Writer’s Quote: Carmen Giménez Smith

Writer’s Quote: Carmen Giménez Smith

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Welcome to another writer’s quote/poem Wednesday, where I share some of my favourite poems written by other authors. Today’s featured poem is one I came across only recently, and I haven’t been able to stop reading it. My heart bleeds at it’s verses. The poem is titled bleeding heart by Carmen Giménez Smith, and as I couldn’t stop at just one poem, I can safely say she is one amazing poet.

The poem, bleeding heart, talks about an overly sympathetic individual who feels so much, in fact too much. The poem begins as a metaphor- “my heart is bleeding”, then goes on to describe all the things which make the character feel so much; bleed so much. The suffocating effect of feeling too much can be felt in the line where the writer says, “it becomes the cork of me and I choke on it.”

She goes on to further explain her predicament by referencing, she bleeds so much, sometimes, she is a raisin (a dried fruit). And then immediately afterwards, she lists some more things which make her bleed, Indicating, as long as there is a sympathetic situation, she would always feel, bleed.

I love this poem in particular because it reminds me of the current situation we are living in, so much atrocities going on in different parts of the world, and my heart bleeds for them. It bleeds for the animals being treated cruelly for no fault of theirs, the children getting displaced, the women and men oppressed and abused- my heart bleeds.

Bleeding Heart BY Carmen Giménez Smith 

My heart is bleeding. It bleeds upward and fills
my mouth up with salt. It bleeds because of a city in ruins,
the chair still warm from sister’s body,
because it will all be irreproducible. My heart
bleeds because of baby bear not finding mama bear and it bleeds
to the tips of my fingers like I painted my nails Crimson.
Sometimes my heart bleeds so much I am a raisin.
It bleeds until I am a quivering ragged clot, bleeds at the ending
with the heroine and her sunken cancer eyes, at the ending
with the plaintive flute over smoke-choked killing fields. I’m bleeding
a river of blood right now and it’s wearing a culvert in me for the blood. My heart
rises up in me, becomes the cork of me and I choke on it. I am bleeding
for you and for me and for the tiny babies and the IED-blown
leg. It bleeds because I’m made that way, all filled up with blood,
my sloppy heart a sponge filled with blood to squeeze onto
any circumstance. Because it is mine, it will always bleed.
My heart bled today. It bled onto the streets
and the steps of city hall. It bled in the pizza parlor with the useless jukebox.
I’ve got so much blood to give inside and outside of any milieu.
Even for a bad zoning decision, I’ll bleed so much you’ll be bleeding,
all of us bleeding in and out like it’s breathing,
or kissing, and because it is righteous and terrible and red.

P.s What makes your heart bleed? 

Writer’s quote: Erin Hanson

Writer’s quote: Erin Hanson

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Hello, and welcome to writer’s Quote/poem Wednesday, where I share some of my favourite poems written by other authors. Today’s poet is a 22 year old Australian,
Erin Hanson, who is hands down, my favourite poet from among millennials. Read her poems and you will find out why.

Marilyn Monroe once said, “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are“, and that, right there is truth. We forget sometimes, that the soul within our body and the heart encaged by our ribs are enough to reflect who we are. Everything else are just bonuses, beauty, hair, size, wealth, they are just extras.

We shouldn’t let them define our worth or give them more value than the fickle nature which they truly are. What happens is, when we value them more than should be, when we let them define us, we lose ourselves and we lose our identity with their loss and it shouldn’t be that way. We are much much more than than that. We have an identity behind the clothes and the cars and the jobs, we are a person first. Those things, should always come second.

Below is a poem which talks about letting ourselves be defined by all the things we are NOT.

Not by Erin Hanson

You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home,
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.

Writer’s quote: Dorothy Parker

Writer’s quote: Dorothy Parker

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Hello and welcome to another writer’s Quote Wednesday where I share poems and quotes from some of my favourite poets. Today’s choice poet is Dorothy Parker and I am sharing the first poem of hers, I ever came across. It is titled “a very short song” and I can tell you, it lives up to its title. This poem also goes to show that poetry comes in different length and form.

Most of the poems I share on here are long, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good short poem. I actually have a few favourites. But coming to today’s poem, it talks about heartbreak in its few lines- both ends of the rope. The character describes how it feels to break a heart and how it feels to be heartbroken and which, she believes is worse.

She writes the poems without much bitterness but rather with a realism and wit which reminds me of billy Collins’s poem- litany, I have no idea why. Here is the poem below and I hope you enjoy it. And thank you for taking part in last week’s question, it was interesting to read your take on what poetry means.

A very short song by Dorothy Parker

Once, when I was young and true,
Someone left me sad-
Broke my brittle heart in two;
And that is very bad.

Love is for unlucky folk,
Love is but a curse.
Once there was a heart I broke;
And that, I think, is worse.

