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Welcome to HerdingTheDragon.com!

I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Finding poetry in the non-poetic


So a while ago, I discovered Austin Kleon and his blackout poetry.

http://newspaperblackout.com/post/38874030969/this-year-a-newspaper-blackout-poem-by-austin
And I loved it the second I saw it. I'm in love with the idea of taking things that aren't meant to be poetic and finding the poem inside them. It's amazing.

I've always been the sort to collect really good lines from songs or books in lists that're stor of like poems, but songs and books area already sort of meant to be poetic. Taking a newspaper article, or a random page of words on the back of a picture from a magazine (like the one in the header) and finding a poem in that is something else.

It requires, I think, a sort of poetic point of view. You have to be open to what's basically a secret message, even if unintended. It's something beautiful hiding in the middle of something ordinary. It's getting something artistic out of what's generally not considered an art at all.

I'm not saying I'm good at it, but it's a good exercise, I think, for keeping a creative mindset and for looking for stories, both things that are vital to a writer--and probably to just generally living a better and more beautiful life.

There's so much talk in those articles about living a better life about being positive and focusing on the good, but that feels false to me. Negativity and bad are real things that need to be dealt with, not shoved aside for scrabbling at positivity at all costs. But I think keeping an artistic view can do the same thing in a more rounded way: you can find the beauty in things generally overlooked, you can tease out the poetry from things considered not to have any. You can find the art in everyday life.

And that's a useful skill to build, don't you think?

- The poem in the header:
Each privately nursing the pain
disappointment;
urgent and intimate.
twists and turns of first love.
a sense of the otherworldly
tread our national faultlines
outrage at the disturbing silence
voting in - "emotional self-interest"
"and they say there are beautiful trees in Heaven"

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