The academics scoff at sonnets,
She’d tried for a prize but she ain’t won it.
So now she’s trying to overcome it.
Sitting with a bowl in which to vomit
Her distaste for free and formless verse
Which has allusions, often terse.
To Greek sun gods and Latin lovers
Around whose heads an owl often hovers;
She wants to write
something which a professor
of creative writing or even
a professor of English literature and post modernism
would praise and recommend her
so that she’d make a lot of dough
and be able to convert her garden shed
into a real room with a light and a desk
She’d need a heater too,maybe a vest.
I mean like those we wore at school,
made by Chilprufe as a rule
Though I am unsure if chilprufe still exist
and anyway her lover prefers satin and silk
Underneath the flowered quilt.
Still she could change if she had blinds and curtains
on the shed windows.
and if she never let her lover into the shed…
Because there’s no room in there for a bed
And there are mice,though some are dead
Because they had the pest controllers in..
They even disinfect the bin.
Anyway,what I believe is,she wants to do whatever is the
most financially rewarding, fame making, glamorous kind of writing
I’d say give up poetry and go in for Advertising.
Because the Muse never comes to those who long
to be more famous than their song..
Or if she does there is a price…
Sylvia Plath has paid it twice
When you touched me so.
Maybe you never knew
What your words would do.
Where lovers once embraced
And thus you bring torment
To me to whom love you sent.
When I close my eyes
My daytime face then dies.
I look across dark seas
To sacramental trees.
My dreams are full of loss.
Is night or day the worse?
When we return next here
I gaze upon your face,
Forbidden to embrace.
My arms ache deep inside,
As if in agony tied.
Torn apart by grief
Love is now a thief.
Where has God’s face gone
As brightly shines the sun?
The pains of life are sharp,
Cutting through the heart
But still we turn towards love,
With all the strength we have.
Trusting in the dark
And emptiness beside
I step into the void
Love can’t be denied
The protesting world
cries out like a trumpet
playing “The last post.”
The eyes of the lost ask me to tell
what is unspeakable,
but I have nothing
except to ask why bugles are not played for you
at Remembrance Ceremonies.
Were you not soldiers too,
fighting for the right to breathe?
The “right to life,”
As you dragged yourself off the truck
Not quite believing but
Soon you would be silent amd still.
Your teeth carefully taken for gold”
Yes,they were green alright
Recycling was very important to the Nazi..
One might almost say they were the pioneers here of what we do today
So was hygiene. They practised so well
How to wash their hands clean from guilt,
So much soap they needed
So they could play Mozart
and tenderly touch their children
Then sleep on clean linen enjoying such dreams.
Soon the world would be perfect.
all in order,all tidied away,
Unique,complete, orderly ,dead..
Yes, death of everything w as the real final solution.
All packed away in boxes,
Waiting for the Resurrrection.
How far is it to heaven from where we started?
Would Jesus like to meet you now,to greet you,
So pure,clean and perfect?
You have cut out your own heart with the breadknife
Because it troubled you so,beating like that.
When you were only doing your duty.
Doing what men have to do.
A dove flew up as the agnostic man comforted the
And hand in hand they died right there
At the foot of the Cross.
Which you revered,I believe.
But it was God’s son hanging there
And you all knew.
I can’t love you without loving the whole world too.
I can’t open my heart unless everyone can be part.
Wait for me.
I’m not afraid.
Wait for me.
I may be delayed.
I see you in my mind
Smiling, sad and kind.
I can’t love you
Unless I love the lost too.
Give me your hands
Outstretched across the world.
We’re all one
Love has begun
In summer time when sun do shine
I’m happy on my own
I gaze up through red maple leaves
All transparent in the sun.
But when winter comes I’m lonely
Sitting here beside my fire.
So I want a winter lover
To keep my spirits higher.
Oh,my winter love come to me
And I’ll gaze deep into your eyes
The light that shines in there
Is so much warmer than my fire.
