Music: Move Me, Mark Me

From poems about music itself, to poems about the emotions evoked by a certain song, to pieces written with lyrical description, music has always been my #1 inspiration.  It has prompted my best pieces, my best lines, my best phrases, and even when I write non-creative pieces (like essays and research papers), listening to music while I write never fails to help me find the best ideas and compose my best work.

“sometimes I wonder what it is
beneath my ribs
that beats and flutters so
and rises with the words
of a crooning song
         the lyrics a cry for freedom
         the notes a bid for flight”

“I have become nothing but a helpless instrument of emotion tied to the beautiful music of the world with ribbons of scarlet and cobalt hue, strong as the chords of love and agony, and just as vivid.”

“…the music dances with wild abandon
among my wandering, delirious thoughts…

it rushes past the blued shards
of my tattered consciousness,
caressing them with a feathery touch as it goes by,
bringing the song to my lips
and I sing, sing for all the world to hear,
the sound in my throat bubbling with the beauty
of a writhing, twirling, forgotten art.

the perfection of its grace spins webs
of cobalt and ebony in the shadowed recesses
and craggy caves that wind through my skull,
weaving the bright ribbons of sound
through my very  b  e  i  n  g ...”

 “…if only I could lose myself
in the twirling play of the baby arpeggios
and breathe the pure beauty of their intricate song,
in that place where the only emotions
are the ones evoked by the crying melodies
and wistful harmonies that sing to me
as they carry my soul to the wavering edge
of their mysterious realm, which rests
between our world of tangible reality
and that realm where the stars  v  i  b  r  a  t  e
and the moon can hum.” *

Getting inspiration to write isn’t the only reason why I love music, though.  I’ve loved to sing ever since I was little, and even though I took piano lessons for a few years and violin for a few weeks in elementary and middle school, singing is the only music form that I’ve ever truly loved to do.  I’ve often thought that if I didn’t love writing as much as I do, I would have pursued a career in music.  Actually, I’ve often wished I had the time in my college schedule to squeeze in a music minor.

I’m sure it’s already abundantly clear through my posts, but I have an intense passion for art, and I count music and writing as two of the most beautiful forms of art there are.  For me, writing and music are not just hobbies or career choices; they are things that define me.  I wouldn’t be who I am if either one of them wasn’t in my life, and I know for a fact that my content and style of writing would be drastically different if music was not such an enormous influence on me.

I won’t go into who my favourite music artists are right now because that question alone has an answer big enough to fill its own post, but you can be sure it will be coming in the near future!  One thing you’ll come to understand about me is that when I get excited about something, it’s hard for me NOT to share it with others.  I love introducing people to the things I love so that they can come to love them too!

So what are your biggest inspirations?  What kind of music do you like to listen to and what role does music (in general) play in your life? I’m very interested to hear your answers, so tell me in the comments below!

 

*Each of these quotes are excerpts from pieces of my creative writing (though there are many more examples of music showing up in my writing than just these four examples!).  If you would like to read the whole pieces these quotes came from, just ask me and I’ll send you the links!  Or you can just wait for me to feature them in my Creative Writing posts (:

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Inspiration Feature

Well, seeing as it’s time for my weekly post and I’ve had some trouble finding inspiration this week, I thought I’d do a feature post about a few artists whose work never fails to inspire me! You may be the type of person who gets inspired by things other than visual art and writing done by others, but those two things happen to be 2 of my top 5 inspirations (the other three are music, movies/TV and nature).  As I’m sure most of you know, my main writing social-networking site is mistressofquills.deviantart.com, and I’ve found it to be (among other things) a gold mine full of amazing visual artists and writers who create breathtaking artwork. Some of these people have become my friends, and others I simply “watch” in order to get notifications when they post new work.  Either way, I’ve found and met an enormous number of incredibly talented people, so I thought I’d introduce some of them to you!  (Side note: all these people go by usernames on DeviantART, so that’s what I’ll use to refer to them. I’ll provide links to all their profiles, too.)

