PROMPT #122 – INVITATION TO THE DANCE

Dance and poetry share a long association. Terpsichore was one of the nine classical Greek Muses, and song and poetry accounted for most of the others. Dance has been called, more than once, poetry in motion. Some of the great artists of all time have been dancers, including people like Vaslav Nijinsky, Martha Graham, Josephine Baker, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Donnie Burns. And that’s just in the last century, according to some lists. Write a poem that has some relation to dance. It might be about a certain dancer, or dance, or the art of dancing. It might be about why you love dancing, or hate it. It might be about talent, or the lack of it. Or it might be about activities that have the feel of dance but are not, such as the movements of athletes or the motions of flowers in the wind. The floor is yours.

MARIE ELENA’S CONFESSION

FAST DANCE, MY PANTS!

You all know a gal named Marie
Mid-fifties and white is she
She makes no exception
For ball or reception
She just can’t cut loose and be free! 😀

© copyright Marie Elena Good, 2013

WILLIAM’S DANCE

WATCHING A BALLERINA REHEARSE

Here, in a room filled with mirrors and barres,
she flies from the floor and leaps to the stars;

her body becomes the song and the story
of dreams and defeats and glimpses of glory;

her face, devoid of paintings of fashion,
still plays each emotion with power and passion;

her arms reach beyond the vast, limitless space
and draw in the air every note in its place;

her motions describe every nadir and crest
in the turn of her hip and the curve of her breast;

her legs are both pillars and tension-filled springs
that marry her movements to melody’s wings

and her feet, the tendrils that touch her to Earth,
are loosers of lightning and makers of mirth.

Still, the beauty she makes of depression and bliss
is nothing compared to the beauty she is

as I watch her prepare for a trip to the stars,
here, in a room filled with mirrors and barres.

© copyright 2013, William Preston

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #121 AND BREF DOUBLE

We often find inspiration in the words of others.  That is certainly true here in our “garden,” week after week and month after month after month.  This week, William challenged us to write a poem that uses another poem’s first line as our own first line or title.  The results are impressive, and many of the poems posted drew us in for multiple reads.  Here are those that managed to make the final “Beautiful Bloom” cut.

MARIE ELENA’S PICK

This week, I offer my Bloom to Erin Kay Hope for Healing.  Erin gorgeously builds on the words of William Wordsworth, in a sonnet that flows flawlessly, and soothes richly.  This prayerful piece summons stringed instruments in my mind, gentle and deep.

This youngest among us continues to astound me.

Healing (by Erin Kay Hope)

Calm is all nature as a resting wheel,
And stilled the plaintive crying of the wind;
A hush descends, a hush that soothes and heals,
And lulls the frantic working of my mind;

The moon drifts silently across the sky,
The stars aligning brightly in her wake;
My breath creates a rhythm as I lie,
And stare into that starry midnight lake;

I feel each breath that Mother Nature makes
In time with mine, and hear her gentle song
In every turn and every spin earth makes,
And never cease as night drags slowly on;

And how I wish that all the world could feel
The peace that comes with Him, that comes to heal.

From “Calm Is All Nature As A Resting Wheel” by William Wordsworth

WILLIAM’S SELECTION

After the usual struggle to select one poem from so many excellent ones, I decided to award a bloom to Salvatore Buttaci for his adaptation of Emily Dickinson’s classic. When I first read Sal’s work, I was impressed by how calm his poem was. It had the same feel, in my mind, as Emily’s original. Also, because he did not use punctuation (except for a few apostrophes, one hyphen, and a dash – another Dickinson characteristic), it gave to me the feel of a leisurely stroll, of one having all the time in the world because he is prepared to meet death, when it comes again, as “a long-lost friend.” Another phrase, “gentle tap / upon my soul’s ethereal door,” also was evocative, for me, of how one would speak of a friend. Finally, another phrase, “I’ll rise from this my earthly nap,” accentuated the notion that the present existence is but a detour from eternity—the direction, Dickinson wrote, in which the horses’ heads were pointed. Dickinson’s original invites re-readings, which makes sense, considering its classic status. I found that Sal’s poem, also, bids to be read over and over.

BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH (by Salvatore Buttaci)

because I could not stop for death
it kindly stopped for someone else
and left me to my own device
which means I put death on the ice
and not the other way around
but now and then when life is sound
and life it seems goes all too well
I wait to hear that gentle tap
upon my soul’s ethereal door
I’ll rise from this my earthly nap
and leave this place for evermore
but now because there’s much to do
now because death is kind
it gives me time‑‑ the years a few
to finish all I need to do
I swear that when death knocks again
I’ll greet him like a long-lost friend

First line, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death,” by Emily Dickinson

*********************

RJ’s BREF DOUBLE PICK

Once again, it was very hard to pick a single bloom because a bouquet seems entirely more appropriate for this bunch!

But … for this week, I think I have to give my bloom to Henrietta Choplin for her poem, Friendship. It is beautifully lyrical and the words just flow. So much so, in fact, that I had to recite this particular poem out loud just to see if it worked as well as it did in print. And guess what? It did! What a joy!

Add to that the butterfly metaphor, and I am totally sold.

Friendship (by Henrietta Choplin)

A monarch flutters gently by
Her wings a brightly colored hue
A breath of wind captures descent
And moves the flowers’ fragrance near

Then carries lightly her sweet song
Her voice so soft, an angel sighs
And thus he strums his harp in time
As dew drop forms, become his tear

That drops as from the morning sky
To land on milky weeds that flow
And beckon her as she lilts by:
Come sip of pure, sweet nourishment

She draws her breath, he hears her sigh
He strums her flutter’s soft ascent.

What a week!  Congratulations to Erin Kay, Salvatore, and Hen!

IN-FORM POET WITH RJ CLARKEN – BREF DOUBLE

Bref Double pic
(Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons; Japanischer Garten. Emil Orlik, 1904)

 Hey Poets!

On Sunday, September 15th, the wonderful and talented William Preston provided Poetic Bloomings with the prompt of ‘Making a List, Checking it Twice.’

There were so many wonderful postings, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your poems!

Although I wrote a couple of humorous ‘list’ poems based on this prompt, I also wrote a gentler, sweeter poem for my husband Rich, in honor of our 18th wedding anniversary.  Several people were curious about the form I used for this poem, which was Bref Double … so guess what?

Yes, you’re right.  Our form for this week’s In-form Poet is the Bref Double.

According to DeviantArt’s Poetic Forms page (http://poetic-forms.deviantart.com/art/Bref-Double-10441657):

 The Bref Double is a French form. It is similar to the sonnet, but it need not be written in iambic pentameter (it can be in tetrameter, hexameter, or any other meter you prefer). The rhyme scheme is also different from a sonnet. The Bref Double contains three quatrains (four-line stanzas) followed by a final couplet.

Quatrain 1       a/x/b/c
Quatrain 2       x/a/x/c
Quatrain 3       a/x/a/b
Final couplet   a/b

The x stands for a line that doesn’t rhyme with any of the other lines.

Here are a couple of poems I wrote in the Bref Double form:

Unfettered

The colors of the October sky
are accentuated by crisp scents
of apple-cinnamon and log fires.
I put on my cable-knit sweater.

The air is chill, but mostly at night
so I count the stars.  I wonder why
Fall seems like a fresh start, but maybe
it’s the new school year.  Life gets better…

Each drum beat from marching bands nearby
seem to imply that October is
not emblematic of things that die
but rather, a season which acquires

hues like gold and burgundy. I sigh
and watch the stars of Fall unfetter.

###

A Garden, in Words

“Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.” ~Alfred Austin

Beyond the street, beyond the gate,
is your garden.  What is it like?
Do you grow tomatoes or herbs,
and is there a green climbing vine?

Are there marigolds?  Spearmint?  Kale?
Gerberas?  Well, at any rate,
please show me where your garden is.
Your garden is how you define

yourself, your world.  Communicate
all those things you want to bring forth.
Words, like plants, can grow strong and straight
in vacant lots or by street curbs.

