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Thoughts and philosophies on poetry writing and poetry presentation
On this page I have included my thoughts and philosophies on poetry writing and my poetry presentations. Immediately below (in Marron) are hyperlinks that are bookmarks directing you to the subjects covered on this page. I hope through this page you may gather an understanding of what poetry means to me and what aspirations I have for my poetry presentations.
Censorship (About 800 words)
Belief statements about the art of poetry writing (About 2,500 words)
www.poetry.net.au This is the poetry presentations site of Dominic Gill of Adelaide, South Australia.
This sites lay out
www.poetry.net.au front page hyperlinks: The front page of www.poetry.net.au contains the following redirect links. Note: the underlined categories below are also hyperlinks. After the list of seven categories I will explain a little more about each categories.
Children's poetry Suitable for older people as well (Poems for young children)
Senior school students and adult poetry And sometimes O.K. for young children (Poems for children over the age of 10 years of age.)
Senior school and Adult poetry Adult like themes Note Not for young children (Poems for senior school students and adults alike. At times these poems have an adult like and complex theme.)
Quotes from a poet (Small statements or quotes, often of a philosophical nature and often 'thought provoking') This page has also got a subdirectory hyperlink, directing one off to "quotes from a poet" on specific subjects and themes. Quotes list on specific subjects
Poems on specific subjects and themes This link goes to a list of subjects and from here one can choose which subject to read and is then be redirected to the poems hyperlinks.
The hyperlink Children's poetry contains poems for children and adults.
The page category named "Senior school students and adult poetry" is I believe suitable for senior school students and adults)
The page labelled "Senior school and Adult poetry Adult like themes," not for young children however, may contain themes of a more complex and serious nature. It is for this reason that it is recommended that it is not for young children. This page sometimes discusses issues such of war, peace, philosophical points of view etc that are more mature in nature. Given the fact that I only have one poetry site, I simply ask teachers to use their discretion and guidance on this particular page.
Although as I say; the page "Senior school and Adult poetry Adult like themes," is not for young children for it may contain issues of a more serious nature. It has always been my concern to create an outcome that is positive for people and never negative. However in saying this -and in consideration for the young children visiting my site - I simply make the point that within this particular page, there may be issues raised that some might consider 'not suitable for young children.' For myself; I am a passionate believer in greater 'censorship,' and although I believe children are quite resilient, generally speaking I believe that the media is guilty of neglecting the well being of the children of this country by what I see as poor censorship.
Note: Whilst every effort is made to make my poetry as 'age appropriate' as possible, errors in judgment may still exist in some people's view. If in the odd circumstance you feel my poems are not 'age appropriate,' please write and express your opinion.
The Quotes from a poet are little sayings, often it is hoped with a 'wise message.'
The front page tab, "Poems on specific subjects and themes" redirects to a list of 'subject themes.' From here a person may choose a particular theme and be directed to poems and thoughts regarding those themes. Generally speaking the poems in this section are of a more pointed nature. If the theme is about health for example, health will be spoken about in (light and not so light) ways. If on the other hand the theme is about "war," almost inevitably, the meanings would be hard hitting, after all I might ask, how laid back can one be about this subject? Again in regards to children I just ask for parental or teachers guidance on these pages.
The "poems list" is not actually made up as yet, but it will be an excel file list of absolutely all the poems on this site. This list will also contains information about how I have categories my poems in various ways.
Finally the "thoughts and philosophies on poetry writing and poetry presentation" is where you are at now.
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Poetry performances for children / an objective statement
‘All original poems’ are performed in a lively / upbeat manner with the aim of ‘entertaining' foremost in mind. The poems are presented with the aid of a ‘slide show presentation’ through the use of a projector and PowerPoint, to give an entertainment value to the performances. For the young children particularly, the performances would resemble a story telling setting, so instead of showing the children pictures from a book whilst one reads, slides will be shown.
It is not necessary the aim of the presentations to teach children ‘how to write poetry.’ This skill (although often natural to many is a very complex study.) However; through the performances it is hoped that it will install in the children a ‘love of writing,’ a love of reading and a general interest in the ‘written form.’ In this way it is hoped that the performances will be inspirational / entertaining and educational so that the children may be inspired to express their selves in whatever way they choose within the ‘writing form.’ I hope that the examples of poetry in this site suggest humor and passion about the world we live in, in the ‘poetic form.’ After all; is it not "humor" and "passion" that drives ‘all art’ and ‘all artists?’
My aim in the 'poetry presentation' is to create interest, / to stimulate discussion from the children and to involve them in their reactions.
