Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Writing evocative poetry can be scary

Each year at this time, as I drive through a section of the park on my way to work, I remember an Easter Sunday long ago. Although my heart skips a beat at the sight of the new spring growth, the memories of that day also evoke sadness.

When writing for literary journals, I write with impact and use strong words, innuendo, and metaphor to express emotion. Authentic writing is evocative, the expressed emotions, raw. Some folks may think this is too personal, too revealing. My apologies. Those who have experienced an unhealthy, or unhappy relationship may be able to relate.

I assure you that I am mentally sound, emotionally well-balanced, and I have never stabbed anybody or snorted into the gravy :() I am also happily remarried, as is my ex, and we all get along.


Melancholy Bunny
Linda O’Connell (c) 4/11

There’s another frenetic eruption
of tiny pale wildflowers on that same slope where we posed
for a picture-perfect family photo more than three decades ago.
I, in my sky blue silky dress; he, cranky as usual in his tan suit;
our children happy and unaware of our mismatched misery.

That day, colored Easter eggs dropped and shattered.
I snapped the ears off a solid chocolate bunny,
crushed a marshmallow Peep in my fist,
punctured the ham with cloves,
stirred a tear into the pineapple glaze.

I fake-smiled at our guests, stared at my reflection
in the blade of a carving knife
and I pondered,
Do pigs have feelings?
Then, I bowed my head and prayed.


(Not everything I write is pretty or funny, because life isn't always that way. I am a multi-genre writer.)

18 comments:

Sioux said...

I loved this poem. The emotional anguish. The tension. The sorrow. All quite palpatable.

You should try to write a "random autobiography" sort of poem. I will look online for a link or two; if all else fails, I will send you my poem. One glance, and you'll get the hang of it...

Sioux said...

Linda---I found a link. (Sorry for being so presumptuous. If you're familiar, just ignore.)
http://tiggerandmern.blogspot.com/2008/11/random-autobiography.html

June Freaking Cleaver said...

I loved it. If others are uncomfortable about the expression of raw, honest emotions, it's their issue, not yours.

The line that is most evocative for me is about crushing the Peep in your fist...you have to be suffering to squash a Peep.

Sioux said...

June--Ditto! However, that's my MO all the time. It's THEIR problem, not mine. (ha)

Thisisme. said...

I'm sure that anyone who is in, or has been in, a miserable relationship will relate to your poem so well, Linda. I liked "stirred a tear into the pineapple glaze". I could almost feel the heartbreak from here. Well done!

Bookie said...

Very nice job capturing the angst of unhappiness!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

I agree with Sioux. This was a heartfelt poem with such anguish in the imagery that is so often associated with happiness. Do think about writing a book in verse.

K9friend said...

We all know things are not always as they seem. You did a great job of portraying the anguish that can hide behind a smile.

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

Tammy said...

I once had a class of A.P. lit kids ask me why they always had to read about angst. I think this illustrates the point so well. Anyone can write about a Peep, but a crushed one speaks volumes. And that "cloven" ham. Ha! Beautiful, just beautiful.

Susan said...

Hi Linda. I think good writing comes from honesty. I like the poem. There's a lot of feeling in it, including the pain. Thanks so much for sharing. Susan

Debora said...

I've had some holidays like that...I get it.
And I've written some poetry like that too-if nothing else it's a way to express rather than repress. I think our best work comes from those deep wells within...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I like poetry that gives a window to the heart. You succeeded magnificently!

Lynn said...

Linda, of course I could relate--many times :-) I understood completely! Great poetry.

BECKY said...

Yep, ditto on everything!

BECKY said...

P.S. I'm sure we'll run into each other at the conference this weekend!

Claudia Moser said...

Very powerful! And worth reflecting upon the added feelings. You are truly gifted!

Donna B said...

THIS IS AWESOME! I can also relate...I am also happily remarried. Ironic, I have written a recent Magpie, on this very subject, and still hesitating to post it...

Linda O'Connell said...

I so appreciate your encouraging, supportive comments. I treasure you and intend to blog about it.