No matter where you place your gate
bright blooms can grow from nouns and verbs.

###
And on that note… Ready, set…start poeming! ~RJ 

MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT

SOPHIE, AND A BALLOON NAMED BUMPER

I love to watch her heart unfold –
Enthusiastic little soul
Who loves her purple stringed balloon
As though it loves her in return.

Adoringly, she named her “friend.”
Precocious little two-year-old
And tethered buddy “Bumper” play
Together, and she’s sure he’ll learn

To speak and sing; laugh uncontrolled.
She also knows without a doubt
That she’ll reach out to grab a hold
Of Bumper’s string some afternoon –

Then sprinkle pixie dust of gold,
And fly together to the moon.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

~~~

Need more prompting?  Head over to Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides.  This week’s Wednesday prompt is to write an “On the Road” poem.

PROMPT #121 – SEED LINES

Many poems are remembered by their first lines rather than their titles, and often are indexed that way in poetry collections. Some examples include Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways;” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Listen, my children, and you shall hear;” Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;” and Gellett Burgess’s “I never saw a purple cow.” And then there is the infamous purple prose line with which Edward Bulwer-Lytton began a novel (not a poem), “It was a dark and stormy night.” Write a poem that uses another poem’s first line as your own first line or your title. You can choose any poem, well known or not, but please tell us where the line came from.

MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT

VOWED

I whispered, “I am too young”
So softly, it escaped hearing
Understanding
Meaning.

So lightly, it drifted
Wafted
Vanished,

Exchanged with
“I do.”

First line from “Brown Penny” by William Butler Yeats

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

WILLIAM’S ATTEMPT

WHICH WAY?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
Not having a road map, there I stood,
shivering and lost, freezing in the frost
and GPS utterly no good

because there was no wi-fi for miles
and cell service was moot in these isles.
To gain my reprieve I was forced to leave
via atrophied wits and dead wiles.

First line from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

© copyright 2013, William Preston

***

STRANGE VISITOR FROM ANOTHER PLANET’S ATTEMPT

LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART

When love speaks, it speaks softly.
Aspiring to lofty things, of how hearts sing
in harmony that warms and soothes.
It moves them to a pinnacle
that other cynical people cannot attain.

When love speaks, it speaks softly.
A language that needs not word,
nor intention. Or any mention of past
indiscretions. Love expresses in a way
that says all it ever needs in a breathless sigh.

When love speaks, it speaks softly,
o’er the expanse of time, o’er the length
of distant miles. O’er fathoms of seas and lakes
it takes a tender thought to conjoin two souls
across an eerie connection in poetic perfection.

When love speaks, it speaks softly,
When love speaks, it is heard loudly.
When love speaks, knowing hearts believe.
When love speaks, nothing else needs to be said
when love speaks.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

Taken from “Love Speaks” by Marie Elena Good

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #120 and CLOGYRNACH

Who could imagine the variety and wonder that could come from a “list” prompt?!  In the spirit of this week’s prompt, I would like to list 1,000 of the 30,000 reasons it is impossible to choose just one “Bloom” each week.

N0?  Okay then, here are this week’s Blooms:

MARIE ELENA’S  CHOICE

Nancy Posey consistently speaks in ways that are both elegant and down-to-earth.  Because you never ask to read her poems is certainly both.  In simple language, she expresses feelings that I can only imagine every poet feels on some level.  We all want the one(s) we love most to see the worth in our words.  Yet, as Jane pointed out, not everyone speaks poetry.  Each of Nancy’s stanzas speak observation and emotion in a non-judgmental manner, and each builds on the previous.  Her use of lower case makes a statement in itself … a humbleness, so as not to come across as reprimanding from some lofty position.  Or at least that is how it comes across to me.  Her final three (full) stanzas especially touch my heart.

