Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-interpretation February 6, 2018

The Lord of All Knowledge,

Gatekeeper of Truth,

says the poem means this.

Generations of readers bow

before this wisdom,

even though they don’t see it,

can’t believe it,

they just accept it.

When the poet reads

the critic’s piece,

she laughs and laughs

at the irony of such arrogant

assumptions!

Oh, student!

Good reader!

There are no errors

of interpretation in poetry!

Your experiences show you a meaning,

and if you can find lines to support,

your responses are just as valid as any critic’s.

(So the famous poet said to me,

and he should know).

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poem- push on January 28, 2018

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:28 pm
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We labour in monotonous isolation

Words falling onto pages

magic spells

new worlds

It might be good.

It might be worth sharing.

It might just be,

what it needs to be for us

to set our demons free.

Isolation and monotony,

and then someone

you respect

says

“Such lovely prose!”

or “beautifully wrought characters”

or “Loved it!”

and you think there’s hope

for your imaginary friends

and your imaginary world

and your imaginary dreams.

Labouring becomes inspired

by encouraging analyses.

 

poem- leavings July 15, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:29 pm
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Reaching inside the chair

.     deep in the cushions

.     I am sliced by a workman’s

.     lost staple pack

.     sharp edges up.

.     It tears my flesh,

.     leaves my blood on the leather.

Sometimes, behind us

.     we leave words

.     meant for construction.

Sometimes,

.     our leavings

.     bite.

 

 

 

poem-universe May 21, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:03 pm
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Practice is good he said

The words flow smoothly.

But what is the connection

to the universe?

These snapshots are all well and good,

but they need to rise above the situation

and comment upon it.

Ah.

Speaking to the universe?

That’s a lot to ask of someone

who has trouble just getting up most mornings.

 

 

poem-critique May 17, 2015

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:39 pm
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I love the simplicity

of this collection,

but it’s

bordering on saccharine

almost

syrup on my waffles,

but not

quite.

.

.

(I had an official poetry critique by a famous writer/poet today.   I have never had my poetry critiqued by anyone ‘in the biz.’  This is the summary of the observations on the 20 or so love poems submitted.  😉  Apparently I should aim to be a *bit* edgier.  I think this is quite wonderful, actually).

 

poem- offering March 12, 2014

Filed under: Poetry,Teaching,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:06 pm
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You bring your words to me

an offering

held in your open palms

like a supplicant.

I meet your fearful eyes

and tell you of your strengths,

coach through your weaknesses,

and encourage your improvement,

as gently as I can.

You reward me with your laughter,

a sound so rare that I am still celebrating

hours later,

so thankful

to be your teacher,

and have the chance to watch

your talent turn you into the

accomplished person

you will be.

 

Diana Gabaldon said to me… October 20, 2012

The green shoulder is mine. I’m cropped out because I look like a troll in this shot! lol Diana does not seem to be able to take a bad photo! Check out her funky turquoise nails!

Today I had a blue pencil appointment with Diana Gabaldon at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference.  A blue pencil is 15 minutes of time in front of a professional author, who reads a very short selection of your work, and provides some general feedback.

I knew I’d be completely starstruck, so I asked her a month ago via Facebook if it’d be okay if I recorded the conversation, and she was fine with that.

I arrived into the empty seat in front of her desk in a flurry because I’d been in a line and lost track of the time, so I was nearly late for my appointment (and we’re not going to even discuss what a trauma that would have been after counting down, sometimes by the hour, for 135 days!).  I pulled out my scene, which is a very early, poorly cobbled together start to Grace Beguiling, which is/will be a historical/fantasy novel set in 14th century France.  The scene is 6 pages, which is way too long for a blue pencil, so I’d highlighted parts I particularly wanted her feedback on.  She just smiled, said that she was a fast reader, and zipped through the whole thing, laughing out loud in places, and making corrections of typos.  It is very cool to have your favourite author laughing out loud while reading your writing.  It’s a little embarrassing to have your favourite author correcting your typos.

When she was finished reading, I turned my iPhone’s memo recorder on and recorded her observations, suggestions, and reminders.

The part I most wanted to know about (and had spent months researching) she dismissed with a wave as, “Fine.”  We had some discussion about language choice in historical work and development and structuring of a ‘very beginning’ where there needs to be some action to grab the reader and the story must be established right away.  I am so glad I have that recording to remind me of my focus.  Grace Beguiling offers a number of stylistic challenges, and she’s helped me think about how I’m going to solve them.  There was nothing earth shattering, just common sense reiteration of basic principles.  It’s good to hear those words from someone whose knowledge you trust implicitly.  “Remember that…”  Oh right.  I know that.

Do it.

I wish the piece I’d brought wasn’t quite so rough, but it was a worthwhile endeavour.  One quote is going to be artistically rendered and put above my writing desk.

My favourite author, Diana Gabaldon said to me, “You know how to tell a story.”  That will keep me inspired for a very long time.

 

 
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