Poetry For Our Time

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason. -Novalis

The When/then Method

with 5 comments

When I have time then I’ll:

read a book,
paint,
 start working out,
relax,
 get off my lazy ass

When I can afford to then I’ll:

Pay off debt,
Buy a car,
Go to the doctor,
Try to save some,
Take that trip,

When I’m not so tired then I’ll:

Clean the house,
Do my homework,
Pay these bills,
Do the yard work.

The only time the when/then method works:  When I stop making excuses then I’ll start living in the moment. When I start living in the moment then I’ll start really enjoying my life.  Good intentions, however, wrong.   Only when intentions are turned into actions can you be freed from the When/Then cycle of death.

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Written by arstal2

April 21, 2009 at 6:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. I like how your poems are very personal and straightforward. I wonder, though, if you might be successful using some sort of context other than your life. For example, that Beatles poem you wrote for CW was just wonderful. It was both personal and universal. Maybe try something like that with this! I’d love to see some more imagery. Show, don’t tell, you know?

    Also, you should really post that Beatles poem. 😉

    Ashley

    April 25, 2009 at 3:25 pm

  2. hmm this one was supossed to be relatable for many people…like i feel like a lot of people make excusses in order to procrastinate not just me i guess i failed=( lol but i do usually do that you’re very right and ill deffinetly look for that poem and try to to get it up here.

    arstal2

    April 28, 2009 at 12:03 am

  3. I’ve totally seen the video of the guy who does the when/then thing. He talks like a football coach.

    Anyway, I like the idea of taking that when/then philosophy and applying it in a poem…however, I think you got a little literal with it. Right now, it reads a bit like a list that might just be jotted down in a notebook on self-improvement.

    List poems generally are pretty cool, but what I think is compelling about list poems is when they really take on a life of their own…when the list itself develops a personality and shifts the actual content of the list.

    So right now, the list is pretty concrete: “When I have time/When I have money/When I’m not tired.” Why not write some really off the wall “Whens” and follow them through all of the potential “Thens”? Maybe it starts very rooted in normal concerns and then takes a shift off into something radical.

    I also like the potential for the poem to be very repetitive and build off of itself. “When I have more time, then I will get off my lazy ass. / When I get off my lazy ass, then I will turn off the television. / When I turn off the television, then I will hear the screaming.” And holy shit, this poem just got really interesting.

    Just some ideas. Kuddos, though…I never would have thought to apply that whole idea to poem form.

    cd40

    April 30, 2009 at 3:01 am

  4. Ohh, Amy, we totally looked at lists in CW class! Remember McSweeny’s? (I think those are the lists you were talking about, Chels…) Oh, wait, that might have been second semester; I can’t remember which class you were in. Either way, Chels is right. List poems can be both terrifying and hilarious – often both at the same time. Check them out here: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/lists/

    Ashley

    April 30, 2009 at 11:36 am

  5. Hmm you both are right…and yeah I found all of the sample poems when i was searching for the beatles poem….I’ll have to deffinetly look em over

    arstal2

    April 30, 2009 at 4:45 pm


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