Monday, September 20, 2010

The Unfocused Mind

When I write poetry I usually stick to two forms, haiku and gogyohka.  I also usually stick to one central idea or theme.  It may be in the form of a single word (like "lust" for example) or something I can't get off my mind (like an argument with a friend).  So, most of the time I am focusing intently on that one central idea.  I write until I can't any more; until it feels like I've made my point or have exhausted the topic for that day.  I average five to seven of these little poems on a theme.  I then group them together, format, and post them.

Haiku or senryu is what I do most often.  I've only recently started doing the less constrained gogyohka.  For whatever reason, yesterday I was in the mood for these sweet little relatively free form poems.  The only real requirements is that is is just five lines (usually short) and that it expresses a single thought.  There is also usually, but not required, a breathing line where one of the five lines is just a word or two and you would naturally take a breath or break here.

Without any particular idea in mind I simply wrote.  As thoughts hit me I pondered and wrote.   So, there were some natural groupings of three or four where the first little poem wasn't enough to get the thought out of my head.  I moved on to the next theme as soon as the ideas came.  There were times when my mind returned back to an earlier idea but from a different angle.  All in all it was very freeing to just let the words flow.  I've sifted through them all and arranged them into a number of different posts.  

I will definitely keep this lesson of the unfocused mind in mind from now on as I write.  It's great to be able to focus on a particular topic but I wonder what I was missing before when I clamped my brain onto that one idea and refused to consider other things?

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