Skating Poem S034

How much could, or should –
A person strive to plan for




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

I recently got into life drawing due to an opportunity from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD) I could not pass up. They would study how I learned how to draw and give me 1 to 1 instruction as part of the study! I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw, and made one weak effort in the late 1990s living in Vancouver, taking a course called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, as per the famous book of the same name. I wasn’t very successful and I had forgotten it all.

As part of this journey, though, I know I will have to develop a drawing style. For a lot of people, that would come naturally from tendencies they develop as they draw or learn how to draw. Some may have an idea to try something, or accidentally stumble upon it and develop it. For me, though, being not only an ideas guy, but also a planner type, I wondered if I might ultimately plan out my style? I could really see myself getting ideas one day I wouldn’t yet be able to do, but then go acquire the skills to do it and call it my style. Also knowing me, it’d be just one of many styles I’ll have, with the sincerity being to naturally let myself do them all and see what stays with me and what doesn’t.

What I’m wondering here is if planning a style were any less genuine than those who see a style come out of their work and just naturally develop it further?

As a note to self, my poetic style and preferences have changed over the years to loosen up for all the heavy form poems like sonnets, song lyrics and such, with lots of rhyme schemes, among other poetic elements. Discovering Emily Dickinson one day in the library, picking up a large volume and taking it home to read it through, I started writing shorter poems with less classical poetic elements. Unlike Emily, who wrote lots of multi-stanza verse as well, I decided to be more brief and write only one stanza poems as a trademark of sorts. That’s because brief is something with which I am not associated to this day, still. Just look at the notations with this poem, among all the others, lol. However, I can fight that image through a collection of one stanza poems, though I didn’t do it for that. I really just wanted to keep things brief rather than finding appropriate breaks in the poems.

Somewhere along the way, I got attracted to haiku as a compromise. Some form but not too much, briefer than the one stanza poems even, which often had 4 or more lines, though never more than 9 as a rule I had set for myself. Its very short form could also mean I could compose them quickly, and found means for doing so like while doing other activities like taking the ferry, skating, runningetc. I would say I came upon my shorter style, spring boarding off of the influence of Emily Dickinson, rather than planned it as if before I wrote anything like it that I had planned it.

However, when it comes to drawing, I get the feeling I will be planning out some of my styles. It’ll still be self-discovery in my books, though, because I’ll have to think about it, how it suits me, why I would like it and so on. Do you think of it that way as well?

The S-series poems were composed while I was out skating on the Halifax Emera Skating Oval, to squeeze in writing time in a life that is always getting busier.


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