Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kerry's Wednesday Challenge ~ Nocturne

A Nocturne is usually a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night. Nocturnes are generally thought of as being tranquil, often expressive and lyrical, and sometimes rather gloomy, but in practice pieces with the name nocturne have conveyed a variety of moods. In this clip, Yundi Li plays Chopin, who is an acclaimed composer of Nocturnes.

 In addition to the musical reference, Nocturns also refers to a Christian form of Night Prayer. On Sundays and feast-days there are three Nocturns, as in the Benedictine Office. Each Nocturn comprises three psalms, and the first Nocturn of Sunday has three groups of four psalms each. Many artists from diverse schools have translated the Nocturne into paintings.

Nocturne in Grey and Gold ~ James McNeill Whistler (1876)
Public Domain

My challenge today is for us to write a poetic Nocturne. Though no such guidelines exist, I will set out a few suggestions:

  • The poem should be lyrical rather than narrative.
  • The primary intention should be to create mood and atmosphere, with the focus on what is felt rather than understood.
  • There must be a clear link to the night hours in a setting of your choice. In addition, content may focus on a religious theme, if preferred. 
  • You may choose any style which seems appropriate, either form or free verse.

Nocturne, Railway Crossing, Chicago
Childe Hassam (1892/3)
Public Domain
Please write something new for this challenge. Our linkys do not expire, so feel free to post later in the week. If a poem written prior to this challenge (which kind of fits the description) is linked up, it will receive little feedback from me.


Kay L. Davies said...

Unfortunately, the music stopped shortly after the video started, Kerry. I was hoping for something lovely I could take into the night hours with me, thus awakening in a tranquil, beautiful mood.
Guess I just have to go back to hoping I don't land on the dog when I fall out of bed.
A beautiful prompt, and I hope I can do it justice.

Janine Bollée said...

Unlike Kay, I could hear the entire piece. So beautifully played. Just wish they had selected a Bösendorfer instead.

This was not an easy write, but I am glad I gave it a go. Thank you Kerry.

Phil Slade said...

A very easy listening and informative post Mama Zen. Thank you.

Ella said...

I love this idea Kerry! I can see me dipping my brush into pale moonlight.
My time to create is when the house is still.
Thank you!

Bill said...

Tonight the familiar path from barn to home
Is lit only by stars and fireflies.

In the cool air he breathes a prayer of gratitude,
listens to the whipporwills,
and smiles.

Grace said...

We must be on the same wave length Kerry because my poetry form this weekend has the same theme, ha ~

This is a lovely post, thank you ~

Susan said...

Gosh. I love this.

hedgewitch said...

As always, an interesting and stimulating challenge Kerry. I have been completely out of the writing place this last week, but this resonates, and I will try to respond.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm pleased to know that this has inspired! I will be away from home tomorrow and returning on Friday afternoon, so please forgive any tardiness in commentary. I'm hoping to find a little time to write something afternoon has been swept up in preparations for this short trip.

Margaret said...

Ohh... this is going to be something special. (piano music is one of my favorite things to relax with )

Susie Clevenger said...

What a beautiful challenge Kerry. It led me to write some of my most peaceful musings.

Margaret said...

Blood, sweat, and tears went into this one. I'm afraid it is STILL more narrative than lyrical. I deleted, rewrote, (swore just a bit)... it is what it is. I think I need a challenge on HOW to write lyrically.

Marian said...

Kerry, I'm just now taking this in... how beautiful. you know, i feel like i have written many a nocturne without thinking of it as exactly such. thank you for the invitation to respond late; here is my RSVP :)

Margaret said...

Kerry - I tried to remove my #10 (which is now totally rewritten and up on #14) If you can remove #10 easily, please do so. It doesn't show my old write, but now I have two up of the same link. Sorry!

Margaret said...

NEVER MIND, Kerry. Somehow all my puttering worked. It's 2:30 am here and I'm just tired... :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kerry - a great prompt - I am very stressed at the moment at work, so could not really live up to it, but a wonderful idea. k.

Maggie Grace said...

Beautiful and appropriate prompt for me at the moment. FWIW, my photo is not a nightingale even tho part of poetry is about one. My photo is the noise in the branches ;-O

Mary said...

Here I am. It took a while, but I finally got an idea. Thanks, Kerry.

grapeling said...

A beautifully played piece. Thank you for the prompt, Kerry. ~ M

Peggy said...

Thank you for this prompt Kerry. I am back from my vacation now and hope to get back into regular participation. Here is my nocturne poem!