Guest Post: Poet Scott Norman
Scott Norman is the kind of a guy you often see called a "bear of a man." Hes tall. He's big. Everything about him is bigger than life. He has a loud laugh, loud way of speaking, and is a kind of force of nature when you meet him.
When I first met him, it was my freshman year in college at Webster University in St. Louis. One of the first people I met and he and I became fast friends. Scott had ambitions to direct movies and I got to star in at least two of them.
One of the first things I found out was that inside the large man was the soul of a poet. Since those days in college he's moved to Alaska, then back to Illinois, and published at least three books of poetry.
I asked him if he'd like to be a guest on my blog. To tell me about why he writes poetry. Why does he prefer that medium? What does he think the significance of poetry is today? Here's what he had to say:
Poetry is a song while a book is a movie. A collection of poems is an album while chapters of a book are scenes of the film.
A collection of poems represent a certain emotion or environmental time in a person's life and they have a perspective that probably isn't going to be duplicated. If you think of the Rolling Stones during their Exile on Main Street album when they were in the south, that represents a collection of songs for that feeling of the band then. Poetry is the same way. When you experience something new and you write a poem about it, or a collection of poems about it, it's a perspective that you're not going to have again because either the newness will change or there will be a new experience somewhere else or with someone else that will be the variant. Sometimes you can control the variances and sometimes you can't.
Ansel Adams would have his camera with him at all times because he never knew when the Shadows and Light contrast would combine to create a masterpiece photograph so he always had to be prepared. A poet should have a pencil or and paper available for the same reason. For myself, I had that experience when I found out Robin Williams had died. The same thing happened with Neil Young with the Kent State shootings; he wrote the song Ohio in 15 minutes!
In my opinion, people are afraid of poetry because it requires a depth of character to either relate to or understand the poem, and that requires work. When you hear a good poem it will hit a nerve that makes you feel any variety of emotions. In America, sadly the only emotions that people are accustomed to showing anymore are anger and Hate. Those are good topics if you're a teenager needing to vent, but it doesn't make for a good poem when you're older.
I want to thank Scott for being a guest and he may return soon. If you'd like to check out his work, you can follow the links below to his books of poetry.
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