Friday, May 26, 2017

Poetry Friday - The Circus



In response to Michelle Barnes' and Melissa Manlov's May challenge to write a poem that explores how writing or a book is like something else, I wrote this poem comparing a three ring circus to writing.  I have been in such a different mind place lately and not had the minutes to myself to write, that this challenge was a challenge.  I knew from the beginning it would be a circus, yet it wasn't coming through quickly.  So I doubted myself, and began to jot down other ideas of comparisons.  They were horrid, so I'd give up, knowing that none were speaking to me; then the circus would return.  Giving up on the idea of an easy flow of words, I let the rough edges of the circus take shape in phrases.  Then the "comparison" poem (kind of two voices) evolved, and I let it do what it had been trying to do all along.  Never fight it.  Poems do not like to be told what to do.


Circus

Step right up and sit right down,
The thrilling Big Top’s come to town!

I wake up, sit down to write…
Some thrilling Big Thought's brought to light!


Juggling rings, plates and balls,
Taming lions, tigers and all,
Throwing sharp knives,
Balancing chairs
Grasping a flying
       trapeze in the air...   
Swallowing flames,
And other such games;
Walking on tightropes
Lights flash in the dark -
Shot from a cannon
       just hits the mark!

Juggling words and phrases,
Taming lines, titles and spaces,
Throwing hands up,
Balancing rhymes,
Grasping a flying
       thought as it climbs...
Swallowing pride,
No corner to hide;
Walking a fine line,
Light glows in the dark,
Shot of caffeine that
       just hits the mark!


At end packing up tents
And daring events
       On to the next town

At end packing up pens
Yet daring again
       To write more thoughts down


One must never forget
       To set up the net

And, just as important,
       To send in
           The clown.


©Donna JT Smith, 2017


A happy ending is always good. 

It's Poetry Friday and Margaret at Reflections on the Teche has loads of links to share today if you are in the mood for a plethora of poetry!

28 comments:

  1. I have a circus in my writing life, too. Great analogy.

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    1. Good morning! Looks like I'm going to have to break down and turn up the heat... cloudy, rainy, cold. It's been such a circus here with the cat not having a spot to sit on the table next to me. All in an upheaval of trying to move, but not having the house ready - in either place!

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  2. I love the comparison of writing with the circus. Some days my writing does seem like a circus! I like the two voices.

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    1. It's been crazy here trying to write anything at all! And then find it again??? Not happening.

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  3. I'm glad you listened to the poem, Donna. It is a great analogy, so many plates up in the air to juggle! Sadly, the real circus is not moving on to the next town! Best wishes in your own circus lately!

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    1. It was a struggle. I like them easy-peasy, but it's like childbirth... oooh, another analogy! Why didn't I think of that one earlier?
      Yes, the circus has pretty much run its course.

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  4. Fun and fresh comparison, Donna! I especially <3 "Grasping a flying thought as it climbs..." and "Walking a fine line." Good luck with your move!

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  5. "Never fight it. Poems do not like to be told what to do." LOL... no, they do not. Well done on seeing this challenge through, Donna! Seems to me you've made quite a few comparisons here. It's not surprising given the magnitude of a three-ring circus, but it's also no wonder it took a little extra time to simmer in your mind! I particularly like "Throwing hands up,/Balancing rhymes,/
    Grasping a flying/thought as it climbs..."

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    1. I could actually use the process of writing this poem to help me with the circus-writing analogy. It was a three-ring circus itself!

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  6. Oh, I can relate to this all too well! Sometimes my ideas just seem to be swinging on the trapeze and refuse to come back down!

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    1. They do love to swing high and sometimes you never see them again!

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  7. I'm glad you stuck with the circus analogy, Donna! I'm under the big tent right there with you!
    "Swallowing pride,
    No corner to hide;" - that's how I feel when I write, especially first drafts. =)

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    1. Some first drafts are just so embarrassing or maybe uncomfortble... I need to get over that! I wonder if one ever does.

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  8. I love the circus comparison, especially since Barnum & Bailey ended their show this week! The two voices were a perfect fit for this poem. I have been in a writing slump, mostly due to the end of the school year, but hopefully with these slower paced months ahead, "the show must go on" will become my mantra!

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    1. I hadn't written much since March and April when I posted daily for two months. I think I needed a bit of a break!

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  9. The two voices work well in this analogy, Donna. I have been thinking about how to write this poem, too, but nothing is materializing into a solid poem yet. Your process paid off.

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    1. Thanks, Carol. It was a strangely long process, and probably due to the few weeks of break I took after April's AtoZ daily poetry and the March SOL! I'm starting to feel back in the swing of things today. We'll see!

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    2. Donna, I am collecting offerings for my spring gallery. I hope you send me one or two.

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  10. Ah, yes, send in the clown! You did a wonderful job with this BigTop comparison. I love your ability to rhyme with the just right rhythm. What is your trick?

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    1. Ha! I'm an imagination magician! I believe I heard that somewhere recently!

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  11. Great comparison, and fabulous advice not to fight a poem!

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    1. Good morning! And thanks, Mary Lee!

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  12. Funny how the poem finds its way home no matter how many detours we set up. Good thing the words know how to fight! Best wishes for your move.

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  13. Such great imagery with this, as well as the wonderful analogy. And what if a lion escaped. What would it take with him in his teeth? -- Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/blog/

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  14. Well done, Donna! Great analogy. I loved reading your backstory. Your last two sentences are good insightful advice.

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  15. I like the staccato rhythm that begins, and eventually slows down a bit as we get close to the end.
    The ending is perfect:
    "And, just as important,
    To send in
    The clown."

    Thanks Donna, and good luck with your move!

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