I’ve used the above poem one too many a time as my whatsapp profile picture (don’t ask me why), so i’ld love to hear, do you have any other heartbreak poem. It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship. Looking forward to getting to know a few more poems from you guys.

Writer’s quote: W.H. Auden

Writer’s quote: W.H. Auden

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Hello there! Welcome to another writer’s quote/ poem Wednesday where I share some of my favourite poems written by other authors. Today’s poem has to do with the overwhelming feeling of grief and mourning. I just realised that last week poem (O captain, my captain) was also regarding a similar theme. But despite the similarities in theme, the way the poems and the emotions are depicted in the two poems are completely different.

Today’s poem- stop all clocks, talks about a person who has lost someone dearly close to him. What I love about this poem is that it requires little analysis, written in simple clear words with vivid imagery. The first stanza describes what the character wants to occur now that he has suffered a terrible loss. In the second stanza, the grief is so overwhelming that the character wants the world to mourn with him. In the third stanza, he describes what the person who had passed away means to him and then finally in the last stanza, the character is so blinded with grief, he sees no light past it and wants the entire universe once again to mourn with him.

This I find so sad as the poem ends with the statement- For nothing now can ever come to any good, I pray no one dwells in such a state for a long and may we always believe in at least an atom of good to come.

Stop all clocks by W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Indulge me dear readers. According to W.H Auden, poetry is the clear expression of mixed feelings. So I’m putting this question out to you all, “what is poetry according to you?” 

Writers quote: Maya Angelou

Writers quote: Maya Angelou

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Last week, I went down with fever and after a few doses of injections, I am back by the grace of God as right as rain and ready for writer’s Quote/poem Wednesday. This week’s featured writer needs no introduction, it’s the phenomenal woman Maya Angelou. I knew I wanted to share a Maya Angelou poem with you guys, but I also didn’t want to share one of the more popular poems. It came down to two selections which are completely different in pattern and theme- alone and woman work.

I have decided to go with the poem, Alone. It’s got a pretty straightforward message with depth hidden within. It begins with the character lying and contemplating, about her life, others lives, and the world at large; and it ends with the conclusion that we cannot survive this world alone. Even with our wealth, for the few who have them, we’d still need company to survive and not isolation.

Alone by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

What do you think about Maya Angelou’s conclusion? Can we make it out here alone?

Writer’s Quote: Walt Whitman

Writer’s Quote: Walt Whitman

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Another Wednesday is upon us, and for this week’s edition of writer’s Quote/ Poem Wednesday, I’ll be sharing a very famous poem, one which I know a lot of you would be familiar with. 3 tips- it’s an elegy for a past American president, it was featured in a movie and the author is a male.

Time’s up, high five if you guessed it right. This week’s poem is “O captain, my captain by Walt Whitman”. It was an elegy (a mourning poem) written by Walt Whitman after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and its also been featured in the movie- dead poets society.

O captain, my captain by Walt Whitman

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Writer’s Quote: Charles Bukowski

Writer’s Quote: Charles Bukowski

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Hello again, to another Writer’s Wednesday where I share some of my favourite poems with you guys written by other authors. If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’d know I read a lot of Charles Bukowski’s works. I love them and I admire the realism in them, the lack of conformity with classical poetic style and the harsh truths he throws in every now and then. He is one poet who says things as they are with little sugar coating.

Below is a poem from one of his poetry books, Love is a dog from hell. I feel it reflects the situation of this world in recent times, even though this was written decades ago.My favourite lines from the entire poem are these:
the rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.

And that is just the truth.

Charles Bukowski- Love Is a Dog from Hell

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock.

people so tired
mutilated
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other
one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big-ass winners.

it hasn’t told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place
alone

untouched
unspoken to

watering a plant.”

Writer’s Quote- Gwen Harwood

Writer’s Quote- Gwen Harwood

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I have to confess. I look forward to Wednesdays on this blog, where I get to share some of my favourite poems written by other authors with you guys. Today’s poem is titled “in the park” by Gwen Harwood. It’s a powerful pessimistic poem about a woman who has sacrificed so much for her children, she has given up her life so that they can have theirs. And rather than the emotion of joy and pride in her children, the character in the poem, feels and weary and resentment which is manifested in the line where she says- “they have eaten me alive”.

In Nigeria, especially the northern part, many women stay in marriages which are sometimes volatile and abusive simply for the sake of their kids. They view they’d rather take on the torment than leave their kids in the hands of the abusive partner or raise their kids in a broken home. According to an analysis by U.K. Essays, the dominant reading of the poem is that, for certain women, motherhood can be a burden. Sometimes when a woman’s life predominantly revolves around looking after her children, her sense of worth is devalued.” I’ld like to add, the above quote is not my opinion, but solely an analysis of the poem.