We’ll go through wintry woodlands,
Where elegance lies bare.
The branches struck by sun
Now feel the frosty grasp of air.
I’ll love you all the winter time.
I’ll love you in the dark.
I’d like to rest within your arms,
And have a peaceful talk
When summer comes I’ll disappear
To roam across the dales
I’ll sleep on heather moorlands
And send you loving mail.
I can’t be tied in summertime
I must be roaming free.
But ,if you accept this need of mine,
To you I’ll faithful be.
A window is the wind’s eye.
This article is by Carol Rumens
Poem of the week: The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins
This time, Hopkins’s astonishing control of his wildly experimental form is as awe-inspiring as its subject matter
Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote “The Windhover” in May, 1877. He had been a student at St Bueno’s Theological College for three years, and this was a productive period: the year of “God’s Grandeur”, “Spring” and “The Starlight Night”, among others. “The Windhover” is the most startlingly experimental of this gorgeous tranche of sonnets. Hopkins seems at ease, fully in control of the energies of his sprung rhythm and effortlessly folding the extra-metrical feet he called outrides (see line two, for example) into the conventional sonnet form. He recognised his own achievement, and, sending a revised copy to his friend Robert Bridges, declared that this was the best poem he’d ever written.
Much discussed and interpreted, “The Windhover” plainly begins with, and takes its rhythmic expansiveness from, a vividly observed kestrel. That the bird is also a symbol of Christ, the poem’s dedicatee, is equally certain. Perhaps too, its ecstatic flight unconsciously represents for Hopkins his own creative energy. When he exclaims “How he rung upon the rein…” his image might extend to the restraints and liberations of composition. The phrase means to lead a horse in a circle on the end of a long rein held by its trainer, and it certainly makes a neat poetic metaphor.
What a marvellous sentence Hopkins sets soaring across the first seven lines of the octet: I particularly like those cliff-hanger adjectives summoned “in the riding/ Of the rolling level underneath him steady air”. The diction throughout is rich and strange: “wimpling” (rippling and pleating), “sillion” (a strip of land between two furrows), “the hurl”, “the achieve”. There are resonant ambiguities: “buckle” for example could be imperative or indicative, and it could mean any of three things: to prepare for action (an archaic meaning), to fasten together, or to bend, crumple and nearly break (“buckled like a bicycle wheel” as William Empson remarked when analysing the poem in Seven Types of Ambiguity).
The metaphysics may be complex but the imagery of riding and skating are plain enough. The wheeling skate brilliantly inscapes the bird’s flight-path. It’s important to our sensation of sheer, untrammelled energy that we see only the heel of the skate, and not the skater. Empson wrote that he supposed Hopkins would have been angered by the bicycle-wheel comparison, but I am not at all sure he would have been: the poem welcomes ordinary physical activity, and a cyclist has his heroic energies and painful accidents like any other athlete.
Christ’s Passion is central to the poem, the core from which everything else spirals and to which everything returns. The plunge of the windhover onto its prey suggests not simply the Fall of man and nature, but the descent of a redemptive Christ into the abyss of human misery and cruelty. References to equestrian and military valour (the dauphin, the chevalier) evoke the Soldier Christ, a figure to be found in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola which Hopkins devotedly practised. The swoop of this hawk-like dove is essentially spiritual, of course. But the poem doesn’t forget or devalue the “sheer plod” of the farm-labourer – another alter ego, I suspect.
It’s remarkable how the sestet slows down without losing energy. Instead of flight there is fire: is this a reference to Christ’s post-mortem descent into Hell? The adoring “O my Chevalier” softens to a Herbert-like, tender “Ah my dear”. And now the great impressionist painter, having so far resisted any colour beyond that suggestive “dapple-dawn”, splashes out liberally with the “blue-bleak” embers and the “gold-vermilion” produced by their “gall” and “gash” (both words, of course, associated with the Crucifixion). Again, there is terra firma as well as metaphysics. The earth is broken by the plough in order to flare gloriously again, and the warm colours suggest crops as well as Christ’s redemptive blood. Beyond that, we glimpse some other-worldly shining, a richness not of earth alone. As always in Hopkins’s theology, Grace in the religious sense is not to be divorced from athletic, natural, often homoerotic, grace. In fact, it is fuelled by it.