I would think that what I have to offer to children - in terms of writing - is not a technical look at grammar, or spelling, (alas, this is not my forte,) but that I may inspire in them the simple 'desire to express, which is as I see it, the essentials of writing. The desire to express honestly and with skill. Of course not all children will grow up to be writers, only a fraction of one percent will do this, but all will go on to use the skill of communication in their lives. Indeed even as children, it is fundamental to their academics, / intellectual, / emotional and social well being. To be involved in poetry or writing then, is to be involved in "expression," / to be involved in expressing oneself as accurately as possible in regards to what ever someone might think or feel. To me this is supremely important. And behind this skill itself, is the simple idea that one must first 'feel confident' to express. And so I cannot think of anything more important than to inspire in children a confidence and a love of expression.
This web site only contains a fraction of my entire works, a labor of love extending to many thousands of poems. And yes - if you are asking or wondering!!! - they are all my babies and I love them all equally as we might say a “mother loves all of her children equally.” Feel free to email me, / make comments, / ask for more works, or seek information about the service I offer, I would be more than happy to respond.
Given the volume of my work, it is possible that I may conduct a ‘poetry presentation’ with a particular theme in mind and in this way, tailor my ‘poetry presentation’ to your needs and circumstance. It is literally possible for me to input any word or theme into my computer and to receive a group of original poems. Perhaps for example there might be a need for a Christmas theme, or a theme about the environment, / the sea, / the land, / an aboriginal themes, / or a social issue, etc. Any such request may be accommodated for children and adults alike.
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Please feel free to copy the poems in this sites and use them in the class room or for your own personal use. However, in the circumstance where there is wide spread copying of material please consult myself for permission.
Looking for a cartoonist or drawer
If there is anyone out there who is a cartoonist or can draw, I am interested in forming a partnership to create books for children and other projects.
Related internet sites to this web site. / A disclaimer
On the "list pages" of this site I have included the addresses of some other internet sites that I feel are relevant to the issues or subjects in the poems. I hope that the children will use these sites to increase their knowledge of the various issues being discussed and for it to create an educated view that may eventually lead to 'informed discussions.' Although I have taken care in choosing sites that seem appropriate for children and relevant to the subjects, I none the less cannot -in the end analysis - take responsibility for what is in these site. However in having said this, I feel confident that these sites will stimulate the children's interest and education and be a supportive adjunct to the poems.
My interests and experience with children
I have been a musician in a folk band named ‘Diddychwy,’ doing children’s bush dances for the past twenty plus years.
For those receiving my school hand out letter, the phone numbers for “Dominic’s PA hire” (on the business cards) is also my number and contains this sites address. In being a 'sound technician' I may have no difficulty in performing to hundreds of children at one time using the PA system / systems I own and operate.
I’m presently 48 year old, unmarried and have no children. My interests are music and writing. I hold a voluntary position as 'assistant' in the faculty of Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at the Adelaide university.
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I have made every effort in the creation of this site where I hope it is clear, (especially to young children,) that some poems / skits /quotes etc, are not for young children. Censorship is an issue that is important to me. It is a sad aspect of modern living that children are regularly subjected to inappropriate material. The daily showing of the news itself is now, - in my view, - a constant insult to children. Especially in this era where even capital punishment is shown (almost without a second thought or qualm) by the media. It is certainly not my intension to add to a corrupt culture where inappropriate material is shown to children. But in presenting this site, I have come to see the difficulty of creating censorship. Therefore, I have divided the site into 'age appropriate' sections to try and avoid children coming across imagery that might not be for their age. Yet in speaking about "age appropriate material," I trust and feel that there is nothing literally offensive in my site. I also trust and feel that there is nothing that is 'negative' on my site. Indeed, I pride myself in making sure that what I have to say would result in a creative response that will bring about something positive. Yet in saying this, it seems necessary - as a poet - to speak one's mind about more serious matters, and in doing so, say things that amounts to expressing 'adult like themes.' I trust it is only in this area that some of my poetry may not be suitable to young children. When all is said and done, my site is for both children and adults.
Given that some of the poetry is on sensitive issues regarding religion, spirituality / life / etc, it may seem to some that some words are strong, or perhaps, highly critical of a particular religion or belief system or whatever. Again, I trust that even here, there is a spirit of 'being positive.' In terms of seeking 'not to offend people' it seems an almost impossibility to speaks one's mind on sensitive issues, that is, (in a mass setting such as writing to the public,) without stepping overboard as some may see. It is however bluntly put, not my intention to offend. It is merely my intension to express myself, to examine the world, - or the world that I live in, - and to mirror it back in writing to others.
