Poetry Corner

Thursday, March 1, 2012
By admin

By Beatrice Boyle

As promised last month, we will be posting my selection of Poem of the month and also Welcome friends to the new poetry column here at Majestic.

As promised., a look at…in my opinion…some of the best Early American Poets we have grown to love and admire.

I’m somewhat disappointed that there were no votes for your suggestions of Poem of the month, but I hope that as time goes on, we will have more participation from you.

As for my selection of Poem of the Month, it was a difficult choice between Mobeius Soul’s Death Of A Pragmatist, and Pens clever homage to a wonderful sculptor, Bill Ried… therefore I declare them a tie and publish both of them.

Pen’s skillful kyrielle is just another example of why she is such a treasure here at Lit.

A Raven’s Reach by Penelope Allen

Any soul may be enraptured by fables
interwoven or graced by turned tables.
The truth’s told in the tears that we cry
as the Raven flies home to Haida Gwaii.

Heed well: for the world is in need
of more than daily trappings of greed.
Joyous hearts burst in a blink of an eye
as the Raven flies home to Haida Gwaii.

Gold gleams in spun out silver dreams
for those with a dual helix of schemes.
No surrender to any little white lie
as the Raven flies home to Haida Gwaii.

Wood whittled up a creation clam shell
the Trickster pried open for pell-mell.
He chuckles, with a warble so wry,
as the Raven flies home to Haida Gwaii.

Bronze buffed to a dark bottle green
and paddles ply the marble mezzanine.
Globe trotters are kept warm and dry
as the Raven flies home to Haida Gwaii.

Tribal totems shrouded by mistfull fume.
Cedar branches steeped in sodden gloom.
Feather laugh lines sketch the grey sky
as the Raven flies home to Haida Gwaii.

He sojourned to clear-cut and beyond
without breaching the primordial bond.
There’s no call for farewell or goodbye
as the Raven flies home to Haida Gwaii.

MobiusSoul’s piece is a perfect example of  “don’t tell us…show us” school of writing.

One can almost smell the burning stink of sulpher, and hear the squabbling buzzards, and see the hungry hawks circling in the sky.  No small feat for a writer indeed.

Death Of A Pragmatist by MobiusSoul

A single day of alpine brightness
blazed through winter gloom.
It’s February, and we’re still new
as crocuses unbloomed.

I have stopped saying no
and we’ve stopped making love
since we cannot make love anymore,
so I’ve borrowed your boots
and we’re out in the sun
with the wind like a wolf at a door.

At the cowpond
you hunker beside the gorse:
No early frogs yet there
though the shallows are russet with humus,
newly thawed.
(I remember The Death of a Naturalist
but decide it’s too hard to explain
over barriers of language,
and of literature unshared.)
But when I cry ‘Look, a lapwing’
you do not say ‘What?’ or ‘Where?’
Only ‘Yes’
and pass the fieldglasses back to me, aware.

As a muckspreader, up at the topfield
trails all of Cheshire’s birds
in its reeking wake:
The gulls a-scream, the wide-winged buzzards
scorning the squabbling rooks
as they scorn the sulphur-stink, like burning hair
and the starlings, shoaling tight in the cold thin air.

These empty hills are green and vast
The hawks, now blinding-high in the low sun’s glare
And all of the sky
is an ocean, heard from afar.

How wrong I was, Cheri.
How right you are.

Congratulations Pen and MobiusSoul on the winning poems for this month.

Nineteenth Century Early American Poetry.

The Nineteenth Century offered the formation of  distinctly American Poetry offered by revered poets such as Whittier, Emerson, Poe, Longfellow and my personal favorite Emily Dickinson.  Spanning time from the Civil War to the twentieth century.

Not only poetry, but hymns and fokelore that remain to this day, tell the story of our hopes and dreams for the still young country of yesterday.

Who could forget Poe’s Annabel Lee among his other great works,  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s, Paul Revere’s Ride, Emma Lazarus’s Tribute to America for the Statue of Liberty, Whittier’s Snowbound and on and on.

