Flicker

Poems are born as tiny flickers
from diverse seeds of our imagination
that germinate, sprout and quicken,
ready to be planted in other people’s minds,
where they can bloom and flower
or they can droop and wither
in the frost of poets’ winter:
misinterpretation.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Flicker

Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille #36 – Flicker

This Monday we’re back after a two week break to celebrate the sixth anniversary of dVerse.

Our host today is Grace, who has chosen the word ‘flicker’. She has given us three quotes to illustrate its use as a noun or verb: 

‘Words should wander and meander. They should fly like owls and flicker like bats and slip like cats. They should murmur and scream and dance and sing.’ David Almond

‘Like a flash of lightning between the clouds, we live in the flicker.’ Joseph Conrad.

‘Love so needs to love that it will endure almost anything, even abuse, just to flicker for a moment. But the sky’s mouth is kind, its song will never hurt you, for I sing those words.’ Rumi

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79 thoughts on “Flicker

  1. Can’t be helped… misinterpretation, that is. As poets, we can’t be administering end-of-course exams to potential readers before we allow them to stamp through our verses with muddy hiking boots. Still, it does frost one no end, doesn’t it? Great write; great truth.

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  2. I love the opening line of your poem….yes, our poems are flickers. Poetry about poetry – one of my favorite devices. I always detest it when someone misreads my poem (not interprets). But such is the life of a poet and a reader.

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  3. it always starts as a tiny seed – so true
    and there are poems i read years ago and they still bloom and blossom in my mind
    when it comes to interpretation – for me – after i’ve written the poem, i let it go – whatever the interpretation might be – ha

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  4. I sometimes like a little misinterpretation. It can open up things I didn’t realise were there. But I know what you mean, and I love the image of poems growing in people’s minds. That’s what we all want, really, isn’t it – for our words to take root somewhere?

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  5. Wise words and lovely images of germinating ideas blooming and flowering.
    Sometimes it is ?easy to misinterpret – I guess we read in (and are led by) our own experience. Sometimes (I find) comments are misinterpreted too.
    Anna :o]

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  6. Love the tiny flickers and the seeds of imagination. Sometimes misinterpreation happens as we all have different perspective. Thank you for being part of the team Kim. Appreciate all that you do.

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  7. Tis true, tis true & yet–like Claudia I launch my poems into cyberspace, or coffee houses, or swirling mists, & let others judge their meaning & merit. Poems about poems, like movies about making movies, or novels about writers–is creativity rife with truth & introspection; very enjoyable–makes me feel closer to the art form, closer to the source & muses.

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    1. I agree about launching our babies into cyberspace and letting them fly (do you remember Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Baby Tree’?). The reader will always bring their own meaning to the conversation that is poetry. But for some of us it can sometimes be a chilly response. I didn’t like this Quadrille before I posted it but I’m glad I did – it’s got a bit of a discussion going!

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  8. Absolutely brilliant!
    Sometimes I’m amazed at what readers take from my words. But I always figure, if they connect with it in some way, then the writing has life away from the page😊

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  9. This not is only well-said (as usual) but your remarks are so on for me …they touch on something I think about when writing and being commented on. ‘Misinterpretation’ or an ‘unexpected distant reading’ would be less of a collision if we as readers sounded less convinced that there was only one way to read…of course an open interpretation is easier said than done and I am sure I confidently miss a writer’s main intent…

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  10. I love this! One of my favorites of yours so far. It is frustrating to be misinterpreted some times, although other times the reader’s different interpretation can be quite interesting and reveal a hidden meaning even I didn’t think of when writing.

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  11. Very well said as to the creation of our poems and how the thoughts flicker to life. I’m sure I’ve misinterpreted many, but each of us bring our own thoughts and experiences to the reading, that resonates with us. 🙂

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  12. This is fantastic. I wonder though if misinterpretation is in general a conscious thing. It seems obvious to me when I write what I mean but then perhaps we read from where we are are too, as opposed to where the writer is.

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    1. I think we all have out own way of reading, which evolved from experience. We will never really know if any piece of art is misinterpreted, as we can’t see into the mind of the reader. That’s why we all ‘wait for comments when we post, to find out what other people are thinking. It’s great!
      By the way, do you know how to upload sound files to WordPress without having to upgrade?

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      1. Thanks Paul! I’ll investigate Soundcloud when I get back from this morning’s Bounce and Rhyme session. I recorded a poem on my laptop this morning but WordPress wouldn’t have it!

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      2. I’m amazed at how easy it was – done it already! I’ll have to practise my reading voice – it sounds weird. 🙂 Check out ‘Desk Lamp Blues’ – you might have a few ideas on how to improve my delivery.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ll take a peek later. I’m trying to do catch up commenting for dVerse and Toads both of whom had 6th birthdays and gazillions of entries…and I have a festival to get to today….time…where does it go?

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