In reading my site and in regards to the issue of "stepping on people's toes" or "offending people" , it may seem to some that the goal of a particular poem is to shock, or to be provocative just for the sake of it. I may certainly say that this is not my goal, and certainly not a primary focus in any of my writing. Yet in saying this, it seems that the poet has a natural disposition to want to say things in the most strongest way, even in a way that may jell people. Even in the case where this 'jelling response' seems to be present for some, I would hope they would understand that it is there for a reason. And in knowing the reason, one may come to understand quite naturally that no insult is intended. And yet in the situation where a person does not sense an underlying message, it may be the case that they may also just see a provocative statement, that is, one without substance, and therefore it may seem that it is provocative just for the sake of it. I hope this doesn't occur, yet I acknowledge the possibility of this due to the great variations in how people perceive and also given the strong nature of some of the poetry. All I may say in regards to this issue of "not offending" is that in - ever way, - I have sought not to offend and to be respectful at all times, even while saying things that are clearly strong in nature. If at any time someone is genuinely offended by something that is said, then I welcome feedback and will deal with the issue as it is presented to me.
In concluding, it seems to be the case that when one is talking about "censorship," one is simultaneously talking about about a belief in the "art of poetry writing," and how this relates to expressing life's more difficult issues for they are in fact, intrinsically linked.
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Belief statements about the art of poetry writing
It may well be the case that a poem, (or any writing for that matter,) is created through sheer effort and many frustrating hours of sweat and toil. But regardless of this; the reader’s view should be one of entertainment, education and of ‘simple interest / fascination and pleasure.’
I believe that poetry can -and does- speak of many subjects and of many matters, not just of the theme of “I love you babe,” so often expressed in so many of today's modern songs . Also I feel that spoken poetry need not be ‘old fashion’ as its reputation sometimes has it portrayed. It need not necessarily be about one’s undying love for one’s country or the country side. Poetry for me then, spans many subjects and many moods from the; totally frivolous and humorous to the more serious matters regarding life and living.
In my site there are expressed, 'many views.' It is however not my interest to push one view or belief over another. Yet this does not mean to say that I do not have 'personally views,' I do, but the key point in writing is to eliciting other people's reactions and their views. This is particularly important where children are concern. I would however defy anyone to cover the amount of topics I have in my site and not express 'a view.' The important point in expressing views then is simply to be entertaining and none offensive and respectful.
In all of my poetry, I have been quite focused on the idea that in writing poetry, my beliefs on this or that are actually not important. Therefore, it should not be the primary aim of a poem to convince somebody - in a forceful way - of what ever beliefs might be contained within a poem. Indeed I believe, the 'art' of writing poetry is more about creating imagery, and also about 'the reader' as opposed to the writer or myself. Of course, my own beliefs on 'this or that' are having a play on the poetry, but the manner of presentation is being controlled by the 'desire to be an artist,' and in doing this, the reader is considered very important and also therefore, always the issue of respect for others important.
It is also the case that in much of my poetry, I am not actually or necessarily representing my personally life or beliefs in my poems. Seldom do I feel that I am personally telling my personal story or experience. And I trust that even when I am, you will not easily know where. Again these kinds of issues seem to be part of the 'nature of writing.' Yet in saying that I am seldom speaking personally about myself, I am always speaking of an image I have obtained from the world I live in, and in doing so, I usually feel passionate about what I have seen and what I am describing. The name of the game then is to "create imagery." To enrich my own life and hopefully in this very process, enrich others. Again I may say, all I seem to be sure of is that, the words are meant to create imagination and some positive outcome for myself and the reader.
I am aware of myself as having some quite radical and profound points of view, but perhaps I may also say that if I did not, I might also not be the poet or even not be able to come across as 'entertaining' in poetry. My aspirations (as I expect is many 'writers goal') is to express myself and in so doing, take on many forms of expression, even the 'form of expressing views' that may not necessarily be my own. The reason for this is a deeper love for 'debate' and not that of simply attempting to propagate one's own views and beliefs.
Indeed, many of my poems speak from a perspective that cannot possibly be 'my own.' I am a middle class / middle ages male. At various times in my poems I am a woman, or a rich person, or a very poor person, or a child. Clearly in writing, 'the writer can be anything.' This is perhaps my personal rewards as a writer, to be able to travel where I will - within my own mind. So to all those out there who may wish to project that I myself have this or that view on life because of what is in my poetry, I merely say, "it's ain't necessarily so."
