Northern Drive to St Lucy

Northern Drive to St Lucy
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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Trees of Barbados

Listed below are the names of trees that bloom only during the Christmas season in Barbados:
The Christmas Candle Tree
The Christmas Palm
Snow on the Mountain
The Poinsettia
 Therefore, it is only fitting that we refer to them as the Barbados Christmas Trees.

The Christmas Candle Tree (Cassia Alata)

This shot was taken from a roadside garden at Heywoods, St. Peter. I was mesmerized by its beauty. In addition to this stunning picture I share with you the myth that dogs this alluring shrub. Now here is this urban myth as to why the Barbados Candle tree blooms only during the Christmas season as told by Grandma Vallie.

Grandma Vallie was of mixed race. In the village where folks see different shades of the skin depending on the density or fairness and their informal grading scale is the way they describe the person who is not the shade of tar. Grandma Vallie was in no way a black sand but not quite a mulatto; more like an Oreo but definitely a quarter-caste in the grading skin scale. She was the village story teller for those children she kept while their parents went off to work in the fields. Her 'holding back the kids' was done for gratis an arrangement that was the norm of her day. Of course, Grandma Vallie loved to be in the company of those young ones and no amount of money could bring the pleasure she got from being the centre-piece for these young ones; that was the impression one got from reading the lips of folks who spoke fondly of her.

Grandma Vallie would assign chores for those kids to do according to their age range. Such chores ranged from helping feed the yard fowls, searching and retrieving eggs the fowls laid under the cellar, sweeping the yard with bush brooms, fetching water from the public standpipe to filled the monkey and a large metal barrel she kept near the kitchen door. This was her method of keeping her supply of water for cooking, bathing and washing for the day. At night the water barrel was cleaned in readiness for the next day's replenishment of water.

Vallie was the shorten form of her name, Valeria. At the back of her outdoor toilet was the usual site for all kinds of wild trees, and shrubs and bush. Chief among them were the clamacherry tree (kids would squeeze the cherries from this tree to clue the torn pages in their books)

Branch off the Clamacherry Tree

Clamacherry berry squeezed for its glue

Glue spilled on paper. This glue quite messy but extremely effective as an adhesive substance

 and the tamarind tree. The kids loved the tamarind balls she made for them from the pods of this tree. As I grew older I realized that such backyard bush served as the natural borders that separated each chattel house family as well as great green walls for the privacy of neighbours. More often than not, the outdoor johnnies were used for the solids we called No. 2 and the No. 1, the liquid would rain down on these backyard vegetation, lol.

Suzie was excused to go in to the backyard to deliver No. 1 which she said was urgent. Grandma Vallie had just finished telling the story as to why the black horse used by Mr. O'Malley on his dray to haul canes to the cane-mill has a white star-shape birth mark on its forehead. Two minutes later Suzie dashed back into the house and pleaded with Grandma Vallie and the rest of the children to come outside with her to see what she had never seen before at the back of the johnny. The green bush at the back of the johnny was swamped with yellow flowers as straight as cane arrows. The ugliness of the backyard was turned into instant beauty.

When Grandma Vallie and the rest of the kids got to the backyard scene, there was a great smile on her face when she uttered these words: Look children, that bush you see is called the candle bush. No one ever plants that bush it hides itself among the other trees and bush by remaining green throughout the year wherever it grows. Then it gives off its Christmas surprise. It is the warning bell that Christmas time is in the air. It only shows those candle-like blooms during the Christmas season. Now kids, would you like to hear the story as to why this Christmas Candle tree behaves the way it does? In unison, the kids responded, "Yes Grandma Vallie. Do tell us." Those kids gathered around Grandma Vallie's knees to hear her tell the story.

Long, long time ago in Bimshire the captain and crew of an English trading shape landed and claimed possession of the island on behalf of James 1, King of England and James V1 of Scotland. Years later the island was colonized in the name of Charles 1 by the Governor, Charles Wolferstone, as the representative of the Earl of Carlisle. The main land-owners were appointed by the Governor to help him in the government of the island. Sixteen land-owners were selected and constituted the House of Burgesses. These land-owners ruled with an iron hand when the island was divided into five zones: Flatlands, Uplands, Terraces and Cliffs, Valley, Dome.

