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My Response: Style of Poetry

by Jiril Clemons
      The following is a response I gave to a friend (Her name is Kendra) on my style of poetry. I hope by posting this response. More readers will have a better understanding of my writing style. Enjoy!!

Kendra, one of the things I’m trying to do with my poetry now, is to go deeper into figurative language. My poems focus more on the metaphors, imagery, and sometimes alliterations of writing, in contrast to more traditional forms of poetry, such as poem’s that rhyme, or metered verse poetry. The basic style of my poetry, if it does have a style, is free verse poetry, with a strong focus on metaphors. Now I understand that even though free verse has been around for many years, some poets and readers don’t really approve it, or just simply don’t understand it. However, it is through this form that I’m able to write freely, and let the images flow. My purpose in writing like that is to; bring images into your head, so you can better understand the subject matter. To be honest, that’s the trick of my poetry; it’s the words that are metaphors, not the images presented in the poem. Trust, there is NOTHING “literal” about my poetry, as far as the words. Also, with that in mind, one can’t focus on grammar too much with my poetry, mainly because this is free verse poetry, and not a research paper. With that being said, let me breakdown a couple of the poems for examples:

Skin and Bones:
One of the things I’ve noticed when the average person reads poetry, they assume every poem is about a woman. That’s natural though, so I understand. However, the direction or meaning of this poem is about a period in person’s life (Specifically me), where he or she is single, and it’s not on purpose; It’s just what you are, complete undesired loneliness. Now obviously, in indirect ways, you can relate the meaning to a woman being involved, but that’s not the full picture. For example:”It seems like a lifetime replayed whenever I
yearn for it”
refers to how long life seems to become, when your somewhat alone, and you don’t share those moments with anyone next to you, it’s a difficult position to be in, because you feel that your living, but you’re not alive, if you get what I mean.
As I walk into humanity’s kitchen,
I notice the mammals who boast their
greasy romance
: This section refers to visually seeing someone else, with something that you desire, in this case, a long-lasting relationship. Notice the images in these sections, “who boast their greasy romance”, are a couple in love. “Humanity’s kitchen”, the unfiltered, imperfect world, where we step outside our door, and the world can be freely honest, and to some degree, mean to a person.
The title is just as deep, “Skin and Bones” When you think of subjects such as love, romance, companionship, and sharing a part of yourself with somebody, it very much a spiritual, and emotional concept, really goes outside the physical pleasure, once it becomes long-term, it’s not as important. But if these parts are not active, i.e. loneliness unwanted, what is left? Skin and Bones. That’s all that you are at that moment, metaphorically of course. Hence the title.

One Sign Will Suffice:
One Sign Will Suffice is one of the more detailed poems I’ve written lately. Its basic meaning refers to hope. Now I wanted to allow the reader to go in many different directions with that, once they understood it was about hope for tomorrow. Hope for a better career, better love, better relationship with God, overall hope, and if possible, the start of faith. Since graduating from college, I’ve suffered from many moments of doubt in my life, and what I’ve learned since being in the real world, is that, if you can mentally and spiritually keep yourself motivated, and hopeful, it’ll be okay. Hence this poem. It’s not just hope for the reader, but for me as well, every time I feel doubt, as a human being still reaching for perfection, but still human. Examples:
I might inhale Mount Everest,
From the stillness of these visionary
As I sample this slice of promise before
– Notice the extreme image, MOUNT EVEREST! When a person thinks of a Mount Everest or any rare sight of something huge, it’s really breathe taking, and you as a viewer, want to enjoy that moment, and take it all in. It’s a memory you want forever. Those visionary windows are your eyes, what you’re viewing this moment with. I’m very direct in the last line, a slice of promise meaning a sign representing hope.

Left asleep is my naive youth,
Who gladly finds no trace to her aura;
For she’ll be there,
Relaxed on virtue’s armchair,
With answers written timelessly on her
. – This section is referring to leaving previous parts of myself, in the past. I’m trying to move forward without all the doubt, anger, and frustration, and progress to a space more positive, since witnessing signs of hope. Now this section involves another form of figurative language: Personification. The “her” is nothing but hope taking human female form. Now I must add, that as far interpretation goes, I can understand, if the reader relates this section to an actual woman, however it was meant to represent hope, in another way.