by Ron Carnell
(Welcome, Introduction and Thanks)
It's been a while, my friends. For those who have been patiently
awaiting your first issue of Digital Passions, I offer my humble apologies for the delay.
The good news is our poetry newsletter will no longer depend entirely on me. A very large
handful of very generous friends from the Passionate Forums have graciously donated their
time and considerable talents to bring you this issue - and the many, many more to follow.
There are a lot of things I could discuss with you today.
I could talk about the phenomenal growth Passions in Poetry has seen in our first year of
existence. I could talk about the innumerable friendships I've developed because of
Passions, both at the main site and within our very active Passionate Forums. I could (and
probably should) talk about our next major update and the very imminent prospect of again
accepting new submissions at the main site. I could talk about our upcoming book (you
know, those things still printed with paper and ink), about our soon to be launched new
web site called 100 Poems, or about any one of the dozen or so projects soon to explode
But as tough as it for me to be brief, I'm going to skip all those exciting topics this
time around. Rest assured you'll hear about them soon enough. Instead, I'm simply going to
bid you welcome, thank you for your time and support, and let you get on with the rest of
this educational and very entertaining issue.
So what is poetic license, anyway?
Actually, poetic license consists of rules used to bend grammatical rules for the purposes
of writing ... or to be precise, "the liberties generally allowable for a poet to
take with his subject matter to achieve a desired effect or with his grammatical
construction, etc. to conform to the requirements of rhyme and meter, but in a broader
sense, it includes creative deviations from historical fact, such as anachronisms."
Still with me? OK, let's get a little more specific, just for kicks:
Anachronisms - The placement of an event, person or thing out of its
proper chronological relationship, sometimes unintentional but often deliberate.
Anachronisms consist of:
> figures of speech in which the natural or logical order of events is reversed Ex:
"I die! I faint! I fail!" (Shelley...The Indian Serenade")
> transpositions of the normal grammatical word order, either a single word moved from
its usual place or a pair of words reversed or even more extremes of syntactic
interchange of two elements in a phrase which changes the reference of the words to a less
logical relationship Ex: "to comb your hair each morning" to "to each
morning comb your hair"
inversion of the natural or usual syntactical order of a pair of words for rhetorical or
poetic effect. Ex: "he was inspired" to "inspired he was"; "tall
tree" to "tree tall"
Scratching your head yet? Me, too. There aren't a lot of people familiar with these terms.
The only point I'm trying to make is that poetic license allows you to break the rules but
there are rules for breaking the rules! Many of us are in the habit of fracturing the
English language and hollering "Poetic License!" when brought to our attention.
No deal. We can move things around, stick adjectives behind nouns, and perform a variety
of acrobatic movements with our words and phrases that we wouldn't do in normal
conversation, make up new words if we want, á la Ogden Nash, but grammatical laws are
grammatical laws. Bending them is poetic license... breaking them is just poetry badly
Mid Point (our second poem)
|We've got driver's licenses, marriage licenses,
dog licenses, too.
Hunting licenses, fishing licenses,
just to name a few.
Camping licenses, business licenses...
these are no big deal.
Just give me my poetic one 'cause
that's my license to spiel!
By Nancy Ness
Hello, My name is Nancy, and I'm a poetry addict. I read poems. I write poems. I scourge
and pillage the 'net for good poetry sites. I post poems. I critique poems. I talk to
poets on ICQ. I go to bookstores to find new books of poetry to read when my computer is
overtaken by those interminable gremlins. And when I'm not doing any of these things, I
teach poetry. (Oh, shhh
BTW, if anyone knows of any other good poetic activities,
email me, eh?)
Needless to say, I couldn't pass up this wonderful poetic avenue, Digital Passions, and
our incomparably awesome host, Ron Carnell, who always manages to keep me busy. He'll get
no complaints from me, though. I can ramble on incessantly about the makings of a good
poem. So be it - ramble I shall.
Let's begin with the basics. What makes poetry such a wonderful craft? Each of us has our
own individual opinion on this one. I love it because it creates such exquisite visages
through the succinct use of syntactical imagery - besides that, it relaxes me and I love
to play with words. (You've noticed already how reticent I really am, yes?)