Millie was a pretty mulatto girl. She was the house servant for the Rockfields. Mr. Sid Rockfield a land-owner and his wife, Mrs. Mira Rockfield lived in Flatlands Manor near the cane-mill. The Rockfield's household was busy as bees getting the manor ready for the Christmas Season. Millie was cleaning and polishing figurines. She was captivated by a special figurine of a lady holding a tiny green tray and on it were yellow candles that glowed in the dark. She wished she had such beautiful things. Not wanting to be selfish, she rephrased her thoughts and wished for such beautiful things for all the folks in the village. Her Christmas wish was for a tree with yellow candle-shaped flowers that would bloom during the Christmas season but only in desolate or ugly places in every village. Then suddenly, the figurine fell from her hands and crashed into several pieces on the floor. She was really sad and was afraid of what will happen to her when Mrs. Mira finds out.

Millie was falsely accused for the willful damage of the Rockfields' property and sentenced to ten months in solitary confinement. She knew that upon her release she could no longer work as a house servant but would have to work the fields. She thought to herself that it wasn't all that bad working among growing things for they were not judgemental. However, she wished there could be a tree that would bear yellow candle-like flowers every year but only during the Christmas Season. "Oh well!" She said then closed her eyes and went to sleep. She had this dream. In her dream, a lady appeared with yellow candles all around her feet. She reached out her hand to Millie a piece of paper neatly folded and told her to read what was inside. The note was in the form of instructions for her to follow. It read: On the day of your release, which is on December 13 go not to your home in the village but take the winding road to Mt. Gilboa. Nothing more was said in the note. When she awoke from her sleep, she said to herself, it's only a dream, but a small voice in her head said, what is there to lose, I'll go just for the fun and beside I'll tell no one why I must go to Mt. Gilboa . Don't want them forming any silly notions in their heads.

Millie was released on the day the six divisions of the island was renamed. This meant that the Flatlands became St. Lucy and the other divisions were named respectively, St. Peter, St. James, St. Michael, St. Andrew, St. John, St. Philip, St. George, St' Thomas, St. Joseph and the Dome renamed Christ Church. The renaming of the various division across the island was the cause for the jubilation. Millie was tempted to ignore the dream and go straight to her village and join in the celebrations from the side line. But a voice in her head kept reminding her to go to Mt. Gilboa. She obeyed the voice in her head.

The many turns and cross country walk she had done in order to reach Mt. Gilboa caused her to see that familiar road signs had been removed for the new ones. Millie noticed that the Flatlands sign was replaced with St. Lucy. Then she remembered the lady in her dream with the yellow candles. And she saw the symbolism there and then; the meaning of the dream was unravelling for her . When Millie reached Mt. Gilboa , its base was not arid as was expected but instead was covered with lush vegetation and with a remarkable shrub that stood out from the rest. It had deep green leaves the size of a man's hand and on the stems candle-like inflorescences that stood erect on the branch tips. The lady in the dream, many folks believed it was Saint Lucy with the candles in Millie's dream and she was instrumental in giving Millie her wish. So, since that day and every year this unique candle tree has been blooming in Barbados only during the Christmas Season. Click on this link to read the christmas candle tree poem.

The Christmas Palm

Bajan gardens are some of the prettiest I have seen in the Caribbean. Those folks take pride in their garden designs. They purposefully mix plants that bloom only at Christmas with those that bloom all year. The Christmas Palm is one of the four plants that produces festive colours on their blooms. I have seen tiny outdoor lights placed on the trunk and crown of the Christmas Palm. This tropical Christmas tree with lights on it is magnificent to see at night. Oh! I do adore living Christmas trees. We need plants and trees. Keep them growing. To read the christmas palm poem click on this link.

Snow on the Mountain Tree

Click on this link to read the snow on the mountain poem.

The Poinsettia

Click on this link to read the poinsettia poem.

