Sunday, June 17, 2012


When I have a nightmare it doesn't always contain a monster or a ghost. I had a terrible nightmare the other night, and it was about exams.
The assignment at hand was write about anything you like.
- From the syllabus? - I asked.
- From anything you like. - was the answer I was given.
And on an exam that was pretty much the most terrible task I could get. In real life I have no problems writing about whatever I like, that's how I roll... But in that situation I felt completely lost.
The hours flew, and suddenly, when only two hours remained I landed on the sonnet. If you have read this blog before, you might have read an entry or two about the sonnet. I think the sonnet is a very interesting poem, and I keep coming back to it.
But the sonnet I chose to write about isn't considered a sonnet by anyone but me, so obviously...still me being me...I took a huge risk on this exam.

Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
He was born in Idaho, but in 1908 he moved to Europe and settled in London.
Ezra, being active in the middle of modernism, had an urge to "Make it New", and tried his best to reinvent poetry, moving as far away from what made him want to be a poet in the first place.
He coined a new expression, "imagism", which was his name for his new kind of poetry. Rather than describing something - an object or a situation - and then generalizing about it, imagist poets attempted to present the object directly, avoiding the complex but predictable verse forms of traditional poetry (Norton Anthology).
This becomes very clear in the poem I'll look into.

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

These few words took him three years to write, so they had to be significant...

Let's just take a quick trip down memory lane, what was a sonnet again?
The Sonnet contains 14 lines (or verses - one line is called a verse). When talking about Italian sonnets, these 14 lines were divided in two, an octave (8 lines) and a sestet (6 lines). The octave can be, and often is, divided into two quatrains (4 lines), and the sestet can be, and often is, divided into two tersets (3 lines), so in the end it's all mathematics...though content has nothing to do with numbers, unless you are writing a sonnet about numbers, but then we're moving into philosophy, and I had something else in mind completely, I think...
You have terms called volta, which is a turn... and a sonnet is considered the important poem.
Shakespeare changed it to contain 3 quatrains and 1 couplet in the end...Still 14 lines, and still the important poem...
But not to complicate things, let's stick to 14, 8 and 6.
Now let's have a look at the poem above...

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;  8 words...
Petals on a wet, black bough...6 words...

Though my mathematics mark is awful, I can't help noticing that 8 + 6 = 14, and this has to be significant, it just has to.
In class last semester, my teacher called this a haiku. I disagreed. This is no haiku...
I claimed there and then that this is a post-modernistic, minimalistic sonnet, and that he's sticking to the traditions still, only reinventing them as a true "imagist" would. My teacher smiled and laughed and said it was a good idea, but she herself had never thought about it. She couldn't confirm my notion, nor could she dismiss it... So there was no more discussion on the subject.
But here I'm going to claim that this is in fact a sonnet...And I do so, completely convinced I'm right. Count the words... there's even a volta. In the first 8 words he sets the scene, in the last 6 words he comes with his conclusion, classic sonnet. Classic!

Here he's using his "imagism", he's presenting the object directly. But what is he saying?
OK, let's tumble down the rabbit hole anyway, let's get philosophical...
And please correct me if I'm borderline crazy now, my interpretation is just that, my interpretation... Luckily a poem interpretation is as individual as there are interpretations... But I obviously would be wrong if I said he was talking about... cake...or dogs... It could be dogs, he could be seeing the dog's faces...
No, I'm not gonna get sidetracked, not so close to the end of my nightmare.

I think we might be talking about reflections in water.
I can see the poet sitting on a bench at the Metro in Paris, staring at the floor. It has been raining outside, and people's wet shoes has formed puddles. In these puddles he can see the reflections of the faces belonging to people getting on and off trains. The faces are only reflections, echoes even, of the real thing, and here is where the poetry lies.
Then I had to submit my assignment, and I'm sure I failed...Unless I made someone think...
Hopefully I did! :)

But it was only a dream...

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Because I am so terrible at multitasking, I couldn't finish this in one go... Not even in two goes... But hopefully this (my third attempt) will be the one that stick...unless a crisis occurs and I have to concentrate on that one thing...And obviously it did, so here I am trying to finish this on my fourth attempt. Let's see if I can do it without having to comfort a child, cuddle a cat, watch a Television show, or anything else of a pressing matter.

I am a woman, and according to legend I should have the multitasking down, but I haven't.
I really haven't.
Many women claim that they are the mistresses of multitasking. They claim so very proudly, and this is their equivalent to the men's hunting talent...and further stronger muscles. When ever I hear this I have always gone; say what? I have no idea what you're talking about.
I can't relate to this. I have tunnel vision when I'm occupied with something, and I can't easily get distracted from my task at hand, and if I do get distracted and have to do several things at the same time, I'm completely rubbish at it.

Let's visualize a very common scenario in my house... I'm writing, I have a thousand ideas and I need to get down on virtual paper, and I do so accompanied by Marillion:) Now, when I'm in the zone I'm so far off that a bomb could explode next to me and I wouldn't notice... for several reasons, really, when a bomb explodes, I would probably not notice anything else on this side of eternity, but there you go. I'm not easily interrupted. Ok, this was a bad example, I'll give you another...
If I'm driving my son to school and he's talking about Ninjago or Batman, I can't manage to part take in the conversation because I'm busy driving...which is a good thing I guess, but it bothers me that I'm so bad at this. He has come to know me well, and suddenly he says, yes mummy, I know I'm nagging you... And I have to say, no no no, dear, not at all... but really he is, because I'm busy driving.

I have watched a couple of concerts with various rock bands, and what amazes me every time is their fantastic ability to multitask. They play the piano with one hand, the xylophone with another hand, plus managing the rhythmic egg and other percussion instruments, whilst singing and remembering the lyrics to a zillion songs and also performing and making sure that every soul in the audience feels touched by the magic... Yes obviously I'm talking about Marillion, but this is impressive. Also Muse are brilliant here. Matt Bellamy plays, to perfection, both the guitar and the piano...I mean, the man plays Chopin and then turns around rocking the stadium...
I'm a singer and a performer as well. But I suck at for instance playing an instrument at the same time. That could be because I'm not a good instrumentalist, but still. I can sing and act at the same time...but I've done so my entire life, so that's sort of automatic.
I'm aware I'm contradicting myself a bit here, and I might send out conflicting messages. But I really believe that a woman's ability to focus like steel on one thing at a time is a brilliant ability.

Take breastfeeding, I couldn't do anything but... and most of the times both myself and the baby fell asleep.
Take reading a book... I can't focus on the outside world when I'm reading...

But, having said this, and probably made a few enemies on the way, I do know a lot of women perfectly capable of, and actually brilliant at multitasking, and I know men completely unable to... so maybe...just maybe this isn't a gender thing at all???
Maybe it's a personality thing?

And my personality doesn't multitask... I can do many things, but one at a time.

Have a brilliant weekend.