First, let's cover some simple imagery, then we can get into the more involved aspects of
poetic structure: rhyme scheme, meter, etc. So, what is imagery? Very simply put - imagery
is the use of descriptive words or ideas to create a visual "comparison" which
will enhance the reader's understanding of a literary work. Naturally, you already have
some understanding about simile, metaphor, and the rest. But I must start somewhere, so if
this is old hat to you, then feel free to go read some poems and come back when we get to
the more complicated part. I won't be offended. But beware, we might be talking about you
while you're away.
OK, novices, gather round. What is a simile, you ask? How does it differ from a metaphor?
What is an extended metaphor? How about personification? Good questions! Simile and
metaphor are nearly always used in conjunction with each other. Rarely is one mentioned
without the other trailing along. An extended metaphor is merely a more inclusive version
of the simple metaphor, and personification brings "life" to a poem. Each of
these has its own special purpose in our writing.
A simile is as easy
as pie, but a metaphor is a piece of cake.
A simile is simply a comparison which utilizes one of
the two words "as" or "like." For example: My dear friend,
IsabelleSkye - Izzy, you recently posted Enchantress,
where you wrote the line "he approaches slowly wary like a lion" - that's a
perfect simile, because "like a lion" gives the reader a clear vision of your
Then there's my friend, Wolfgang. You're One of a Kind, Sir.
In that poem you said, "Each one of us, just like the trees,/We reach a different
height." In subsequent stanzas you further compare humanity as being: "...just
like the birds/ ...like snowflakes falling down/ ...like pearls inside a shell/ ...just
like the flowers". Have I told you, Wolfie, that you're as refreshing as a nice tall
Of course, I can't neglect Toerag. I wouldn't dare - that would be hazardous to my sanity.
You posted that very hysterical poem, LongJohn's Hoover
Has Y2K. If you missed this one, folks - it's a must read. Toerag, you wrote of
LongJohn's vacuum cleaner, that the "Hose was weaving like a snake." There you
have it folks - the simile.
What about a metaphor? A metaphor also makes a comparison, but it doesn't use either
"as" or "like" to convey its intended message. It is more obscure and
oftentimes takes a discerning eye to glean its meaning from a poem. It certainly is fun to
conceal your intentions behind an elusive mask, though, isn't it? A metaphor connotes
something entirely different from the literal meaning of the writer's words. In perusing
the wonderful poems on the Passions site, I found some really good examples. For instance:
Gentle Soul, in your poem, My Suit of Armor,
you wrote "My sword is his word." That's excellent! Your sword isn't really his
word, but you convey a very explicit message through your metaphor.
Then, of course, there's Doreen Peri (aka Pandora) in A Mere Mirage.
This one is just wonderful. Doreen you opened the poem with the line "The ocean is
moments of time swept up in foam." What a great picture you conjure up in my mind. A
metaphor uses one image in place of another to effect a descriptive picture in the
Personification is a wonderfully creative writing tool. It is just what it seems - giving
the qualities of being human to an animal or inanimate entity, nothing more. The visual
images created with personification really add to the zest of poetry, though. Now, which
of you has utilized this one?
Seymour Tabin, my friend, in Commitment, you
wrote, "A tongue strikes an inner shell./The ring cries, a double swell./The
pressures of circles ply,/To infinity they fly." We all know a tongue cannot really
strike, a ring cannot cry, and pressures cannot fly. But you do seem to make that happen,
Sy, with some very adept use of personification.
Then, of course, Poet deVine, in The Search for
Happiness, opened her wonderful poem with the line "All of her today woes/were
pushing happiness away." Woes certainly cannot push - unless Poet deVine pens it -
then it is so.
Now, I just can't let this one pass without reference to you, Wendy LaTulippe. You defy
description, my friend. What is this Water poem posted
on the main site of Passions? You've invented a new form of imagery. I think I'll call it
"expersonating." I've never seen anything like this. Don't be afraid to break
the rules, folks! Instead of personifying something inanimate, Wendy's done the opposite.