First up is “Ninjatic,” a digital artist who paints beautiful landscapes and settings, as well as fantasy creatures and characters (ninjatic.deviantart.com).  Here are a few examples of his work:

misty_mountains_by_ninjatic-d6lksii substrata___unexpected_quest_by_ninjatic-d6ggoi6 substrata___until_then____by_ninjatic-d6opcqw substrata___a_visit_from_an_old_friend_by_ninjatic-d6nv871

Next is “Rona-Keller,” a skilled photographer who captures her images with warm colors and interesting concepts (rona-keller.deviantart.com).  Here are just a few examples of her work:

autumn_is_for_going_out_there_by_rona_keller-d6nue60 someone_like_you_by_rona_keller-d6btki6 thinking_back_by_rona_keller-d6rnoq4 traces_of_the_seasons_to_come_by_rona_keller-d66a8d6

AlectorFencer” is a professional digital artist whose work includes intricately detailed fantasy creatures and characters, as well as some beautiful leatherwork (alectorfencer.deviantart.com).

story_time_by_alectorfencer-d5h7ntv Fireplay_by_AlectorFencer morning_by_alectorfencer-d5j2m5s we_are___friends_by_alectorfencer-d5x1ife

Next is one of my favourite writers on DeviantART, “colbalt-rain” (colbalt-rain.deviantart.com).  She is an amazing writer with a talent for identifying with her reader even when the circumstances she’s describing might not be something the reader had experienced.  She captures ideas and concepts in her poetry that resonate with the reader in a very compelling and vivid way.  A few of my favourite poems by her include:

  1. “breaking a writer’s heart.” (colbalt-rain.deviantart.com/art/breaking-a-writer-s-heart)
  2. “adults.” (colbalt-rain.deviantart.com/art/adults)
  3. “red leaves and Robert Frost” (colbalt-rain.deviantart.com/art/red-leaves-and-Robert-Frost)
  4. and “bodies like star systems.” (colbalt-rain.deviantart.com/art/bodies-like-star-systems).

Please take a moment to read a piece or two of her work!  You won’t regret it! (If you only have time for one, read “breaking a writer’s heart” (: It’s my personal favourite!)

Next is “PixieCold,” a traditional-style visual artist whose paintings are creative and colorful as well as unique and beautiful (pixiecold.deviantart.com).  She also does some amazing make-up art!  Here are just a few pieces of her work:

goddess_of_galaxy__original_on_sale__by_pixiecold-d6g5j0k pale_moon_by_pixiecold-d5ynuxj sunken_treasure_by_pixiecold-d5miq94 the_last_snow_by_pixiecold-d5z82m4

Another of my favourite DeviantART writers is “DearPoetry” (dearpoetry.deviantart.com).  Her ability to write is breathtaking – one moment you find yourself reading a poem, and the next, you find yourself being pulled away into an impression or feeling or environment where all you can sense is what she’s describing to you.  Her use of language is (in my opinion) exquisite.  My favourite poems by her include:

  1. “Writer Scars” (dearpoetry.deviantart.com/art/Writer-Scars)
  2. “Dear Poetry,” (dearpoetry.deviantart.com/art/Dear-Poetry)
  3. “9729 kilometers away, to be exact.” (dearpoetry.deviantart.com/art/9729-kilometers-away-to-be-exact)
  4. and “Poetry,” (dearpoetry.deviantart.com/art/Poetry).

Be sure to read some of her work!  (Especially “Writer Scars” and “Dear Poetry” – I can’t choose which one is my favourite!)

My last visual artist to show you is “tachit,” a digital artist who works primarily with fantasy characters and landscapes (tatchit.deviantart.com).  Here are just a few pieces of his art:

and_time_stopped_by_tatchit-d5qjdzw for_mom_by_tatchit-d4zslwn heart_attack_by_tatchit-d6l9o6l keres_by_tatchit-d6jdwra

I hope this (really) long post was interesting and helpful, especially for those of us looking for inspiration!  There are hundreds, thousands even, of talented artists and writers that I couldn’t mention on DeviantART, and if this is a well-accepted post, I may do another in the future… especially for those of you who aren’t familiar with DeviantART! Anyway, let me know if this was helpful and if you would like to see similar posts in the future!  Also, tell me: what inspires you the most?  As always, thanks for reading!

