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The Poets

December 09, 2014

Of a Web

A Spider's Web

I looked and lo! a spider's web
Whose fragile silver cords were strung
Between the wall and wooden lamp
And from it there a spider hung


But it is winter's eve, and cold
And it hangs gray upon the thread
Should I repine or be relieved
Is it alive, or is it dead


-jwm

November 26, 2014

An Untitled Fragment

 
Am I, while writing poetry,
Some foreign soul, a diff'rent mind?
When I resign the poet's pen...

Do I another person find?
 
What squalid speech invades my tongue
When all my lovely Muses part!
What morbid use of words and thought
When I have not the poet's heart ...
 
But when I scale her sacred heights,
Those summits where I former dwelt,
I feel like I am born again,
And moved by Muses Homer felt.
 
-jwm
 
 
Of the Poem
 
This is a segment of a larger poem I was working on a while ago, I found it tucked away and almost forgotten. I still plan on completing the larger work, but for now I thought I'd post this portion- a portion that may very well change as I complete the rest of the poem.
 
Anyhow, I hope you like it.



November 17, 2014

Look in Thy Heart


"Foole," said my Muse to me, "Looke in thy heart and write."
Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
 

October 25, 2014

An Autumn Ballad


There's this stage during autumn where, after most of the leaves have fallen and have littered the streets and patios, where Indian summer is a distant memory, and summer barely a memory at all, where an almost imperceptible chill in the air lingers over everything, and tacitly hints at winter's approach.

During this time, and during the orange autumn evenings that this time produces, I always feel a sort of peacefulness that seems to shroud everything in view, as if the sacred presence of antiquity visited earth once again … a very beautiful time of the year.

A coldness in the air also begins to emerge, almost unnoticeable at first, and for me, thankfully so. Not that I have anything at all against winter, but during such a beautiful time of year one wishes winter to be delayed for the time being.

It is of this first vague perception of winter, expressed through the gradual emergence of coldness in the environment, that this poem is about. It is about autumn slumbering away as winter's awakening transpires.

Hope you enjoy ...




Autumn Sleeps

Beneath the naked maple boughs
Astir the autumn leaves
They rustle as the north winds rouse
And swirl below the eaves

Within this swirling there's a dance
Where dying loam gives way
And fills with musk the cold expanse
That hangs upon the day

So too the chimes that gently ring
That fain would autumn keep
Alas! the north winds through them sing
Of autumn's coming sleep

-jwm


Of the Poem (Parameters):

Stanza: Four quatrains in the form of a ballad
 

Meter: First and second line of each stanza are in iambic tetrameter (that is, eight syllables per line); the second and fourth,  iambic trimeter (six syllables per line)

Rhyme scheme: alternating, i.e. abab per stanza

Thank you for coming by and visiting my page. 

September 27, 2014

An Excellent Resource


It has been about two months since I received The Princetonn Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, and I must say, it really bums me out that I hadn't run into this incredible resource sooner. I've learned so much in the course of these last couple months just by owning it, and highly recommend the ownership of it for any at all interested in poetry, and most especially for anyone who wishes to learn some of the more technical aspects of poetry and it's history.

August 31, 2014

Angola

 

















Pale, and with the most savage breath of rum,
These godlike beasts- with brutal whips in hand-

Drove us to the godless hulls, cramped and glum,
As the night hung timid above our land.

An open secret seemed to loom in grief
On that bleak, unforgiving night of nights:
I swear, even the stars above the thief
Shamefully receded their sovereign lights!

And who would dare to help? None. Not one soul-
Either of ourselves enslaved, or others ...
And so, far from Angola's glinting shoal,
Out they sailed ... with children, men, and mothers.


-jwm

August 05, 2014

Of Clouds

 
Clouds Within

The clouds, rolling in on that solemn day,
As if to deliver the dire news,
Approached my gray zenith to mourn with me ...

And rained.

And I remembered your most godly ways,
And then loathed myself for our little time;
And as the dreadful clouds within grew dark ...
I wept.
 
-jwm
 
 
 
Dedicated to my grandmother ... miss you.

July 31, 2014

The Great Fire

 
I stood there, marveling at that great fire,
And began to laugh (silently of course),
Knowing that Nero would now fall to scorn
And that all of Rome, now writhing in flames,
Would add gossip unto gossip and curse
The emperor's belovéd name, or worse ...

-jwm

July 30, 2014

War Poet Wilfred Owen: A Remembrance Tale



Siegfried Sassoon was the first of the World War I poets that I came to study, but when I discover Wilfred Owen and his poetry I was blown away! He's an incredible writer, employing some of the most vivid and sometimes shocking imagery that I've ever read in a poet.