© Paterika Hengreaves

Spotlight on the Acrostic - Part II

During the centennial celebrations of the Library of Congress in 2000, a lecture on the ancient origins of poetry as a memory device was delivered by Poet Laureate, Mr. Robert Pinsky. He is purported to have said, from what I understood in his discourse is that the technology is an extension of poetry and that poetry is a technique developed by this animal. His statement is further compounded by his remark that poetry has no claws, no hide, no real teeth and it doesn’t run fast, but it is clever and it looks around a lot. He concluded that in order to ensure its survival it developed forms of communication evolved for such purposes of memory, for the effective storage of important information and the transmission of that information accurately and effectively from one person to that person’s peers.

What do you suppose Mr. Pinsky is saying?

Mr. Pinsky has admitted that he uses modern technology to write his poems. So what can be extrapolated from Mr. Pinsky’s remarks on the ancient origins of poetry? This is my take on his remarks. Foremost in my mind is that as long as homo sapiens are around poetry will survive. He alluded to the fact that it is hard to come up with one precise definition that would do justice to this emotional workhorse for language communication and expression for the ever roving mind. He also gave an insight into the evolutionary process of poetry and the impact computers are having on this literary and artistic expression falling short of naming the computer generated poetry known as Diastic Poetry that is a leader in avant-garde poetry today. It was clear going when extrapolating from his remarks that poetry takes care of mankind’s emotional needs by its capacity to convey every aspect of our feelings and to be involved in the educative process.

Poetry is not an exact science and is not listed on the core curriculum of schools that I know of but is found in the hidden curriculum. That, being the case, how can poetry be involved in the learning process?

One way to approach this argument is to accept the fact that every body loves poetry in whatever form it takes. Believe you me; the forms are many even among avant-garde poetry. Teachers know this and would agree that poetry has the capacity to engage students at all age levels in many wonderful ways, especially when it becomes part of integrated lessons. No doubt about that! Poetry facilitates the easy transfer of concepts across subject areas. Students get to see and understand social connections. It is a very effective way to teach reading to reluctant students and those with special needs. It allows students to demonstrate their comprehension of the social and cultural aspects of the country and the historical time-line through its vibrant imagery. It allows students to think “outside the box” and to express themselves more clearly in all subjects. Now I extend the argument by reflecting as best as I can on my early childhood education.

As I take this stroll down memory lane, I now recall learning my ABCs in this novel way while a pupil in Infants A class in a rural school in Barbados. The teacher stood before the blackboard, now called the whiteboard. Now wait a minute, whiteboard no longer in use today. It is referred to as the greenboard. Well, excuse me! One thing for sure, educational terminology is never static and so is education per se. Anyway, as I was about to say, the teacher pointed to the blackboard on which an alphabetic chart hung. In unison the teacher invited her pupils to recite after her the alphabet sing-song. I remembered the rhythmic beat as we read aloud “A is for apple, B is for bat, C is for cat, D is for dog," and so on until the last letter was reached, and folks this was many moons ago. So that was my first exposure to some type of poetic form which facilitated the mastery of the English alphabet. It proved very effective because to this day the mastery of the English alphabet has not diminished over the years.

What do you think the teacher did in the situation described above?

Yes, indeed! The teacher used a form of poetry called the Abecedarian to teach her charges the English alphabet. The use of this poetic form has not diminished in contemporary society because early childhood and special needs educators still use the Abecedarian and other forms of Acrostic poetry to assist learning. The poems, Censorship and Turbulent Times are written in the form of the Abecedarian. Click on the titles to read the poems. In “Turbulent Times” the form has been extended into what is referred to as the double-reversed Abecedarian.

The Abecedarian is a very old poetic form directed by alphabetic arrangement. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s An ABC also known as "La Priere De Nostre Dame" is an excellent medieval example of this form. Click on the title to read his poem. He created his translation of a French prayer into twenty-three eight-line stanzas that followed the alphabet. Of course, Chaucer left out the letters J, V and W for some reason, I really don’t know. The Abecedarian form of poetry was frequently used in ancient cultures for sacred composition, such as hymns, prayers, and psalms. Numerous examples of this artistic expression can be found in the Hebrew Bible.

How to create poetry in the Abecedarian form?

