13 November 2011


Visual Poetry by Individualist


This is a short little poem with alternating numbers of syllables in the iambic format. I really did not take any inspiration from a particular poetic form but instead jotted a verse and let the poem follow. I thought it might be fun to play with the juxtaposition of the current popular thought about the study of time (rigid, controlled, unchanging) with the poetic metaphor usually employed. I found it especially ironic that if one looks at the theory of special and general relativity it tends to agree more with the motif of the poet where time is fluid and changing than what one thinks of time in regards to traditional science.


12 November 2010

Behind the Lines

Visual Poetry by Individualist

This type of poem is referred to as a Ballade, in particular this is a Ballade Supreme. The Ballade is a form of poetry first used in France in the 14th and 15th century. It was brought to the English language by poets in the 16th century. The most famous English language poems to be written as Ballades were the “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer. These poems are written in iambic form and I have switched lines from Iambic tetrameter to pentameter to suit the meter.

The standard Ballade is a group of three eight line stanzas where the last line is repeated. These have a rhyming scheme of ababbcbc. This is followed by a short four line stanza that also ends with the chosen tag line with a rhyme scheme of bcbc. My poem is a Ballade Supreme with ten line stanzas in the form of ababbccdcd followed by a five line closing stanza ccdcd. The themes of this poem evolved as I wrote it and it all tied nicely to suggest a story or at least the set up of a story.

The visual elements of the poem matched the timber of the lines by introducing more colorful realistic oil elements in the same watercolor drawing. It worked out nicely I thnk, Enjoy!

For references to Ballades please refer to the following articles.  Ballade


26 September 2010

Kaveh and the Serpent King

Visual Poetry by Individualist

I wrote this poem after the Greens were protesting in Iran when the government showed its true tyrannical colors when they denied Mousavi the office to which it is clear he was legitimately elected. As our media at the time found other distractions away from this story we heard less from our President on the matter and I was saddened. I really felt that Obama should have recognized Mousavi as the elected President of Iran despite the President's rhetoric that America was doing the best for the movement by ignoring the issue. The emotions in me were strong to address the issue. I channeled the feelings I had from watching the death of Neda Soltan on You Tube into writing this poem. Given Ahmadinejad’s new speech where he reveals that he is a 911 Truther I felt I would put this poem on this blog to once again remind people that this man is not the elected President of Iran but rather the puppet put in power by the mullahs that control the country in a dictatorial oligarchy. I also think that it is fitting that a totalitarian like him would denounce free market capitalism.

The story of Kaveh the Blacksmith is maybe the most popular Iranian tale and the allusions in the poetry, such as they are refer to it. This link gives a version of the story.

KAVEH the Blacksmith

I regret to there is little I can do to help the  people of Iran that this effort insufficient as it is appears to be one the few things I am capable of helping with the cause.  The Story of Kaveh the Blacksmith who defeats Zohak the Serpent King summarized from The Epic of Shahnameh Ferdowsi.  Somehow I find similarities between Ahmadinejad who rules as a puppet for the Iranian Theocracy and Zohak who is a puppet of Ahriman the Evil One.  In real life however Kaveh the Blacksmith is in the hearts of the young people of Iran.  God help them to stay the course.


10 September 2010

Paved with Grime

Visual Poetry by Individualist

This poem is my experiment with an Ode, in particular this poem is a try at a Horatian Ode which is less formal and follows more contemplative themes. I set my own rules for these stanzas. The Ode was first written by the Greeks and was popular with the Romans. It was a very formal and theatrical meter that was written to be sung by the chorus in the traditional Greek Plays. The style has been translated to English literature and has been popular but has waned in modern times since it is so highly structured.

The traditional Classical Ode is the Pindaric Ode which is written in three 10 line stanzas following Iambic Pentameter. The poem is broken into the strophe, antistrophe and epode. The Strophe and Antistrophe follow a similar meter and rhyming scheme which can be set in the Horatian Ode. The Chorus would sing the strophe (which means “turn” in Greek) while walking from the western side of the stage to the east. The Antistrophe was sung returning back to the west from the eastern side of the stage. The epode would be sung from the center of the stage and followed a separate meter and rhyming scheme. The epode’s purpose was to resonate or bring together the two stanza’s of the strophe and antistrophe.

The Horation Ode is more contemplative and tranquil and alternative structures can be used. That is the method I used for this poem. In my poem the theme transfers from the perspective of the subjects (the children and the workers) and the pictures show opposite perspectives of the similar scenes.

I hope you enjoy this piece. For more explanation on Odes please reference these sites:

[How to write an Ode]


04 July 2010


Visual Poetry by Individualist

For the last two month I have been so busy with work and taking two classes in school that I have had little time to compose any new art pieces. Now that I am traveling again I cannot take classes and so I have time on the weekends for my Visual Poetry.

I’d thought I start back with a Patriotic poem for the fourth of July. I decided to use the US Constitution as my inspiration since in reality the ideals given to us in that document can be credited with driving our nation’s greatest successes. Hat Tip to the Tea Party movement for making it relevant and hip again. I read some of the article in the US Today paper last week and noted that the same barbed question was asked once more “What does the TEA Party stand for?” This is so tiresome but in thinking about the subject of my poem I have a simple answer for them.


Anything you want to know about what the people in the TEA Party want can be found in that document, the Federalist Papers, the writings of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers who created this country.

Having gotten that off my chest I wish to explain that the pictures of the Liberty Bell come from a photo album commemorating the trip the Liberty Bell took in 1915 from Philadelphia to California. More of that trip can be found at the link below:

Liberty Bell Trip by Train in 1915

Happy Fourth of July Everyone!


