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
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!