Creative Writing – Of the Poetry Kind

Hi! So the second half of my Creative Writing Class focuses on Poetry – as you can see by my first poem prompt (an imitation of The Red Wheelbarrow)

However, I am a pretty skeptical person when it comes to poetry. I’ve tried my hardest to appreciate it, but where my peers are able to find obscure (and personal) meanings to the poetry they need, I simply cannot jump to those connections. I find myself annoyed just listening to other interpretations of a piece, and to me, each link made between the lines of the poem and the (uneducated) guesses at their meaning is ludicrous, unreasonable, and not right. Nobody can get into an author’s head deep enough to accurately understand a poem. At least with short stories, we are given more…meat to process. There is more to digest, and because of that, we are less likely to choke.

Bad puns aside though, poetry, to me, is meant to be admired for its condensed aesthetics. Poetry lets me fly into the world of unrealistic idealism. If I were to, let’s say, write the poem below, I would find myself soaring into new heights along with the writing. Poetry is a shortcut – my personal portal to instant happiness. I don’t want the words I have written to be broken apart, analyzed, and cut open. I don’t want my lines to be switched around, or analyzed for their individual content. My lines are not meant to be understood apart from each other. They flow from my heart as one. I do not think, when I am writing, that using the word "fly" instead of "soar" will really dig into the issues society is facing today. NO. That’s not poetry. That’s calculated politics.

She soars into the rain,
She flies into a prism,
A rainbow of thoughts – of subdued
Shades, tones, hues – magentas
And oranges; yellows and greens and
Blues, mixing together into beauteous wonder.
They are an escape, her favorite
Mode of relaxation. They are beautiful
And wonderful and paint pictures of her future.

PS. Yes, I did just write the above. For fun. Not to be criticized and told about its faults. I do not need to know how to make it better. To me, real poetry comes from the heart. Unrefined speech, raw and straight from our core. 

That is poetry. It must move its writer and detach itself from readers – they are of no concern. Nor are their judgments, criticisms, or praise. They do not matter.

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Spring Break 2010

Hi, Spring break started (at 2pm, to be exact) and I figured such a MOMENTOUS occurrence deserved its own post haha. I’ll update this with how break goes

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy March of Ides. It is actually the Ides of March, of course, but March of Ides holds special meaning. It has since Mr.Discala’s 10th grade English class, actually.

I miss being so close to friends that I could tell them anything. With college, of course I’ve developed new friendships – very close ones. But still, there are certain reconciliations that come only with time, and the fact that I’ve known friends like Jessica, Kirti, and Nabila since 7th and 8th grade…it really makes a difference.

I miss them all at NYU, despite the busy lifestyles we all have in our own separate college. It pains me to see that Kirti and Jessica have drifted apart even if they’re at the same college. But then again, I look at my own broken friendship to Beverly, and I suppose I can understand.

College has changed us all.

Spring break so far hasn’t been so bad. I’ve caught up on my rest, and haven’t done much. Well, actually, since Long Island’s a bit of a bore without friends to spend it with, I don’t know how much more I <i>will</i> be doing anyway.

Checklist –

[ ] Creative Writing – Fiction Submission #2
[ ] Literary Interpretation – Read "Hard Times"
[ ] Spanish – Do SAM + Handouts
[ ] Work on website

That’s about all I have to do. The rest of the time I have to myself. The sad part though, is that this needs to all be done by Friday! But then again, the busier I keep myself, the less annoyed I get at my surroundings.

Friday, March 19, 2010

So I’m on the way to Stony Brook right now…and despite my terrible touch typing skills, I’m going to attempt journaling regardless. I just spent a….shitload of money to visit Jess & Kirti today, but it’ll be worth it. Or maybe I’m just being optimistic here because I just deposited my paycheck. Either way, I’m hoping I get to meet Jess’s semi-crush today 🙂 It will most definitely make my trip even more worth it, not that it’s a needed incentive. I did bring my own laptop along with me of course, but I’m running low on battery power and have resorted to chronicling my trip via this iTouch’s "notes" application. I’m hoping I have enough fun that I don’t really even need to use the laptop though.

The train departs from Penn Station in a minute, and while I sit and enjoy my ride…I think I’ll rant about a new(ish) show that I have begun watching over Spring Break instead of studyign.

Royal Pains.

It is not just a doctor show…it is my favorite doctor show. Perhaps because the main character/doctor isn’t as…sardonic as Dr. House, and its attempt at comic relief is actually funny to those of us who appreciate more than just a cold, heartless reportoire of witty and "on-point" logic.

Note to self: The train to Port Jefferson is @ Track 8

The guy who just punched my ticket definitely has a mullet…

Back on track though, Royal Pains does have an Indian female character with quite a prominent part. Ms Divya Dutta is a physician’s associate, or assistant as Dr. Hank Lawson calls her, in the show. Her amazing ability to keep her personal life completely separate from her private affairs is quite remarkable…and she has a forced arranged marriage to a lifelong friend thing going for her as well. It all makes for a genuinely interesting show. And Divya has the CUTEST british-indian accent ever.

