A good, solid friendship is a lot like poetry; that kind of thing that is difficult to fully appreciate until one really, and often accidentally, benefits from it, and then, it becomes worthy of headline news and daily study.
Poetry on friendship, however, is often over-loaded with too much sentiment, and like too many sweets, can hide the goodness that should be there – in fact, it can make a poem feel like it lacks substance – and that should never happen when writing about a friend. Having and being a good friend is not just sweet but essential to healthy, human success.
In this week’s poetry video on the lyw channel, we celebrate poetry that values reliable friendship — friendship that not only provides sweetness, but protein, good fatty acids, and bitter healthy greens. This video is also a great way to balance the poetry on war and strife that was discussed in the last blog on this site.
Creating a video compilation of poetry on friendship, even in fragments, was a challenge. Most of what I found on the internet was of the greeting-card variety — very generic and easy to apply. Poems on friendship, like other ‘sentimental’ poems, are the hardest poems to write well because of the over-abundance of sentiment, similes and the need to explain in prose. i.e. ‘I love you because you’re great… etc., etc., etc.’
Now I realize my ideas of what makes a great poem is not universal. As well, poetry found on-line, on any subject, is limited. However, it makes me sad that I found more great poems on the subject of war than great poems on friendship, in my biased internet research.
I began crafting this video with Maya Angelou’s, ‘A Conceit,’ for its warmth balanced with strength and clarity. Then, I invoked a little T.S. Eliot, as well as a fragment from one of my favourite friendly poets, Robert Burns, even though I have difficulty understanding his Scottish English. It is easy to understand his warmth, vitality and poetic eye for what he values most in his life. He aims his poetry very specifically and with a robust heartfelt vigour. I also featured a sample from Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market poem. Although this poem doesn’t directly address friendship very often, the heroism in the poem is an act of profound love and friendship.
Thank you for reading this blog. Please click on the link to enjoy the latest video compilation on the lyw Youtube channel celebrating of poetry on friendship:
I would also like to invite poets to submit poetry celebrating a friend or friendship to this blog site, ‘a reliable friend.’ It is an old blog site that was originally created to celebrate a friend arriving at her 40th birthday and reinvented in an effort to continue building an on-line library of poetic friendship strong enough to hold any kind of front-line.
Three Red Rambutan Fruit Trees Are Hanging – http://www.hbr-online.com/2014/10/tiga-buah-rambutan-merah-tergantung-di-pohon-pid-124.html
“Die landschaft mit den drei baeumen” by Rembrandt – http://www.reproarte.com : Home : Info : Pic. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Die_landschaft_mit_den_drei_baeumen.jpg#/media/File:Die_landschaft_mit_den_drei_baeumen.jpg
Arthur Rackham illustration of ‘the Goblin Market’: c/o https://www.pinterest.com/pin/237142736598747301/