Notebook Excerpts #4 (May/June)

Here are some excerpts from my May and June Notebooks. I use regular composition notebooks to write in, take notes, and attempt poetry and fiction. I have filled one entire Notebook every month for the last few years. I find it to be a good habit that keeps my writing and my mind fresh.


+ signifies breaks in sections of writing/poems

 

(MAY 2017)

How I bleed.

Let it fall down, marble, the cold sky. And the clouds are fat in the neat of the sky.

What are the words that break each other?

Up and out, down and inside it all.

How death becomes reality eventually for all of us.

+

How glass sounds, smashing glass,

smashing it all. The sting in the eardrums.

The sting of pain that bellows and coldly crumbles.

+

and situated coldly across the old sky wandering

her eyes reflected a pain that was not found.

In it all, was not found among the wreckage of her personality.

+

Why do we care about the theory of a god? the existence of one, at all?

What does that mean? All the power that corrupts the hearts of man.

+

Writing between us. Writing it all, climb into nowhere and pulverize, pulverize the summer sun. My heart beats, beats clean, crisp and cold all my eyes return into the holy error of death. Calm and sweet my body blossoms into nothing. I am nothing.

 

(JUNE 2017)

My mind  burns, could you find me, any colder? The eyes of my heart return to a death that I can no longer find. Why my body bends and breaks, closes completely.

+

Words written on these pages-what does everyone know? My blood burns like no one else, my mind poisonous to everyone. Burning them into a burning light but I am so cold.

+

My skin turns blue until there is nothing left of me until there is…nothing.

+

Sweet flowers that destroy you, into the forgotten night. My eyes drift silently into nothing.

+

What do the words mean? Do they mean anything? I’m not quite sure anymore.


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing!

I hope you will return in the future!

-Alina

Free Hand #34

Moss gathers and the trees grow.

Under the pale blue sky. In the summer time,

the heart flows upwards and over into

the mouth, into the body. How my mind keeps

spinning, talking, creeping until words

are strained, weakened and colorless.

There under the trees, laying flat on my back

I wait for the worms to eat me up.

My words to become soft echoes in the forest.


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing!

I hope that you will return in the future!

-Alina

Reflection: Complete Poems of Ernest Hemingway

(image: amazon.com)

The Complete Poems of Ernest Hemingway

I found this book at my beloved Sam Weller’s here in Salt Lake City. Their poetry section is large and impressive. Needless to say thanks to them I find amazing poetry books regularly. Thank you Wellers! 

This collection of poems brings amazing insight into how Hemingway developed into the extraordinary writer he was. Among the prolific writers, artists and musicians of the Jazz Age, Hemingway brings his own attitude and style to the era. This collection spans from 1912-1956, from Hemingway as a young man to an older experienced one, the poetry that he wrote explored technique, style, form and subject matter. It is amazing to see and read the poetry of Hemingway evolve as he honed his skills.

The introduction mentions that because of Hemingway’s use of expletives and frank raunchy subject matter, many readers seek out the collection on purpose. I had no idea that because of these elements readers (maybe specifically Hemingway readers) would purposefully seek out this book since the reason I got it was because I love Hemingway and love poetry (simple enough). But I was not surprised that his poems contained this questionable material, since Hemingway’s style emphasizes on ‘telling it the way it is’, he did not seek to leave out the private details of intimate life nor the language that people use in any of his writing.

These are few of the poems that I loved the most from this complete collection,

(italicized years are not part of the poem title)

[Blank Verse] 1916

Killed Piave-July 8-1918

[“Blood is thicker than water…”] 1922

To Good Guys Dead 1922

The Lady Poets with Foot Notes 1924

[Little drops of grain alcohol] 1926

Poem, 1928

Defense of Luxembourg 1945

(bracketed titles are taken from the first line of the poem)

