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.

15 April 2016

Run Softly, My Song

Run softly, my song,
sweet song, by the waters.
I hear the waters chuckle.
Summer nights are friends.
Wind and wet nights
are departed unheard.

Summer crosses fingers of leaf.
I hear the chuckle spread.
At my back, friends
have sat down by the waters,
loitering till I end my song.
The river runs softly, sweet silk.

Written for Day 15 of Poetry Month at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.  We were asked to use a complex method of poetry generation to turn a section of Eliot's The Waste Land into something more upbeat. As I couldn't access the required site on my computer, I treated a section of The Waste Land as an erasure poem, then jumbled the words around some more. I actually had two attempts and ended up combining them into one piece, hence the repetitions. The section I used was:

  The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
Departed, have left no addresses.
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.


  1. This is so peaceful. Delightful write, Rosemary.

  2. Gorgeous indeed...such an audible piece...and I love that silk ending. :)

  3. Oh, and I love your poem so much more than its inspiration..........your song and the river running sweetly....just gorgeous!

  4. Summer nights are friends.

    Wind and wet nights

    are departed unheard

    - Beautiful lines :)

  5. I love the final silken image. This creates an enduring mood of tranquility throughout.

  6. The last silky image beautifully echoes the opening two lines. A wonderful play of lyrical sounds and meaning.

  7. This is nice, really evocative. I especially like that chuckle.

  8. I feel like running barefoot on warm sand.. There is such force in summer

  9. "I hear the waters chuckle.
    Summer nights are friends."

    Oh this El Sol calling to me right there!

    That chuckle, makes this so lighthearted. This is simply splendid Rosemary.

  10. I really like what you have done, it reminds me of summer nights with friends and "as friends"/lovely.

  11. Delighted by this, Rosemary:
    "I hear the waters chuckle.
    Summer nights are friends."

  12. I love how the whole piece makes me feel. For some reason, I hear Mozart playing in my mind. Every word is beautiful, Rosemary.

  13. There is peace in this. Water can be so soothing.

  14. It reads like a lullaby, serene and soothing.

  15. Rosemary, this is exactly what I'd hoped to read! You've taken out weeping, bones, and a cold blast and given us loitering and summer; sweet silk. Lovely. Thanks for salvaging this broken prompt link up.