Poetry: Idea Like a Cloud

Poetry: Idea Like a Cloud
Our ideas can be like clouds in the sky being shaped by the currents of thought within the mind. They form unique shapes, but those shapes are ever changing, even if in the most minute details. Every second brings change and the cloud that once was will never be again. Unless recorded, the unique form is lost forever.
A Lost Idea
By: Daniel Derasaugh

It was there.
Swirling inside with everything else.
Radiant in unique yet brief flare.
Notice was drawn to its beauty.

I had it!
Undeveloped, yes, but it was there,
Standing out, shinning with potential,
Yet only for a brief moment.

A morphing shape.
It changed to something similar,
But not the same. What was it?
Now just a shadow in my mind.

I chase it.
The ever-changing cloud drifting across the sky.
I have not the tools to catch it;
Remember it, record it, mold and craft it. 

Its gone now.
Never again to return exactly as it was.
Words scattered into the breeze of other thoughts.
A lost idea.

I think I’ll start carrying a journal and pen.

The subject of my previous post was about the importance of morality in the way our ideas can impact the world. I am at this time focused on the first act of creativity, and since I seem to be fixed with exploring my interests poetically, a particular thought came to mind.

I have recently began to wonder how many poems (published and unpublished) have been written. The answer is likely in the billions throughout history, far more than any of us could read. But then I try to add to that the number the poems people have composed within their minds, yet for whatever reason, failed to write down.I find it a sort of tragedy that such creativity should disappear into the void of forgetfulness as if it never existed to begin with. Chances are that such an arrangement of words will never again come together precisely as the initial creator had crafted them.

Our minds can unexpectedly and spontaneously create amazing organizations of words with meaning. There were times when that happened to me and I struggled to remember lines that would have been great for poetry, stories, or quotes. There was nothing available for me to use to write them down, or record in some way. As I went over them in my head, trying to memorize the lines I discovered that the organization of the words would often change, and sometimes degrade in their quality until the initial meaning was lost.

So now I try to carry a little journal and pencil or pen wherever I go to record and catch them when they appear in kind of my own personal version of Pokemon Go.

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Poetry: Course of an Idea

Poetry: Course of an Idea
Crafted from thought and imagination, an idea is born, and if fostered and nourished can change the world in minor or drastic ways. It is the beginning of creation, the point where thought transforms into a plan with the potential for execution. To leave the confines of the human mind to be shared with others, to take form, and to perhaps set on a path or transformed by controlling forces to something unintended by the creator.  What governs how an idea develops and the path it should take?
Course of an Idea
By: Daniel Derasaugh 

To create or destroy.
Encourage or push down.
Free or enslave.

An idea. A thought born,
a growing light,
Or a gathering darkness.

To improve the world,
Or to grasp power.
The choice is not its own.

The creator guides it,
But cannot control it forever.
For ideas, once born, outlive the architect.

Others will take command.
Where will it go? What will it cause?
Ah! My dear friends; we shall soon see;

the importance of ethics and morality.

An idea is a burst of new thought, or old thought renewed in a different way. This alone does not determine a positive or negative effect on the world, but all ideas have one of the the two, or even a mixture of both. The idea itself is usually not the deciding factor if it is to be positive or negative. Instead it is the force that is in charge of it, guiding it to whatever purpose they desire.

But people do not really steer an idea in one direction or another, either. It is the ethics and moral code that they live by that does that. The architect may or may not be aware of it, but whatever moral principles they live by will determine the course of all ideas they create or take charge of. Ethics and morals that are firmly adhered to take on a great importance as they are the shields against allowing an idea to be utilized as a destructive element.

Guide them well.

 

Using Failure as a Teacher

Using Failure as a Teacher
A photo of a fence in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It does not really have anything to do with this post other than I needed a nice looking featured image and I had recently been there and found this spot very impressive.

A back to school concept to go over with students/children.

After failing at something:

DO

  • Determine cause of failure.
  • Fix those causes, or plan how to avoid them.
  • Try again.
  • Repeat if necessary till all causes are identified and removed or addressed.