When creating an Abecedarian poem begin each line or stanza with the first letter of the alphabet. Then follow on remaining lines or stanzas with the successive letter until the final letter is reached. In Poetry For All Seasons the poems, Censorship and Turbulent Times are written in the Abecedarian format. The poet is free to create many variations in this genre. One such variation is shown as the double reversed Abecedarion in the poem, Turbulent Times.

How to create a double-reversed Abecedarian poem?

The double Abecedarian is simply the arrangement of the alphabetical letters in the lines or stanzas at the left and right sides of the poem. Then, the first letter of the first line is the same as the last letter of the first line. This forward layout is carried on until all the letters of the alphabet are used up.

When this forward movement of the alphabet letters on one of the two sides of the poem is reversed or shows a backward movement of the alphabet letters, then a double-reversed Abecedarian is created.

© Paterika Hengreaves

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reaching into the Mind of the Poet - Part I

Several reasons have been put forward as to why people get so caught up with poetry. Some of the reasons that are being shuffled around are that poetry is a stress reliever for those moments when the blues set in. Poetry fills the need for pleasure reading that does not involve the pouring over long chapters after chapters. Poetry through its many genres provides inspirational motivation. Recently, many people have been talking about the great mystical feeling they get from reaching into the mind of poets. All these reasons why poetry is love by so many folks all over the world come with much validity. As a matter of fact, these reasons resonate with me as well.

However, the last reason raised some questions in my head. Foremost in my mind is how someone can reach into the mind of a person or a poet for that matter! Isn’t that an impossible task for us mortals? Grant you, there are people out there called psychics who claim that they can. Be that as it may. The next issue that comes to the moment is this. How can one be sure that one knows what the poet intended in a poem? Not really because poetic images are not always precise. I think that with a little modification in the reason for persons who adore mental gymnastics in poetry would be most accommodating. Yes indeed, it is possible to come up with intelligent ways to account for the feelings the poem gives when it is read. The modification would go like this: How to interpret what the poet intended in the poem. This position allows one to explain what one thinks the poem is doing and how the poem does it.

There are some basic tenets which are very helpful when seeking to interpret what poets say in their poems. I find that trying to understand the poem’s explicit, literal meaning is important. Then asking oneself attentive questions about the poem to find out what is implied, unsaid or suggested in the imagery are vital moves to make. Also, there is the matter of trying to understand the language of the poem. For example, these are some of the poetic devices like the metaphors, similes, understatements, overstatements, and other unusual uses of language that poets use to stretch the readers’ imagination so wearing a thinking cap is highly recommended. Poets are noted for setting up words to resonate with many meanings at once, and that’s the beauty of poetry. So in poetry, expect to find words packed with more meanings than when used in ordinary language. Therefore, any attempts at interpreting the language of poems would necessitate that one thinks outside the box. In other words, one must think divergently most of the time.

Paterika Hengreaves Speaks Out

The traditionalist, modernist and post-modernist poets have their particular approaches for creating poetry. There is a vast amount of variations in poetic genres for poetry connoisseurs as well as for those who simply like to read poetry.

Poets from the traditional school believe in structures. Their poems have predetermined meter, rhymes and stanzas.

Modernist poets adhere lukewarmly to poetic structures. This position of theirs allows them to write poems with variable meter, rhymes and stanzas. Their artistic creations are known as Blank Form poetry. In this genre, the poems are written without rhymes but they retain a set metrical pattern, usually in iambic pentameter in English Verse.

Post-modernist poets write in Open Form. This genre allows them to write poems in Free Verse. Hence, their creations do not use established patterns of meter, rhymes and stanzas. The rhyming techniques in their creations are derived from the repetition of words, phrases, or grammatical structures, the layout of words on the page, or by some other means.

What's up with the Iambic Pentameter?

