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Take to the sea was the second poem I ever wrote for the class.

I wrote it based on my preconceived belief of poetry. I had just finished watching the latest Arrested Development season again for the third time and used the show to help cure my writer’s block. At the beginning of the semester I thought that poetry was meant to be written with some huge message that was centered around a very in depth and profound topic. I thought the motto of poetry was “the deeper the poem, the better” and therefore decided to center my poem around taking to the sea when the troubles of life become too much to bear. As a result, the poem became riddled in abstractions, void of concrete imagery with lines like “Wash your sorrows in the deep abyss, Down your wrongs in their watery grave.” In all the poem was extremely overdone and with the rhyming scheme, it read like “blah blah blah.” In my second draft, I attempted to take some of the points and words and transformed the poem into a piece that was constructed by concrete images. However, in the end, I was still relying on abstract images such as “dark harbor” which made the poem feel vague and less specific. In order to remedy this I found a harbor that correlated with and looked like the harbor I was trying to describe in my poem. In this way, I attempted to expand upon the first stanza, even taking one draft and centering the first stanza on just stating and describing where the harbor is located. Another element that I cut out was the dialogue that I had placed into the poem’s early drafts. Whether it was the man whispering “take to the sea” or his inner conflict dialogue that he expresses where he shouts “no” before turning around and heading back to the shore, the dialogue proved to be a very weak and insufficient way of writing the poem. The dialogue created this issue where I as a poet was telling rather than showing. In this way, I was hindering myself as a poet and preventing myself from really getting to the root of the image and showcasing what’s actually happening. In the end I decided to get rid of all dialogue and keep it simple with “the boat grows closer to the mouth of the sea, But the wind is against him, And the current is against him.” This shows how the man fails and is unable to escape without actually saying it in a really blunt and obvious way.” In this aspect, I am able to display the scene and help the reader create a mental image of the scene I am describing by tapping into the senses and helping establish a visual picture of a harbor in Maine that is surrounded by layers of long, smooth rocks. Overall this poem proved to be challenging because it was so hard for some reason to take the original poem that was drenched in abstractions and keep working at it to make it concrete.

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