To Christ Our Lord
I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing.
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
I never had acumen as such;
I trusted in people too much
An innocent with a heart
Till it bled from your dart.
Now I’m cynical and hate most men from the start.
Is acumen innate in anyone?
If so my parents passed none on
I don’t like investing
And finance is testing.
But I love and am loved so I’ve won.
I am finding acumen hard to use
Its three syllables make me confused
How to pronounce it
Is too hard,so denounce it.
As we don’t want to feel self bemused.
Fortunately I am not self employed
As accounting and tax me annoy..
I am a voice in the forest
Humorous and honest.
But of acumen I am supremely devoid
Love is simple,love is plain.
Will love ever come again?
Life is joy and life is woe.
Through its pains all humans go.
Love enlightens and discloses
Thoughts as sweet as summer roses.
Take me back to Northern hills
Where my fraught soul with honey’s filled.
All I want is to be there,
With you ,my love,now grown so dear.
Oh,love is kind and love is rare.
We’ll not discover better fare.
Feed me with such love again,
And I shall be a most blessed one
I only began to write sonnets a few months ago.I was afraid to try as I imagined it was very hard,but eventually I wanted to try.I sometimes do find it difficult but I am enjoying it now.I was reading a book by Leslie Farber called,The Ways of the Will.In this he says that anxiety neurosis is caused by, “trying to will what cannot be willed.”I found that idea fascinating.
We can make ourselves lie down,but we cannot sleep by will power.
We can sit at a desk all day but cannot will ourselves to get inspiration.
I am sure you can think of many examples yourselves.So we need will sometimes but also we need to allow things to happen;we are not always in control.. we cannot be but we wish to be.
Think of our brains and bodies… it’s all outside our control…as is most of the Universe,God and all… despite our technology and science.
The daydream is despised by many folk
who feel that willpower is the better way.
Yet daydreams often bring creative thoughts
and teach us what to do and what to say.
I fear it is the modern curse to will,
When will cannot achieve the wanted end.
And trying too hard is effort and may kill,
where reverie and dream can make us mend
The emptiness of mind is too much feared
As if we do not trust in God nor man.
Yes,take the tiller, and with perception steer…
We do the little that we should and can.
For dreams can work in harmony with will,
As long as we can make our minds quite still.
Whatever evil humankind may do,
The sun will rise and shine on one and all.
Mercy ,grace and love are spread anew
As apples ripen and the sweet birds call.
What is the mystery of the world we know;
That God looks with dispassion on us all?
And what his wondrous virtues are to show
When wolves attack and murder does appall.
Will heaven compensate the refugees
Who starve in camps when money is withheld.
From those who gave us prophets and great seers
We see confusion,fear then ethics felled.
So often we are blind to wider views
And get mere entertainment from the News
Indifference tolls the knell of humankind
So easy just to turn our eyes away
We often self deceive or mimic blind;
So Hitler goosestepped while foolish Pope but prayed
How bright the candlelight on Christmas trees
And tender children widen joyous eyes
Yet for the other,we will hear no pleas.
At every heartbeat “foreign” babies die..
Can we love any but those with our same ?
what sense the story in which Arab aiding Jew?
Is the underlying truth not seen
As Jesus said the chosen are but few
We split the world into a double view
The good, the bad,the heart of darkness slew.
He ‘d held me in his arms and said,
what I had a never read,
That life is more than learned discourse.
So as he spoke, I watched his face
And his rich dark eyes;of course
His eyes gave out such natural force
More strong and subtle than the song of birds.
