Mythological Perspectives

Before I learned that I could write stories, there was a certain type of genre, if that’s what you would call it, that I was drawn to: Mythology. I was always encapsulated by the idea of gods, monsters, and heroes. The stories woven through mythology were always intricate and fascinating, as an ancient culture wove their own origin stories as to why the world was the way it was. The gods weren’t flawless; many of them had many flaws that led to mistakes and deaths. Heroes faced daunting challenges and didn’t always escape unscathed. Although women were looked down upon in most ancient societies, goddesses were often warriors and figureheads. Even average citizens made mistakes and some were granted blessings for their actions.

Many of the figures of mythology provide interesting perspectives. For example, there is the story of Icarus, whose pride led to his downfall. However, with every story, there could be another way of looking at what happened. Medusa, the snake-haired gorgon from Greek Mythology, has a story of how she became a monstrosity. Because she had an affair with Poseidon in Athena’s temple, Athena cursed her to turn away all men with her stony gaze. However, some people read the story in a different manner. Some people read the tale as Athena blessing Medusa after she was raped by Poseidon in her temple. There is an article written discussing this idea, and I’ll put the link at the end of the post. The story of Medusa changes completely when different perspectives are taken in.

Another popular figure of Greek mythology is the tale of Persephone. This story has become the plot for many young adult novels, and while interesting, there are different interpretations. Some people write that Persephone chose to leave with Hades, others that she was abducted, and more recent works place emphasis on Persephone’s own power. One poem that wrote Persephone with emphasis on her power was Daniella Michellani’s “Persephone Speaks” as found on her Tumblr account daniellamichellani:

“I asked him for it.
For the blood, for the rust,
for the sin.
I didn’t want the pearls other girls talked about,
or the fine marble of palaces,
or even the roses in the mouth of servants.
I wanted pomegranates—
I wanted darkness,
I wanted him.
So I grabbed my king and ran away
to a land of death,
where I reigned and people whispered
that I’d been dragged.
I’ll tell you I’ve changed. I’ll tell you,
the red on my lips isn’t wine.
I hope you’ve heard of horns,
but that isn’t half of it. Out of an entire kingdom
he kneels only to me,
calls me Queen, calls me Mercy.
Mama, Mama, I hope you get this.
Know the bed is warm and our hearts are cold,
know never have I been better
than when I am here.
Do not send flowers,
we’ll throw them in the river.
‘Flowers are for the dead’, ‘least that’s what
the mortals say.
I’ll come back when he bores me,
but Mama,
not today.
— Daniella Michalleni, “Persephone Speaks”
In the end, Persephone was made out to be a dark queen which I thought was a really cool interpretation of the poem, and seeing as there are many perspectives myths can be seen from, they provide really cool sources for writing.
Here’s the link for the Medusa alternative analysis website:

Lyrical, Part 2

Lyrical, Part 1 listed some of my favorite lyrics and the artists who sang them. Song lyrics often reflect what we, as people, connect with and what we feel. My English teacher in 12th Grade had us do an exercise in Creative Writing Class where we found the lines we liked most in songs and the poems we read in class and put them all together into a single poem.

Looking back, I think this is a very interesting exercise, especially seeing as it consists of found poetry. All the sources would probably have to be credited and whatnot, but even if it was just the ideas taken from the lines and how they would connect altogether. The way he thought of it was a way to get us thinking about how the lines of completely unrelated works could create an individual story and it inspired us to think in new ways. I’ve tried once, and while it was time consuming, it was ultimately something that stimulated ideas. It was an activity that helped me to look at writing as a puzzle rather than something to simply be written. I had to think of how the lines could lead into each other and how they would sound together and where lines could be cut and pieced together.


Lyrical, Part I

I realized that in one of my initial posts about inspiration, I listed song lyrics as sources of inspiration. Seeing that I never really went into this, I decided to devote a blog post about it. Many people connect with music, and when you look at the lyrics, many of them could serve as poems in and of themselves. One of the main differences is that songs repeat more often than poems and have a beat that they are read to. That being said, metered poems have a certain rhythm to them that many people overlook.

