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Stories or Scenes? #ROW80

February 9, 2015 7 Comments

ROW80

ROW80

My poetic week was full of images of the deep south and history. I studied ancestors from Alabama who moved to Texas after the Civil War, which conjured up all kinds of images. There are descriptive written accounts of the places and events, especially the battles. The river flood plain where my people settled was deadly with cholera and disease. This may be the reason the father of the family died so young, but there is no evidence.  I become very wrapped up in the general as well as the specific information I find about my ancestors.  I imagine daily life as well as how the big events must have taken place.  After their town became a ghost town my mother’s family loaded up ox carts and moved to Texas.  There is a lot of water and low land on their route, and roads were not established everywhere.  Elizabeth Langley must have been full of stories by the time she died at age 96.  I have no pictures of her, but her image is forming in my imagination.  She was no stranger to mosquitos, and she must have had a strong constitution.  She is one of these people in my family tree who perfectly represents a certain time in history.  She has the makings of a very interesting character in a story.  I have decided to follow my fellow writers and make a draft of a story.  I am not ready to outline, but for once I plan to draft, edit, edit, and add, rather than finish and publish whatever this will be.  It may be a short story, or I might be able to make it rhyme…like Evangeline. I thank you all for showing me that I could use some extra steps to create better written works. I have faith that this will work.

Elizabeth Langley, Texas

Elizabeth Langley, Texas

Scarlet O’Hara she clearly was not,

Her life was difficult, tragic, and hot

My range of subjects has been narrow but evolving, which is all I expect of my budding poetic voice. I have a new feeling about the poems, which is kind of a documentation of my progress as a writer.  The worse they sound now, the more potential there is to see them improve over time.  Sometimes I think of truly terrible rhymes, and hope to start using them instead of the trite kind of thing I do at this moment.  I play around with bad rhymes in the pool, and later when I am dry they have gone to the place where bad rhymes hide. I need to work on this.  I plan to write the daily poetry to keep the practice going while I write scenes or descriptions of Elizabeth Langley’s life.  It was so long I may need to pick a short period to cover in the story.  I might choose reaction to the end of the Civil War, which was a big deal for all involved.

I believe the best thing I have discovered through this challenge is poetry written by others.  I listen and read poetry daily now, and think that alone is a wonderful upgrade to my life.  Some work makes me laugh, and some brings out curiosity.  I am thrilled to see so many different forms used to express poetic thoughts.  It is liberating to find so many free style as well as  highly formatted ways to go about painting with words.   There is no right or wrong, but some have more impact than others.  This week the UA Poetry Center will offer two readings I plan to attend, one in house and another next Saturday at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  The Valentine reading at the gardens is on birds.  We will receive a packet of poems about birds, and they will be read and discussed.  They have designed the perfect valentine for me!!!

 

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