Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Free your mind with some verse


Walt Whitman (1819-1892)--romantic, humanist, and transcendentalist--is professed to be the greatest American Poet and, if not that, then the "father of free verse": a type of poetry without strict meter (beat) or rhyme.

That's not to say, however, that Whitman's poetry was not rhytmic. It certainly had its "flow" as we might say.

You ask, but what is "poetry" in the first place? Well, that's not easy to answer. Poetry, origining from the Greek, poiesis--"making" or "creating"--is an art formed in speech and word.

It is a type of language, really. It is a way of expressing thought and emotion through images, through symbols, through description and metaphor (drawing on comparisons between objects and people, for instance).

That said, consider what we've done in class: taking an image, an emotion, or a theme; transforming it through the imagination; and expressing it through poetry.

Pick from the following list of abstractions (or make up your own) and expound on one "idea" with some lines of free verse. Try to stay away from rhyme, but keep in mind the importance of rhythm even though there is no professed "meter" (or syllabic beat) involved:

faith, soul, body, mind, spirit, eterninty, the forest, fire, water, the universe, the cosmos, the common man, music, buildings, home, hatred, love, the ocean, the mountain, the coast, prayer, family life, friendship, school, sports, clothing, heroes, enterntainment, villains, God, Buddha, the Over-Soul, religion, conformity, nonconformity, isolation, loneliness, solitude, joy, despair, hope, grief, baptism, funeral, the sacraments, war, peace, burning churches, fish, sea-faring adventures, animals and the list could go on..........



p.drisk said...

School, so much depends on your doing,
Numbers, letters, papers, homework to weigh you down,
Determines your life, job, opportunities;
Be inspired, do well, live life.

B-Hilz said...

Water, the basis of living,
In the ocean, rivers ,even in your house. It is a refreshing and simple little molecule that everyone and everything depends on so much. It helps you when your dehydrated from a workout and helps the plants in our world to stay alive and make the world the way it looks.

MC-Devitt said...

Being. There is not meaning to being. The is no answer to "why?" But nevertheless people keep on being. If you are who you are then why are you? If there is no reason for being then why be, but then again why not? If it is our reason for being to find out why to be, doesnt that make our being pointless. Well it is not in why we be but that we be, so we have to deal with being.

Rlonergan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rlonergan said...


The "quote-unquote" honor code stands the test of time
for the chosen ones and the noble minds
to grace the face of the hemisphere and fly over the blue yonder
where boy meets world and becomes a man
to save the day, the night, and the girl too

Phil said...

twist the mustache,
laugh with glee,
tie to the train tracks,
run away,
swish of the cape,
gone in a flash,
spread misery and decay,
cause cars to crash,
live without thought,
live without care,
live with the night,
live ready to fight,
forsake God,
and the common man,
hold the world in the palm of your hand,
the world is your oyster,
open and find th pearl,
crack the safe,
light the fuse,
everyone is yours to use,
all choices are yours to choose,
just make sure not to lose,
brought down by the man,
get hit with the book,
do not pass go,
go to jail,
be at the end of your rope,
just remember don't drop the soap.

Pat Monteith said...

I remember the darkness i once felt
The shame of being alone, the shame of messing up
I wish it wasnt that one stupid time that categorized the moments.
I wish i felt better

The feelings are the gloom
The gloom that somehow changes day into darkness
Sad? I dont know
Let HER answer you

My mind conjures the hatred that ive never felt before
"Too bad" is for me to say, not for you
Don't speak if you know whats good for you
May you think your the great one, the one with no boundaries, no restrictions
But we shall see which of us the flame engulfs

That cold winter night i tried to make you
YOU feel alright, mistaken i was
Stupid faults, i set forth on the journey of sorrow
The path that leads me to nowhere

No way do u remember the love we felt
Oh, i must have forgotten
Change was in need, time was too short

I laugh because im about to say im modest
And seems all i care about here is me, me, me
No, in fact, the one that turned away is my true worry

"I dont care" she says
Well then why, WHY ME?

SHE is gone...