She's turned herself into a non-living entity - though it's hard to visualize the water in
this poem as being inanimate. That's some sensuous shower you give your reader. Wendy, you
need to get out of the house more, or take more showers - I'm not sure which.
Then there's the extended metaphor, which usually takes the form of an entire poem,
representing something other than the obvious or literal meaning of the words in print.
Let's see, some examples - ah, yes, this one was easy.
My dear Balladeer, you wrote The Architect,
seemingly about properly constructing a home. But on a deeper level, this poem is
obviously about the construction of poetry - a subject very near and dear to my heart.
Another wonderful example is a poem written by Tim, entitled The Rocky Shore. Tim wrote, "Must one climb the mountain/...to
touch the sky above,/Soar on wings of eagles,/...to find the answer why?" He
continues to weave a thread of life around these profound words - the entirety of this
poem is about attaining our life's goals. Yet, Tim presents his thoughts by climbing
mountains and flying with eagles. I really love this one, Tim - it's a perfect extended
Let us not forget our host, Ron Carnell (I just want to be invited back). In Winter's Threads, your title is, in itself, a foreshadowing of what's
to come. This entire poem represents solitude and the introspection of life's
accomplishments. If you haven't read it, find the time.
Well, folks, I tried - but I can't sign off without mentioning my favorite - malapropism.
I have an obsession with this one. Those of you who know me certainly harass me enough
about it, and the rest might as well join in. Very few of my poems escape my MissNTropic
wand. A malapropism is, over simplified, an unintentional pun - and such fun it is to pun
in craft. Don't be surprised to see me using this one frequently. I can't help it. It's an
affliction that I have.
Here are just a couple of quick examples from my poems: These are some lines from my
personal pride and joy, Serendipity:
"From sheltered *berth* embarks the maiden sail" (and)
"Hibernal mariner with *white-capped* lore", (and)
"That beck "Red-Right-Return" forever *moor*.
Or, there's my haiku:
Up, Up, and *A-weigh*
From the burdens of life in
Search of Levity
So, my poetic pals - have you any questions? Ask away! I'd certainly welcome any and all
of you to let me know what you'd like to hear about. What about hyperbole, alliteration,
onomatopoeia, iambics, anapestics, refrains, quatrains, sonnets, rhyme schemes,
pentameter, internal rhyme, free verse, blank?
Feel free to email me at email@example.com
'cause there's so much more to talk about, folks. But I have to go right now (a poem, that
Then I have my weekly Poets' Anonymous meeting
Voice of the Passionate People!
Each day we get letters from our readers and our poets. We'd like to share some of those
thoughts, comments and suggestions with you.
"Hi, I love poems and I am always on your site, it is
a great site!!!!! I really like those gretting postcards. You did a great job, thanks,
"I found you via a link tonight and yes I have stayed over an hour. Very enjoyable -
I've read, thought, shared poems with friends, submitted my own and had a very good time.
Marvelous site - easy to use, basic and was my entertainment for the evening! I've added
to my favorites and will be back. Regards! Wanda"
"I read and liked some of the poems I found here. I work for a local newspaper, and I
am always looking for a few good inspirational poems, stories, etc. I would like
permission to use some of the poems for the newspaper. The name of our small hometown
The Mt.Pleasant Beacon
Mt.Pleasant, Tn. 38474
Please let me know if it is alright or not to use them in the paper, thanks, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, pbshipp"
(Ron's Reply: We publish the poems, but copyright stays with the author. So, of course,
you have to ask them. But I'll be happy to print your request in our newsletter if you'd
like - and I suspect you'll get a deluge of new mail!)
|Interview with Alicat
by Nicole Boyd [Satiate]
|I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a very
talented writer and poet for this issue of Digital Passions; he is known in the Passionate
Forums as Alicat. His varied writing style is excellently shown in his many poems and
one-acts, each possessing its own unique voice. Couple such talents with a very clever wit
and you have a delightful read, to say the least. So come walk with me, my friends, over
to the window that will show us a glimpse of what makes this exceptionally creative man
S: First off...why 'Alicat'?
