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

October 27th – Write 31 Days – Red Oak

red-oakSometimes a picture comes out more spectacular than I think it will. Today’s picture of a red oak leaf looks like the leaf is right on the glass!  It’s kind of amazing how things turn out so perfect and you aren’t even trying, or well, you just don’t think it will be that way.

The colors on the trees has been so spectacular this year, but I have failed to capture enough of it, waiting till it is nearly twilight to take pictures, which does not help. Nor have I been inclined to take my camera out with me that much. But the black oaks are now turning on the hills and there is this fluffy, nubbly carpet of yellow ochres, and yellow browns, tans and various shades of yellow from them. It’s a warm feel.

This oak in the picture turns a lovely red…. then the leaves turn brown and hang on the tree half the winter. It’s rather nasty looking, but the red is especially stunning.

 

I robbed the Woods-
The trusting Woods.
The unsuspecting Trees
Brought out their Burs and mosses
My fantasy to please.
I scanned their trinkets curious-
I grasped-I bore away-
What will the solemn Hemlock-
What will the Oak tree say?
~Emily Dickinson

Kate

October 26th – Write 31 Days – October’s Playboy

october-playboyThe Playboy rose has been flinging it up and rounding out the year with another round of blooms. The rose has bloomed several times this year, each flush more beautiful then the last. Roses in October, nearly November? It’s a rare treat. The color like the best can-can show. A flashy little number to liven it up a bit.

Can you tell I love my Playboy rose? We now have four plants.  Heaven. I’m in heaven.

Ribbons of the Year-
Multitude Brocade-
Worn to Nature’s Party once

Then, as flung aside
As a faded Bead
Or a Wrinkled Pearl
Who shall charge the Vanity
Of the Maker’s Girl?

~Emily Dickinson

Kate

October 25th – Write 31 Days – Golden Mornings

golden-morningsIn fall, it’s common to wake up to lots of clouds with the threat of rain. I’m typing this on the 24th where the prediction of rain is at 100%…. It’s currently raining.  I could have sworn there was only a 30% chance, but that is so far from what it’s doing now.

But some mornings there is this thick blanket of clouds, the mountains shrouded with mist and the cold wind blowing; yet in the east, there is this break, right over the mountains. Just enough of a break for the sun to come up a shining, dazzling diamond. Breaking through the mist, shining so bright through the pines, giving everything a golden glow to the otherwise cold morning.

Morning that comes but once,
Considers coming twice-
Two Dawns upon a single Morn,
Make Life a sudden price.
~Emily Dickinson

Kate

October 4th – Write 31 Days – Misted Mountains

misty-mountains

The first three days of October have been misted over and rainy and the perfect start to October. Wait, just wait till I get to the James Taylor feelings. The days are coming. I love the mountains misted over. What you can’t see is that it snowed yesterday and the day before high up on the tips. A dusting at 6000 feet. Oh fall, you are here.

Beclouded

The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A traveling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.
Emily Dickinson

Side note…. I love Emily Dickinson. Like LOVE her. So finding this little one is so lovely and perfect for today.

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

Lanterns

Emily Dickinson Lanterns  When I saw this quote from Emily Dickinson, I thought it had to be from a poem  and I wanted to find it. Sadly, it seems to be just a quote. I feel it could have been something marvelous.
I found this wonderful picture, and combined the quote with it, and I think it’s perfect.
It reminds me of Loreena McKennitt‘s song ‘The Mummers Dance,’ and sometimes I feel I need to go looking for myself. What a more romantic way than by lantern light.

Happy Sunday
Kate

In The Stacks

I know, this is a guy, not a girl...

She sat on the floor, knees bent.  Sheltered in the back stacks of the library, in the unpopular sections, like poetry, biographies, and various literature, the scent of musty books, aged paper and ink, and time gone by, she let the atmosphere float around her.  An irregular square of light reflected on the wall above her head, its shape constantly moving from the wind tossing around the Norway maple shading the skylight that was the square.

