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J.A. Aarntzen

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Member Since: Apr, 2008

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The History of My Poetry
By J.A. Aarntzen   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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The poetry that is included in this site comes mostly from two distinct periods in my life, the Seventies and around 2003. It may be interesting for the reader to compare these periods to see the evolution of a young man into an older man.

In the early 1970's I was in my twenties and filled with questions regarding the nature of existence.  I explored many avenues trying to determine what seemed to be the most plausible explanation for who I was and why I was here.  Starting from Christianity, then moving on through the Oriental philosophies and into the scientific realms, I would often put my impressions down onto paper in a free-form verse.  These impressions and verses were the basis of a collection poetry that I called "Scopic Delights".  'Scopic' is not in the English language.  It was a word that I coined to mean something like 'universal' or 'heavenly'.

Around 1974 I bound together the poems that I wrote under the 'Scopic Delights' title and I allowed others to read them.  The response was enthusiastic and it spurred me to continue writing.  But by this time my poetry had evolved in two separate directions, the first being that they became more personal expressions while the second direction was heading towards storytelling.  Many of my poems were stories cloaked in the guise of verse.  This new collection I had come to call "pseudopoet" with a small 'p', perhaps to indicate my discomfort in delving into a domain that I believed I was not properly suited for.  'pseudopoet' was bound together in the same way that "Scopic Delights" was and it too received praise from those that read it.

I was all set to continue with a third project that I was going to call "Wisher" when I no longer felt the desire to express myself in any form of written format.  "Wisher" was set aside, as were my copies of "Scopic Delights" and "pseudopoet".  Around 1978 I read Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings".  It instilled in me a desire to write fantasy stories and that was the direction that I took for the next twenty-five years.  Somewhere along the way I lost my copies of 'pseudopoet' and "Wisher" and they are now forever gone.

Around 1980 when I was between writing projects, I picked up a book about Lao Tzu, the Taoist sage.  For some reason as I read his verses, I wondered if I could use his format and come up with some verses of my own.  In the back of my mind, I must have been thinking about "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" for I decided to create this new project in the form of a how-to book.  Thus was born "The Lao Tzu How To Book".

In 2003 my nephew Paul was in a rock band called "Radiom".  He wanted words for songs so I said that I would try to put together some material for him and thus was born "Songs For Paul".  In the space of a week, I scripted about ten poems that could lend themselves to song.  Paul, appreciative of my effort, decided however that he wanted to write his own words for that would be a true r expression of his heart, and I agreed with him.

Shortly thereafter I met Laura and fell in love and wrote a couple of poems declaring this love to her.  These are "Evening Dove" and "The Dingle Calls Me".

My main thrust in my writing career is the novel but I have always enjoyed writing poetry and perhaps some day I will once again take a stab at it.

Web Site: Storyteller On The Lake

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Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis 6/19/2008
Very interesting article. I wish I had read it a long while ago, nevertheless, my view of you as a grand writer would not have been affected. Funny you mention Lao Tzu. One of my poems, The Enigmatic Way, was heavily influenced by the Tao Te Ching. I'm hopeful you can dig up some of those '70s poems influenced by the Gita and post them here. It's a shame that Wisher and psuedopoet are lost, but they remain somewhere inside you and will likely manifest in new and refreshed ways.

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