Some of these works were profound…but many others, dear to our hearts, were simple, heartfelt yearnings for a better life, mourning the loss of a loved one (Poe’s Annabel Lee)

Or  Emily Dickinson’s reflections on life, as imagined by a recluse who rarely left her house or Eugene Field’s heart tugging children’s poem, Little Boy Blue.

Since Emily was my favorite Poet of that era,  I have chosen to post my favorite poem of hers.

The Chariot

Because I could not stop for Death

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste

And I had put away

My labor, and my leisure too,

For his civility.

We passed the school where children played

Their lessons scarcely done

We passed the fields of gazing grain

We passed the setting sun

We paused before a house that seemed

A swelling of the ground

The roof was scarcely visible

The cornice but a mound

Since then ‘tis centuries; but each

Feels shorter than the day

I first surmised the horses’ heads

Were toward eternity.

Till next month when I hope we will have many suggestions from you dear readers, on what you  would prefer to read about Poetry, and many votes for next months favorite poems


4 Responses to “Poetry Corner”

  1. HeroComplex

    This time frame for poetry is difficult for me to get into simply because of the language differences. I find myself constantly berating myself to try and sort through all of the imagery that I end up not enjoying the poem. Just the way my brain works…

    Of those you’ve mentioned, Poe is my favorite. I love that look at the darkside he gives us…

    You’ve got two great choices here for the best poems this month, I really enjoyed both of them.

    Much Love,


  2. Many thanks Bea for choosing my poem. Did you notice the connection between Mobius Soul’s and mine? I did! It’ leaped out at me before I even began reading his excellent words which is a visual feast of imagery. So what is it? Birds of course. Ravens – Lapwings Buzzards, Starlings, Rooks, Gulls & Hawks. Maybe a muckraker is a bird too? I’ll go look. Nope .. it was as I thought .. a rake for muck which looks kinda wicked. I won’t go into the other muck raking cause that’s another matter which would take me away from the poem. Mobius Soul’s rhyming is so subtle it seduces the reader into being carried along without even realizing there’s some word chicanery afoot. Beautiful to be able to do that!

    I will confess not being a fan of Emily or Poe and I continually wonder why. Robert Frost? He grabs me every time.

    Now, Bea. If you check my Facebook page you’ll see Evangeline. I did know all about the story of Evangeline before I baptized my new [to me] car. What I hadn’t been exposed to was Longfellow’s poem which I spent a few hours reviewing yesterday. So, I now know a bit more about Longfellow. That’s got to be a good thing. Why Evangeline? Well, I’d planned on buying a new orange car and naming her Clementine but somehow a super cool dude salesman whose been in the business of 30 years convinced me this slightly used silver grey car was more about me than an orange one and .. I bought it. The ghostly quality of the silver colour brought me to Evangeline. I have a buddy in Nova Scotia a few miles from Evangeline’s Acadian home of Grand Pré http://www.mycompass.ca/feature.evangeline.html
    My friend Joanne has an Olds Cutlass in a garage on her property overlooking the Annapolis basin. She calls that car Ernestine for beautiful reasons. Ernestine & Evangeline .. a nice poetic ring to it .. n’est pas?

    I suppose my train of thought this month as with many other months are the connections we can easily make if we look beyond our navel.

  3. Robert Frost

    Asking For Roses

    A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master,
    With doors that none but the wind ever closes,
    Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster;
    It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses.

    I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary;
    ‘I wonder,’ I say, ‘who the owner of those is.’
    ‘Oh, no one you know,’ she answers me airy,
    ‘But one we must ask if we want any roses.’

    So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly
    There in the hush of the wood that reposes,
    And turn and go up to the open door boldly,
    And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses.

    ‘Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?’
    ‘Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses.
    ‘Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you!
    ‘Tis summer again; there’s two come for roses.

    ‘A word with you, that of the singer recalling–
    Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is
    A flower unplucked is but left to the falling,
    And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.’

    We do not loosen our hands’ intertwining
    (Not caring so very much what she supposes),
    There when she comes on us mistily shining
    And grants us by silence the boon of her roses.

  4. sandra

    Hi Bea,

    Much thanks to you for your support while I was an editor and columnist. You made my day with your comments!

    Wishing you the best in your new role as poetry columnist!

    Have a great day!