Nancy, you have a gift.  Thank you for sharing it here with us, and it is wonderful to have you back.

Because you never ask to read her poems (by Nancy Posey)

you’ll never know
how much your presence
shapes her thoughts,
leaving her breathless
at times
and hopeless
at others.

you’ll never know
why someone without
an ounce of superstition
reads her horoscope
and yours
picks four-leaf clovers
pressing them between
the pages of books
her
and yours.

you’ll never know the little
worries she picks
like a hangnail
and practices
telling you, standing
before the bathroom mirror

you’ll never hear the words
unspeakable,
locked so tight
they can’t escape her lips
but committed daily
to the page,
mere pencil wisps.

you’ll never receive the gift
not of mere words
but of trust, truest words
unfettered by fear.

you’ll never share the magic
she has woven for strangers
in coffee shops,
spoken aloud,
printed in journals.

You’d be surprised to know
that others have shared
her poems as Valentines,
love letters meant for you
written in other hands,
given away as love tokens.

and all you’d have to do
is ask.

WILLIAM’S BLOOM:

I selected Janice Sheridan‘s When a Friend Goes Missing because, in my opinion, it successfully transfers stream-of-consciousness emotions into words and sets them down on paper (or what passes for paper these days). It is full of raw emotions about the passing of a dear friend, and uses startling words and phrases to let us know how very dear that friend was: “Rough and Rowdy ride with a hint of pride”; “Hippy happy gauze and French vanilla”; “nothing is linear not even a race to heaven”; “the one who loves better wins the prize first”; “forgot to buckle up and buckle in”; “arrows flung in defense of her heart”; “I’ll never eat black-eyed peas again and feel Lucky.” I felt like a kid sitting open-mouthed and listening to a master storyteller whose words were like a brush on canvas. Indeed, the whole poem paints vivid pictures to make this person—and this poem—memorable, and one of the tasks of poetry, in my view, is to use words in such a way that they are remembered. I think Janice (JLynn) succeeded admirably in that central task.

WHEN A FRIEND GOES MISSING (by JLynn Sheridan)

She bought a loud Mustang at 65
A Rough and Rowdy ride with a hint
of pride. Her own hide was a mix of
Hippy happy gauze and French vanilla.

She gave me a heart attack with her
wondering ways that eventually led
to a chapel and a hymn but Lord,
she told it like it was when she was
found lost and lost she was until John 3:16
made sense but nothing is linear not
even a race to heaven.

Yesterday, she beat me to that blessing
and I can only think of the joke we might
create out of that. Something about her sins,
which are many, are forgiven—
for she loved much. But she who
is forgiven little, loves little So the
one who loves better wins the prize
first. I guess I have more learning
about love to do. She’d be the first
to point that out that malfunction in me.
Unafraid of the truth.

She lived loud and fast like a roller
coaster and often forgot to buckle up
and buckle in And sometimes she
forgot to slow down Until after she’d
been around around the ride a few
too many times. Then down she went
The phone would ring We’d share a
terse tear then she’d be silent for weeks
licking her wounds with my arrows
flung in defense of her heart.

Sometimes she rubbed salt in my
sores but always rinsed them in love
With a laugh that shattered the
window panes. She saved that laugh
for me, then thanked me for giving it to
her but truth was it was the other way around.

We hated once for awhile It was because
we knew we were safe hating each other
but it wasn’t real hate It was just growing
up and old with a side dish of cranky.

Loyal, She was always Loyal to the end
to the ones who loved her full and fast
in the static present and lingering past.

On New Year’s day, I’ll never eat black-eyed
peas again and feel Lucky. Though we
never said it, We knew we weren’t lucky.

Just held.
Whether we felt we needed it or not.
We were held.

*********************

RJ’s CLOGYRNACH BLOOM

