Why fallenleaves2: the author’s statement…

Why fallenleaves? Is there a significance? The idea of fallen leaves (to entitle my blog) comes from my exploration of what catharsis means to me: it is observed, each year, when I look out into autumn. Tree leaves blow out of the limbs, and falling to the ground the colors of death give me poetic inspiration. Emotionally, I feel connected with the tree separating from the leaves, seeking distance to be able to heal. In my poems I, selfishly, hope to let go of some emotions.

However, unlike the leaves outside my window, the poems do not decay; the poems stay and are constant reminders of my past. However, it is through the process of setting these feelings down on paper that I find the words to describe some painful experiences, which were from the onset thought unspeakable, and the surprise is through the ritual and practice of poetry the words come and help me to heal and grow. Simply, poetry is a religious experience for me.

O Gloria! in excelsis crucio…

I was very influenced by Eastern cultures and religions growing up, and for that interest I was persecuted underneath a strict Roman Catholic household for my meditations. I was tortured verbally for my interest in education beyond the bible at private school as well. I committed much of the experiences I had to journals, letters, and poems, which became discovered in my personal space. I had to burn them when I was in High School to continue to live in my parent’s house rather than living in the street, since my writing, at the time and by a greater extent even now, was and is contrary to my parents’ values, morals, ethics, and beliefs. Therefore, I don’t hide in metaphors, symbolism, and literary devices because, as a poet, it isn’t my job to hide–it’s to be sincere and brutally honest, it is to comment on the things that others find trivial, it is my form of civil disobedience, and poetry is a place where I protest. So, how do I understand metaphors and similes and figures as they relate to poetry, if I don’t utilize their effect to disguise my meaning?

An interpretation of devices and their lack of disguises…

My understanding of metaphors and similes is to create figures of language to stand in where I am having trouble finding the right words–so, in that difficulty, I try to find near words to substitute, until I can revise these for clarity, and write the simple sentence.

I think about what my place is in an American cannon. From Whitman, I inherit the American experience. One question I ask myself is, how does today’s America contrast from Whitman’s?

Whitman’s challenge for American poets from Leaves of Grass…

Whitman writes, in the preface to his epic, “the expression of the American poet is to be transcendent and new” (Whitman v). His explanation that led to the statement and idea is not as simple as the diversity of people America represents, but the diversity of place one represents, and the diversity of the authority representing one deserves as equal a diverse voice. Therefore, each stanza I create reflects some form of cultural diversity: by foreign words or by foreign forms, which appear throughout my writing.

I often ponder, as my Capitalist society has matured has it remained true to the level of diversity that Whitman celebrated and witnessed? What is different? These and similar questions influence the observation of where I live (reflected in my poems). Shifting attention from a reading of Whitman, I think about the number of the site.

The story behind the number two…

The number “two” would suggest that there is another fallenleaves. There is, and that site remains private because I was really worried about retaining the copyright of my poems starting out. I implemented security, early on, to keep trolls away from my poetry. Growing older I realize how immature of me that really is.

Afterword to the reader…

This is my next attempt to connect with my readers that may be poets like myself, students, people from various walks of life that remember and internalize. If these people are like me, then they seek an escape. My poems never realize what that escape is. The poems are too closely connected with what life is for me to ever see beyond and contemplate how to exit it: these poems are celebrations and negative judgements of what that experience and journey is.

From a suggestion in a Digital Writing Class, it was decided that this blog would provide poems and close readings of popular poets’ works. The first week starts with a poem. Next week, I will present an essay over an established author’s poem I will read in the upcoming days.

Work cited

Whitman, Walt. Preface. Leaves of Grass. By Walt Whitman. Ed. David S. Reynolds. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. v. Print.


Respectfully Submitted,
Andrew William Davis

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