Final Writing Project: Preliminary Write Up

Poetry is a sentimental thing. I try not to be, but I’m a sure sucker for sentiment. And this is a song that activates that part within me. Perhaps if you take a listen, you might feel something too.


Having grown up in Orange, California for the past thirteen years, I am ready to experience something new. This August I am moving to the big city Philadelphia, to finish up my undergraduate studies in music. Leaving home is something I have dreamed of doing for a few years now, and finally this year, my plans worked out and it’s really happening. As excited as I am, it is almost a bit scary and strange to know in four months, my life will be slipping into a completely new chapter that I might not even be able to imagine at the moment. And so, of course, I am starting to get sentimental about leaving behind home, family, friends, familiarity–it’s almost like I’m leaving behind my past, in a way.

Both the Coldplay and Frank Ocean versions of this song are phenomenal. But I feel Ocean’s lyrics are pretty fitting to my feelings these days:

“When we were kids, we hand painted strawberries on a swing
Every moment was so precious, then
I’m still kicking it, I’m daydreaming on a strawberry swing
The entire Earth is fighting, all the world is at its end
Just in case, an atom bomb, comes falling on my lawn
I should say and you should hear I’ve loved
I’ve loved the good times here, I’ve loved our good times here

Say hello, then say farewell to the places you know
We are all mortals, aren’t we? Any moment this could go
Cry, cry, cry, even though that won’t change a thing
But you should know, you should hear, that I have loved
I have loved the good times here, and I will miss our good times

Spaceships are lifting off of a dying world
And millions are left behind while the sky burns
There wasn’t room for you and I, only you, goodbye, goodbye”

I’ve decided to write a collection of poetry for my Final Writing Project in this course, using it as an opportunity to reflect on my childhood and teenage-hood. I will dedicate each poem to someone specific who has impacted me in some way, or has aroused any sort of deep contemplation while growing up. In these poems I will not just write about these certain individuals, but also write to. Besides the direct responses of my own included in the poems,  what I say about another will probably end up revealing more about me in the end. But even then, as Ocean sings, “You should know, you should hear…”, I will probably be able to say things with these poems that are difficult to say aloud.

I have a few specific people in mind, but I think I would like to begin and conclude the collection with poems more focused on me, so that there will be evident changes in character that readers can capture. For this reason, I might try to have the poems in a chronological order based on time–past to present. And now that I think about it, maybe I’ll even include something in there that’s from the future.

My poetry tends to be elusive, which is something I tend to purposely do for the sake of being less exposed. I do enjoy being less obvious and a little more mysterious, but I don’t think I will be able to write this way in every poem. I will aim to maintain a consistent voice, but perhaps as the times change within the collection, I can experiment with changing styles too. I’m going to have to venture beyond E.E. Cummings, Pablo Neruda, and Shinji Moon to gather new ideas.

There is so much freedom available in poetry, and so I am sure unexpected changes will happen in my inspirations and plans. But no matter how the writing turns out, I do want this to be a tangible gathering of my goodbyes to my California life as I’ve known it. When Ocean sings, “Every moment was so precious…”–that hits the sentimental me the hardest. Maybe one day I can look back on what is to be written and feel the same.

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