Saturday, August 31, 2019

The unreliable narrator

Hello fellow amphibians of the pond. Today we shall explore the concept of the unreliable narrator, which is a concept defined first 1961 by Wayne C. Both in The Rhetoric of Fiction, and which means a story told from someone whose credibility is seriously compromised. 

The unreliable narrator is a concept that is one of the pillars of postmodern literature, and when reading about the concept I realize how many of my favorite books that uses this type of storytelling , but it’s not until very recently that I feel that the unreliable narrator now rules the world.

For simplicity let us say that only the first person perspective can be used for this prompt, even though it can probably be done in other perspectives as well.

There are different types of unreliable narrators, but both in literature and there are many classifications, but what is common is that we know, sooner or later, that the story is compromised. This is not necessarily the same as the narrator lying, we just realize that we cannot trust the person telling the story, but still he fascinates and we cannot turn away and  just continue to listen. 

If this has been a strong trend in fiction, the same cannot be said for poetry. Poetry always has to be honest, and even if the poet sometimes lies, we can always trust his or her honesty.

Maybe this is a good thing, truth is better than lies, but one of the things with writing to prompts is to leave your comfort zone, and after all we cannot avoid listening to the liar, the madman, the braggart or the clown.

Today I want you to become an unreliable narrator. Tell me a story that is not yours, exaggerate and lie, but think a bit on how to expose yourself. Should you make it apparent from the start, should you gradually let it seep in, or should you reveal it as a twist at the end.

Baron von Münchhausen was a definitely an unreliable narrator

Also remember there can be many truths hidden behind the unreliable narrator. I did for instance feel the horrors from the bombings of Dresden even if was shown through the voice Billy Pilgrim; I never believed young Alex in a Clockwork Orange, but his story exposed a dystopian society better than a truthful narrative would ever do.

A poem is not a novel, so I am very curious how you will meet this challenge in a fairly short poem. I know that a few of you will love this prompt while others will just hate it, but at least it’s not Physics this time.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Micro Poetry ~ Fill The Empty Parts

The object of this challenge is to write a poem in no more than 10 lines (but you may write in fewer than 10 lines all the way down to a single American sentence). Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred. We are taking inspiration today from Rupi Kaur, using the reference: 'fill the empty parts...'

Copyright Rupi Kaur
Fair Use Principles

More examples of the poet's work may be viewed on Instagram @rupikaur. I look forward to reading a number of short poems. The link does not expire, so please feel free to write more than one poem, and a return to comment on poems linked later would be appreciated.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Tuesday Platform

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 

by T.S Eliot 

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

One of the first true modernist poems, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a shifting, repetitive monologue, the thoughts of a mature male as he searches for love and meaning in an uncertain, twilight world.

Eliot's poem caught the changes in consciousness perfectly. At the time of writing, class systems that had been in place for centuries were under pressure like never before. Society was changing, and a new order was forming. World War 1 was on the horizon and the struggles for power were beginning to alter the way people lived and thought and loved.

Greetings poets, wayfarers and friends. It's a beautiful day here and I am looking forward to reading some poetry with a lovely cup of mochaccino.

Before we begin there is an important announcement that I'd like to make, as of September 1, The Tuesday Open Link Platform will fall away. The Weekly prompts will shift to Monday and the Weekend prompts to Friday. See you on the poetry trail! 🍣


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Play It Again! with 'Old Toads'

For this weekend's prompt, I wish to pay tribute to former members of The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. Since July 2010, many talented poets have joined our core group and left their mark before leaping off their lily pad for different ponds. Please enjoy this retrospective look at the ideas that inspired us all to think about poetry in new and exciting ways!

Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
Original Banner (2010)

A Word With Laurie, September 9, 2011

Herotomost's Challenge, July 10. 2014

Ella's Edge, September 28, 2011

Fireblossom Friday, February 28, 2014

Hedgewitch's Challenge, April 10, 2014

Get Listed! with Grapeling, May 7, 2015

Transforming Nature's Wonders with Hannah Gosselin, July 21, 2016

Sunday Mini Challenge with Brendan, April 29, 2017

Sunday Mini Challenge with Karin Gustafson, January 16, 2016

Sunday Mini Challenge with Kim Nelson, June 29, 2013

Mary's Mixed Bag, November 30, 2012

Susan Says, March 20, 2013

Fashion Me Your Words to Fold with Gillena Cox, February 25, 2017

Words Count with Mama Zen, September 10, 2015

Step Into the Void with Toni Spencer, September 6, 2018

Select one of these amazing challenges and write a new poem. This prompt is a the top of the home page until Tuesday, so please return to read more of the works linked up or to choose another prompt and write again!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A Guest Appearance from Kenia Santos

For today’s challenge, I present you with post-rock!

Find Kenia on Instagram

Explosions in the sky. First Breath After Coma - It was the first band, the first post-rock song I heard, I don’t remember when or how it came to be. I remember I found it a great name for a band and I fell madly in love with the genre after that one song.

The first person to help shape the concept of Post-Rock was probably Simon Reynolds in 1994, when he used the term to characterize the album ‘Hex’ of the British band ‘Bark Psychosis’ writing for Mojo Magazine. Reynolds used it then used to describe a style of music that uses typical Rock instruments for non-rock purposes, a definition that approaches best what came next for the genre. 

Throughout the 20 years of ongoing development of post-rock, influences of all possible music genres, such as Jazz, Ambient, Progressive Rock, Krautrock, Post-Punk and temporary classical music can be found. Post-Rock soundscapes are created with the help of dynamics and tone modulation and the use of repetitive musical themes.

For today’s challenge, choose a song from the list below and use it as inspiration to write an untitled poem. You are expected to incorporate the song title in the body of your poem, though. You don’t need to listen to songs, but I highly recommend you to do so! (The link to the Youtube version is in the number - or access the Spotify Playlist provided below.)

1 Waiting and waltzing in airport terminals - Industries of the Blind
2 We age onward - Circadian Eyes
3 Unmake the wild light - 65daysofstatic
4 Waiting for the world to turn back - Tides from Nebula
5 If I had known it was the last - Codes in the Clouds
6 By moving the stars I have found where you are hiding - sleepmakeswaves
7 I just wanted to make you something beautiful - Industries of the blind 
8 Remember me as a time of the day - Explosions in the Sky
9 Jura - pg.lost
10 First breath after coma - Explosions in the Sky
11 The heart that fed - Caspian
12 When there were no connections - Tides from Nebula
13 Hymn for the greatest generation - Caspian
14 Law of unintended consequences - My Dad vs. Yours
15 The walk of thunder - Those Who Ride with Giants
16 What you love you must love now - The Six Parts Seven
17 They move on tracks of never-ending light - This Will Destroy You
18 Your hand in Mine - Explosions in the Sky
19 Dream is destiny - No Clear Mind
20 Every direction is North - El Ten Eleven