In many of these poems Hemingway critiques his critics, he also explores his experiences in war and his attitude towards politics and government. Of course, there is also a lot of references to drinking and women but there is also critique from Hemingway on maybe a certain female poet (or general types of female poets, I am not sure) in ‘The Lady Poets with Foot Notes’, which I found to be both amusing and fascinating. Many of his early poems have a rhyme scheme, or appear to mimic various traditional forms, as he gets older it appears that Hemingway chisels his words more effectively and dabbles in writing his poetry in freer forms (maybe the influence of key modernist poets such as T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound?) I believe the introduction mentions these poets among others that were involved in the writers community of the Jazz Age in Europe. Overall, I would recommend this book to any poet that loves the works of Hemingway since I find it instructive and inspirational. If anything reading this complete collections of poems has made me appreciate more the daily hard work that goes into writing whenever and wherever you can (on vacation or the battlefront). I admire Hemingway among thousands of other writers for his attitude and style of writing. There is something bare and true about his words that echoes with readers souls still.

What I love about this collection: It contains pictures of Hemingway throughout his life as well as pictures of the original poems and drafts. I love it when poetry/fiction books add these items because it brings the writer so much closer to the reader; to see his handwriting right next to the final printed word on the next page is incredible.

What I wish it had more of: The introduction gives sufficient background into the early writings of Hemingway (specifically his poetry). I am one of those book nuts that loves lengthy Introductions that delve deep into the subject matter of the book, if this one was just a little longer (it is only 15 pages) or double the size I feel that I could have learned more.


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing!

I hope that you return in the future!

-Alina

 

p.s. I have decided to wait until I finish the last Harry Potter book to write a reflection on the entire series. Many people have written about Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling I know, but I want to specifically focus on the evolving writing in the series and character development. As a cornerstone series that every child should read, I think it is crucial to analyze Rowling’s technique and approach to her controversial subject matter, to better understand how such influential writers write. 

Free Hand #26 (Working to Survive)

I’ve been thinking about issues such as minimum wage and the wage gap for women lately.

This is some scribblings in response.


 

Worn out and torn up. The skin begins to crease,

in lines of worry, lines of hunger and fear. We are

trodden on, under foot as they walk all over us.

How much do we have to work? Until our knuckles

bleed? Until our backs break? There is no relief.

There is no end.


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing!

I hope that you will return in the future!

-Alina

Working on Reflection: The Complete Poems of Ernest Hemingway

HELLO!

This is just a brief announcement that I am working on a reflection on the book of poems that I just recently finished.

(image: amazon.com)

The Complete Poems of Ernest Hemingway

In my reflection I will be discussing my favorite poems in the collection and why. I am also thinking of comparing a few select poems to key works of Hemingway’s such as ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, ‘A Moveable Feast’ and ‘The Sun Also Rises’.

I hope to have this reflection complete and posted on my blog by the end of the week (June 18th)!

Again I thank you all for reading my work! and I hope that you enjoy this upcoming reflection!

-Alina

 

p.s. Heads up, I am almost done with Pinsky’s Singing School, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from my Fiction and Poetry Summer Reading Lists. I also plan on doing short reflections on these. 

Free Hand #20 (What does the sky say?)

Weather has been great. I am so behind in writing.

Listening to: The Dead Weather Album Dodge and Burn


 

What does the sky say? As it echoes explosions across the valley?

Torn up and red like a stormy sunset on the ocean. Doused

with rouge, doused with passion. Sky bleeding down on me,

whispering words of warning. There’s something coming.

 


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing!

I hope you return in the future!

-Alina

Free Hand #18

Cool day in SLC. I have today off, planning on relaxing all day. Here are more mutterings of mine.

Listening to: Coachella-woodstock in my mind by Lana Del Rey


 

The sun heats the glory, in my blood, a vein

of rage rushes on. The end of the night, and

the gold in my mind resonates with hell below.

What dreams become reality when the sun

rises over those mountains? Silver light and

calm, blissful, embalm me. Save me

from the endless night that plagues my mind.

 


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing! I hope you return in the future!

-Alina

My Summer Book List: Poetry

I’ve done a lot of debating on this and next to my giant stack of fiction books that I would love to read, I’ve decided to focus this summer on, of course, poetry.

