The Taste of You

Compulsively staring at the semi occupied mason jar

Dissecting with critical eyes its lurid contents

Tapping the lettered glass whenever I pass

Occasionally lifting to shake and peer –

Unable to rip away

Heart breaking and bouncing with every vibration

Vinegar water steeped to a furious vermilion

Thirsty for the twist – lift – pop

Take you down

Pervade the depths of me

Quench my thirsty resentment

Sinisterly sinew was the expectation

Smooth Saccharine the surmise

 

© T. Altman 2017

Poetry Writing Style

rose-764267_1920

I was around 21 when I showed a friend some of the poetry I had written up to that point.  We were planning on attending a poetry reading group and I wanted some feedback on my work before going “public”with it.  It was a huge deal for me, as before this I had never shown anyone my poetry.

This friend was very focused and silent, whilst she looked through my notebook of handwritten poems…mostly in neat print which at times became cursive.  After what seemed like an eon, she looked up at me and said “you write like Sylvia Plath” to which I replied “Who?“, as I had no idea who Sylvia Plath was at the time.

Like I’ve mentioned before – I wasn’t exposed to the best English literature at the working class public schools I attended growing up.  For the most part and if I am speaking frankly, I don’t ever recall being taught anything about poetry or poets for that matter.  The poets I had been exposed to were the ones I found on my own.  These tended to be poets from the Romantic era  like Byron, Shelley, Keats and Poe, as I had developed an obsession with the Victorian period as a teen.

Soon after, I found myself borrowing my friends copy of her collection of Sylvia Plath’s work and realized that my poetry did resemble her style.  This was completely unintentional and worried me so much I stopped writing for a while.  I was so fearful about not emulating that it made me stop creating any work at all!

Then, I finally read “The Bell Jar”.  I completely resonated and understood where the protagonist was coming from.  Something inside clicked.   I released the expectation and worry I had placed upon myself.

I went back to writing poetry and I write the way I am compelled to.  Whether it be free or rhyme, flowing or constructed, personal or observational –  I don’t care what I sound like. As long as I am getting my feelings out and expressing myself as I feel compelled to, I feel good about it.

Syliva’s style was autobiographical and so is mine and we deal with the same subject matter of depression, disturbances and death.  The older I get the more comfortable I get with my poetry and as long as I personally feel something when I write it, I will keep at it.

If you would like to read some of my work, here are a few poems I have written in the last year:

Poetry by Tina Altman

 

sylvia-plath
(Image: Sylvia Plath)

“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.”
Sylvia Plath

(c) T. Altman 2017

Artists with a big black dog for a pet

14442566309_935592bcc6_b

Was discussing poetry and other forms of artistic expression with one of my younger friends who “gets it” and during this to and fro, introduced her to one of my favorites which she’d never heard of before and I shared why I loved her and what called to me.  During the conversation I brought up how she took her own life like a few of my other favorite writers and realized most of my favorite artists have suffered from the big black dog.

For those of  you who are artists of any kind – take hope there is more of us than you realize and even though you feel alone, you’re not.  Dont give up!  Using art to express what you are going through is beneficial not for your own sanity but for those who drink from the water-bowl of the big black dog.

I came across this list on famous artists who struggled with the black dog’s barking and its a pretty good one. I do however feel they should of included some of my other favorites like Dylan Thomas, Anne Sexton, Tennessee Williams, Virginia Woolf and Emily Dickinson.

http://www.nursingschools.net/blog/2010/10/50-famous-artists-thinkers-who-have-struggled-with-depression/