Hi Marie! Wow! We really did get a fabulous response to this form! I am so in awe! And you were right – choosing just one is more than difficult. For so many different reasons, I have choices which resonated: Erin Kay’s Autumn Wind, for its vivid contrasts which depict the season; Marjory’s Newness, which is gorgeous, crisp, hopeful – and another autumn day; Michelle Hed’s Unknown Roads, because I loved the quote and the pairing of the intense emotion behind the words; Michael’s 1st Stanza in Early Warning, because it was just so well written; Sal Buttaci’s Mountain Hike, for it’s beautiful storytelling and it was a love story; Henrietta Choplin’s As Summer Ends, because it has balloons…and so on.

But, I know I can only pick one. Heavy sigh! Okay…okay…

I think my Bloom this week has to be Hannah Gosselin‘s May I Have This Dance. It’s evocative, metaphoric, atmospheric, and I love the visuals she casts with her words. Her use of mirroring the form was creative and it worked perfectly for her poem. Finally, her poem was, to me, musical, but musical in the way a tune from the past plays softly in the background – but it haunts and you cannot get it out of your mind. Nor do you want to.

May I Have This Dance? (by Sweet Hannah Gosselin)
~
These days spill milk-weed filament,
amber-lit fluff floats commitment;
it’s autumn’s promise.
A brilliant temptress
in white dress,
she is sent-
carried miles
on the wind.
Tattered skirts won’t mend-
torn by thorn she’ll blend,
become one, in blackberry style;
soon seed will drop and wait awhile.

Well, there ya have it. ‘Til next week…

IN-FORM POET WITH RJ CLARKEN – CLOGYRNACH

Clogyrnach pictureGirl Before a Mirror – Pablo Picasso, March 1932, MoMA – The Collection

This week we will be penning the Welsh form known as Clogyrnach (pronounced clog-ir-nach.)

This form is really a fun challenge, especially for those of you who like limericks, 5/7/5 Haiku or short form poetic forms.  It can lend itself easily to light verse (obviously), but the Clogyrnach can also be inspired and lovely with more serious themes as well.  And, just so you know, you can make it longer, by simply writing more stanzas.  Finally, if you like to make use of enjambment, this is a form where it really can work quite well.

Per Shakespeare’s Monkeys (http://shakespearesmonkeys.com/article-4652-clogyrnach):

The clogyrnach is a Welsh six-line stanza form — it can either be a single stanza poem or you can join them together to make something much longer.

There are only two rhymes per stanza (though if you’re making a longer poem, you can change rhymes as long as it’s the same pattern).  The lines have a syllable count of 8-8-5-5-3-3, and the rhyme scheme is a-a-b-b-b-a — technically, it looks like this:

x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x a
x x x x b
x x x x b
x x b
x x a

If you want to, you can actually join the last two lines together to make one six-syllable line, but it’s important to keep the rhymes in the same place, so if you do that your last line will have the b rhyme in the middle:

x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x a
x x x x b
x x x x b
x x b x x a

And that’s it.

Here are a couple of examples by yours truly:

A Matter of Opinion

“It is no use to blame the looking glass if your face is awry.” ~Nikolai Gogol

 O Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
I do not like your view at all.
You say there’s no trace
of a pretty face?!
Way off base…
I’m fair, y’all.

###

Break for Brakes

 “When you step on the brakes your life is in your foot’s hands.” ~George Carlin

 When stomping on your brakes, it’s true,
your car does what you tell it to.
Inertia laws mean
your driving machine
halts the scene
on shoe cue.

###

Now, (speaking of breaks and brakes) I know there are a few of you out there who like to break the rules.  Right?  Of course, right.  So, for the non-purists among us, here’s an example of rule breaking where the syllabics actually remain the same, but the rhyme scheme is different (in this case, aabbcc.)  And while not a true Clogyrnach because of the change-up, the following poem is a reasonably close facsimile, which some may find a scosh easier to write.  Either way, the idea here is to use your creativity and have a swell time!

Holding My Breath

 “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

I think I’ve held my breath too long
This line denotes my pen’s torch song.
When under water
is it for naught, or
‘til my death
are words breath?

###

And on that note… Ready, set…start poeming! ~RJ

MARIE ELENA’S SILLY STAB AT IT

DING DONG DITCH (EXACTLY LIKE POEMING, ONLY DIFFERENT)

Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Clogyrnach.  Who?
