BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

The Poets

December 27, 2011

Sleep

Sleep

A thousand angels watch'd him sleep
(His slumbers, ah, were ever deep)
And she, with gazing eyes as they
Approaching softly where he lay
Did ever silent keep

She touch’d his cold and pallor’d clay
And wept (her weary tears were gray)
And as she stood there sad and bleak
She bent to kiss his lifeless cheek
And curs’d the light of day

-jwm


Of the Poem (Inspiration):

The inspiration for the poem above came from a short, albeit quite shocking, poem I read some two to three years ago called, Another (Here a Pretty Baby Lies). It was written by a 17th century
Cavalier poet, Robert Herrick (a poet that I hadn’t really studied much until recently).

Here it is in its entirety is as follows:

Here a pretty baby lies
Sung asleep with lullabies:
Pray be silent and not stir
Th' easy earth that covers her.

In the first three lines of his poem one imagines a baby asleep in a crib; but then, shockingly, one comes to realize that the poem speaks of the burial of a child. In my poem 'sleep' as symbolic of death isn’t openly articulated until the second stanza (much like the fourth line in Herrick’s piece).

Anyhow, although Herrick's poem is much more intense, I'm utterly satisfied with the finished work. Hope you are as well ...

5 comments:

BerlinerinPoet said...

Wow. So moving, John!

P.J. said...

You are a master, in a way.

Da other Part of 'Zo said...

Have you ever watched an artist remake an old song and it turns out to be either on par or better than the original? "Sleep" reminds me of this. The way you took this topic and formatted it to your style = SILKLY SOUL SMOOTH! (Currently taking notes)

John W. May said...

Thanks, you guys ... your words mean a lot to me.

BerlinerinPoet, your too kind, lady. Thank you.

P.J. No, YOU are the master poet, and a prolific writer of poetry, I might add.

Da other Part of 'Zo, I love love love the way you experiment with poetic forms (truth is you inspire the desire in me to engage different forms and devices as well) ...

P.J. said...

/I might add that I still write as much, just not on the internet at the moment.

As of April 9th, 2010