It only has one completed season, with new episodes starting this summer, so give this show a shot if you’d like to. Since there’s only been one sesason so far, it’s much easier to catch up with this show than it would be if you wanted to start watching Grey’s Anatomy or Scrubs.

The view from my window is very pretty! I love how my older cousin is now a senior at Stony Brook, and this is my first time visiting the university, three and a half years after he began attending college there. And I’m only here to visit my best friends, not him. In my defense, he’s never explicitly invited me over, nor has he seen my dorm here at NYU. But I see him (mostly) every weekend, so it’s okay. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I am now on the train to Port Jefferson (Stony Brook being the second to last stop) The conductor (who has the same mullet as the guy in my other train – I swear, it’s a conspiracy) just took my ticket…I’m so sadfaceee I wanted to keep it and add to my Freshman year memory board

I definitely should have sat next to a hotter crowd – looks at boring middle aged people around her – but oh well, more writing for me I suppose. My plan was to finish my second long story for Creative Writing before the end of this weekend so that I can have enough time to print it (and sleep) before class this Tuesday morning. Hmm, I wish I was already at Stony Brook, this commute is entirely too long – the wait before I see Jess and Kir is killing me. Jessica’s like my sister…we’ve been best friends all throughout high school, and college hasn’t changed that one bit. I love her! And I’m super excited to meet her crowd of friends there too. Her new group of friends – the ones that have replaced the old group we were once a part of…I wonder who plays the new roles. Who’s the new Nabila? The new Melissa?

Oops, battery is dying – I’m out.

xoxo
Pryanka

PS – I have spent the remainder of my train ride writing more of my story (for creative writing) so you, my readers, should expect some nice updates once I have internet access again 🙂

Note: The above passage was written on my iPod Touch during my commute to Stony Brook University from New York University. I have left it unchanged, just fixed the (many) spelling errors due to my fail touch typing skills.

NYU – Major & Minor Requirements

This is just a reference guide for myself really 🙂

CAS Morse Academic Plan – Core Classes
[X] Writing The Essay Fall 2009
[X] Conversations of the West Fall 2009
[X] World Cultures Spring 2010
[ ] Foreign Language (Up to the Intermediate II level)

[X] Spanish 2 Fall 2009
[X] Spanish 3 Spring 2010
[ ] Spanish 4 Projected Fall 2010
[X] Course in the social sciences English major overrides

[X] Course in the arts (Expressive Culture) English major overrides
[ ] Quantitative Reasoning

[ ] Quantitative Methods in Political Science (V53.0800)

Major – English (10 courses/40 credits)
[X] Literary Interpretation (V41.0200) Spring 2010
[ ] British Literature I (V41.0210) Projected Fall 2010
[ ] British Literature II (V41.0220)
[ ] American Literature I (V41.0230) Projected Fall 2010
[ ] Theory of Drama (V41.0130)
[ ] Arthurian Legends ((V41.0717)
[ ] Senior Seminar – Dramatic Literature (V41.0971)
[ ] Dante & His World (V41.0143)
[ ] The Theory of the Avant-Garde, East and West (V41.0730)
[ ] Introduction to Old English Language and Literature (V41.0315)

Minor – Creative Writing (4 courses/16 credits)
[X] Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction and Poetry (V39.0815) Spring 2010
[ ] Writers in Paris: Fiction or Poetry (V39.9818) (8 credit intensive)
[ ] Advanced Fiction Workshop (V39.0820)

Minor – Politics (5 courses/20 credits)
[ ] Quantitative Methods in Political Science (V53.0800)
[ ] Power and Politics in America (V53.0300)
[ ] Business and American Foreign Policy (V53.0736) pre-req: V53.0300
[ ] Political Parties (V53.0340) pre-req: V53.0300
[ ] The Politics of Administrative Law (V53.0354) Projected Fall 2010

On that note, I absolutely HATE my CAS advisor. Not only does she not know shit, but the (absolutely useless) seminar she encouraged that I take last semester, though it boosted by GPA, made no dent in my required courses. She knew I had enough AP credits to cover my electives, and should only be taking classes toward my major/minors, but instead of telling me to take another course in political science my first semester, she told me to take that seminar. And then this semester, I could have taken British Literature or American Literature (I) conjointly with my Literary Interpretation class, an option she didn’t even tell me. Further, she told me (essentially) that I would do bad if I took both literary interpretation and creative writing in the same semester. Instead, the classes are so different (and don’t have as heavy a workload as she implied), and I’m slated for A’s in both (hopefully)

So basically, NYU advisors suck, just know your own shit tyvm. Now I’m going to cram and finish all of those classes by spring 2012. Just you guys wait and watch.

But thanks to idiot counselors who don’t know what it means to be helpful to freshmen, I’ll graduate with 132 credits instead of the 128 needed. One extra class, all for naught.

Hmmph. I’d do a better job as advisor than half of their current staff.

Guaranteed.

Trust me, I know my shit.

The Red Wheelbarrow – Imitation + Reflection

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

That above me, that right there…that’s a masterpiece guys. I swear, it is. Don’t ask me why, just take my word for it.
Actually, I know why it’s a masterpiece, but that doesn’t mean that I agree with the embellished logic. Not one little teensy weensy bit of it.

