Monday, May 12, 2014

Chat Between Two Poets - The Pensive One

I hardly know where to start today, I am so excited about this chat. I am sure you have been as blown away as I am by the very talented Pensive One's poetry at her blog of the same name. Some time ago, I asked if she might like to be interviewed, and she declined. But we have been chatting since, and while she is a bit nervous about revealing herself here, I assured her we are a very kind group of people. Read this chat very carefully, and keep in mind that we have a big surprise to reveal at the end, which is going to blow your doors off! The poem we have selected for dissection today is Who, the poem that first made me sit up and take notice of this talented poet.

Sherry:  I am so happy we are having this chat! To begin, would you like to talk a bit about your writing? What was it that first made you pick up your pen and begin writing poetry?

Pensive One:  I wasn't devoted to keeping a diary. I found diarising my feelings became monotonous and a little unnecessary. I wanted to remember what I was about and interpret myself differently each time, rather than read a diary passage and regret that part of my life. Also, a poem can be read and interpreted, but only the poet knows what it truly says. Therefore poetry was more secure. It's the diary that no one can just discover and read, it takes understanding and interpreting.

Sherry: That is interesting. "Only the poet knows" what is really being said.

Pensive One: My poems don't generally have a theme. The different aspects have things in common but they are put together sometimes as a way of displaying similar emotions about situations or people, or personal struggling. My poems rhyme freely and don't take a specific structure whatsoever. This elaborates on the way I feel and experience things - in a free and unstructured way.

A small conclusionThe poetry I post are like diary entries each time, it's a way for me to archive my experiences, emotions and history. But I essentially write for release. I write for myself as a means of finding perspective and balance. My mind along with my life takes different forms of chaos each day and writing keeps me sane. At the same time I'm saying that I don't try to write differently or copy other writing styles. At this moment I'm happy with the fact that my emotions can develop the way they do into poetry.

Sherry: I so relate to "writing keeps me sane." I think we all feel that to some degree.

Pensive One: So taking into account all of the above mentioned things. I adore people's praise for my work. Because writing comes naturally to me, helping me,  I'm amazed that these emotions I experience can inspire so many. I never see my poetry as an art, but more a formal method of release. So it's hard to grasp why people find it so gripping - these emotions we all seem to feel, but cannot express.

Sherry: It is how you write, with such fluency and originality - and remarkable talent - that wows us. So now let us read your beautiful poem.


Who is the liar
Who is the poetess
That does conspire
In the wicked night fest?

Of nostalgic, chaotic, lucid reality
Of blindly visible truths
That write you

Who is the palms of aggression on this chest
The ginger from the past
The blue-eyed intensity
Security that stands a chance
Marchesi unmasked?

Who is the blank soul
That allows tumultuous impulse
A smile so victorious?
A chance for patience in safety's embrace
His virile face...

Who is the one of words in pictures
Lending something individual
Who is the secret that shares its bonds to three...

Who is the docile dead-eyed girl
That steps too close and forever away
Openly fraying for greatness to shape?

Ever changed and ever open
Yet gentle-seeking and humbly hiding
Who is she?
Who is this I that calls itself me?

Suddenly I am most undefinable in this quest
These questions never laying down to rest...

Sherry: I love this poem so much! So now, would you like to discuss it in some depth?

Pensive One: Firstly: When I ask "who", I am asking myself who I am. But "who" also asks about the people that come into my life.

This poem came to me after a period of block. It poured from me desperately trying to make sense of itself. Sometimes this happens. Poems write me, and then I don't know what they are about until I pull them apart like it's the task of a historian.

1st Stanza: I ask why I lie to myself in an attempt to define myself. "That does conspire in the wicked night fest." - Why by night I am different than I am in the day. Who I am,  compared to the poet in me that allows myself freedom of expression, some ambiguity rather than these geometric definitions.

2nd stanza: "The wicked night fest" is elaborated on here. I'm talking about the dark times of my life when I tear myself apart for answers. I'm explaining in this second stanza what that's like. "Nostalgic, chaotic, lucid."

And then reality steps in and its "blinding truths" balance out the chaos of trying to tear myself apart and actually just accepting what I am. At this point, a poem is written out of me.

Sherry: This is  fascinating. Do continue.

Pensive One: 3rd: Each line of this stanza is about a different person that made me feel different things. About people who come into my life and later leave. At this point, "Who" starts to ask about them. As I am developing as a person, I am experiencing new people.

4thThe first 3 lines and last 2 lines are vastly different. They speak of two different situations and 2 different people. The first 3 lines speak of reckless, thoughtless impulse, and somehow conquering. Also naivety. It's almost as if I'm asking myself "Who are you to be so brave and reckless, to do a thing so impulsive?"

The last 2 lines seek safety in an embrace, structure. Maybe even happiness... But not impulse.

5th: Here, the same happens where the first 3 lines and last 2 are different. Different persons and different situations. The first 3 lines just speak about one person's talent and individuality that inspires me. The last 2 lines is about a secret held between friends who inspire and teach each other.

Sherry: My favorite lines are "Who is the docile dead-eyed girl Who steps too close and ever away." I resonate with those lines very much: the reaching out, the withdrawal to safety.

Pensive One: 6th: This stanza comes back to focus on me, after all the experiences with different individuals. This stanza describes what I am as self-sadness consumes me and somehow develops me into a woman from just a "docile" girl with "dead" eyes. 