For myself I find that some of my poems - upon re reading them have personally; - great impact or import, yet in the knowledge of the time of writing them they may have had little to no 'personal impact.' And so you may understandably ask, well where did they come from if they were not personal to me at the time of writing them?" All I may to this is that, not all thoughts derive from an emotive place, some are simply 'intuitive,' perhaps other's 'philosophical,' yet all are still important.
And yet other poems I have written have the opposite dynamics in that; at the time of writing them they had great personal meaning for me, yet strangely I notice that, this may or may not have come though in the written form. So therefore I may say, if the reader wishes to be projecting as to what is deeply personal to me and what is not, then I suggest that such a reader is likely to make 'huge mistakes.' As I imply; for myself, the deeply personal ones seem to be well hidden." Yet in having said this, I may also say that without question; I sign my name to all of my poems in the sense that I personally believe that the outcome of the poems should be positive / helpful and empowering.
And in using the word, "empowering" above, the poems that seems to be, 'just for entertainments' still serve the purpose of empowering others. In thinking about myself and the kind of personality I am, it would seem to me that I am a serious, / perhaps heavy philosophical kind of thinker, yet to me to be involved in entertaining others is something I think important. Perhaps in the light of describing myself as serious I might say, "I take entertainment and humor seriously!!!
I believe that in addressing people -and in consideration of the various different kinds of people and audiences types, - there should always be consideration as to ‘what is appropriate,’ or in saying this in another way; there should always be consideration as to ‘what will go down well.’ In performing to children and in attempting to write children’s poetry there are then some special considerations.
In having leant my hand to writing articles for psychological journals and in attempting to be supposedly deep and meaningful in a sophisticated way, I see no difference 'in challenge' between this and writing children’s literature. Indeed the latter may be a far more formidable task. Isn't this curious!?
In the poem, “The clown tried to be serious” (seen in the children's section,) it presents a classic example of an attempt to speak ‘at a child’s level,’ yet at the very same time, speaks about issues in life that are not necessarily ‘that simple.’ In the poem; “the clown tried to serious” we have the classic scenario of a clown who has accidentally stubs his toe and then begins to hop and dance around in pain, whilst of course uunderstandably, the audience interprets this dance as if the clown is ‘just trying to be funny.’ I might say to all those who have stubbed their toe lately, (or to all those who have experienced the 'pain of not being understood' or even in being; ‘misunderstood,’) isn’t this a very serious and sober matter!? Isn’t’ the theme of people ‘not being understood’ at times, a very serious matter for all of humanity? Yet somehow within the poem I hope I address this most fundamental / deep and yet universal theme of “being misunderstood” in a light and in an entertaining way so as to make it suitable for children of all ages and indeed, adults as well in this case.
The point then of all writing, (or in writing poetry in this case,) is to make it as ‘age appropriate’ or as ‘audience appropriate’ as is humanly possible. I believe then that the point of ‘good writing’ is to consider the ‘reader at all times’ whilst at the very same time being true to oneself and being fully engrossed in one’s own thoughts and subjectivity. This is; what I hope I have done with all of my poem, especially those for children. I hope then that my children’s poems are interesting / enthralling and above all ‘entertaining,’ and do not lack a moral (or life relating) theme to them. Whether writing is for children or not it seems that, sparking the imagination is the essential goal.
Indeed I would hazard a guess that in examining all of the worlds most famous and loved children’s classic, these works speak to children as if they do indeed understand and appreciate the complexities and deeper meanings of life. Which by the way, is far more of a statement than what we may care to say about some of the cheep and simplistic cartoons children watch these days, that seem to sometimes lack ‘any manner of substance.’
Of particular fascination to myself in writing children’s poetry is the idea that; writing children’s poetry is ‘not easy.’ Indeed, I am often surprised to just how meaningful and deep children’s literature can be. It seems that; good children’s writing inevitably has a rich texture of feeling, / use of archetypes / and of 'understandings.' So with this thought in mind, I have written, (and now present,) some of my collection of ‘children’s poems.’
In speaking about my writing career, I have been tapping away at this computer -putting down thoughts / inspirations etc as they come to me for the pass 7 years, and the results are some 3000 thousand poems and other various kinds of writings. I have won several poetry awards. In terms of my personal inspiration in writing poetry, (as oppose to just writing,) I may say that it essentially derives from my love of the ‘human voice’ and that this accounts for my love of both music and poetry. A love affair spanning back to the age of four. It is quite likely that my interest in children's poetry and poetry in general is deriving from this same 'child' in me.