While songs have many lyrics that allow for emotional connections, sometimes there are just fragments of lyrics that are awesome in and of themselves. Here are some lyrics that I like:

FFDP’s Coming Down: “It’s caving in around me/ What I thought was solid ground/ I tried to look the other way/ But I couldn’t turn around”, “You pull me under/ To save yourself”

Jon Bellion’s Guillotine: “There’s bones in my closet, but you hang stuff anyway”, “I know that you love me, love me/ Even when I lose my head”

Set It Off’s Why Worry: “Sick of hearing this hakuna matata motto/ From people who won the lotto/ We’re not that lucky”

Panic! at the Disco’s Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time: “I’m a scholar and a gentleman/ And I usually don’t fall when I try to stand”, “I’m not as think as you drunk I am”

Often times, our choices in lyrics reflect who we are, what we think about, what we think is funny, and what we find striking. I enjoy seeing what lyrics people connect with most in songs. Are there any lyrics you find striking? Do any of them have ties with your writing, and do any of them inspire writing?


Freshmen Snapshot

As I stated in my source showcase and my GREAT Day presentation, I like snapshot moments. I’m an observer over a participator, so I find pleasure in merely taking in the world around me. However, in poetry, I typically struggle with the concrete, seeing as I often get swept away in the emotions I’m feeling and trying to convey. Because this obstacle has been brought to light, I’ve been attempting to incorporate more solid imagery in my poems.

A poem I wrote was included in my GREAT Day presentation, which I called “Freshmen”. In it, I attempted to create a snapshot moment of a memory with my three friends at an event here in school. I wanted to reflect how we were in that moment and how memory sticks. It’s still in its first draft, but this is it:



were this moment a polaroid, i would pin it

to the wall with a blue thumbtack, so i could

always look at it and touch it with tender fingertips.

i always want to remember this moment, where we exist

solely as childish 18 year olds who have forgotten that

we are adults and your foot is planted against the hardwood

floor, hand reaching out to grip toby’s shirt as he sprints,

eyes wide in terror, mouth wide, while mitt scowls at you.

you’re making a ruckus and people are looking and i’m trying

not to laugh because then they’ll know i’m with you, but i’m

not sure i care anymore because i’m laughing too hard and this

is what I want to remember when i think of you and toby and mitt

and when i think back to what it was like to be a freshman in college.

What A GREAT Day

GREAT Day, I felt, was a very interesting day to present about poetry and sources as a whole. It was something I’d been dreading for a while, seeing as I had no clue what I was doing and where I wanted to go with what I was thinking. The end result ended up being very different from what I anticipated, but I kind of liked it.

It was a little amusing to arrive at the room I was presenting in and find it full of people watching the science lecture that was on before me. Then, I had about eight people show up to mine. My whole floor had shown support for me, but in the end, it was ultimately two of my closest friends here at Geneseo that showed up. It was really nice to see them and be able to show to them what I am like as a person.

I was a bit uneasy about the source tour, but when I thought about my presentation as a whole, I realized it was a bit of a tour of myself. I’d never really considered how little people really knew of me until then. By showing them what inspired me and what I enjoyed, I was sharing a piece of myself and that in and of itself was refreshing.

I was congratulated in the end by my friends and by Dr. Smith, and one woman congratulated me on the strength of my presentation, declaring that she would be expecting big things from me. I determined that she was a professor I would be having next semester.

In the end, GREAT Day turned out to be an event I kind of enjoyed. I was able to dress up and look presentable, while demonstrating to others what it meant to me to be a writer. It showed how I look at the world and provided options for them to take to their own writing. In the end, it was a pretty great day.

Sorry, I really had to make that joke.

Dear Jake

While I applying to study here at SUNY Geneseo, I had a close friend applying to be a foreign exchange student in Spain. Luckily, we both got accepted. It was odd, our final goodbye, sitting across from one another in the booth of a mostly-empty Friendly’s. I will admit that I was a bit irritated around that time because as someone who values personal space, Jake was too… clingy, I guess… and I was ready for some space. Still, it was sad to say goodbye.

A few weeks passed as I grew accustomed to the new collegiate setting. I soon found myself seated in front of my lap, typing out an email. Time passed and I received a response, and this continued on.

As I wrote letters to Jake detailing my life here at Geneseo and he regaled stories of Spain and rowdy foreign exchange students, I began to think about the excitement of getting a new email in my inbox. Then I started thinking of poetry in the form of letters.

I think it’s interesting, seeing what people put to paper as opposed to what they are really thinking, and the format of letting someone close to them know what’s new in their life. I just thought this was an interesting source for writing, especially as a form that is more uncommon in today’s day and age.

Concrete Bases

A common recurrence, and weakness, I’ve noted in my poetry is the lack of concrete. I don’t have solid images, if any images, and there are no appeals to sense. Much of what I write lately has been based in emotions. While emotions are a way to feel, they are not concrete. Also, the way I experience something like panic may be different from how someone else does. The way I describe panic, like a thousand rumbling wasps buzzing in my chest, rising up in my throat, may be different than someone who may say panic feels inevitable like water sluicing down into the lungs, slipping and filling slowly until the only thing left to do is drown. The images, still, are not entirely developed, and the setting or event that onset the panic is absent.