DO NOT

  • Get angry.
  • Whine/Complain
  • Blame others.
  • Get discouraged.

Failure teaches us how NOT to do something. With some thought and corrections, we can learn how to do that thing and succeed in it. This is really just a fancy way of saying “Trial and Error”. It is important to remember that failure is how we learn. If it did not work one way, or the desired results were not achieved, then you have learned what does not work, and are now one step closer to find out what will.

Shakira’s song from the movie Zootopia is a great way to express this belief:

Historical Poetry: Connecting to History Through Poetry – The First World War Part 2

Historical Poetry: Connecting to History Through Poetry – The First World War Part 2
A medal designed by Karl Goetz to commemorate the Battle of Verdun; a terrible battle fought from February to December in 1916 in which over 300,000 soldiers were killed and hundreds of thousands more wounded. This battle had as many losses as most wars saw in their entirety up to this point in history and it was still not the worst of the First World War. Death personified is shown whisking away a woman; an accurate and disturbing testament to the war that was supposed to end all wars.

For the last few months I have been gripped with a fascination of the First World War. It was one of the last topics in United States history I taught at the end of this past school year. As I have said before, I want to try to create an emotional connection to the war to help make learning about it matter. I hope I have, in some small way at least, achieved that with “Death Dances Across the World”.


"Death Dances Across the World"
By: Daniel Derasaugh

Within dark clouds and flashing light,
moving behind such a veil; a ghastly sight.
Tearing ground with every swipe.
Her gleaming scythe gathers from every type.

She looms over all,
as millions die and nations fall.
A towering wraith with a shroud of soot.
Broken bodies wail under foot.

She harvests, she gathers,
the ground breaks and taters.
Still millions more are sent.
Have not enough souls been spent?

Death dances across the world.
Incinerating peace and the last of hope.
Bursts of light from mortar shells,
reveal her form, the horror tells.

On November 11th her blade grows dull.
Blunted from many a reaped soul.  
Of this, the first of two great harvests ends,
as souls to heaven or hell the reaper sends.

“Death Dances Across the World” is my attempt to sum up the level of destruction and loss of life as a result of The First World War, while at the same time acknowledging in the last stanza that such a horrific global conflict would not be the last.

Personification of Death

I used the personification of death as a way to connect to the period. Death is not an unusual image used in relation to the First World War, or any event that causes such massive loss of life.

scan0007
Obverse of the British Recreated Version of Karl Goetz’s Lusitania Medal.

Goetz’s Verdun medal, shown in the featured image, and his Lusitania medal shown to the right, are just two of many examples that show death personified. It is this morbid theme that I am attempting to carry on with this poem.

The Goetz medal; the one shown here, is a British recreation that was produced as a propaganda piece to show the brutality of the German U-Boat attacks against civilian ships. Goetz’s original was made as a German propaganda piece to show disregard of the warnings of using passenger ships to transport arms and supplies to the Allied Power nations. The ticket salesman on the right side who is selling civilian passengers their tickets to the ship is shown to be a skeleton.

Using death as a character also carries another purpose. As fantastical as it is to imagine a monstrous skeletal figure hidden in the smoke of burning cities and battlefields walking across the land to reap the lives of soldiers and civilians, it is also not pleasant. It is supposed to be unsettling, but interesting as well.

Poetry as a Lure

The base purpose is to help readers visualize the consequences of the war and to build interest in the period and hopefully study it deeper. Perhaps using the creative avenue of poetry can help spark that interest. Some people do not need this, but others may. “Death Dances Across the World” and the two poems from  Historical Poetry: Connecting to History Through Poetry – The First World War are written to be lures to build interest. They are not something to study, but to be read before asking: “Do you/I want to know more?”

If we wish to the learn from the consequences of previous generations; good or bad, making it matter is key.  But we can not do any of that unless we know and understand the past.

I hope this helps.

Landscape
Ruins of Vaux, France in 1918