Knock knock Clogyrnach, where are you?
Knock knock, weirdly stalked
Keep your front door locked.
“Clogyrnached!”
Verb?  Who knew?

© copyright 2010, Marie Elena Good

… and while you’re poeming, you might want to check out Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides prompt for today:  Write an illusion poem.

PROMPT #120 – MAKING A LIST. CHECKING IT TWICE.

In this day of little computers disguised as phones, paper-and-pencil lists may be going the way of the dodo. Nonetheless, many people still make lists somehow. For this week, you do the same. Write a poem that is basically a list of what you like, or don’t like, about something or someone you like, or don’t like.

MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT

“On October 27, 1967 I met with my mother. She’d been dead since September 30, 1959. At 8:00 P.M. local time, Con Thien, Vietnam, as artillery shells landed within inches of my position with the Third Marines, my world, my body and my mind explosively turned upside down and inside out.” ~ Daniel Paicopulos

THIS IS WHAT VALOR LOOKS LIKE

What do I know of my mother

f
a
l
l
i
n
g

D  e  a  d

at my teenage feet.
What do I know of being
blown

a*p*a*r*t

in body and spirit
at the hands of an enemy
I didn’t choose.

What do I know of channeling
raging pain
into charity for my fellow man.

What do I know of love,
benevolent and boundless,
born of anguish.

What do I know of smiling
eyes
lips
heart
for every being in my path.

What would I know of heroism,
but for you?

© copyright 2010, Marie Elena Good

WILLIAM’S EXAMPLE

THE GRAND OLD GAME

Baseball is spring and summer
blessing autumn with a burst of green.

Baseball is hot dogs and beer and peanuts
and all the time in the world to eat them.

Baseball is ballet afield, a circling chorus
dancing around a square,
forever rounding it off.

Baseball is waits, pauses, meditations,
punctuated from time to time by explosions.

Baseball always returns, to wait.

Baseball is failure.
Most of the time, you’re out,
yet now and then you cross the plate.
Baseball, therefore, trains you for life.

Baseball is coming home again.

A game of nights and lights these days,
baseball nonetheless brings eternal days,
for it is never punctual;
it is ruled by runs, not time.

Baseball is a game;
the umpire says, “play ball,”
not “work ball,”

which is why we can’t do without it.

© copyright 2013, William Preston

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #119, and GOETHE STANZA

When  a single Poetic Bloomings prompt gleans more than 360 comments, it means two obvious things:  1) It sparked inspiration, and 2) We have the most encouraging, supportive, interconnected poets on the planet.  You folks warm my heart.

MARIE ELENA’S SELECTION

Whenever I select one of De Miller Jackson‘s poems, I feel at a loss to effectively explain why.  Perhaps because explaining brilliance falls far short of experiencing it for oneself.  If you haven’t read De’s Rearview Mirrors, I suggest you do … experience for yourself the wealth of life’s wisdom, well-chosen words, appealing assonance and alliteration, connotation and use of enjambment, brilliant wordplay … all in three short stanzas.  Awe-mazing.

Rearview Mirrors (by De Miller Jackson)

Look too long,
and your song
will be stilted,
wilted by wish
and wonder
and why. Just fly
forward, cherish
those rough road
-rash places where
wrong turns event
-ually meant
something raw
and rare
and real.

Inhabit
the scars
that got you
here.

Make room for
that old hitchhiker,
            Hope,
and other objects
closer than they
appear.

WILLIAM’S BEAUTIFUL BLOOM OF CHOICE

After the usual struggle with so many good poems, I selected Michael Grove‘s work for several reasons. The first lines are compelling and captivating. The three stanzas have successive functions in carrying the story along: setting the stage; transition, and a satisfying resolution. The rhyming is gentle, apt, and not obtrusive. The structure aids the whole, in my opinion, and the little pauses (the “ors”) in each stanza remind the reader that choices are being made all the time, and one has the ability to choose to “live for this new dream.” I thought the whole effort was simply magnificent.

 OLD WOUNDS WITH FADING SCARS (by Michael Grove)

 He turned around
and watched himself out wandering.
He stood his ground
and spent so much time wondering
who he really is
or
who he’s meant to be.
He turned his head again.