26 April 2010


Visual Poetry by Individualist

Note this poem contains a mature theme. There is no gratuitous sexual references or violence or bad lnaguage. However the subject matter is best not discussed with any one under the age of 18.

I have found a new website that gives examples of many more poetic forms at Sol Magazine.org.   I came across this poetic form for inspiration called the Dorsimbra which I thought I would try out as it gives me a chance to branch into free verse. The Dorsimbra is comprised of three stanzas of four lines and each has a very different meter. The first stanza is four lines of rhymed Iambic Pentameter. The second stanza is four lines of short free verse and the last stanza are four lines of Iambic Pentameter Blank Verse. The poem appears choppy and disharmonious like a song written in a minor key. This guided me to the choice of subject matter which I will discuss in below.

I decided that like the Triolet poem Jazz Man which I wrote that I would write three sets of Dorsimbras tied together in a theme with a silent spacer picture to set mood. I also thought that in this way I could write seven different poems. I purposely chose the wording so that the first, second and third verses of each poem if read together sounded out a separate set of verse. Thus there are seven poems altogether if you include the three Dorsimbras as one poem. The second free verse poem includes a Count Up. This is where the first line starts with one syllable and each successive line adds one syllable until you reach 10 syllables in the last line.

As to the subject matter as I stated above the Dorsimbra suggested to me an off key meter and so as I began to think of the theme I came back to an event that happened with someone I knew. They committed suicide and it is an event that disturbed me.

Once a theme takes hold and I begin thinking about the stanzas and lines it kind of stays in my head until I finish it. It’s as if the poem takes over. I can’t explain this any better than that.

The first versions of this poem had too many personal details while no one else would know still seemed inappropriate. The next version I tried to tell the story from the actor’s perspective and it was very dark and it felt wrong. I realized this was not about him my dealing with it. In the last version I attempted to break the verses into different perspectives. The first verse is a more personal stance from the perspective of someone who knows the individual. The second is more objective and observational and the last speaks to the subject’s thoughts. I felt this was more respectful as it generalizes the subject and speaks to the emotions. I felt this I could publish.

With regard to the theme I will say only this. Anyone who finds that they are in a position where they can understand why someone would do such a thing should find someone they trust and discuss it. I am not suggesting that you obsess or worry or even that there is something wrong. Just that discussing it cannot hurt. Had this individual had such a conversation someone might have helped them.


28 March 2010

The Wickedest Speaker of the House

Visual Poetry by Individualist

This is my attempt at a Limerick. While many of us think of these little five line stanzas as a grouping of dirty jokes we heard as a kid the poetic form evidently has been around for three centuries. It is rumored that the name is derived from Limerick, Ireland where it was invented but there is no proof to this myth. For my example of this poetic style I inspired by a photograph I got from my friends at Commentarama in one of their infamous caption contests. I felt a good subject matter for a Limerick would be political satire as you can see.

Any rate a Limerick makes use of a type of foot I have yet to use exclusively, the Anapest foot. This is a rhythm of three beats, two unstressed beats followed by a stressed beat. In this poetic form lines One, Two and Five rhyme. These lines have three anapestic feet in succession (Nine syllables). Lines Three and Four also rhyme and have two anapestic beats in succession (six syllables). The cadence of this poem lends itself to joke telling and satire very well.

I debated whether to include this here as it is in my opinion different than the other work that I have showcased. If we played the Sesame Street game one of these things does not belong this would be the post that would have to be picked and that is because it is not Art but propaganda. Let me shy you away from the negative connotation of that word. Propaganda can be accurate, it can be insightful and it can have meaning. In this case it is an example of political satire and it strongly reflects my Libertarian Republican viewpoints. Propaganda, if it is any good, will employ the same tools as artwork. It will use the right frame of poetry (the right words in the right order – I am not sure who said this but I have read it I cannot remember where, I apologize to the author) or it uses the same drawing techniques of perspective, color, placement and so on. The work can be as time consuming and require as much deep insight whether it is art or propaganda. So then, what is the difference?

Mary Kinzie states that good poetry will develop questions in the readers mind. She advises the readers of poetry to read as if they were the poem’s author. When a particular line of verse is read she asks the reader to consider the alternatives that the poet did not choose. For her, the essence of poetry is the questions that are produced by the poem. I feel that this idea transcends the nature of poetry itself and can be applied to all works of art. The idea is to challenge the viewer of the picture and the reader of the poem to explore the meanings in the work and to even find meaning that is personal to them. Propaganda on the other hand as defined by me is to make a statement. It is to use the same insight and tools of the artist but the point being to deliver the message and not provoke a question. There are similarities and certainly propaganda can develop questions and art can make statements. However the purpose of Art is to engage the curiosity of the reader while the purpose of propaganda is to instruct the reader. This is a fine but important distinction to me.
In the poem Myrmidons I allude to politics in the fourth stanza. I show the praise of Obama associated with Afghanistan (a war he attempted to claim as his war in the campaign) and Bush in Iraq. I state the line “Deeds not words that make our leaders Regal”. This statement may send an inference to the reader but depending on one’s politics there could be arguments for or against both President’s or both, one could even bypass partisanship altogether and reflect on the nature of wars and politics. No clear meaning is sent and this is intentional. Here with this poem I am doing quite the opposite. It is both partisan and a very directive statement.
The reason for my debate to include this is that I intended to showcase artwork here and not deliver a message. I have included this because I felt that the Limerick itself with its jokey feel, its rolling cadence, the short nature and the simple but somewhat overbearing rhyming scheme best suited satire and propaganda. This does not always have to be the case it is just that I felt this was the best choice for a Limerick.