Written for: dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting The Bar – Via Negativa (posted by Bjorn)
“For Meet the Bar we sometimes work with new forms, at other times we work with one specific method or tool that we can use to make our writing better and more interesting.
Today I would like us to use negation in poetry.
Via Negativa, a term which originally comes from Apophatic Theology and says that the divine can only be approached in terms of saying what a perfect God is not.
For anything abstract or emotional you can define it with everything that it’s not. It can often be combined with examples of what it is.”
Consider for instance the first quartet of Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet 17:
“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul….”
It can start the poem like in Pablo Neruda’s poem above, or end it like in e.e. cumming’s somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond:
“…nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands”
Here is my attempt:
No high heat here
nor spice involved
age matters not a whit.
No closet required here
nor space upon a wall
you do not read it.
In winter time
you may decide
not to have even a bit,
but on a summer day
if jingles are heard
order a banana split!