Now, He can finally see.
 
There was a vision
of the future in the past.
Then a decision
which was surely meant to last.
It was time to change
or
He’d be left behind.
So he got packing
to search and seek and find.
 
There will be no tears
over spilt milk or burnt toast.
No dwelling on the fears
that can bind him up the most.
Live for this new dream
or
reach for distant stars.
Don’t be focused on
old wounds with fading scars.
 

*********************

RJ’s GOETHE STANZA BLOOM

Once again, it was incredibly difficult to pick just one bloom from the many incredible, heartfelt poem responses which were posted. So many touched me and resonated with meaning and emotion. As I posted earlier in the week, I wish those poems never had to be written at all, but sadly, that’s not the reality.

So, I went back and forth a number of times. Because I can only choose one bloom, here’s my pick:

Ellen Knight’s ‘The Lesson’ (first version.) It is so powerful, that the language of her poem seemed to take on a life of its own. In fact, Ellen’s last three lines wholly blew me away. I think it’s a testament to Ellen’s skill as a poet that she could make her case so profoundly. So let us hope that ‘hatred bound’ never again can become something ‘hatred reaches.’

The Lesson (by Ellen Knight)

Alone we find it hard to stand
 
And balance what we can’t remember.
How much greater the demand
 
What happened in that fell September.
 
Together, when we stand as one,
 
Collective memory beseeches,
That we all learn what can be done
 
When hatred bound in hatred reaches.
 

Congratulations, De, Mike, and Ellen!

IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY WITH RJ CLARKEN – GOETHE STANZA

Dear Poets:

Originally, I was planning on a different form for today.  However, considering today’s In-form Poet arrives on an unutterably terrible day filled with much sadness and pain, I felt the form I was going to use lacked the necessary gravitas and stillness.  So, instead, for today, our plan is to write the Goethe Stanza and next week, we’ll get to something which at least some of you might find a little lighter in spirit.

What gave me the idea for today’s form, as you will note, are the two columns lying [horizontally] in the middle of the stanza.  While not intentionally designed for that specific  purpose obviously, it can lend itself to work which is more able to contain sentiment and reminiscence for that particular day.  If you so choose.  As always, you are not being directed at In-form Poet to write to a particular theme.

If you visit Terry Clitheroe’s wonderful The Poets Garret, you will find a marvelous catalog of poetic forms.  For today, we are going to work on one of the forms found there: the Goethe Stanza.  Here’s the link for this particular form, if you want to see more examples of it: http://www.thepoetsgarret.com/2008Challenge/form11.html.

As Mr. Clitheroe states:

Goethe Stanza … a very different poetry form than most poets are used to…  With this one, each stanza comprises a single line, a couplet and a single line.  Each single line rhymes with a line from the couplet: one starting and one completing the stanza.  Here is the suggested pattern (and yes, there is no set meter):

 x x x x x x x a

x x x x x x x b
x x x x x x x a

x x x x x x x b

Here’s an example of a Goethe Stanza I wrote a few years ago, which actually seems a bit apt right now:

The Phoenix Arises (by RJ Clarken)

There sits a dull grey pile of ash

created from a blazing fire
which sprung forth from a brilliant flash.

How many times can he expire

and then somehow be born again?

Still, we watch for his bright plumage.
The question is not how, but when

he’ll arise from cindered  tomb-age.
###

As you can tell from my poem, I still have hope within me.

That having been said, I’m really looking forward to seeing what you write today.

Ready…set…start poeming!  ~RJ

MARIE ELENA’S GOETHE STANZA

FREEDOM

Concrete and steel may be reduced

Eternally to scrap and ash
By those whose souls would be seduced

To fashion madness, unabashed.

But hatred cannot silence love

Nor quell a hero’s bravery,
And would procure the freedom of

The heart ensnared in slavery.

© copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013

… and while we are poeming, Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides prompt for today is to write an appointment poem:  http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-236