I’ve been told that my task for creative writing (the assignment’s due tomorrow, 8AM) is to imitate this style. 

I will imitate it, but I will not be happy.

within us lie
broken

pieces of sad
memories

tempered with old
age

blotted out by
time

Generally speaking, I’m not quite this cynical or sardonic when it comes to poetry. However, the minimalist style really infuriates me, simply because its interpretations are so vague and expansive that one can never be sure how grounded they are. In fact, most aren’t grounded at all. If I were to, for example, exalt my poem and claim it was written by a famous poet two hundred years ago, they would come up with all kinds of wacky explanations tapping into its ingenuity. But actually, I would not have been thinking of any of those silly interpretations when I wrote it. So if nobody can righteously interpret a poem, why make it minimalist? Does that not just leave more room for error? More room to take the work and thoughts and mind of another and claim to know it as well as you know your own? Poetry can be beautiful, but I would much rather prefer reading and appreciating another’s creativity, rather than trying to impress upon others my apparent knowledge of the creator’s mind. I would much rather read a poem with more words to it…sixteen words cannot, to me, achieve a level of profundity. Especially not the idyllic comments that Wikipedia had in relation to this poem. The Red Wheelbarrow does not, to me, “[transform] the wheelbarrow into an object of aesthetic contemplation.” It is well written, it flows, and it makes us think. And that’s all.

Abandoned Playground

Last creative writing prompt for the class, and I’m pretty sure I just bombed it. I honestly have been in the shittiest of moods lately, and this prompt, which required innocent and tender friendship/love to be described in detail, using vivid imagistic description….yeah, it didn’t work so well. Take  a look.

The girl sat on a swing, her feet lazily skimming the blacktop of the dingy, abandoned playground. It was a small forgotten ordeal – the rusty hinges on the swing creaked so much she could only move a few inches forward and a few back without hearing it cringe under her weight. The swing’s support seemed to sag more and more each day she visited, and she knew that it would not be her companion for much longer. The slide, a dilapidated job of rusty metal, was scary. The first time she’d tried to slide down, she’d felt the metal buckle under her body, and since then, she stayed away from it.

Larissa came here every single day, right after school, swinging lazily for a little while before she went home. She would unlock the door, neatly place her books on the desk, take off her shoes, and change into pajamas. Then she would go to the kitchen and pull out the snack her mom had made for her before going to work. After finishing that, she would turn on the TV and wonder when her mother was getting back. After half an hour of cartoons, she would go to her room and do her homework. By the time she had completed these rituals, it would be past six in the evening, and her mother would be home as well. But sometimes, her tired eyes would close as she watched TV, and her mom would twist the keys in the door, laughing silently when she saw her daughter’s head give a guilty start.

– – – – – –

There was another boy who got off at her stop – Ronnan. She actually had class with him this year, and he was her desk buddy. Since third grade was a “big people” grade, the classrooms had paired their desks instead of quadrupled them, and so, each person was assigned a desk buddy on the first day of school, back in September. So Ronnan was her desk buddy, and she thought he was very funny. Once, in class, he had drawn a smiley face on a piece of paper, and then passed it over to her. She gave the headless emoticon a not-quite-round face, and passed it back to him. He had then taken on the liberty of giving their silly face some hair, and she’d retaliated by giving it a stick figure body. They had continued this until the paper was full of silly doodles, and from that moment forward, the true foundations of a lasting friendship had been cemented.

Ronnan liked to pretend that once he got off the school bus, he went straight home from school. But really, he would go sit down in a quiet abandoned playground nearby. He sat in the grass, yellow from lack of water, and dreamt about spending even more time with Larissa. He would wait for her to disappear into the horizon and then make a wide circle around the park, jumping a fence that had fallen down just enough for him to be able to scale it in one bound. Entering the park, he would sit quietly on his grass and watch from far away as she sat on her swings. The two sections of the park were not all that far apart, but still, Ronnan left her his privacy. After all, school was beginning to get hard, and he wanted her to have all the time she needed to come to terms with third grade.

He would sit there on that mound of grass for around an hour, stretching himself out and leaving the park only after she had gone. He liked to wait until she left – this way, he was her protector in a way. And he was far enough away to not risk cooties. Everybody knew the cootie shot only worked in school. But still, she was the best desk buddy he’d ever had.

– – – – – –

Observation/Reflection: I was extremely inspired by Nettles – though lengthy, it encompassed such vivid scenes that the story was imprinted within my mind. I’ve noticed that one’s interpretation of a reading changes depending on the mood that one is in, and because I was in a rather somber, contemplative, and slightly upset mood as I did this assignment, I found the heartbreak in the story somewhat comforting. I related to the story a little bit more, but I can see how, were I any happier, I might not have liked the plot as much. I have to admit though, that this prompt was really hard to follow, and I don’t think I did it justice at all. I’m going to attempt this same prompt when I’m in a happier mood and compare the two stories – I’m sure the latter will be much better than what I am handing in.