A: Well, back about 11 years ago, I got tired of my first name, Michael
(too many Michael's around) so I started using Alastair. A female friend decided that was
too pompous and shortened it to Ali... Alicat was the next logical step. Plus, I have a
lot of feline in me.
S: I like it, suits you.
S: How long have you been writing?
A: Since '89, first year of college... dont know how it happened,
just did. Now it is like breath to me.
S: I understand. Do you have to be inspired by something?
A: It all depends... sometimes it just comes and I write fervently before
it passes... other times something external sparks the flame. A book, a movie, a line, an
accent, butterflies, sunsets, anything could trigger it. I have a very, very, very fertile
imagination, and see scenes in my head, real and imagined... sometimes that is the
S: Any particular setting that you are fond of?
A: Hmm... well, I usually carry around a notebook and pen... anywhere is
good for me. I've written in some odd places at odd hours.
S: I've looked at your website (like it) and noticed you're Scottish.
A: Yep, Clan Gordon and Mackintosh. Mainly Gordon.
S: Do you have, oh please pardon the term, 'clan meetings' that you
A: Nope... I would love to meet others of my ancestral heritage, but lack
the time and funds to facilitate. About the only thing I can sometimes do is the SCA.
S: Which is?
A: The Society for Creative Anachronism, a living history society
focusing on the life and times between 600 and 1600 A.D.
S: How interesting!
A: Very... I have a great love of medieval history.
S: How did you come across Passions In Poetry?
A: Ladycat, a very wonderful friend, happened to be sent a poem from
there from another party, which she in turn sent to me. I checked it out, read some, read
some more, and decided to submit one poem. Been hooked ever since. Ron is wonderful, as is
Nan and DeVine. Balladeer has captured my eye for many a spell, and the entire community
has blessed my creative life.
S: It truly is a wonderful place, I am certainly glad I happened across
it! Ok... If you were to have someone comment on your work, who would you just love it to
be? Not limited to the Resident Poets, it can be anyone dead or alive.
A: Hmmm.... toughie. Poe for my darker works, Shakespeare for my one-acts
and sonnets. I guess for a current poet(ess), I would love to be critiqued by Maya
A: Well, she is an author (still living) that I have read and greatly
respect... I love her work.
S: Are you, one day, looking to be published?
A: That is a dream I wish to be reality, but one day at a time.
S: Words to live by, for sure. I would love to one day have a novel or
two published... but it is as you said... One day at a time. I'm a book nerd, I love to
A: Same... which is why I have glasses now... too eager a reader while a
S: Who is your favorite author?
A: Toughie again. Tolkien, Thurber, Shakespeare, Poe, Hobbs, Goodkind,
S: When you write, do you want to make a statement? Change someone's
A: Sometimes, but not normally. I write to write, regardless of audience.
In the beginning it was a cathartic release which gradually evolved.
S: Well, I must say that you have certainly enlightened my evening, I'm
pleased to have met you.
A: Well, I've always held that a light on a hill cannot be hid, nor
Note: If you would like to learn more about Alicat, please check out his website.
Also, check out Ali's substantial contributions to Passions.
Closing Point -
Editors Poem of the Month
by Ruth Grattan (hoot_owl_rn)
|I dont want you to be my savior
shed your blood on a cross of words
for our sins
I dont want your sympathy
given out like candy on the street
I am not a child
I dont want your gift of love
laid out in sacrifice upon the alter
like a slaughtered lamb
I dont want to feel
your tainted kisses burn upon my skin
with passions fire
I dont want the lies
you told that tore my soul apart
and left me bleeding
I have asked nothing of you
but to give of yourself
yet, you give me nothing.
The Final Word
by Poet deVine
We are excited about the growth of our home on the Internet! The site is barely a year old
and has had such phenomenal growth this year! The next year, will present us with
challenges and triumphs. Please join us as we travel into the next century.
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(c) 3/24/2000 by the individual authors - All rights reserved. No part of this publication
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Passions In Poetry