Visual and Found Poetry – Do They Count?

One thing I’ve often wondered in all the time I’ve been writing poetry is whether Visual and Found Poetry count as legitimate forms of writing…  I don’t deny that these pieces of art are both beautiful and artistic, but do they qualify as poetry, or should they be defined as a type of visual art instead of a form of writing?  Visual poetry (similar to “concrete poetry”) is when an artist (for lack of a better term) uses other artistic means to augment the meaning and impact of his words:

phantoms_by_adorkablexbabyxwhale-d5920oz (http://www.deviantart.com/art/Phantoms-317541635)

Found poetry is a little different: it’s when an artist takes a piece of writing by someone else and picks choice words out of the text to make a new poem.  In essence, they’re using the words of someone else to create their own art:

the_wind_by_mel_face-d3iqkt9

(http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Wind-212871645)

One specific form of Found Poetry that I find particularly intriguing is called “Title Poetry.”  The artist takes the titles of a number of pieces of artwork (usually but not necessarily pieces of writing) and arranges them in a particular order so that the author creates their own meaning (usually adding small words here and there to make it flow better, such as “and,” “or,” “the,” or “but,” etc.).  I’ve never written any of these forms of poetry, but I’ve read quite a lot of them; I’ve found that while some artists can structure these kinds of pieces so that it really sounds as if they composed the whole thing themselves, many others only succeed in gathering a collection of poetic vocabulary and fail to actually compose a meaningful poem with them:

Destiny bought me a drink

(http://ninquetari.deviantart.com/art/Destiny-bought-me-a-drink-364666837)

Should such pieces of art be classified as poetry?  Certainly they are both forms of art that use more than raw words to create meaning and make their point, so can they really be defined as writing?  I think some writers (James Joyce being a prime example) would argue that the aesthetics of a text matter a great deal – that they enhance the meaning behind what was written and help the author to communicate his intent.  But is this what they meant by “the aesthetics of the text”?

run_away_with_me__by_dearpoetry-d5d1sxy

(http://dearpoetry.deviantart.com/art/Promises-to-Monsters-324250054)

I think many other writers would argue that Visual and Found Poetry are not forms of true literature because they use too much visual help to augment the meaning of their words.  It can be argued, then, that “true literature” is writing that can stand on its own without the help of any extra visual aid.  Oh, and “found poetry” is just plagiarism.

reality_by_jay_cougar-d54ef2t

(http://www.deviantart.com/art/Reality-309722069)

But what do you think?  Can you “pick a side,” or do you have your own perspective on the subject?  I would love to hear about all your thoughts in the comments!

My Creative Writing: Poetry

Ok, I must admit that I’m really excited about this post.  This week’s piece of poetry is “balloons and fairy wings.”  Of all the poetry I’ve ever written, this one is my favourite. :3  I realize that in saying that, I’m setting myself up for high expectations from my readers, but I’m going to say it anyway!

This poem also happens to be one of the few pieces I’ve read aloud, so if you’re interested in hearing it, here’s the link: https://soundcloud.com/mistressofquills/balloons-and-fairy-wings.

Anyway, I always love and appreciate comments on the quality and writing I display in the “My Creative Writing” posts, so thanks for reading!

 

balloons and fairy wings

I wish emotions
could be tied to words
the way they’re tied
to memories:
like the way strings
are tied to balloons
or the way wings
are tied to fairies’ backs –
with a bow and a knot
so the words
are never forgotten
and the emotions
that swayed the heart
and captured the soul
at the time of their birth
are never lost to the snatching,
jealous fist of time

you see, it’s quite a journey
being born as a writer’s words:
you open your eyes
to a world of vivid color
and (sometimes)
crippling emotion
feeling the sharpness of reality
hearing the noise
of a deaf world weeping
tasting the tang
of an infant’s breath of old air
and noticing the scent
of a cruel, unsympathetic universe

an infant word
is like an infant star:
when you grow
(and become loved
by your Creator)
you mature to shine
with your own beauty –
a brilliance
to which very few things
can ever compare

yet you are distant
and your light so very cold…

but I love you
and the stars
anyway

My Creative Writing: Poetry

Hello all!