For me; the 'human voice' itself is a truly; poetic / rhythmic / tuneful and expressive thing. So for me the sounds / syllables / rhythms and tones within the spoken human voice are also my source of inspiration and perception of 'music in motion' within poetry. "John Lennon" - of the musical group - "The beetles" once wrote in a song,- “There’s nothing you can say that can’t be sung,” and so perhaps I am saying something similar. Yet now I am saying that the 'human voice' in itself is already a form of music and poetry.
In reference to the thoughts - or conceptual qualities - of my poetry, I believe it derives from a simply need and love to ‘create image.’
Although I think that the ‘writing act’ is (within itself) a; subjective / introverted and introspective act, it is also an act of considerable appreciation for the ‘would be’ reader. In contrast, I feel that the 'act of performing poetry’ is a strong and overt ‘outgoing expression.’ The former then is an act of self indulgence, the latter act of performing one of 'reaching out.'
To be critical of some poetry written these days - and to speak about my own aspirations regarding poetry, - I tend to feel that too many poets fall for the trap of writing as if to suggest that they think; everyone else is interested in their particular woes, set in a; ‘woe is me’ kind of tone. Also I tend to think that too many poets write in a manner or style that people several hundred years ago may have written and spoken in. Somehow it seems that for some, poetry writing automatically means that one should attempt to say things in such a convoluted way that when all is said and done, only the most ‘expert of poetry readers’ would understand. I sincerely hope I have not done this. I would say that if I have not captured your attention -or if you don’t know what I am talking about within the first couple of lines, - then for you, - I have failed. I hope you do not misunderstand this point; there is nothing wrong with the kind of 'dramatic language' used in a good Shakespearian poem or play, but there is something wrong with being 'too self possessed or absorbed' and in using words or language structure that are just 'out of this world' or 'not used' in today's vernacular.
In this site I have included a poem entitled, “To my publisher” In this poem I refer to the writer, (or more specifically;) the poetry writer’s desire (or even need) to speak in strange, -perhaps mysterious and aloft - kind of ways. So this poem may serve as a symbolic expression of what I try to achieve. I simply feel that if one feels the need to speak abstractly, -or if one feels the need to talk about ones own woes or one’s own ‘drama in life - then one should do it in an entertaining and lucid way and in a way that always considers 'the reader.' (Something by the way Shakespeare did according to the times he lived in.) After all; if one is writing for someone else, then no matter what one is writing about, (even if it is about ones’ own woes and hardships,) then one should do it in a way so as to capture someone else’s understanding / attention and interest, not just one's own. These thoughts only apply to poetry that is written for other people's consumption. However, poetry that is written only for one own consumption or for a select few may be of incredible import to the writer themselves and therefore in this sense 'priceless.'
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To conclude my thoughts about my own ‘beliefs on poetry writing’ I may end with a poetic quote from myself, a quote I have included on my home page and a quote I feel tends to sum up what writing is about for me. In this particular poem I am not meaning to talk about my personal skill in writing, but more about the 'writer’s perspective' as a general theme. Here’s just a part of the poem entitled; "I am the writer"
“I am the writer,
the lord of words.
I have watched you closely / listened and learned,
and now it is my time to mirror back what I see,
mirror you back,
mirror back me.”
Book 6 Page 3 “I am the writer.”
Thank you for reading my site.
PS. O! by the way I should add; “spelling is not my forte.” So if (or when) you find spelling mistakes within this site, please point them out to me in the kindest and nicest kind of way, least you might hurt my feelings!!! See "I’m a bad speller" (Children's section. Book 6 Page 23) In this poem I must confess, I am indeed tending to talk about myself personally. I might say however; not all of my poems are personal, but alas! this one is. In regards to 'spelling' may I just say, "I would just like to thank profusely my computer!!!"
A humorous little note to teachers: And to all those teachers reading this message about "bad spelling," do go easy on your ‘bad spellers,’ they just might be the next Shakespeare or J.R.R Tolkien of this world!!! Didn’t they say that Albert Einstein had trouble at school!? Well actually this is a myth. But he did however have trouble as an adult with some of his university professors, one in particular. If this professor had had his way, Albert Einstein might not have taken his trip "upon a light beam" as he puts it and we might well not have the "general theory of relativity" and alike theories to enthral and interest our minds. And Yet as I write these thoughts I am really attempting to express my desire and belief to allow and foster 'creativity' in children, so as to bring out in them some fun and inspiration into the world of words / expression and imagination.
Dominic John Gill
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