Hello everyone, Grace here hosting a session for today.
We have discussed this literary device, known as Stream of Conciousness writing before in this session by Victoria C. Slotto. More contemporary figures in the world of poetry who turned to this technique include Jack Kerouac and Sylvia Plath. Briefly: In stream-of-consciousness writing, the poet or novelist turns to the flow of ideas, observations and emotions that invade our consciousness, many times hovering just below the surface. Novelist Virginia Woolf described this process as “an incessant shower of innumerable atoms.”
Basically, its purpose is to emulate the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitors. For that reason, sentences become longer, less organized and more sporadic in style. Its lack of structure is not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any order. Stream of consciousness permits deeper patterns of order to emerge, ones based on the genuine movement of information in your brain.
This type of writing often produces a fair share of challenges for the reader who may struggle to find a sense of connection between one thought and another. With careful reading, it may become apparent, or maybe not.
Here are a few hints to help with reading and writing poetry that uses the stream of consciousness technique. Perhaps these will be a help in responding to today’s prompt, which is to write a stream of consciousness poem.
• Choose a topic. You might think of a person, and activity or even a dream. Take a walk, go someplace public, and let your thoughts take flight.
• Write with pen or pencil on paper. Draw pictures. You may even choose to use your writing journal to jot down your own little (schizophrenic) episodes.
• When you write in your journal, be different. Write with your non-dominant hand, write all over the page, not just in lines, write from bottom to top. Write in spirals or shapes. Forget grammar and syntax.
• Set a time to write non-stop or with hardly any pause in your writing.
• Review your writing for any connection you can discover between words and phrases and see where your poem will take you.
While you are thinking about this, allow me to share with you TED Talk by American Poet Billy Collins: Everyday Moments, caught in time. He is an American poet who was appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York (retired, 2016).
Billy Collins is known for writing down his poems in one sitting, with minimal edits in the final form. He is focused in observing something in the present, the immediate rather than observing something in the past. Writing a poem for him is an interruption of silence.
New to dVerse? Here’s what you do:
- Write a poem using stream of consciousness technique.
- Include a link back to dVerse in your post.
- Post your poem along with the photo on your blog.
- Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr. Linky below and remember to click the small checkbox about data protection.
- There you will find links to other poets, and more will join during the next few days so check back to read other entries.
- Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work as we all love to have our poems read.
- Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.
- Remember, have fun.