In my collection of poetry, I explore relationships with the importance of description, the use of sound, and nature. Throughout all my poems, relationships continuously appear, whether that be a romantic relationship, a mother and daughter relationship, relationships with nature, relationships with substance abuse, and many others.
By establishing these relationships, I use the returning craft of repetition, sound, space, and imagery to bring my poetry to a level of exploration into the importance of the different relationships. My poetry often delves into the idea of growing connected to relationships. I show relationships of good and bad, rough and easy, peaceful and chaotic, real and imagined. I find myself clinging to the speaker always being a woman of fragile emotion. Even in the poem “Mama Knows,” the speaker is a young girl who is understanding emotional fragility for the first time. In the poem “Palette of Colors,” there is a strong emotion that is attached with the colors being described. The poem contains emotional, fragile moments that drive the heavy tone. And one last example of this is the poem “Planting Seeds in a Storm.” Something small that is traced lightly throughout this poem collection is also the idea of breathing. I play with this idea of breathing by the literal sense as a command/action of the speaker, as well as breathing of nature. I use this idea of breathing throughout the poetry in moments of chaos that are created in the poem.
One of the most common tools that I utilize in all of my poetry is the use of desciption. In my early poetry with “Mama Knows” and “Things Change, and You Leave,” the use of description appears in setting a mood. In the poem “Mama Knows,” the use of description is setting the speaker as a young girl, while also allowing the reader to be in the experience of the moment fully. I use descriptions such as, “plastic foods,” “same blue flannel PJ’s he got her last Christmas,” and “I ate potato chips for a week.” These descriptions seem minor when pulled out of context but hold a significant role in establishing the speaker and mood of this relationship that is being depicted. In the poem “Things Change, and You Leave,” the use of description is portraying a similar instance of “Mama Knows.” In this poem, descriptions such as, “the floor creaked a little less,” “one cup of Joe – 1 sugar, 2 creams,” and “Drink the Dr. Pepper,” are playing major roles in portraying the fragile emotion that is associated between the speaker and the other person. These descriptions allow for the reader to see the little things that the speaker knows about the other figure to build on the change that has occurred in the relationship.
The use of sound is also very prevalent in my poetry. I utilize the sounds of assonance, “breathes sweet reprieve,” “tranquil juncture,” “grey night sky,” and “thin heaps of tree limbs.” I often use assonance to create a mood of tranquility, serenity, and peace. All of the examples I have provided where I use this tool of sound through assonance has been to create a calm mood in that moment of the poem. Similarly, I also use the tool of alliteration. Some of examples where I utilize this: “lilac lusters,” “fossil fuel factory,” and “gloom in the glass.” In these examples, I have seen that the use of alliteration throughout my poetry is utilized as a tool for progression at points in the poetry that need acceleration. As the poem begins to slow down, adding the alliteration creates drive forward. Most of the examples are of alliteration at the end of the line.
I also find myself relying on the use of space; poems that are examples of this: “As Cruel As I,” “Things Change, and You Leave,” “low serotonin levels,” and “Brew Slow.” In “low serotonin levels” and “Brew Slow,” the use of space is allowing for the concept of another party/the unconscious to be present. The use of space in the poems “As Cruel As I” and “Things Change, and You Leave” has a different purpose. Space in these poems is being utilized to emphasize on the rhythm of the poem and the mimicking of what the words are literally saying – “In and/Out/In and/Out.”
One of the last tools that I utilize most frequently is that of nature. In this collection of poems, I have utilized nature in different ways. I have allowed nature to set the reader in a specific landscape or place. I have allowed nature to be used as imagery to then set a mood. I have allowed nature to work as a metaphor. Some examples where I use nature to set the landscape or place include, “Steepest of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” “Night Drunk on You,” and “Treasure Island: Virginia.” Some examples where I use nature as imagery to set a mood include, “low serotonin levels” (stanza 2), “Crabtree Falls,” and “Just Until Morning.” And lastly, some examples where I use nature as a tool for a metaphor include, “The Storm Awaits,” “Inseperable,” and “Planting Seeds in a Storm.”