Poetry Anthology 2019: Ritual
All poetic forms are welcome in the anthology.
Artwork will compliment the theme. We’ll seek to work with two artists: one for interior art, and another for cover art.
There’ll be at least a 6 month period to write and critique poems, lasting from roughly March through October. This period may be lengthened depending on the needs of the poets and the anthology.
Each poet should plan to critique their anthology poems once or twice (or more) in our poetry critique groups. The purpose of this is to make sure that the poems have been developed to the poet’s and the community’s standards for this anthology.
Each poet may choose to work 1-on-1 with one of our poetry anthology editors. During this, the editor will provide close revisions and mentoring with the goal of finding the poem publication in this anthology.
After a poem has been critiqued once or twice (or more) and revised to that poet’s satisfaction, the poet may then submit the poem for publication in the anthology. To do this, please email the poem to Rich at ThePeoplesColloquiumPDX@Gmail.com. That poem will then be voted upon for inclusion in the anthology by the anthology’s editors. A majority vote by the editors in favor of inclusion is necessary for the poem to be published; a minority vote in favor of inclusion will mean that the poem will be returned to the poet. In this latter case, suggestions will be provided regarding how that poem may be improved so that it may receive a majority vote for inclusion on its next submission. Multiple submissions are allowed and welcome.
Rich P, Emily G, Andrea M, and Hanna L
Poets may submit up to three poems for this anthology.
Due dates are as follows:
Vision and Intention
A ritual is a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. In its worst state it is human’s attempt (usually futile) to control the Divine or circumstances. At it’s best it is reverent worship and appreciation of the Divine; acceptance of the Law of the world; or an appreciation of the rules necessary to govern a body of people even down to a dance or a way of life.
Ritual is the exercise of intention and creativity in navigating the fundamental problem of the divide between ourselves and the world.
I will probably end up chewing on the way that working at your job is also about approaching this fundamental divide and both is and isn’t ritualized, and both is and isn’t intentional. Hopefully that will help think more about what intention means and open up interesting ways to think about being in the world.
I initially thought ritual was any kind of repeated action that was religious, compulsive or habitual. I looked it up, and dictionary.com seems to define it as being religious in nature. With this in mind, I might approach the theme with a speaker who is living on the outskirts of ritual, or is someone affected by ritual without actively participating.
Ritual is thoughtful, purposeful, it is generally a collection of actions intended to create a sense of comfort, or control. It’s a highly regimented, purposeful, physical reaction to something. it can be in reverence or remembrance. Its something we think of colloquially in terms of morning and evening rituals, practices we develop and keep to try to keep ourselves focused on what matters to us, physically or mentally healthy, etc. It is mostly action mean to inspire or create control, comfort, or the illusion of that.
There are also rituals that are not that thoughtful, they are not ones we choose or develop. They are in a sense imposed on us but we pay about as much attention as we do to the intricacies of the language we inherently learn from others as we grow. These rituals can be like the pledge of allegiance, graduation ceremonies, funeral expectations, the love locks in Paris, some romantic obligations, religious observances, familial traditions, all these things can take on facets of the ritual. It seems very innate to humans, it seems in engaging in and creating rituals without thinking about them we both try to create states of being or achievements for ourselves as highly rational animals, but unconsciously are behaving like instinctual animals. No matter high tech the ritual, or how modern it may seem or in fact be in its origins, we are continuing wider traditions that stretch back to our earliest ancestors.
I’m thinking about imposing the sense of ritual on a poem of description, utilizing the repetition and highly stylized facets that make up ritual to make a poem which does not explicitly describe a ritual, feel like one.
Or, in the opposite direction, using similar ideas with repetition, describe something which is not generally considered a ritual as though it were one.
I always like to start with the dictionary definition. I know two senses of the word ritual. The first and original is of the nature of, forming rites (i.e. established ceremonies prescribed by religion) In extended use, the second sense relates social or psychological ritual of social convention or habit. To me, ritual has to do with the repeated observance of some custom or outward act. But in all senses, I think there is an essential aspect of the received or inherited.
I will think about how rituals are a symbolic gesture that serves to coalesce the individual and a community, the present and the past together.
I think a ritual is a practice that’s meant to provide order in the midst of chaos. The practice may also serve as a metaphor for a greater order.
I think I will approach ritual as a “striving for order” in my poem, and how the practice of ritual can be riddled with doubt. As a personal aesthetic reference, there is a song called “Rituals (MS Edit)” by Maribou State that always comes to my mind when I hear the word “ritual.”
I think of ritual as creating a space and event for a communal experience. It gives a moment or activity added importance because the group creates that importance. My most obvious experience with ritual is being raised Catholic. There is a long tradition of ritual in that church. The patterned quality of mass and feeling of being connected to something ancient is comforting beyond any belief in a deity. I think you can also have ritual as an individual. A morning/night ritual is creating a pattern of behavior that gives the person comfort.
I don’t think I plan on writing poetry based directly on my experience with Catholicism. I am interested in the more mundane rituals we create in our lives.
1) Ritual gives gives purpose to or makes sense of what is otherwise senseless, rote, mundane. It is essentially narrative: it tells a story, thus imbuing a practical, routine act with something of the numinous.
2) I have been exploring poems as prayers, invocations, and/or incantations. This seems a good place to start.