The iambic pentameter in English Verse is the most common. I find it quite fascinating to write my poems with verses in iambic pentameter in English Verse. You know, the iambic (u/) pentameter refers to a verse consisting of five iambic feet. This is among the most common metrical forms of English poetry. It consists of an unstressed (u) syllable and a stressed (/) syllable. In the word, "attack" the first syllable is unstressed and the last syllable is stressed. Hence, it has one iamb so it measures one iambic foot. There are two classifications for the iambic pentameter verse. We have got the standard iambic pentameter verse and the non-standard iambic pentameter verse. In standard iambic pentameter verses each verse must begin with an iamb. Seldom do I write standard iambic pentameter poems. My forte lies with non-standard iambic pentameter poems. Take for example, if you analyze my poem, "Musing in the Blooming Forest" as found in my poetry book, "Poetry for all Seasons: Poems, Forms and Styles" you will readily see that not all the verses begin with an iamb even though all the verses rightly measure five feet. What we do have in this scenario then, are non-standard iambic pentameter verses. If all the verses in this exemplar were iambs then the poems would have be crafted with standard iambic pentameter verses. It is okay though, to have variations in iambic pentameter verses. As prosody would have it, it is not uncommon for poets to vary their iambic pentameter, while maintaining the iamb as the dominant foot. The second foot is almost always an iamb. The first foot is the one most likely to change by the use of the inversion technique. This is to counteract the metronomic effect by substituting for an iamb another type of foot whose stress is different. So it is not unusual to see any of these (trochee, spondee, dactyl, anapaest or pyrrhic) appearing in non-standard iambic pentameter verses. My next article will focus on these other foot types.

Another common departure from the standard iambic pentameter is the addition of a final unstressed syllable. This therefore, creates a feminine ending or what is referred to as a weak ending. This too, I will explore in the near future with you.

Where do I fit in as a Poet?

Some how, I find that labels tend to box people in. But if you do something consistently so then what do you expect but to be labeled. If the label is good, then wear it with pride that does not label it as a copy.

Do I write my poetry from the heart?

The other day I was asked this question. Now I share with you my thoughts having said "Absolutely not" in my answer but of course with good reasons.
I think that to write poetry from the 'heart' is dangerous and irresponsible on the part of the indulger. Why would you want to spill your unedited guts to john public. Isn't there enough pollution in the world as of now? Add to that, the dangerous times that we live in. How dare me to put out my raw emotions in the public forum. What irresponsible behaviour would I be sending to impressionable minds? One's actions must be for the greater good not to add chaos or confusion to a world already tainted with too much turmoil. When you write from the heart emotions are never edited you just let it flow out unrehearsed, your rage, your joy and the inspiration of the moment. You don't have a draft, the first utterance is the poem from the heart. If any changes are made to that first utterance then you have crossed the line into the realm of the mind. You tell me that spontaneity is not suppressed when writing poetry from the heart. Please, listen to yourself and weigh the consequences as the next step. Now you have for sure dug yourself into an abyss without realizing what could be the consequences whenever the tide changes. As a poet writing from the heart how will you keep up with this roller coaster of emotions so characteristic of humans and how will such emotional outbursts sustain your audience with your blatant neediness. Believe me, pretty soon your audience will get wind of this type of egotistic behaviour and run for the hills. No one is eager to cling to a narcissist. Why for the life of me, would any poet put a shelf-life on his or her creations carved exclusively from raw emotions? It beats me!

I'm not one of those poets who write poetry from the heart. I do acknowledge that my poetic expressions come from heart-felt emotional moments with their concomitant inspirations. These initial encounters are raw emotions sometimes dwelling on love, rage, joy, loss, pain, suffering that tend to suck me in. Then I vent my pent up emotions in a way for my audience to understand without arrogance but with humility by putting the mind to work on the poetic by-product. Take for an example, the Presidential elections in the United States of America, for me that provided the fuel for all kinds of emotional outburst as I read and listened to people who spoke in support of their political affiliations, and be inspired by it all. Do you know how I felt to witness a black man and black like me to be the first from my race to become POTUS-elect of a great nation? Were I to write my raw feelings of this historical magnitude no doubt, would bring up hurt feelings of the past and by extension alienate those folks who would most likely be offended? What would be the point of it all? As President Barack-elect has said, (not in these exact words, but the gist is there) we bury the past and move forward to greater and better things in store. Yes, as a poet, the moment must be captured poetically too, but with the mind playing the key role when capturing the moment poetically. This is the wise thing to do for the mind which is more powerful than emotional outburst which gushes out like the steam from a kettle but will surely dissipate to make room for the next emotional upheaval.

