Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Destinations and Dialogue





Monterey - Photobucket




Hello Toads.....Herotomost here. Oh my, I am pretty sure that I am on the verge of being kicked to the curb after the last couple of weeks not being around.  Been playing Hand Maiden to the Queen after she had knee surgery, so I have been a very busy boy. I am quite sure that I have Kerry squirming in her seat that I was never going to post anything...I keep her on her toes using my keen powers of procrastination!!!!

So you have guessed it, my turn for the guest challenge here in the Garden.  You know that I have little patience for form poetry, so anyone who is with me on that one can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that  won't be the case today...that is unless you want to.  See, I am not one to follow rules, so imposing rules would be contradictory to my nature. Today we are going to talk about setting and dialogue, subjects usually reserved for fiction and prose, but in my estimation, just as important in poetry.  

First I am going to take you on a grand road trip to Monterey California (I hope everyone packed snacks and their best road trip mix tapes), via a little vehicle I like to call Steinbeck.  One of my favorite all time descriptive narratives describing a setting is on the first page of Cannery Row, and it goes a little something like this:


"Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries or corrugated iron, honky-tonks, restaurants and whore-houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flop-houses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, ‘whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,’ by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peep-hole he might have said: ‘Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,’ and he would have meant the same thing."

Gives me goose bumps every time I read it. I wish I could write like that. Awesome narrative and good believable dialogue makes any piece of writing for me.

Soooo....your assignment today if you so choose to participate (I won't be sad if you don't.....maybe a little, but no big deal, I will only cry a little, it might look like a lot, but I'm sure its just allergies...sniff) is to write a narrative about a place that is special, evil, nostalgic, beautiful, chaotic...whatever you want and try to nail the feeling that it gives you when you are there and confronted with its realness. This can be poetry, prose, technical writing...lol, I don't care.

Just to throw a little bit of challenge, I want you to sandwich your narrative between two pieces of dialogue, it can be someone talking to themselves, to some one else, doesn't matter.  It can be one line or a hundred, just keep it in context to the narrative and the feel of your description. Love me some dialogue.

Now that you have marching orders...I hope you aren't cursing me too much lets see what we can come up with.  I have yet to attempt the challenge myself but will post just as soon as I have something. 




19 comments:

aprille said...

Hiya Corey, thank you for giving me a much needed laugh this morning.
Hope the Queen is convalescing nicely: tricky chaps, knees.
Hold your tears even though I shan't be playing today as it is too much like what I did yesterday.

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Wow, I got in first! That has never happened in four years of blogging. Hope y'all enjoy the picture of me with little Riley in PR.

Peace, my Toads, and may a light drizzle refresh our blooming flowers! Good night, Amy

Jinksy said...

My destination was bed when I wrote this poem, and the moonlight spoke to me! LOL Hope that counts!

Fireblossom said...

No form? I kissa you face!

hedgewitch said...

Great Steinbeck paragraph--and a great challenge. I will see what my fried brain can do--lovin havin you up to bat, too, Corey.

Kim Nelson said...

Okay, Corey~
I'm gonna go to a yoga class, trim some trees and ponder my location!
GREAT prompt. Your excerpt is from one of my all time favorite books.

Margaret said...

Wow!!! This turned out to be fun... I was so afraid at first. Thanks, Corey for this splendid challenge. I hope it becomes a regular.

Marian said...

love this, Corey! yay!
(though i don't think we've had ANY form challenges yet in April, have we?? oh there's still time... and yours truly has a prompt next week, heh heh heh)
xo to all, i'm enjoying a mini-vacation! :)

Emma Major said...

I love days when the prompt can lead to a poem which captures the day, welcome to my life on school holidays with Rachel :)

Mama Zen said...

I gave it a shot, Corey!

Kerry O'Connor said...

It really seems I'm not one for conversation this week - but I fudged it.

Ellecee said...

Good fun, conjured up memories,,,thanks for the unique challenge,,,

Ella said...

Happy to see you here! I love your challenge~ I am thinking chaos for my poem-off to write it! I'm so living it, lol!

Thanks Corey!

Say hi to the Queen, hope she is doing better~

Hannah said...

I wouldn't want to make Corey cry, (I mean sneeze...alergies...heehee)!!

Thanks and I'll be back after dance or in the morning! xo

Peggy said...

I am obviously not first this time--LOL--but this is a fun sounding prompt. I loved that Steinbeck description of Cannery Row (he forgot the million-dollar cottages you'd find there today LOL). If anyone ever goes to nearby Salinas they have a wonderful Steinbeck Museum. I enjoyed the dialogue writing yesterday and this will be a good follow-up! Now I hope I can come up with something. Hope the Queen is feeling better.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Have been getting inspired by the month, rather than the prompts! For that I am grateful!

Susan said...

It's already Day 12 of April, Corey. But here I am, in place and dialogue and song, but not quite Steinbeck.

Dave King said...

Fantastic prompt - a real challenge. Thanks for

Susie Clevenger said...

Lovely prompt Corey. I have been playing catch up with my poetry and I finally caught up to you. One more and I will be current for my goal of 30 poems in 30 days!!