Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable.
— Albert Einstein
Our universe is filled with mysteries that neither history nor science can explain. From paranormal occurrences to UFO sightings, to mysterious creatures and places, there are both hoaxes and real phenomena that exist in the space between legend and reality. Many of these defy forensics and psychology and exist only in the shadowy archives of the unknown. What is it about the odd and unexplained that excites our curiosity and stirs our imaginations?
We’ve all read about or seen TV documentaries or fictional accounts of a Bigfoot or another moving into a dense forest, planes going down in the Bermuda Triangle, alien abductions on dark country roads, and the ghosts of British royalty lurking in dark castle halls (some without their heads).
Along with unusual phenomena of the mind, such as feelings of déjà vu, there’s something about the mysterious and the unexplained that invites us to explore—to be thrilled and frightened by— such subjects.
Psychology suggests that the mysterious and unexplained are uniquely linked to human experience. They are certainly linked to human entertainment.
This week, let’s create some special “entertainment” with a poem about something weird, odd, or unexplained.
1. Some subject ideas:
Loch Ness Monster
Jack the Ripper
UFOs or Aliens
2. Have you ever had an “unexplained experience,” something otherworldly? If so, write a poem about it.
3. Is there a particular unsolved mystery that interests you (Bigfoot, Shroud of Turin, ghosts)?
4. Consider writing from the point of view of an unexplained creature or mysterious person (Jack the Ripper, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, a chupacabra, a ghost, an alien life form).
5. You might want to think about a spiritual or faith-based poem dealing with a subject such as the Shroud of Turin.
1. Create a feeling or tone that fits your subject.
2. Use language that suits your content and tone.
3. Work on a sense of the visual.
4. Think in terms of sonic impression—the music you make in your poem. Figure out how you can use sounds to enhance the “music” of your words (alliteration, assonance, internal rhyme, off-rhyme, anaphora).
5. Pose a question that’s impossible to answer.
6. Can you move beyond the obvious subject of your poem and suggest a deeper meaning?
7. Try to create a concluding image that will startle your readers with its unexpectedness.