Yes, indeed there is without doubt that the birth of poetry starts with the heart and its emotions inspire the poetry. However, the morphing of these inspired emotions into poetry must come from working the mind. The mind provides the organizational tools needed in order to mesh the emotions and the inspiration into a product called poetry. As the emotions are poured from the heart they begin to play second fiddle to the mind. The mind then rebrands these emotions into measured doses around a framework that is either structured poetry or unstructured poetry. The mind transforms these emotions in proper under- and outer-garments for the various seasons and with appropriate or matching accessories by evoking the tools found in poetry. Hence, each poem is created. In a nutshell, that's the process I use when writing my poetry from the heart, soul and mind. Remind me to talk about the tools of poetry sometime soon.

So what kind of Poet am I?

My position on this is that, no I'm not a poet who writes from the heart. I use my mind to guide my heart. That said, I'm indeed a poet who writes from the mind. However, with deep understanding that the heart and soul provide the inspiration of the moments for me to write poetry, but the mind takes over. Therefore, much consideration is given with the expressed intend on creating verses worthy of showing great beauty with emotional sincerity or intensity or profound insight. My poems go through many drafts before the final draft is ready to be printed or shared. This process that I apply when writing my poetry negates any assertion that I write poetry from the heart. My best poetry comes when I have managed to overcome the antithesis between raw feelings of the heart and the frustrating mental process of turning that into something beautiful and meaningful. Poetry is impossible without the heart-felt emotions, for that is where one derives one's inspiration, but poetry requires the mind.

©Paterika Hengreaves

Marja said...
Hi Paterika I am very impressed by your knowledge understanding and professionalism in writing poetry.
It surely shines through in your poems.
I am possibly guilty of many points as how not to do it in my attempts to write a poem. I have zero background or knowledge in this area and english is my second language.
For me it is just fun but
I will never call myself a poet and so I hope you don't mind my play.
I am however honered I know one and I love to read your work.

2:39 PM
Ruahines said...
Kia ora Paterika,
What a wonderful essay, so rich with knowledge, understanding, process, and truth. I so appreciate your place and your poems, and now your words in opening up this world to me.
Like Marja, I too play at poetry without understanding what it is I am doing, and coming here helps me to understand that process.
I tingled reading your words about the heart, and it makes me glow that in my own way I approach it like you describe. When in the mountains I am always struck by something in Nature that leaves a feeling in my soul, and maybe a line in my head. I will jot down a note, and work it through many times before I feel I can enjoy and maybe even share. A process I never realized I was undertaking.
Paterika, kia ora for all your beauty and wisdom. Have a lovely day.

1:13 PM
Marja said...
Hi paterika Thank you so much for your nice comments. It make me feel so good that I had to wipe a tear.
Yes Mayke is doing very well. She was a very quiet girl in primary school and had therefore lots of social problems, including bullying. My doctor recommended to sent her to young writers, a two hour writing school on Saturday, so she could express herself. There were all gifted kids and Mayke wasn't that good so I was a bit worried but she learned well along the way and now she gets all excellences at school for poetry and creative writing

Again thanks and bless you, Marja

1:09 PM
Marja said...
sorry one more time but I got a well deserved award for you

12:42 PM
PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...
Thank you very much Marja. I'll be right over. Ka Kite ano.


3:43 AM

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poetry and the Entrepreneur

What are the commonalities between poetry and the entrepreneur? No doubt, the initial response to this question may well be that if there are any, the commonalities are not worth mentioning. Such a nonchalant reaction could be the result of a conditioned mind set into thinking that business is about the profit motive and the myriads of ways to do so. Whereas, poetry is an emotional avalanche and more than not, creates the abstract side of the world. In saying this, think of the many emerging poets who say that they write from the heart thus giving credence to the aforementioned statement. Some folks are also led falsely into thinking that poetry deals strictly with emotions whether real or surreal and not the bottom line in business.

