The Poets

January 07, 2011

A Ballad of Birth



I knew before I came to be
The planet I would tread,
But angels who were prepping me
Put sleep within my head-

They gathered Lethe’s velvet soup
And I (with willing heart)
Drank down the dregs before the group
And from them did depart.

With hard obliteration rife
I slipped into a shade-
Nor death I gained, nor lost I life,
But memory did fade.


I entered through a temporal night
Toward light I can’t explain;
A death of sorts, devoid of fright,
Brought sleep devoid of strain.

My slumber’s dreams? - I cannot say -
I pray I wish I could ..
But I within a deluge lay-
I thought I’d lay for good.

Then amniotic fluids blew
And imminent was birth-
That planet that I former knew
Was fast approaching: Earth!


There came a drumming in my chest
As slowly I awoke-
Those mortal tappings at my breast
Did thoughts of life evoke.

I drew in earthly vapors deep-
Exhaling them with ease-
And as my eyes awoke from sleep
I felt the Vital Breeze ..

Benevolence of Life I felt
The more I was aware;
And though I knew not where I dwelt,
I knew that Home was here.


Of the Poem (Poetic Parameters):


Stanza: : Ballad, Common Measure, Quatrain
Meter: Alternates between a tetrameter (8 syllables per line), and a trimeter (6 syllables)
Rhyme Scheme: abab per stanza (9 total stanzas)


This poem was influenced by the very last chapter of Emanuel Swedenborg's book, Divine Love and Wisdom, where he talks about the coming into being of a human being. Some of the images, like that of Lethe, were inspired by other sources (e.g. Greek mythology).

The structure was based on the common measure and divided into sections similar to Roethke's poem, The Lost Son. I felt, as I have with a few other poems I’ve written in the past, influenced by Dickinson here.

The sections correspond- roughly and indeed symbolically- to departure from the old (section I), the process of that departure (section II), and the arrival of the new (final section).

Hope you enjoy ...


Nancy said...

Intoxicating. Sublime. The breath of Life. I love ... "Benevolence of Life I felt / The more I was aware." Yes, I enjoyed it. Truly.

Regina said...

as always, music to my ears and truly scrumptious :-)

Leslie Lim said...

I would like to share it with all my friends and hope they will like it too.


As of April 9th, 2010