Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How To Write . . .



A member of the online writers group to which I have belonged for more than 20 years recently used a haiku contest submission to illustrate a point. It did not seem to me to be a traditional haiku because it did not adhere to the recognized syllable count nor the original Japanese intention of line interaction. But I am not a poet and I know little about the formal mechanics of literate poetry, so I will just fall back on the old cop-out and say: "I'm not an expert but I know what I like."

Here is the submission:

He is burnt beyond recognition
This boy
Whose mother smokes in bed.

Whether you call this haiku, or a short poem, or perhaps prose-poetry. Or even if you don't categorize it. It's an effective form of writing that hits the reader with a sudden shock. It a good example of how I would like to be able to write -- to write  with effect -- to write with meaning.

When I look deep and try to find why I write, or why I want to write, I am usually doomed to failure. I don't know why. Founding Father John Adams said as early as 1805: "The rewards ... in this life are esteem and admiration of others -- the punishments are neglect and contempt. . . . The desire of the esteem of others is as real a want of nature as hunger...."

Maybe that has something to do with why I write.

Maybe that has something to do with why all writers write.

Do you suppose?



Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.



Shortly after midnight on this day, August 13 in 1961, East German soldiers began laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city.

Berlin residents on that first morning found themselves suddenly cut off from friends or family members in the other half of the city. Led by their mayor, Willi Brandt, West Berliners demonstrated against the wall, as Brandt criticized Western democracies, particularly the United States, for failing to take a stand against it. President John F. Kennedy had earlier said publicly that the United States could only really help West Berliners and West Germans, and that any kind of action on behalf of East Germans would only result in failure.

In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin on June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbachev, then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to tear down the wall.

East and West Germany became one nation again, signing a formal treaty of unification on October 3, 1990.



1.  the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole.
2.  the resulting state or product.
3.  manner of being composed; structure: This painting has an orderly composition.

The term composition means 'putting together,' and can apply to any work of art, from music to writing to photography, that is arranged or put together using conscious thought.

In the visual arts, composition is often used interchangeably with various terms such as design, form, visual ordering, or formal structure, depending on the context. In graphic design for press and desktop publishing composition is commonly referred to as page layout.



(Aug. 13, 1899 - April 29, 1980)
Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, billed as England's best director, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood in 1939 and became a U.S. citizen in 1955.

(Aug. 13, 1860 - Nov. 3, 1926)
Annie Oakley (born Phoebe Ann Moses) was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. Oakley's amazing talent and timely rise to fame led to a starring role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, which propelled her to become the first American female superstar. Oakley's perhaps most famous trick is being able to repeatedly split a playing card, edge-on, and put several more holes in it before it could touch the ground, while using a .22 caliber rifle, at 90 feet.

(born August 13, 1926)
Fidel Castro is a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who was Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the Commander in Chief of the country’s armed forces from 1959 to 2008, and as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011.

(born August 13, 1933)
Joycelyn Elders is an American pediatrician and public health administrator. She was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the first African American appointed as Surgeon General of the United States. Elders is best known for her frank discussion of her views on controversial issues such as drug legalization and distributing contraception in schools. She was fired mid-term in December 1994 amidst controversy. She is currently a professor emerita of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.


Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
--Edgar Allan Poe



No comments:

Post a Comment