However, I share a different perspective on the issue at hand as you continue to stay with me on this matter. As a person engrossed deeply in the poetic world, it is with surety to say that there is a fair amount of poetry-driven businesses around. Poems range from the whimsical about business and an explosion of poems found in advertisements. During my career life in academia, poetry became part of the learning tool in the interdisciplinary teaching lessons. Such great blessings flowed from students to students and from students to teacher and vice versa. Now that I have become an educator emeritus, poetry both structured and unstructured remains my passion. The added pleasure is the ability to write in many forms and styles. The entire environment is my daily muse and not once has there been a writer’s block that many poets of the day seem to be experiencing. The commonalities between the entrepreneurial spirit and poetry are there, weilding much importance. Essentially they are creators.The entrepreneurs, like poets invent new ways to connect people, ideas and organizations. Entrepreneurs and poets make great strides on intuitive behaviour. They create meaning where it didn’t seem to exist, with their head, heart and hands to the plough, as it were. They communicate this to their audience. They make the vision real, so to speak. No apologies required therefore, in saying that starting up a business equates with writing a poem. Poetry is like NISE (National Initiative on Service Excellence) for improving business writing. The rules for good poetry writing are applicable to good business prose as verse. These two communication devices must rely on good content, be concise, be organized and must have style. Go into any established business entity and tour the various offices and you are bound to come across types of poems hanging from the walls or being perched on the work station serving as motivators for those who read them.

Poetry is invigorating in so many ways. Perhaps because of this, it is not unusual to find a significant portion of business persons delving into poetry either as readers, writers or reviewers. No doubt, they will say that poetry helps them to maintain equilibrium as they sort through challenges which come with the daily activities of business. The paradigm shift that is sweeping the 21st Century commercial world at unprecedented haste is engendering greater creativity in the life of the working masses. The organizational structures are increasingly relying on the input not only from management but from non-managerial employees to the lowest level. The organization is as strong as its weakest link so everybody’s input is a source of organizational strength, growth and wealth. Thus, the acknowledgement of input from all levels of the organization is a means of helping employees to overcome habitual fear and reticence of expressing themselves through nurturing the “soul” within the enterprise. This nurturing of the “soul” is developed through dramatic groups and poetry writing as a way to express deeper emotions.

The goal of contemporary business leaders worth their salt is not hooked solely on the profit motive (the bottom line) but as a matter of grave concern, the provision for new avenues to look at life in business whereby helping employees find greater satisfaction. In saying this, the collaboration is seen in the many poetic statements that have found their way into the organizations’ mottoes, slogans and mission statements. You can believe this as well, poetry has become the blood of any nation’s cultural milieu. Check out the national cultural foundations of your country and tell me this is not so, my challenge to you. The next point worth mentioning in this discourse is how businesses use poetry in advertising their products.

Advertising is a method whereby consumers are made aware of the various product lines on sale. Poetry and sound lyrics are increasingly being used to draw the public in with the goal of getting the public to see the goodness of their product lines and purchase them. If this were not the case, why do we see and hear advertisements laced with poetic utterances. The jingle is at best and example of this. So what is a jingle?

A jingle is usually an unbridled pleasant sounding verse flowing with catchy words and phrases with lots of rhymes and rhythm that somehow stay in the mind for a very long time. Its rhythm is captivating as a result of the alliterative nature of the sounds. Most people tend to label a jingle as nonsensical but it really does drive advertising in a sort of hypnotic way. Just think about the many jingles you hear, so there must be some profitable inducement worth pursuing.

If I may say so myself, I think that the poem, "The Nest" could very well serve as an advertisement for bloggers of poetry with google accounts. It has five stanzas with a rhyme scheme aabbb and each verse is made up of six syllables. A closer examination at the stanzaic lines reveals that they are Trimeter verses.

A trimeter is a line of verse consisting of three metrical feet or three Dipodies.

A Dipody is a double foot; a unit of two feet.

©Paterika Hengreaves
December 2008/Barbados

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Haiti Under Rubble from 7.0 Earthquake

Natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur impact on all of our lives. The Good Book says we are our brothers and sisters keepers lead by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we must do our part when disaster shows its ugly face. Any assistance, great or small, given from generous and loving hearts has equal weight. I'm passing on this information I received that Barbadians can go to First Caribbean Bank to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti. The banking information is shown below:

First Caribbean Bank Account--2645374-- Cheques can be written to: HELP #2645374

For more information click on this link

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.

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