Monday, April 25, 2016

Death as Metaphor 22: Last Thoughts for Closure

Poets write from the heart and the images they elicit may stem from many metaphors, including death, that may question the way they are used.

Poetry is one of the avenues I chose to share what death might mean and to try to understand it better. Whether it is for literal meaning or non-literal use of the metaphor, writing poetry in a contemporary world is the key to unleashing words that express a variety of things, including abstract or symbolic representations.

Death is symbolic of something lost. In this case, it is the loss of one’s roots, one’s home, of love, and the loss of a future. These experiences are what elicit the reader’s emotions in a personal way. The familiar subject of death touches individuals in a myriad of ways and the metaphors help in its allusion.

As described in my previous posts where I mentioned Charles Darwin, one cannot escape death, whether it comes naturally or not, but one can also create it inside of them. One can become ‘dead’ if they do not actively participate in their life.

Death may hold a lot of metaphors, but it is the way we use them in our poetry that shines a light to the subject. Not all of it is negative or literal.

I hope the Death as Metaphor posts have helped you get a glimpse into its use or has inspired you to read/write some poetry.

And to end on a high note, five of my poems, which deal with some death metaphors, got entered in the Spectrum 4 Anthology: 2016s Top Ten San Gabriel Valley Poets! Pretty nifty, huh?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Books I’m Reading 23

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry was published by Random House and is a great collection of the poet’s work.

Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting by Kevin Powers. Powers is an Iraq war veteran writing poetry with a lot of imagery and emotion. Sometimes from memories of his experiences coming home and at war.

Your Best Brain Ever: A Complete Guide & Workout by Michael Sweeney is a book about how to stay sharp and improve memory by doing different activities which can boost your brain health, such as finding time to exercise.

Treasury of Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals by Donna Jo Napoli from National Geographic KiDS. This is a collection of how the different deities came into being. Sometimes, it gets confusing because the deities can have multiple personalities or similar functions. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pet News 20: A Dog’s Gotta Have Color Scent, right?

Kyra Sundance, author of The Dog Rules: 14 Secrets to developing the dog you want (2009), mentions in her book that dogs aren’t color blind, they’re “color-limited” because dogs can’t see all the colors like we do. 

According to Sundance, dogs see red, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet. She also states orange, yellow, and green look the same to a dog. 

Though their night vision is far better than humans, it is a dog’s sense of smell which helps them determine who or what is familiar. Sundance explains that this “scent memory” lasts a lifetime and affects everything the dog does. 

So if you’re taking that pooch for a long walk, let them smell their surroundings. Dogs are like computers, inputting and storing data for later use in their scent files, retrieving information to determine safety, comfort, and a myriad of things we probably haven't pinpointed yet.

That’s why it’s also important to leave a piece of your clothing when you send your pet to a boarding kennel, or leave at the vet. I’ve actually tried this. I left one of my shirts with my pet when I went on a three-day trip. My sister, who babysat, said it helped him sleep because he wouldn’t sleep until she placed it on his bed! I called him Linus for a while =)

p.s. Linus is the character from Peanuts who carries his blanket almost everywhere with him

Monday, April 4, 2016

Art 9: Thinking About…

Here are some sketches I made back in 1998. Each pose was sketched in five minutes using charcoal. At first, I struggled with the transitions from one pose to the next, but this particular sketch shows a progression I wasn’t able to get during my first classes. I like the way I was able to capture the movement in the rough drawing and add a touch of darker lines to add dimension.