this one. i posted something, but it's making the wheels turn and i think something else, bigger and better, is yet to come. thanks, Kenia!

shawnacy said...

back soon to read y'all.
this was excellent kenia.

Laurie Kolp said...

Better late than never, eh?

Margaret said...

This was very difficult as I had to WADE through one of my most hated poems and find ONE line I liked... it wasn't easy.

But, thank you, Kenya, for this challenge. I think it was really a great idea! (now that I am done :)

Peggy said...

I admire all of your who gave this prompt a try. I am relatively uneducated in poetry and really just did not pay attention to poems i did not like -- they just disappeared in my landscape. The only ones i have kept around over the years are the ones I like! But I am enjoying reading all your posting in response to this.

Ella said...

I found this tough. I combined yours and Mary's challenge! Thank you Kenia for pushing us~ :D

Kenia Santos said...

Guys, thanks for responding. I'm reading and commenting slowly this week but I can't wait to see what you all have come up with!

Shawna, I'm often afraid of saying anything against Emily Dickinson because she seems to be very popular! I don't get her at all. And I haven't felt like spending vacation with her poetry to get to love her yet. ;)

Isadora, the Coen brother, yes, amazing, amazing. I'm so glad I watched their movies! Hudsucker Proxy, one of my favorite! :)

Kiss you all girls. <3