Speaking of Poetry: Themes
Just a short musing on themes in my poems…
I was rereading Interlude. Because I like that set. Anyway. I noticed I have a tendency to predict my own themes. Or at least, create my own themes that keep spinning through a cycle.
For instance, Then opens with “Hope” and “You” (“You” being me… I was addressing myself), and then is all about answers, words, “the bird that sings,” and painting. At least, those were the themes I continued to spin out. By the end, I wrote “Hope for You,” as a poetic answer to the bleakness of the first two poems.
And After ended up being about light. There are so many light motifs that almost every poem at least makes use of light in one way or another (including its absence, in many cases).
Breaking might be the exception. I didn’t create any motivic themes because I wasn’t able to let myself write openly and honestly. I think the cycle suffers at times because of that. It wasn’t until the end I introduced the idea of angels. If there are any other themes, I don’t remember them… I can’t bring myself to reread that mess yet.
And then, Interlude doesn’t include it’s own theme, because each of those poems is intentionally different from each other. Which in a way is it’s own theme. But… in a preview I guess of where my mind was going, I found the common theme for the current set I’m working on (which will probably be either titled It Goes On or Falling, depending…): trees and nature. The last poem of Interlude makes use of that strongly, ignoring the fact that many of the other poems reference this theme as well.
I should say that all of these themes are generally unintentional. I don’t set out with themes in mind. I write, and if something is good I’ll probably reuse that idea rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. In fact, since Then was the start and beginning, those themes often show up inside other cycles, almost like a composer cheekily quoting his own compositions in his other pieces. Which is really what I’m doing, in a way, even if at times I don’t even realize it.
Maybe someday when I’m really bored and have nothing to do (as if, there’s always SOMETHING to do), I’ll go through and create a handy guide for different themes. But I doubt it. That takes the fun out of everything, and turns it all into a textbook. I like the idea of “literary adventure” where you can go through and discover it on your own. Who knows, maybe you’ll notice things that I didn’t. After all, I only wrote them - I don’t have the luxury of interpreting them like you do (I write for myself, and I enjoy sharing what I write on here, but I honestly don’t expect anybody to ever read any of it).
Let me know if you ever find anything in them… I get excited for some odd reason when people find something to enjoy in what I write.
[Originally posted October 24th, 2011 1:22pm]