Capturing the Mood

So in my previous entry, I tried to do something that I’ve not done in a while, write a blog entry with subtext. For some reason, about an hour after publishing the entry online, I decided that I didn’t like it at all. For some reason, I find it rather insincere and a wee bit pretentious. Or a lot pretentious, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I do feel like deleting it completely but I don’t think I should. I think its best I leave it on my blog as a reminder of what I should try and avoid doing.

This is one of the many challenges that I find in writing. I have a picture in my mind, a scene that I see and then to put that scene across is incredibly difficult. Sometimes, the words come off…well, just wrong and it doesn’t give out the feel that I want. My biggest problem is coming off as sincere as possible without sounding either pretentious…or well, angry. Or sometimes, when I’m trying to write noir, I end up sounding pretty goofy. I think sometimes despite my attempts at projecting a cynical image, I’m a pretty cheerful gal.

I was writing a “mood piece” yesterday which involved romance between two of my protagonists. I can do violence pretty okay, tension and suspense pretty well, but romance? I find it really difficult and despite tinkering with the story, I just couldn’t get the feel that I wanted for my piece and then hence, the rest of my *fingers crossed* novel. I don’t quite enjoy the way romance is portrayed in noir and hard-boiled detective novels: I find them mechanical and often times, perfunctory. The greatest challenge is pulling off a romance scene in a darker genre that is subtle and sincere, without sounding either cheesy or epic. Or naive.

I’ve finally decided the best way out of the funk that I have would be to read more poetry. Shamefully, I have something against poetry after two years of suffering in IB English. Each time we did poetry, I’d be incredibly clueless of the meaning and interpretation and then I’d just give up. And cry a little. And have this deep fear of poetry.

But it’s time to overcome it, so the very few people who read this blog (or lurkers out there), I need your help. Tell me your favourite poems and your favourite poets and why? Give me a feel for what a novice can do to attempt understanding poetry and widening my world to something a little more than just mystery and suspense novels and Doctor Who.


2 comments on “Capturing the Mood

  1. Yazmin says:

    Am not particularly literature-ate but I have always loved poetry. And have always tried to share this love with people who dislike poetry because it doesn’t make sense to them or because its pretentious. There are quite a few out there that are pretentious and nonsensical, but by and large, I find that there’s more good than bad.

    I have several favourite poets, for different reasons. The only thing that they have in common, as far as I can figure, is that they lack artifice and overused imagery.

    John Donne – a metaphysical poet. Favourite poems from him are A Valediction Forbidding Mourning, Sunne Rising, and Death Be Not Proud. He does take a lot of work. My English Lit teacher in boarding school warned us that he would not be an easy poet to study, but pays dividends should we persevere. And that was very, very true.

    Wendy Cope – modern poet. Favourite poems from her are Giving Up Smoking, and Flowers. Being a modern poet, she is much easier to understand, but just as powerful IMHO.

    That said, I’m fairly trashy in my taste (for reading material) ..

  2. Adlina says:

    I don’t hate poetry, more like, each time I read it, I go into IB English mode: MUST ANALYSE AND WRITE A LONG ESSAY. And I had the misfortune of being in a class where everyone seemed to know what it was about and I’d be *tears*, had no idea what was going on.

    When I read your comments, I actually laughed out loud. Despite not understanding poetry very much, my favourite poems tend to have a lot of imagery but mostly, it’s the tonality that speaks to me the most. Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” is a personal favourite (very pop but hey!) and my favourite when I’m feeling down: “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.

    I’m definitely going to try John Dunne but you’d probably have to point me to a place that can help me interpret it…or I’d probably burst into tears again. Seriously, poetry is awfully scary.

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