What I "step too close and forever away" from is the transition into adulthood. I come very close now to adulthood but I know that I will never be a child again. A child in pain. This is significant because a child's pain can be healed more easily than the pain of an adult. Yes, some pain is scarring into adulthood but fixing this early enough will provide better results. Therefore I "openly fray for greatness to shape". My pain is not dealt with and so I fall apart and am shaped by "greatness", being God, or mentors, or just by my self-learning. - Being shaped by what adulthood brings forth.

Sherry: Wow, kiddo. You have amazing insight, and are so articulate.

Pensive One: 7th: Here I elaborate on how I am scarred and changed and how much I seek gentleness to maybe heal me. All of life's tribulations is confessed, including that "ever changed" signifies how I am very imperfect. And so with my imperfections and my perfections I am humble. At this point I am quite woeful but also hopeful. I war with myself by trying to define who I am but I cannot.

8th and final stanza: Suddenly I realize my fault of trying to define myself. The questioning of self doesn't end but I accept different definitions at different moments, because we're all sinners but at the same we're trying our best to redeem ourselves. 

Sherry: I am in awe at your interpretation.  Often, I don't understand what I am saying at all, times when the poem writes me. Thank you so much for this in-depth analysis.

Kids, has this not been an amazing chat? We promised you a Big Reveal. Why this all just astounds me is - The Pensive One is only sixteen years old! Which makes her talent remarkable but, even more amazing, is her level of self-awareness at such a young age. 

Are you blown away? I know I am. 

Thank you, Pensive One, for sharing your glorious poem, your astute dissection of it, and yourSelf with us. You will now have a clucking group of mother hens as fans and  cheering section - just what you always wanted, right? Hee hee. My work here is done!

Come back to see who we talk to next, kids. It is always changing, always wonderful, and sometimes - as today - actually breathtaking here on  a Monday. And it is all of you wonderful people who make it so, week after glorious week. 


  1. Thank you, Pensive One, for talking with the magical Sherry and walking through your poem with us. I enjoyed getting to know you better.

  2. I was already impressed, but learning that the author of this poem is only 16 blew me away. An old soul in a young body...thank you, Pensive One, for sharing your gift of writing with us! I only wish I had discovered my love of poetry when I was your age...

    1. It's a good thing I discovered poetry. It keeps me from the discoveries others make at my age. The ones that are not beneficial whatsoever. Poetry is my ultimate medicine. Thanks for commenting :)

  3. Holy canoli, just 16. I wish I had that insight now at 41! I love when you talk about when poems write you . . . I get that. Amazing talent and so glad she changed her mind about being featured here. Great feature the pair of you.

    1. I think all poets can comprehend this. Poetry is just emotions translated to words and sometimes emotions flow without meaning. That's when the poem writes you. The emotions define the words where otherwise the words would define the emotions. Thank you for commenting :)

  4. I enjoyed this chat between two poets. Sherry, you always ask insightful questions and I was amazed at the pensive one's mature answers about her own poem. Thank you very much to both of you.

    1. Thanks to you for stopping by :)

  5. I know, isnt she AMAZING? Just blows me away. I kept asking her: are you sure you're only sixteen? I wrote poetry at sixteen but definitely never had the self-awareness of this young woman. Yay, Pensive One...........thank you for trusting me enough to let me feature you. You made my day today!!!

    1. Thank you for working up the courage in me :)

  6. She is an immensely talented writer. Such a thoughtful poem and an in-depth interpretation. Thank you for sharing this interview about her poetic voice. I have enjoyed reading her work in the past and would continue to do so. :-)

    1. Thank you so much for always reading and commenting on my blog. :)

  7. I am blown away! Wow-so many layers in your voice~ You have an amazing gift-I look forward to reading more of your work and insight~ You have an old soul-that brightens all who read your incredible talent~ It is nice to meet you!

    Thank you Sherry for sharing her with us! @>-------------

    1. Nice to meet you too :). My mentor says that I am ageless.

  8. It's great to see another young one on Poets United. Hi5 The Pensive One! I've always been a fan of your poetry. And this poem of yours just blew me away. Thank you so much for featuring her here. Sherry. I'm delighted! :D

    1. Hi Madhumakhi! I've heard so much about you. Your poetry is lovely :). Nice to meet you :)

  9. It was truly my pleasure!! I knew you'd be happy to meet her, Madhumakhi!!

  10. What a terrific conversation, Sherry and Pensive. Loved both the poem and learning more about a fellow poet.

  11. Your journey will be an amazing one Pensive--I am grateful to know you--and thank you Sherry!!

    1. It's wonderful knowing you too! I really enjoy your poetry :)

  12. Glad I stopped by for tea and a wonderful interview with an up and coming talented and sensitive artist.

    1. I'm glad my sensitivity came through. Sometimes I wish it were enigma, but vulnerability as a poet is fine too :)

  13. now...writing this at 16..and speaking with such depth about the insightful you are Pensive One...and thank you Sherry...

    1. Thank you! I've grown so much as a poet. Poetry is insightful :)

  14. I too use my poetry as a diary and like you know that it is really only known and understood by me in spite having myriad interpretations put on it. I am also 16 in my head....arrested development:)Congratulations on being so cool as to write poetry and hopefully you get some real insights into life from it.

    1. In my head, I become so many different ages lol. Some days I'm 80 and some says I'm 8. Thanks for reading my "diary". :)

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