Most of my writing has been based in prose, which is easier to base a lot of descriptions, but poetry has always seemed different to me than prose. However, poetry still desires the imagery prose uses, and I’ve dropped that in favor of brevity and emotions. Prose needs both emotion and imagery, so it makes sense that poetry needs it to. Sure, poetry can be more fractured that prose gets away with, but that doesn’t mean imagery can’t exist within the shards.

One goal I’m setting for myself for the future is to use more concrete imagery in my poetry. I’ve been basing in abstract concepts that can apply to many concepts, but concrete bases can be more applicable at times.

Voices in my head

One of the things that has always fascinated me is the fact that if you give a class full of kids the same writing assignment, none of the assignments will be the same. Everyone has a distinct voice that comes through in the way they speak and write.

However, something I find fascinating in writing that there is a difference between voices in writing between characters and authors. There is, of course, authorial voice that leaks through and the author’s style, but the narrator can have a distinct voice that is different from the author, and I think that’s incredible. An author is able to create voices of many other people, which is an incredible talent that kind of goes overlooked. Then there’s the diction and syntax that further develop a voice.

Our inner voice differs from our parents’ or our friends’ and we are able to take it and translate it into words. The way we see the world and react to it varies, which is something that I find absolutely incredible. Then to be able to look at how someone else might feel and react? And being able to add different meanings to what is said to change the meaning? That’s so freaking cool.




I will always be glad of the way Ms. Steele, my sixth grade English teacher, introduced myself and other children to poetry. Sixth grade wasn’t the first introduction to poetry as a whole- it’s near impossible to get through childhood without poetry of any kind- but as an introduction to reading and understanding it as well as writing it. As a fantasy-driven kid, I loved when the assignment was to make up words like they were commonplace, while my very stoic friend liked the strict rhyme schemes. It was interesting to think of how many ways thoughts could be put to paper, how creativity could be expressed.

Poetry lost its free form as I grew older, becoming something somber and lyrical. Poems were written about the forest and love and wondering about which path to trod. While I understood and even enjoyed some of these poems, I never realized how much I missed the freedom of the children’s poems. They were written for simpler thinking, for the bounce of the sounds and the lightness of topics. Sure, they didn’t quite make sense and they bent rules just for the hell of it, but it was fun. Kids didn’t care how it was written, just as long as it was entertaining, and while poetry is some sort of game for adults, finding meaning in the nuances and listening to schemes, I love the simplicity of children’s poems.

One of the poems I remember reading and enjoying in sixth grade was Jack Prelutsky’s “The Average Hippopotamus”:

The average hippopotamus

is big from top to bottomus,

It travels at a trotamus,

And swims when days are hotamus.


Because it eats a lotamus,

It’s practically a yachtamus,

So it’s a cinch to spotamus

The average hippopotamus.

Sure, the poem makes words rhyme with hippopotamus forcefully, but it’s an enjoyable poem to read. Also, how many poems are written about hippos? Not many that I know of.

I guess I just felt like reflecting back on the poetry kids get to read, how poetry nowadays tackles objects a lot heavier than hippopotamuses (which is hard to do (sorry for the bad joke)), and I like the lightness of kids’ poetry. Makes it easier to forget about the doom and gloom that is reality.

Note: Hippopotamus is not fun to write, especially in plural.



Lately I’ve found myself thinking about structure. Structure implies order, that everything has a place to make up a whole. I like being structured. Having a structured schedule makes me feel productive and helps me figure out what I need to do and when I need to do it. Structure goes beyond schedules, to buildings. The structures of buildings are skeletal frames that somehow form a whole building. Sure, you can think of the straight beams like skyscrapers, or maybe the curves of the Sydney Opera House. Short or tall, structures make up the building. A lot of people forget about the structure beneath the facade making up the building. It’s a lot like poetry.

Meaning in poetry is often scoured and filleted from the poem itself, in the words making up the poem, but many people often overlook the structure of the poem.  The structure itself can establish a feeling- chaotic, anxious, relaxed- and it determines the length of the poem. Structure can create order or chaos, though many times readers overlook how a poem is written, looking between the lines rather than at them.

Personally, I myself have not thought about structure until this year, and it’s incredibly fascinating to analyze how a poem is written rather than why. So, when writing, I’ve been trying to analyze structure a lot more than I used to. Filling space, creating holes, compacting and stretching; it’s all very fascinating. It also provides more leeway than paragraphed prose.