I lie here in the darkness
But alas!
I see the light ive been waiting for
There you are...a different YOU..with the soft words from YOUR lips saying
"I'll always be here for you"

And YOU, that person
Sums up my happiness

Yet, i'm still bothered by the noise of HER laughter...

My heart is no longer secure......

Matt Engle said...

- what exhilarate all people,
- is a unified battle against others for a common desire(PCL)
- allows you to harness your abilites for a common good
- is what brings joy to others through victory
- sports are what get people fired up for
- sports are what you can make history in
- they are what people take pride in doing and watching
- it is what people truly unify to in order to attian their common goal, a PCL championship

Sean Gillespie said...

The doors close, the talking stops
Authority has entered and its captives obey
There will be no eating, sleeping or fun
Dreams turn from those of joy to despair
Imaginary belts bind captives to their chairs
it is now time for the captives punishment
One of which they may not deserve
There is only one thing needed to complete this scene
A ball and chain the captive needs
But no ball and chain can be found in this scene
Because we are not in prison, worse...
We are in school

Eddy said...

The Mountain.....

Very high,
Very wide,
Some people wonder why,
Or even how,
These giants came about,
Some with snow,
Some with tall grass,
Some with rocks,
Or even some with class 5 rapids,
Some 29,028 ft. high,
Some only a couple thousand,
Some with bears,
Some with mountain goats,
Some with both,
Mountains are a good place to be.

Eddy said...


Очень высоко,
Очень широкий,
Некоторые люди задаются вопросом почему,
Или даже как,
Эти гиганты появлялись,
Некоторые со снегом,
Некоторые с высокой травой,
Некоторые с камнями,
Или даже некоторые с классом 5 rapids,


Bob Kelly said...

The alarm goes off
Time to wake up
Time to start the daily grind
Rush around the house getting ready
Almost miss the bus
The day begins
Filled with constant work, tests,
Evaluations that control the rest of your life
School is finally over
Oh wait, go home only to do more homework
Then its time to go to sleep
The cycle is in continuous motion
Constantly looking just a few days ahead...the weekend
And so far away is the "finishline"

Gianni Campellone said...

I am going to recite something I heard recently which reminds me of Whitman`s poem "I Sit and Look Out"

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places
Worn out faces

Bright and early for the daliy races
Going nowhere
Going nowhere

The tears are filling up their glasses
No expressions
No expressions

Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow
No tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which i`m dying
Are the best i`ve ever had

I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
it`s a very very
Mad world
Mad world

Children waiting for the day they fell good
Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday

when I fell the every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me

Hello teacher tell me whats my lesson
Look right through me
Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I`m dying
Are the best i`ve ever had

I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
when people run in circles
it`s a very very
Mad world
Mad world

I`m watching over
Mad world

Tom Shiels said...

school is the worst,
leaving me ever curious for more,
not fully giving me the pleasure my parents tell me,
causing me agony as i think,
and right through the tough tests,
working hard just to pass,
striving for a chance at a good college,
dealing with the problems everyone has,
and learning to grow with them,
more than a lesson for your mind,
its a lesson for your life,

Gianni Campellone said...

Just to let you all know I noticed my mistakes.When I wrote fell I ment feel,and in the verse"And i feel the every child should" I forgot to put in way befor every.

Alex Drost said...


Cool breeze with the scent of salt
Relaxing and resting,
Rays shining down,
No sense of time,
Let the day waste away.
Watch the people, swimming, sleeping, playing,
An end is never desired.
Small children and elderly people smiling,
Families together, having fun.
Stay all day, listening
Listening to the ever present breaking waves,
A constant stream of sound.
Read a book, build a castle, get a tan,
Enjoy it while it lasts,
Because another season is around the bend.

Rob Peach said...


Hatred, is it the lack of love?
Is ther eturly such a thing
as hatred?
if someone does
that certain thing
that sets you off
it provokes
But why,
Why resort to something
Why can't this world
Be full of love?
Why can't we
eliminate this noun
from our
Hatred will
always exist
And it can't be

Rob Peach said...

"hatred" was written by Tom Rose