Sounds of rustling paper, the tapping of keyboard keys, and murmured discussions sent a prickle of delight up her spine.  Goose-flesh broke out on her skin and she could feel every hair on her head tense.  She loved this feeling.  It relaxed her like nothing else.  Sometimes she would get the same tingle when someone brushed her hair.

There was a tranquility being in the library.  No one bothered her while she flipped through a book of Emily Dickinson’s poetry.  She read random lines, not really focusing on the words, but letting them roll off her form like water rolls off a duck’s back.  Noticeable, but not.  She floated in mind as she read but still consciously listened to the movement of other patrons. 

A printer  turned on and the warm, whirring motor sound made her feel like she was in a warm blanket.  Keys clicked on a keyboard and she pictured an office with secretaries typing away.  A newspaper crackled as someone shook out the pages.  She pictured an old man with white hair, his glasses sitting low on the bridge of his nose.

A couple of school girls came in, giggling and joking with each other, more loudly then they should have been.  The sound jarred her for a moment before she heard the librarian shush them.  They scurried off towards some other deep recess of the library, still giggling.  The heating system turned on and she felt the warm air blow up behind her back.  She was practically sitting on the vent in the floor.

She sat there just being a part of the library.  Hiding in the stacks.

 Okay, flash fiction time!  I think this is my new favorite thing, now that I know that I’m actually doing it.  I love the library.  I used to be a substitute librarian for two years and it was my thing.  I still go to my local library on a weekly basis, more if I have time, and I can be found sitting on the floor in the poetry section, many times.  So if you happen to see me there, ‘shush’, I’m reading and taking it all in.  Probably with the relaxed gooseflesh hair raised thing going on.

Signing off

~Kate

The Insane Poet

Okay, after having e.e. cummings’ complete works for three weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that that man was completely delusional.  Oh, sure, I found a couple of his poems that were very cool, Little Tree being one of them, but honest to god, that man was odd.  No, I did not mean to rhyme there.

A bit cracked in the head?

There is something about writers, and I am one to talk, but there are certain writers whom I think are just not all there.  The funny thing is, the writing world, academic world, and hoity toity world regard them as brilliant.  Seriously?  What is it that makes someone brilliant?  You can’t understand a word they are saying?  Is that what determines what a great writer/poet is?

Sure, I have my own ‘insane’ writers.  I am a huge fan of Emily Dickinson.  Most of the time you really can’t understand what she is saying, but there are brief moments you feel you do.  However, can you really understand any  writer?  For what they write, and this is especially true if they are long dead, is it possible to actually know what they are or were saying?  Do we really know what Shakespeare was talking about in his Sonnets?  And only after going through some of them recently have I wondered at his sexual orientation.  You are reading one of the greatest love story writers around, and you are left to wonder, well, was he straight or not?  Because I’m sorry, but some of those sonnets are not to a woman.  I’m sorry, being a writer, and a woman who loves men, I don’t think I could wax poetic about a woman….

Just saying.

I just wonder why we tout these authors as great when in all reality, do we really even know what they were saying?  And I’m not talking  sayings and word phrasing that was used commonly  200 years ago.  Sir Walter Scott is coming to mind and his Lady of the Lake.  Some of it really doesn’t make a ton of sense, but once you pull out the glossary at the back of the book, you get the just of it. 

Before or after you go crazy?

But e.e. cummings?  I’m still wondering on his love of the parentheses and capital letters at random points, not counting all the word sp-
lits.  Yes, that split was supposed to be there to make a point.  Maybe I should add in a few space-less  words. 

The reason I was adventuring into the world of that poet was because of one of his poems I heard, and then he was mentioned in Poemcrazy : Freeing Your Life With Words by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge.  Ms. Wooldridge quite enjoys e.e. cummings work.  But then, if you read any of her work, you can kind of see why….  Now I love Poemcrazy.  I just got my copy in the mail today.  Yay.  But  there is a lot in the book I just shake my head at and go, “I do not want to be the crazy lady poet.”  I don’t want to be weird.

Oh well.  This is my own take on it.  Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone by critisizing these authors.  But if I have, well it just goes with the territory.  I’m sure there are a ton of people who do not like Emily Dickinson and Sir Walter Scott.  That’s quite alright.

Signing off
~Kate