With Apologies to Poets Great – A Poem

A while ago I created prompts for my writing group using lines from famous poems. Just a line here or there to just get you going. Well, this last Saturday, feeling uninspired, I pulled out almost all of those prompts and came up with this little number of a poem that, well, I give apologies to the greats. I took your words and mashed them up into a, well, mashup. It was fun, it got a laugh and it flowed, surprisingly enough. All without adding in much more than just a few little articles and where’s and when’s and I’s. Enjoy.

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It happened on a whim of an Autumn evening and in the morn,
when shadows, and the sun falls in little sprays to be picked by anyone
when the golden mists are born
that I traveled to Ithaca last night
and I will be in Syracuse at noon;
But it was in Cedar Rapids tonight that
I found myself, walking in Dragon street one
fine August night, and I just happened to meet
a man whose eyes where midnight shames the sun
Hair of night and sunshine spun
And he had a mermaid on his arm
an anchor on his breast
He had the looks of a man that books take ages to tell
And he told me how he fell far through
that pit abysmal, a nameless one
Indolently dreaming, puzzling till there
came a great voice to the sound of thunder
like the ancient gods
“O Lord he will hang upon him like a disease
as she doth teach the torches to burn bright
Let there be wings and yellow dust and the
drone of dreams and honey…”
And when he woke, the stars were the only
ships of pleasure at night when reddest flowers
are black, a slash of blue, a sweep of gray
Some scarlet patches on the way
And he asked me if when I go up through
the mowing field, smooth land like thatch
with heavy dew, if there is a garden,
grey with mists of autumntide where
ornamental clouds compose an evening song
And I said here lies a poet who would not write
To which he asked,’Have you forgotten
how one Summer night we wandered
forth together with the moon to
a land where the morning mist is curled
and I pondered on the complacencies of
you in your peignoir, and late coffee and
oranges in a sunny chair
And you told me the Frogs got home last week
As we sipped and ate toast and marmalade
for tea contemplating ships upon the sea…

My apologies to the poets and songs in order within the poem: P.B. Shelley, M Strobel, Philip Booth, e.e. cummings, A.C. Swinburne, Langston Hughes,  Mika, e.e. cummings, J.C. Mangan, C. Reznikoff, Shakespeare, Carl Sandburg, Elizabeth Bishop, Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Walter de la Mare, Rilke, Stevie Smith, Christina Rossetti, Robert Penn Warren, Wallace Stevens, Emily Dickinson, and the song Toast and Marmalade(a classic song)

I have pulled out my poetry anthology from Poetry magazine, years 1912-2002, marking lines that I have plans to type up, on the Royal, to add to the prompts. It’s rather fun to dabble in poetry this way. Totally nonsense, but fun. I have one other member in the writing group that has taken my prompts, not just poetry ones, and created some beautiful words. Short vignettes or poems. She’s brilliant.

Kate

My Gal Poets – Day No. 5

Emily Dickinson Poems Book Cover

Emily Dickinson Poems Book Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emily Dickinson is my girl. My poet. My inspiration. She says all those wonderful things I’m thinking of in only a few lines. She is probably the first poet I fell in love with. I’m not evne sure when she first came on the scene with me, but her words have stuck over the years. “Wild nights, wild nights…..”

Years ago, my then boyfriend gave me a selection of her poems, in this delicate white and rose colored book. Satin ribbon, and his writing inside of my name. To this day, it is one of my cherished possessions. While he and I parted ways, I loved the gift and when I’m in a romantic, sad, or poetic mood, her’s is the first book I pull out. I recently found a paperback of her entire collection of works. Whoa! I did not know she had written that much. I don’t have the time to read her often, but when I do, I want to start reading it to anyone who will listen. Sadly, very people do. ( I actually feel this way about a lot of poetry, and my family just doesn’t quite get my fascination.)

e-millay-end-of-summer

Edna St. Vincent Millay’s The End of Summer

I love male poets. Sir Walter Scott (dreamy), Billy Collins (stunning), Shelley (ethereal), John Keats (moving), Tennyson (powerful)…. I could go on as there are many others.  However, there is something about what women poets write that always gets to me. (excluding Billy Collins who’s poetry hits me like a cannon blast and I have yet to recover from some of his) Edna St. Vincent Millay is a new old poet who is rather amazing when you start reading her work. I’m seriously jealous of her sonnets partly because I cannot write a decent sonnet.   And her poem “The End of Summer” is so perfect for this time of year.

Emily Bronte is another beautiful poet. And she’s another Emily. I love my Emilys. (Emily Dickinson, Emilie Loring, Emily Bronte) Unlike the other Bronte sisters, Emily wrote a fair amount of poetry that is unique only to her. Elegant and classic, I pull out her little blue book of poetry I have when I want to feel intellectual. I rarely do, reading her. Half the time I’m not sure what exactly she is talking about, but she is lovely.

Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christina Rossetti is another classic poet.  I have one of her little ditties on my wall from an old Country Living magazine where they were talking about blue and white. “White sheep, white sheep, On a blue hill, When the wind stops, You all stand still.”  So cute in it’s own way. It would be one I would teach a child to say.  Then she has her marvelous poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” which has been turned into an ethereal song by Sarah McLachlan. I absolutely adore that song. It’s message is so perfect for Christmas and about our Lord.  If you haven’t heard it, you must. Just click below.

And lastly, Susan Wooldridge. Someone whom I’ve written about, met, and read extensively. Being that she only has three books, it’s fairly easy to do. But she has a poetry that is unique; modern in feeling. I feel like a friend is telling me things.  Her chapbook “Bathing with Ants” is so lovely and reminds me of getting a call from a friend who wanted to let you know what they thought. I female version of Billy Collins.  I can’t explain it, but you should check out her poetry and books on writing poetry.

Ah yes, woman poets and their words. Magical, and personal. I feel like a part of me is escaping when I read something of theirs. Like they are telling me what I already know, but didn’t know how to say it. And as I read more poetry, I want to collect more women poets.  I feel like they are speaking my life.

So, dearies, do you have any women poets you love?  Tell me. I’m always collecting new poets.

Kate