Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

True North - In tandem with Karin and Björn


Hello Toads and Tadpoles,

Happy Wednesday, this is Karin and Björn writing a poem in tandem. We have sent drafts back and forth between us starting from the idea of North. We wanted to share something common between the two of us. and both having connection to Sweden we thought we should use that in the poem and write about what the North means for us. We found that slight differences but also lots in common. Then we are each sharing an image, Karin a wonderful piece of art, and Björn a photo from one of the many rivers of the north.

 
Copyright ManicDdaily aka Karin Gustafson

True North

My true north was summer, a place where time
melted, where grass grasped
ankles as if they were
best friends, as if grass had arms
and ankles waists, as if it weren’t too hot
to hold tight to anything but
what froze.

Like my tongue, when stuck on frigid steel, I went  
from silence into songs;
when thawed,
belonging with the woodwind, with anemones  
in that loss of night
when dusk made love to dawn
my true north was summer
with strawberries and milk.

And when life drove me past
chosen directions,
I would look for that north
in the spooling pools
of the rear view mirror,
finding again the surprise
of strawberries,
knowing then that a return to grass should hold
no terror.

In the sound of water
in the canvas pitter-patter,
in the thunder and the roar of waterfalls
behind the bending boughs of birches
with every bird
are cairns that lead me north.
Thus I find my footing,
knowing well
I have walked this path before.


Copyright Björn Rudberg

28 comments:

grapeling said...

I especially like the image and line, 'the surprise of strawberries'.

That we all might find North - a timely and gentle reminder ~

telltaletherapy said...

without our lodestone we would be lost - always looking to the North for guidance - on poetry too with this very evocative hybrid and such memorable lines:

"where grass grasped
ankles as if they were
best friends,"

"in the canvas pitter-patter"

Evidently you two poets are made for conspiring [from Latin conspirare -literally "to breathe together,"]

Sherry Blue Sky said...

How very lovely, the grass grasping the ankles, "I went from silence into songs",anemones and strawberries. This was a joy to read. Yay!

Outlawyer said...

A big shout-out to Bjorn for being wonderful to work with, well-able to deal with all my interruptions! Thank you, Bjorn. K.

paulscribbles said...

What a beautiful duet this was...hard to separate the two voices in truth.That final stanza has a reassurance about it.

brudberg said...

It was such joy to write this with Karin and the process of sending back and forth our suggestion was very much like the poem itself...

To me a cooperation is a bit like singing in a choir. You have to keep to the same melody and I think it was great fun to do.

Fireblossom said...

Rarely has a way to true north been more needed than it is this morning. But, the larger world aside, this is a beautiful poem that will resonate with anyone who has a "north" they need to touch again, while also being particular to the north you both had in mind. Nice work, you two.

Outlawyer said...

Thank you, Shay, and all. The idea of true North has a weird unintended resonance this morning (though I don't think the north gets a free pass in my country either today.) Thanks. k.

Kim Russell said...

I love everything Scandinavian and this poem tastes strongly of the North. It has a dreamlike quality that smells fresh and clear, especially in the lines:
'...a place where time
melted, where grass grasped
ankles as if they were
best friends'.
I love the lines:
'my true north was summer
with strawberries and milk';
'I would look for that north
in the spooling pools
of the rear view mirror';
and
'...the canvas pitter-patter,
in the thunder and the roar of waterfalls
behind the bending boughs of birches
with every bird
are cairns that lead me north'.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I am truly amazed at how, once again, two disparate voices have blended seamlessly to produce a stunning piece of writing. This is work to be proud of - one for the books.

There is something about the magnetism of the North which draws us all, even we in the south... As if a lode stone in our heads is always pointing the way. I could not attempt to figure out who wrote which piece - every stanza is perfection.

Outlawyer said...

Thanks so much, Kerry. It was a very nice opportunity as the poem certainly went into different directions because of the different input so that was really quite cool. K.

Susie Clevenger said...

This is beautiful. Two outstanding poets bringing their unique voices into one marvelous poem is so creative and inspiring. Kudos Karin and Bjorn for this amazing poetry.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

My goodness this is absolutely gorgeous, Karin and Bjorn!💖 I too was unable to figure out who wrote which stanza.. as your voices blend so perfectly together.. sigh.. especially love; "And when life drove me past chosen directions, I would look for that north in the spooling pools of the rear view mirror, finding again the surprise of strawberries, knowing then that a return to grass should hold no terror." Beautifully penned!💖

brudberg said...

Thank you all, trying to sing in chorus is a great exercise for poetry. Thank you Kerry for this opportunity and for all the nice comments.

Outlawyer said...

Agreed. Thanks much!

Marian said...

This is sooooo beautiful, it makes me sigh deeply with gratitude. I needed it. Now and tomorrow. I'm always looking for those spooling pools in the rearview, too. Thank you both. Sigh!

Martin Kloess said...

Hay off to you, Karin and Björn. You already know what was created.

Toni Spencer said...

Truly true North, the guiding star that lights up worlds. It is impossible to read who wrote what - the north star always calls to me, to keep on the path, on the way home. that is what this poem feels like - home

Magaly Guerrero said...

This leaves me full of sweet nostalgia for a place that looks nothing like yours, but feels exactly like it in my heart. I love how your voices dance together... as one.

Jim said...

True North is my favorite direction. You took me there again, in spirit, physically (inside the Arctic Circle), and metaphorically. North Star holds magic as well as earthen (no limits, way past caribou and ice).
..

Jim said...

True North is my favorite direction. You took me there again, in spirit, physically (inside the Arctic Circle), and metaphorically. North Star holds magic as well as earthen (no limits, way past caribou and ice).
..

Brendan MacOdrum said...

This is a wonderful effort -- seamless as to identity (though I'll guess it divides between outer and inner stanzas), sharing a common love and axis that points out the way ahead with a love of what is most summer and childhood. No wonder we cherish true norths. Great job, Bjorn and Karin.

sarah said...

I love this. So evocative. I don't know the mechanics of what you did, but you've obviously bounced and blended well together. Beautiful images.

gillena cox said...

Luv the magnetic seek and find, the drawing out of images to pool together, the melting if boundaries and the molding if voices sung into friendship song. This is beautifully wrought. Well do Karin/Björn

Much love...

gillena cox said...

of boundaries
of voices


Much love...

Outlawyer said...

thanks all for kind comments. Much appreciated. k.

said...

This would go so well with the song "Strawberry Wine" ... young love, with a touch of heartbreak but mostly nostalgia.

This is such an amazing poem. These are my favorite sections:

"My true north was summer, a place where time
melted, where grass grasped
ankles as if they were
best friends, as if grass had arms"

"In the sound of water
in the canvas pitter-patter"

Rommy said...

Wow! This was done so well, and so seamlessly. I liked the remembrance of innocence as a touchstone for when life became too turbulent.