Well, the summer is finally getting interesting now that I’ve got a weekend job and am in the process of getting employed as a nanny for the weekdays, and now I’m finally making some headway on my commissions!  New stories are coming to mind, and the time is ripe for inspiration!  I’m excited to show you what I create next, but for now we’ll stick to the things that have been written for a while and have been critiqued and improved(:

I wrote this poem after reading most of the book by Wes Moore called “The Other Wes Moore.”  It’s a wonderful story, and it gave me the inspiration to write this poem. Let me know what you think!

“…it’s hard sometimes to distinguish between second chances and last chances.”
– Wes Moore

 

The Street

Under lamps as tall as trees
And loud or laughing conversations buzzing like bees,
There lies an old grey street.

Many a car and pedestrian
Has its cracked sidewalks and faded line-paint seen,
And policemen, gazes keen.

Small children playing ball
As mothers yell warnings, using full names and all,
Summer sun, bright and hot.

But not just as a playground
Has its purpose served, but also drug-dealer spots
And beds for bums, minus cots.

The people wear old eyes,
Jaded, faded, and worn with time’s desperate cries,
Aged beyond rightful age.

Slow steps walk the street,
Shuffling and dragging like nowhere is worth going,
Ash-grey concrete-wandering…

Dull sky and lifeless world;
Even the yellow paint is cheerless, even if it’s curled
In its sharp, winding turns.

Hope is scarce, love more so
And kindness is a thing forgotten in the distant past,
Hiding from people harassed.

These are the grey streets
That crisscross our cities, rain coming down in sheets,
Poverty reigning just as heavy.

The fear is hard to grasp
When you’re from a background and home like mine,
Where safety is benign.

So many different realms
Can exist in the very same city! The change overwhelms
And awakens us to reality.

Looking into the recent past,
So calloused to – and ignorant of – life’s reality we’ve become;
We’ve become so very numb.

What is life really like outside
Our own little personal worlds? What could one little stride
Have changed if it was wrong?

Life’s details and how we cope
With what we endure – these are what seem to decide our fate,
And if the path we walk will be straight.

Sorry for the Sudden Hiatus! — My Creative Writing: Poetry

Hey everyone!  I know it’s been almost three weeks since I posted something, and there is a good reason for it, I promise!  School has been finishing up, and as of now I am in the middle of Finals week.  The school year ends this Friday and then I’m free for the summer!  So that’s why I haven’t been posting – I’ve been swamped with papers, projects, presentations, tests, and now finals, so I haven’t really had the time to post anything… Sorry about that!

But I’m back now and I bring more of my creative writing!  Oh, and I should hear soon whether the pieces I submitted got added to the book of art my University is publishing, so I’ll let y’all know as soon as I know!

Anyway, here’s a poem I wrote last year in August.  Each stanza represents a different kind of grief: stanza 1: loneliness, 2 and 3: the death of a loved one, 4: missing a loved one who is far away, and 5: disappointment/betrayal.  Thanks for reading!

 

Colorful Sorrow

Orange clouds,
Stone grey life,
Shim’ring shrouds…
Green mist haze,
Blood-red tears,
Empty gaze…
Full pink lips,
Blackened heart,
Sailing ships.

Heated blood,
Tender words,
Emotions flood…
Cold hard mind,
Warm body,
Words so kind…
Open grave,
Beating rain,
Standing brave.

Gone forever,
Empty rooms,
Ties to sever…
Time’s a blur,
White roses,
Are you sure?
Crystal drips,
Absence felt,
Blank fear grips…

Beaten gong,
Moonlight grass
Sad little song…
Silver lining,
Little bells,
A voice crying…
Long thin sighs,
Parted lips,
Golden eyes…

Ashen face,
Purple eyes,
Silken lace…
Yellow dress,
Bad tattoo,
Cobalt tress…
Mother’s eyes,
Saddened gaze,
Respect dies.