With that said, and it goes without saying, it pleased me to no end to come across this hour-long documentary about him. If World War I intrigues you, or if you like reading the poetry of poets that endured the unendurable environment and psychological that warfare brings, I absolutely, absolutely recommend checking this documentary out.

Déjà Vu


The roving waves   the white winds
Along the bold beach   the black sea
With humid sands   surf-drench'd sands
Tossed by tides   by trembling tides
and you

Have I, in some lauded past of mine,
Strolled these sandy shores of yore? -
Hearing those gulls, smelling the salty brine …
Have I been here before?

Those shells there glistening in the sand?
Look! the peppered surf draws near!
And that wandering crab with crooked hand …
I swear I once was here.

And your soft and sea-wet hazel hair,
And your voice's gentle tone-
And the seductive beauty of your stare
In days remote I've known …

What say you? How could this ever be?
The answer eludes it seems.
But we both were together, by this sea,
In life … and not in dreams.

-jwm

Of the Poem: 
 
The poem was inspired by a poem written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sudden Light. His poem was also about déjà vu- a term coined by Emile Boirac, a French psychic researcher, a term that Rossetti was definitely unfamiliar with- hence his poetic description of déjà vu as being 'sudden light.'

Inasmuch as the parameters go, I thought that, for the very first stanza, it would be kind of cool to utilize an alliterative verse structure with caesuras (pauses) within each line to promote the effect of a fragmented recollection of events that that might have happened in the past- events that memory seems to be desperate to puzzle together, and can't help but to believe that these are original memories from another time or life.

For the remaining stanzas (four quatrains altogether) I thought I'd let them take up a cadence of a sorts- a sort of lyrical ballad where each successive stanza culminates into the persuasion that, yes!, this memory comes from an actual time before- it goes from: "Have I been here" to "I swear I once was" to "I've known" and then finally concludes that these events did indeed occur "In life … and not in dreams."

The opening stanza is written with seven syllables in the first and third lines; the second and fourth lines are tetrameters; and of course, the fifth line refers to 'her.' The rest of the structure- the remaining stanzas- have nine syllables for the first line, seven for the second, a pentameter (ten) for the third, and a trimerter (six) for the final line.

The phrase 'crooked hand' in line eleven is a reminiscent phrase from Tennyson's poem, The Eagle.

It was a fun poem to do. I hope it's a decent read for everyone. Peace …

June 30, 2014

This is too cool ... tell me what you think.

All I’m saying is that Ezra Pound (modernist poet, born 1885) and Edward Norton (modern day actor, born 1969) both share a similarity of physical facial features that are uncanny, amazing, and nearly bordering on creepiness … take a look, tell me what you think.


Ezra Pound
 

Edward Norton


Ezra Pound
 
 
 Edward Norton

Quite Uncanny

Call me a fool- well, okay, don’t call me a fool … but is it me, or would Jeff Goldblum be the perfect actor in a movie portraying the life of one of the founders of the Beat Poets, Allen Ginsberg? Their semblance is quite uncanny- agreed?


 Allen Ginsberg



 Jeff Goldblum

June 13, 2014

"Had they but courage equal to desire ..."


I cannot begin to articulate the depth of influence that this particular poet has had on my life.

To express internal realities that transcend the mundane through mythological and eschatological writings that defy prose; to deliberately interweave those expressions so as to bring to mind brutal historical events revolving around the loss of love; to be brazenly mystical and a champion of truth via verse, is for me- in light of authenticity and the bravery of creativity- the mark of a poet worthy of historical recognition.

Happy birthday, Yeats (1865-1939). "Had they but courage equal to desire ..."

May 27, 2014

A Lowly Rose


The clouds are dear, or so to most,
Who stroll the vaulted blue like ghosts …
Drifting free and free of woes-
So calm their gentle, placid host!

But I prefer the lowly rose,
Whose fragrance woos the willing nose …
Tethered there, yet beauty clad,
And much more lovely, I propose.

-jwm


Of the Painting: 

 The painting was done by my absolute favorite artist, John William Waterhouse. He was a part of the later period of the pre-Raphaelites, and the painting is called, My Sweet Rose (or, The Soul of a Rose). This is my daughter's favorite painting of his- or at least it was a long time ago.

May 23, 2014

Edgar Allan Poe and Words




My daughter asked me what my favorite quote was and I told her I have too many to pick from. She told me to pick one and I did, then I asked her what hers was … without missing a beat she said: “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” Wow! She told me these were the words of Edgar Allan Poe. Sweet! 


May 12, 2014

Gothic Madness



 
Imagination Askew

The mind, by images misplaced,
In fantasy dwells blind and deep-
The dreamy lies it conjures up
Like lithium puts it to sleep.

-jwm

As of April 9th, 2010