[I am posting this poem which I wrote in 2015 as one of a series of I will call: Favorite Posts.]
The Venerable Bede
The Venerable Bede had a lot to read in order to write the order and the history of the medieval world. He considered the matter of churches and cathedrals and determined to add something new in order to broaden the catalogues.
The Venerable Bede went out to the towns and the countryside chatting with merchants and lords searching for secular facts and bits of lore… and made it known he was looking for more. He went with his scribes, and trusty mules to carry the scrolls, and collected History–words of men and their exploits.
The Venerable Bede explored the world beyond the monastery walls. He asked about roads and river boats and the manners of insects and stars. He sat with the old folks and shared a pint, inquiring about all things, and morays, and techniques and facts that were new…to him. He wrote about travel and voyages, of builders and sailors, of farmers…and of men who plyed the trades.
The Venerable Bede always took heed of secular motive and deed. He recognized the worth in History, no matter how mundane. But through it all, the main thing he learned…perhaps… was the Source of it All remained with God and he told his admirers who praised his work, or detractors who disapproved: God is the Author–only the scribe was the Venerable Bede.
A couple of years ago I enrolled in some WordPress classes. They were free, and served to help in learning the WP system, and meeting new like-minded people online. Short stories, flash-fiction, various forms of poetry, and educational or informative opinion pieces. Photography classes were fun and instructional. All of the classes were interactive, no pressure—there was a daily assignment and interactive chat rooms and commentary. Students were free to do a project that was “assigned,” do something else, skip the exercise altogether. There was no judging, no right or wrong, everybody’s work was respected no matter what.
My favorite was Poetry Class. I suppose I learned some poetry forms back in literature classes in high school, but most of that information I either ignored or filed away back in my file-cabinet-brain. To this day I love reading poems out loud. There is something about poetic meter that is as deep as song, and pulls me out of the doldrums or self-pity-dumps within my soul.
My favorite example is in these first six lines of the classic account of the famous (if factually lacking) poem by e.e.cummings.
The first poetry that comes to mind to this very day is e.e.cummings’ classic account of the famous (if factually lacking) poem about Christopher Columbus. Hear are the first six lines
(Here we go: let our eyes glide over the words of the opening line::) “In fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain. He sailed by night; he sailed by day; He used the stars to find his way.”
(Now, let’s try it again, with emphasis:) ” In FOURteen HUNdred NINEty Two ColUMbus SAILed the OCean BLUE! He HAD three SHIPS and SAILED from SPAIN He SAILED through SUNshine, WIND and RAIN He SAILED by NIGHT; he SAILED by DAY; He USED the STARS to FIND his WAY.”
Doesn’t that metered rhyme add a poke and a jog to the reading?
I’ll never write another word
–ever– I think, maybe a bit longer.
The Muse has left me, alone and mute
singing quietly inside…but it isn’t writing
not bringing forth words of rhyme
or golden thoughts or phrases that soar
with the uplifting quality that speaks of fulfillment
of the annunciation of the soul
(if that is even the right word.)
What does that mean? My Muse does not respond.
Silence echoes across the lines, across the fields,
rich and full, and absence of sensation…or character.
There is no solution, no evolution…no rhythmic flow
of syllables, or stanzas, flights of fancy…
clever ways to express a notion
…or just to form a simple phrase–
no silver tinged sunsets,
no tales from the depths of despair…
no soaring ecstasy of the bliss of a kiss.
Words which once were at the edges of my repertoire –within easy reach of the empty…
Yesterday’s post reminded me of how much I enjoyed the poetry classes I and about a thousand other bloggers participated in last year. The classes were so popular they had to shut enrollment down…I think. The moderators presented us with some really obscure, to me anyway, terms and forms of poetry. I dimly remember poetry classes in school back in the dark ages, the days of my lightheadedness and depth of my soul combined to write really bad poems about lust and love and despair at ever experiencing either.
Having re-read my favorite nonsense poem about the anteater and the eel, my contribution to the assignment for the day, which was Assonance. Reading the poem again I realized that I had no clue as to exactly what assonance was, so I googled it. The link that came up is just marvelous…and made me SO jealous of the famous zealots that wrote and wrote their hearts out back in their day.
One word of guidance…poetry that rhymes and/or possesses a metric cadence just cries out to be read out loud, line by line, not mumbled silently and skimmed for meaning.
I belabor the obvious here, again, and state that I am not a poet. I respect poetry, I do, and although I understand the agony of who are dead serious about writing and rhyming. For me the main rule is that any piece of writing, poetry or novel, song or joke…needs to have meaning.
A bit of toe-tapping helps get in the mood. Jumping rope always sets the pace too… “Dan and Susie sittin’ in a tree, k.i.s.s.i.n.g….” sorry, I wasn’t well enough coordinated to jump rope effectively.
This is one of my personal favorite assignments from writing class last year…in response to rules that the work be a limerick and contain certain other attributes of writing poetry. I had great fun writing it—
THE DONALD’S MARCH TO INFAMY
There once was a boy named Donald
Who wanted to be rich, and grow up to be President
ha ha! said the people as he started to
but he knew what he was doing and had all the cards he needed to
and win the game
opponents screamed like angry cat matrons
and picked on his hair and his noisy patrons
but Donald just said they should “lump it!”
“You haven’t a chance, you’re not one of us,” they wailed
“is that so?” said Donald as he placed a standing order for tea and crumpets
to serve to his fans to keep them from starving on the campaign trail
His crowd of the faithful grew and grew
’til they filled the land
so they bought him a very big trumpet.
ONE resolution: this year SOMETIMES (THE BLOG) will return to the my Top, #1, Main Pursuit…..every day.
Last year, 2017, was not my best year for writing and working on my blog. Current events interfered with my goal, which was to put writing with a capital W at the top of my “things to do list.” Oh sure, my postings were more or less regular, but heavy on the Re-blogs borrowed from other bloggers.
Also, over the year 2017 I posted a lot of my own posts from past years, and many photos gleaned from my hobby of photography, dear to my heart and fairly popular with followers. The pursuit of bright flowers and trees, and the odd-ball occasional photo that inspired and illustrated the blog entries. And Poetry…a newfound love thanks to WordPress courses which brought quite a number of acquaintances and blog-friends in trading our poetic masterpieces. It was in these groups that I found the joys of writing Haiku, and other fancy poetic forms, and my favorite– “free-form” poetry.
So I pledge to follow my true love of writing into the Y2018. Instead of whining and thinking up reasons why I can’t write, I will just DO it. Just sit down and write. Also, I spend a lot of time writing in notebooks….and on envelopes, scraps of newspaper, any handy source for writing on.
I’m already a day late with the “every day” pledge. My post featuring Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald…singing “Tropical Heatwave” should go a ways to redeem my lagging sagging New Year Resolutions.
So… see ya all on the blogosphere. How’s that for “trite?” 🙂
When your relationship with a spouse, partner, friend, family member, and/or child becomes your focus rather than your relationship with yourself, seek Attention Anonymous and learn from others who struggle to set boundaries and desire to maintain stability.