My Creative Writing: Poetry

Hey everyone!  Well, since last time I showed you a piece of prose, this time I’ll show you another piece of my poetry.  This one was written last July, and it’s the first narrative poem I’ve tried to write!  For that fact alone, I’d really appreciate your input on what worked and what didn’t, what you liked and didn’t like, etc.  Thanks so much for reading!

 

The Battlefield of Love

Swords clash with a deafening ring
And men fall, looking to the skies above
While a chorus of pained, dying cries sing
And the crows begin their feasting thereof
On this, the battlefield of love.

Fathers, brothers and sons in blood are gone,
Fallen prey to the steely weapons of the enemy.
No more will they rise with the grey dawn,
Never more will they their families see;
For here they fell, on the battlefield of love.

The leader, above his white army standing,
Wanders his eye over the crimson struggle.
In grief his heart wails to see his men dying,
Their lifeblood pour and life-force crumble.
He watches, helpless above the battlefield of love.

A shining helm he wears, a gift from his royal father,
And on his hip, the straight sword of a true prince.
In his clothes, near his heart, lies a hidden favor,
Given in promise by a lady fair, her love to evince.
This he remembers, above the battlefield of love.

He flinches in memory of their last fateful night
When her father snatched her from his grasp.
Jealous of his daughter’s love – his “fatherly right” –
The black king took her from her lover’s clasp.
Now the lonely prince’s tears blur the battlefield of love.

But when his gaze rests upon the black army,
His tears become ice and his heart turns to stone.
He thinks of his captive lady, his eyes grow stormy,
And concerns for his own safety to the wind are thrown.
His noble goal in mind, he joins the battlefield of love.

Foe after foe he proceeds to vanquish and slay,
Enemy after enemy lies dead in his bloody wake.
With a skillful sword and strong arm, he enters the fray,
And turns the tide of battle while his enemies quake.
In fear they shake, there on the battlefield of love.

Invigorated by their lord’s calm and powerful advance,
The men of the white standard fall on the enemy.
With new strength, they again begin their solemn dance,
For discouraged they had been, and fearful as any.
But now they prevail on the battlefield of love.

And so the black standard was trampled down,
The dark army slain, and the white victory won.
On, the snowy host advanced, after the silver crown,
Into the dark woods and across the raging river; as one
They forsook the blood-soaked battlefield of love.

At last the castle of Night came into the warriors’ sight,
Reaching to the stars with towers like eagle’s claws.
The emerald-eyed lady awaited her beloved knight
Atop the tallest tower, locked in chains without cause,
Enduring her father’s cruelty: her own battlefield of love.

Into the inky castle burst the white army with ease,
The black army having fled after its own defeat.
Frantically the prince sought, fighting down his unease,
For without his gentle lady love, he felt incomplete.
He feared heartbreak, an entirely new battlefield of love.

Finally, there was only the tallest tower left to search,
And at the top, the prince found his lover dear.
“But who is also here?” he wondered with a lurch,
Seeing the lady’s father, threatening her with a spear.
Here was an entirely different battlefield of love.

“Kill your men and yourself right here,” the black king said,
“Or your lover dies on this spot, by my spear blade.”
“No, my love, please do not!” the beautiful lady pled.
“My life spared is not worth so many lives paid!
No more blood must be shed on this battlefield of love!”

With a tortured gaze, the prince looked at them,
Wishing for another option than the two presented.
Men or lady, many or few?  Who must he condemn?
For this dilemma, the black king he hated and resented.
What will happen on this battlefield of love?

Then something happened that no one expected:
The lady fought back in a fierce though futile fight,
Leaving her father for a short moment unprotected.
The prince took his chance and killed the black knight,
Setting them all free from this battlefield of love.

Their quest over, and the victorious white army returned,
Bringing the shining princess back safe and sound.
Never again would the land have to be fearful or concerned
About the black king and castle, formerly so renowned.
At last, the prince and lady could freely revel in their love.

Forevermore, that battlefield of love lies forgotten in the grey dust of time.
Now, however, a new kind of battlefield of love looms before the royal pair.
For love is never an easy road, and ever remains a long and difficult climb.
Their love must pass the test of time, and of life’s innumerable cares beware.
The War of Love will endure ’til lovers’ end, each battlefield fought and won.