Here are the five books (on or about Poetry) that I plan to read this summer.

  1. Singing School by Robert Pinsky, I love Pinsky and have a read a couple of his books. My first exposure to his work was his book, The Sounds of Poetry which was a concise and vivid text. I found Pinsky’s work to be invaluable and would  highly recommend it to any poet of any age.
  2. Poets on Poetry edited, with an Introduction, by Charles Norman. I got this book at the UofU’s book sale this Spring and it has been in a stack of books by my desk for a couple months now. It has articles and pieces written by well-known poets defending, or attempting to explain Poetry. My copy is from 1962 and is published by THE FREE PRESS, New York.
  3. The Contemporary Poet as Artist and Critic, eight symposia edited by Anthony Ostroff, again this is an older book that I picked up at the UofU book sale. It was published in 1964 by Little, Brown and Company in Boston and Toronto. This book contains critiques done by Poets on Poetry. The poets that critique include Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke, Karl Shapiro, W.D. Snodgrass, May Swenson and W.H. Auden among many many more.
  4. T.S. Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays edited by Hugh Kenner, I bought this book also at the UofU booksale and was so excited since I had just finished reading one of these Critical Essay books (Twentieth Century Views) on F.Scott Fitzgerald which I thought to be extremely valuable. The Twentieth Century Views books are a series devoted to collections of Critical Essays on writers and poets. These books are from the 1960’s and were published by Prentice-Hall, Inc. in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
  5. Yeats: A Collection of Critical Essays edited by John Unterecker, this is another Twentieth Century Views book, this time on Yeats. Published by Prentice-Hal, Inc. in Englewood N.J. in the 1960’s.

 

I know that most of these books may be difficult to get since some are more than 50 years old and out of print. But I enjoy reading older books on poetry that I find so that I can compare what people said about Poets/Poetry to what they say now. I have a few anthologies that are only twenty years apart that have stark contrasts in content, style, and attitude towards particular poets and poetry, which is fascinating.

By the end of the summer I hope to have read if not all of these books at least three out of the five. I also have a giant stack of fiction books that I want to read as well. I plan on posting that list soon, within a week or two.

I have also been speculating on posting a book list containing my favorite books on how to write and read poetry and short fiction. I have many of these and usually during the summer time I will reread a few to keep my mind fresh.

I hope that if any of you have suggestions for Poetry books or Short Fiction to read that you leave the title and author information in a comment below.


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing! I hope you return in the future!

-Alina

Sample Poetry: previously published poems

Hello!

Here are some samples of my poetry.

These are some poems of mine that were originally published on my allpoetry account (allpoetry.com/A._Hansen) which has since been deleted. I have decided to post a few of these poems as a sample of my work.

All poems are my original work.

Thank you for reading!!!


In the Night

by A. Hansen on July 6, 2016.

Under the glowing moon,
iridescent light casts shadows
of figures that howl
and the night becomes a
time where the netherworld
bleeds into reality.
 

(in the spring) CLOUDS

by A. Hansen on March 23, 2015.

 
Weightless, we swim through the sky.
Winds blow, folding us together.We are mystic waves colliding
in the crystal blue,
with a sweetness in the air.Sweeping, seeping, falling,
we only vanish when the sun sinks
and disappears.
 

City Sun

by A. Hansen on January 19, 2015.

 
Drinking in the sun
golden leaves unfurl
radiant words glitter
among gasoline rainbows
turpentine, pavement and tar
boiling hot and thick
the skin smells-blisters rise.
burning under the sky
we rest on broken glass
and garbage.
city life suits us well.
 

Death (pt.3)

by A. Hansen on December 21, 2014.

 
Bathed in mists
and blues,
sea foam froth
paints my hair,
I disintegrate slowly,
Poisoned by your blues.You cut into me,
sharp knives like fangs,
to gnaw and break
my bones.A tortured heart,
I sacrificed my soul,
and you tore me limb from limb
throwing me back into the blue
that I pulled you from.
 

If you are reading this, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my poems. I hope you return in the future!
Thank you!
-Alina