In The park by Gwen Harwood

She sits in the park. Her clothes are out of date.
Two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt.
A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt
Someone she loved once passed by – too late

to feign indifference to that casual nod.
“How nice” et cetera. “Time holds great surprises.”
From his neat head unquestionably rises
a small balloon…”but for the grace of God…”

They stand a while in flickering light, rehearsing
the children’s names and birthdays. “It’s so sweet
to hear their chatter, watch them grow and thrive, ”
she says to his departing smile. Then, nursing
the youngest child, sits staring at her feet.
To the wind she says, “They have eaten me alive.”

Writer’s Quote: Ella wheeler Wilcox

Writer’s Quote: Ella wheeler Wilcox

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I found the above quote while scrolling through my twitter feed and had to share it. Why? Because the atrocities going on in this world are so much that we may sometimes forget there is kindness in this world,

Because, young girls are dying and children are dying. Because, the current generation which are the future are grieving; they’re mourning; their innocence dimming as they see murder  happening around them everyday, it may as well be classified as normal. Because the upcoming generation, and not just those growing up in Syria or Iran or Kashmir, but all around the world- in Nigeria, in Turkey, in Bangladesh, in Palestine, in the United Kingdom, in the states, deserve to have a sky devoid of air strikes, a crowd devoid of bomb blast. They deserve to have peace.

I hope to convey my emotions by sharing the following poem by Ella wheeler Wilcox as my writer’s quote/poem Wednesday submission. I may not be in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria where the boko-haram insurgency has crippled their inhabitants, I may not be in Syria and Palestine where their lives are under constant terror and little seems to be done about it, I may not be in the United Kingdom where a coward of person takes the lives of innocent citizens. But in the words of Ella Wheeler, I echo your cries and I echo your sorrows.

The little white hearse by Ella wheeler Wilcox

Somebody’s baby was buried to-day–
The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back,
And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay
As I paused on the walk while it crossed on its way,
And a shadow seemed drawn o’er the sun’s golden track.

Somebody’s baby was laid out to rest,
White as a snowdrop, and fair to behold,
And the soft little hands were crossed over the breast,
And those hands and the lips and the eyelids were pressed
With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold.

Somebody saw it go out of her sight,
Under the coffin lid–out through the door;
Somebody finds only darkness and blight
All through the glory of summer-sun light;
Somebody’s baby will waken no more.

Somebody’s sorrow is making me weep:
I know not her name, but I echo her cry,
For the dearly bought baby she longed so to keep,
The baby that rode to its long-lasting sleep
In the little white hearse that went rumbling by.

I know not her name, but her sorrow I know;
While I paused on the crossing I lived it once more,
And back to my heart surged that river of woe
That but in the breast of a mother can flow;
For the little white hearse has been, too, at my door.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/the-little-white-hearse-by-ella-wheeler-wilcox

Writer’s Quote: Cornelius Eady

Writer’s Quote: Cornelius Eady

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One of the things I enjoy doing during my free time is watching poetry recited out loud on YouTube. I don’t mean spoken word poetry, I mean those classical poems by Maya angelou, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes e.t.c. Watching them being recited adds more meaning to the poems, and increase in my understanding and love for the poems and poetry as a whole. It’s during one such occasion, I first heard the poem- I’m a fool to love you by Cornelius Eady. That poem touched me deeply; it spoke to me in ways many poems don’t and that’s why today I decided to share it with you guys for Writers Quote/Poem Wednesday.

I know I am not done with my AtoZ challenge and it’s already May, will try to roundup soon, the letter X is really not inspiring. Below is the poem

I’m a fool to love you- Cornelius Eady

Some folks will tell you the blues is a woman,
Some type of supernatural creature.
My mother would tell you, if she could,
About her life with my father,
A strange and sometimes cruel gentleman.
She would tell you about the choices
A young black woman faces.
Is falling in love with some man
A deal with the devil
In blue terms, the tongue we use
When we don’t want nuance
To get in the way,
When we need to talk straight.

My mother chooses my father
After choosing a man
Who was, as we sing it,
Of no account.
This man made my father look good,
That’s how bad it was.
He made my father seem like an island
In the middle of a stormy sea,
He made my father look like a rock.

And is the blues the moment you realize
You exist in a stacked deck,
You look in a mirror at your young face,
The face my sister carries,
And you know it’s the only leverage
You’ve got.
Does this create a hurt that whispers
How you going to do?
Is the blues the moment
You shrug your shoulders
And agree, a girl without money
Is nothing, dust
To be pushed around by any old breeze.
Compared to this,
My father seems, briefly,
To be a fire escape.
This is the way the blues works
Its sorry wonders,
Makes trouble look like
A feather bed,
Makes the wrong man’s kisses
A healing.