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The Poets

November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Per Cicero


Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

-Marcus Tullius Cicero

November 24, 2009

Robert Penn Warren


The poet is in the end probably more afraid of the dogmatist who wants to extract the message from the poem and throw the poem away than he is of the sentimentalist who says, "Oh, just let me enjoy the poem."

-Robert Penn Warren

November 23, 2009

Under the Influence of Yeats

A year ago* I placed a journal entry referring to a poem I read by Yeats. The poem is called The Song of Wandering Aengus, and it influenced me so much so that not only would I adopt tetrameter as my own standard meter, but the rhyme scheme and stanza type would be sprinkled throughout my own works.

In fact, A Memory of Delta D.O.C. (a poem of true events) was the very first experimental stanza I wrote after having read Yeats' poem. I immediately felt comfort using these poetic parameters.


*****

A Memory of Delta D.O.C.

I left the buildings for the brink-
For Delta’s wretched grounds below-
To interface with others jailed,
When to delight a sight did show:
The prison sky seemed calm to me
As orange tints embraced her blue;
Then Jesus spoke through every cloud
With love no mortal mouth can do.


*****


I owe Yeats a great debt of thanks as his poem- this particular poem- has contributed a great deal to the poetic style of writing I’ve adopted . I thought it therefore utterly appropriate to post it here today- a sort of commemoration and extension of gratitude to Yeats and his work.


*****


The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.



*The journal entry was actually on 11/23/08 and read:

Read The Song of Wandering Aengus by Yeats; recorded the format of this poem and scripted a stanza after its manner.

November 11, 2009

Rapture (by Richard Garcia)*


Rapture

Born to dwell in darkness, this carrier of light.
Denied rapture with the Holy One, called to stand and fight.

For the sake of the lost sheep The Shepherd does require,
a child to lead them from the Butcher's blade,
sparing them the unquenchable thirst of the everlasting fire.

I look to the heavens in search of lost grace.
Shadows of this world I'm left to comfort,
tears anoint my face.

I'll walk this world of darkness, I'll carry the sword of light
I'll face the Accuser of the brethren.
Fot the Good Shepherd's flock,
I'll lay down my life.



Of the Poem:

So many have taken as their poetic topic noble subjects such as love, beauty, romance, honor, heroism, and a plethora of others. These subjects have been so thoroughly exhausted that it's difficult to produce a written work that doesn't sound like another's. So when I come across a poem that has an original signature to it, an original sound or way about it, that takes on a topic or aspect that is atypical, I get excited.

The poem above, written by aspiring poet Richard Garcia, is one of those that falls in the atypical category. Not often enough- or at least from my perspective and studies- not often enough does one come across eschatology in poetry, especially eschatology pertaining to the Christian idea of the rapture. The poem above is about one left behind after the rapture has happened, and the resolve this person has to maintain the Christian faith as a soldier of Christ in what will ultimately become the darkest of times.

In reading the poem I’m reminded of the eschatological poem of Yeat, The Second Coming. I think this poem is a good read, and give much do accolade to Mr. Garcia for the scripting of it. I’d love love love to know what others think of it.


*****

Poetic Parameters

Meter: Open Meter

Stanza: Mixed
The opening stanza is a closed couplet
The second and third are tercets
The concluding stanza is a quatrain

Rhyme Scheme:
1st stanza: a.a.
2nd & 3rd stanzas a.b.a. (per stanza)
4th stanza: Open (with a possible oblique intended with 'light' and 'life')


*Rapture by Richard Garcia
© 09/12/2008

November 08, 2009

When Last My Heart Gives Way

When last my heart gives way
To a melancholy,
When dim dark steals the day
And grief weeps of folly,
I seek Him and he loves me free
Despite my lack or sin’s degree.

When last my shame has fled
From all this soul contrite,
And sin in me seems dead-
Or dead at least the sight-
I leave Him who had loved me free,
And wish my Lord leave me to be …

… ‘til next my heart gives way.

-jwm

November 04, 2009

Wyatt’s Rhyme Royal


Sir Thomas Wyatt, along with the Earl of Surrey, is said to have introduced sonnets to the English language. Now I’ve read several of these works- all of which I both enjoyed and learned from- and every one of them were in the form of sonnets. So imagine how surprised and overjoyed I was to discover- this afternoon- that Wyatt had in fact experimented with other forms! I literally just stumbled on the poem below while browsing online.

Anyone who knows Wyatt knows that he was utterly obsessed with Anne Boleyn, a pretty young lady of the court of Henry VIII, who eventually became the Queen of England, and whose death by execution shook England’s world at the time.

The poem is obviously about love divided, and I think the presupposition that it pertains to Wyatt’s infatuation is a safe one.

To those eyes that read it here, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.


*****

What Should I Say

What should I say,
Since faith is dead,
And truth away
From you is fled?
Should I be led
With doubleness?
Nay, nay, mistress!

I promised you,
And you promised me,
To be as true
As I would be.
But since I see
Your double heart,
Farewell my part!

Though for to take
It is not my mind,
But to forsake
[One so unkind]
And as I find,
So will I trust:
Farewell, unjust!

Can ye say nay?
But you said
That I alway
Should be obeyed?
And thus betrayed
Or that I wiste--
Farewell, unkissed.

*****

Of the Poem’s Parameters:

Stanza: Septet (i.e. seven lines per stanza)
Meter: The meter here is primarily a dimeter (a form not widely used; consider Thomas Hardy's poem The Robin)
Rhyme Scheme: Wyatt follows the Rhyme Royal perfectly (i.e. a.b.a.b.b.c.c.)

This poem has excited in me a desire- which in truth I’ve had for a while- to write a poem using Rhyme Royal ... in fact, I’ve already begun, using Wyatt's model.

November 02, 2009

Pontius


Pontius

And know this, my Judean lord
'Tis I that wash the guilted pure
Thy water and thy brazen bowl
They lack the potency to cure

Though earthen silt be washed away
Despite the warning of thy wife
The guilt that stains thy blooded hands
Will 'til Vienne stain all thy life

-jwm

As of April 9th, 2010