I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

14 June 2013

Illusion/Reality/Vision: Playing with the Rondelet

Tony Maude's prompt at dVerse Form For All today is the rondelet, a form I hadn't tried before. At first I challenged myself by using a non-traditional meter: dactylic instead of iambic. Quite hard! And the result metrically imperfect. (The space before the last line was created accidentally by Blogger, but I think it works for this poem and decided to keep it.) Then I thought I'd do a traditional rondelet but I made mistakes in the rhyme scheme and number of lines! Finally I managed a traditional one. So here they are in order. Of course they are variations on my current theme of bereavement, which I'm afraid is going to take some time to exhaust.


Illusion
(non-traditional rondelet)

Now I am dreaming and
you are here lying beside me as always you …
Now I am dreaming and
no tears are streaming and
out goes my hand and it reaches and yes, stays you
back from your death that is waiting and betrays you.

How I am dreaming! End.


Reality
(rondelet variation)

You're nine months dead.
The cats at last begin to spread
through spaces where you used to be.
You're nine months dead.
They sprawl upon the marriage bed
or on the couch alongside me;
don't leave you room, respectfully —
you're nine months dead.


Vision
(traditional rondelet)

A core of light
still radiates, I like to think:
a core of light
that gleams within this winter night,
pin-pointing you beyond the brink
of death and darkness ... this one link.
A core of light.

33 comments:

  1. These go together as a single poem, the phases of grief. Of all the form variants, I like the middle
    one the best. I always find dactyls tricky.

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    1. Thanks, Viv. Yes, I saw them as sections of a whole. LOL, you liked best the one that's 'wrong'. But I remind myself of your rule which I like so much, about form not driving the poem but the poem paying tribute to the form, and decide theres no 'wrong'. :)

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  2. I can really feel your sense of loss, sadness, even bewilderment here Rosemary. Like Viv, I saw these as three parts of a single piece, rather than three individual poems - although each could easily stand alone.

    As to the form, well I don't need to say what's "wrong" with the middle one; you know better than I do. But wrong here means technically wrong according to the form's traditional requirements, which just means that the strict form is wrong for this poem and should be adapted or abandoned, rather than being viewed as a straitjacket.

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    1. Yes, when I realised I'd made mistakes in the technical form, I didn't want to go back and change it for fear of spoiling the poem!

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  3. How amazing Rosemary! You made all three jive as one.I like the traditional one. This is mainly because it can relate to what Tony had told us. Not knowing the form I took it more to playing safe! Great write!

    Hank

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    1. Actually I like that one best too, Hank. :)

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  4. All three work to reinforce the sense of loss. I really enjoyed your work with the variations.

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  5. The feelings are intense here. Loved all the three variations

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  6. Your VISION is thrilling in its melancholy and would benefit many wo have lost somebody dear and important. It reads like a mantra and sustains.
    Technically, you managed to incorporate the refrain into the fabric of the tetrameter; something I have yet to learn.

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  7. I actually think you did a great job on showing us how it can be varied. As a poem I liked the second one, despite the slight form variation... but all were very good

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  8. Somber and filled with love and grief -- lovely.

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  9. very nice...i rather like the reality one as it comes at it rather indirectly...the cats no leaving room for him...your still missing and they...well....nice set rosemary

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  10. These are perfect the way they are... all the phases of loss. It has made me feel very very sad. Beautiful poem!

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  11. All three of these say something about the grief process. I like the way you are dealing with reality in your poems, yet still dreaming the impossible dream of your hand staying him back from death. And alas, eventually the beloved animals adjust, don't they, and no longer look...... An excellent rondelet trio, Rosemary.

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    1. I have been home with a heavy cold, doing a lot of resting. I did nod off one time and have very much the experience in the first of these.

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  12. Beautifully written as your grief is sharp in each one ~

    The last one though is specially uplifting with the refrain of the core of light ~

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  13. I really like the one called "Vision". It is respectful to The Lord and shows great love. Let me suggest an expansion of the refrain line from two to four feet.

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    1. Thank you Anders, but I want to keep that one as a traditional rondelet, and I feel the refrain is complete as it is. I do know the spirit survives death, and that is what my 'core of light' symbolises.

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  14. This touches the heart. All three are very well done--I am moved by the image in the second, the cats taking over the space once occupied by the loved one. Excellent work!

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  15. Oh shoot, Rosemary. These are touching. What you wrote cannot be contained by any form or its variations. Your sorrow reaches me through your words.

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  16. Thanks to all of you for the very kind comments.

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  17. All three are so expressive--and with different feels. Lovely when read together.

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  18. Rosemary, quite the emotional journey you've written. You validate your "Passionate" moniker for sure! Thanks for these.

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  19. oh rosemary...this just leaves me speechless...so very moving...

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  20. Oh, Rosemary! They all move me, and in order, from the miracle of your hand to noticing the cats' new orientation to space to the core of light I believe in too. In each, your choice of repetition is so perfect it resounds like a bell, a memorial, a memory. Do you know the words of William Penn, founder of Philadelphia? I have found them helpful, and will put them here for you:

    “They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.
    Death cannot kill what never dies.
    Nor can spirits ever be divided, that love and live in the same divine principle, the root and record of their friendship.
    If absence be not death, neither is theirs.
    Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.
    For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent.
    In this divine glass they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
    This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.”
    ― William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude / More Fruits of Solitude

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    1. No, I didn't know those words, Susan, and I'm very glad to become acquainted with them, Aren't they wonderful?

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  21. ...Rosemary i liked the progression in each rondelet you wrote... but the one that solidly touches my heart is your 'Reality' rondelet... it has this sombre quality that is so natural & tangible for anyone not to feel it within your words --- both spoken & unspoken... the ghost of history still haunts from every figures of the scattered remains... & the more you entertain the absence...the more it becomes real... at the very end i can only offer a deep sigh... smiles... wonderful Rosemary...

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    1. Thanks, Kelvin, for your thoughtful reading.

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  22. I like the way you paired and and end.

    Each was so different and interesting.

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    1. Thanks,Vanessa. I was wondering if that was successful. :)

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  23. each one was wonderful reading.. and touched me..
    'out goes my hand and it reaches and yes, stays you' one of my favorite lines

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    1. Thank you. That's interesting, because it was one of the hardest lines to arrive at, due to the constraints of the form and my own choice of metre! One of the reasons to use form of course - it can act like a sort of crucible and force something better out of you than you'd have achieved otherwise

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