Yes,almost like a poet’s words
In how he moved me like no other man;
No matter how they think they can,
They lose the step and do not dance
And never ever chance
A leap when they might lift me high
Above their head. I’d want to fly.
Yes,the form and feeling give an extra note
To express those feelings more remote…..
We do not need to speak or write
We have both touch and our eye sight.
And yet our human discourse is a need
An anchor,lest the current’s speed
Should crash us down on Coniston,
And we’d be gone.
Just write it down
A verb ,a noun..
A string of sighs,our mouths,our eyes.
A paragraph that never dies,
within your finger tips and cries
For pen and paper and my wish to save
Some part of you,some heart some art
far beyond your grave.
short-eared durham owl meditating over the dale's edge, shadows the fields and folds in elegant diurnal flight. on windside,careful sight may swoop to prey and away. your yellow broad-eyed look, at once both sharp and distant, holds me. oh,silence, oh ,wind on green, oh. earth, sky. immense your held vision, sphere without centre, pied geometer of flight, sketch your descent and ascent.
trees bunched by dry stone wall call heart home.
Some days are days for losing
Some days are days for losing
Some days are days for finding
Mobile phones and patience.
Some days are days for finding
New friends and old relations.
Some days I feel at sea for hours,
Some days I feel so lost.
Some days I know that life’s worthwhile
Whatever the emotional cost.
Days are special units
In the journey we call life.
Days are short so don’t waste time
In needless haste or strife.
The old red wall is dressed in stems of wood
In wintertime, we see the ancient bricks.
But in the springtime come the flower buds.
We see no more of Jack Frost and his tricks.
Which vision is the true one, we may ask
Just as with the faces we each show.
But is there any virtue in that task
Reality is impossible to know.
Each perspective gives a vision new.
The more we see , the more we realize.
Other cultures have a different view.
The argument is futile and unwise.
As when and where we stand gives us our view.
l perceive life differently than you
From time and place and season I am lost,
Disorientated ,missing tracks well worn
Do not suppose I’m unaware of cost
Nor label me with epithets of scorn
For usual paths lead to the usual place
The safest way to live and perhaps to die
But wandering through the woods I find new space
and in the wild flowers with the fox I lie.
Through dark trees, i see a way to go
as narrow as a slit in pallid stone
This is my destined way, I seem to know
and courage rises even as I moan.
Remember when we’re lost ,we may then find
Another way,a place,another mind
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods …
But there is no road through the woods.
Though love is welcome when at first it dawns
And even when it ripens in the sun
Soon may come sensations all forlorn
A dread that asks us what love might become.
For yearning as we do for hope and care
Yet also don’t we fear to lose our self?
And so to wonder fearful how we’ll fare
Blighting both our spirits and our health.
The risks of loss and gain are not yet known
A judgement must be made on partial facts
To be at once too trapped and too alone
To treat the other with both truth and ttact
With faith and trust we show our human face
And hope we each survive that sweet embrace
The comfort of another’s kindly glance
The solace of a writer”s l voice.
These may arrive as if by chance.
To be responsive is in part our choice.
Some days our shell is closed, and all rebuts.
Not even loving arms or lips are felt.
So little on this earth will bring comfort
Until this hardness wants itself to melt.
Be wary as it may not yet be time
Far better hide until right days are born.
To let our soul reject the dagger fine.
We needs respect a fear of ruinous scorn.
Though isolated,lost, uncertain we may feel,
These dream wrought symbols make the soul to heal
In sweet darkness, love calls down a soul
To be embodied in its mother’s’ womb.
Our growing pains by her are soon consoled
In this way we make an inner room.
Our sacred space is where our spirit lives
God alone can enter that deep place.
We touch a shining blackness which so gives
Life itself through fruitful dark ,rich space.
For those whom fortune has too soon betrayed
Whose mothers lacked protection and kind care.
Lack of such a space may soon degrade.
And lead the lost to live in blank despair.
If we have fortune ,let us aid the weak.
And in vain quarrels,silence let us keep