Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From free to form - Personal Challenge for Björn

Hi there, dear amphibians of a virtual garden, here is Björn, a quite recent tadpole, unaware of consequences of signing up I got an email from the renowned and most skilled poet Hedgewitch. I had missed this slight drawback from signing up to be a toad, but at least one of you will have to expect an email from me the next few days. As many of you might have noticed I share the rare interest of actually write poem to form and meter.

The challenge was fairly straightforward: to take a piece of free-verse of mine that I think could gain from being elaborated to a form poetry such as a pantoum, sonnet, villanelle or terza rima. Often I write my  form poetry because they help me get inspired with the progression of the poem, the rhymes for instance help me to push the story ahead (a little bit like found poetry). On the other hand when I write free verse I’m often inspired to start with, so form come secondary. Therefore this was more of challenge than I thought to start with.

A while ago Marian wrote a prompt on the music of David Hidalgo. I saw some of the music as a kind of death-dance where the dawn was the end, and I used a refrain there “this night of sanguine hips” and thought that this would work in a villanelle. I thought I wanted to keep the dance in my poem so I went with tetrameter instead of pentameter to make it more in line with the origin of the rural dances that are supposedly the origin of the villanelle. I have reworked this a lot more than I usually do with my  form poetry but I hope it works for you.

This glowing night of sanguine hips

In glowing nights of sanguine hips,
we shed our last maracas tears;
and sway away when sun has slipped.

From burning cheeks, mascara drips,
but doom of dawn is not yet near,
this glowing night of sanguine hips.

With graveyard dust on blood-filled lips,
we’re dancing with the utmost care;
and sway away when sun has slipped.

We’re blessed by songs in sooty scripts
within this shroud the light is dear,
in glowing nights of sanguine hips.

Cause 6 feet under, worms will grip
our corazon of moonlit years.
We sway away when sun has slipped.

You gently let your eyelids zip,
to quench the dread of concrete fears.
Our final night of sanguine hips,
sashay below when sun has slipped.

There is no link-up today, but if you feel inspired to write something from this, put it on the comment section or link it up on an open link challenge.


brudberg said...

Hi A personal challenge is more than writing to your blog.. It was great to get this challenge, and even if some of you might have some aversion to form, I have always found that Villanelle seems to be one of the easier to accept.

hedgewitch said...

I knew you would rock this challenge, Bjorn--and now, the worst is over! You can just sit and bask on your lilypad, and pass along the torch to someone else. ;_)

I have always admired your ease with the villanelle, and here, tied to a dance, it shows its real swing, its ability to hypnotize, and to draw in an audience with its cadence and sweet sigh of repetition. With 'maracas tears' you suggest the rhythmic, clattering nature of emotions, and that line 'we're dancing with utmost care' seems to hint of the dire nature of mortality, of keeping it within the lines, or else. My favorite lines, though are '...We’re blessed by songs in sooty scripts/within this shroud the light is dear,/in glowing nights of sanguine hips...' Really well done, Bjorn, and thanks for rising to the challenge and beyond.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Well, it works for me! Your opening line is pure poetry and the progression of the dance to a contemplation of life and eventual passing away of life never loses momentum.
I so enjoyed this poem, and thank you for sharing its origins and your thoughts on the writing process.

Anonymous said...

stellar, Bjorn. I've always admired your facility with forms, and you've crafted a pen that resonates and "drips" from the lines perfectly. I didn't know the form originated with dance, but how you've written it makes complete sense. ~

Jim said...

I love it, Bjorn. The first stanza I liked the best, it set the mood, setting, and the theme for the rest so well for me. The form does fit very well in tetrameter and reads nicely. I use it, and seven meter, a lot in unrhyming poems.

About halfway through I began to think of the June bugs that dance the night on our back porch near the window screens when the house lights are on.

They come to the light, dance all night
When sun is rise' they're dead in piles
Danced their life away by the light

Gail said...

what a beautiful poem

Grace said...

Hey Bjorn, I always admire your ease with form, in this case the villanelle. I like the rhyming pattern and repetition of the two lines with the creative twist in the end ~

Well you are now officially a Toad, smiles ~

Hannah said...

I always admire your use of form and rhyme - it really carries the reader and this does the same expertly. The dance of this fits the form perfectly...what an excellent response to the challenge, Bjorn!

And what a great challenge, Hedge...thank you both!


Helen said...

A dancing villanelle! How incredibly passionate, sexy ~~

Anonymous said...

Hey Bjorn--this may show up as a repeat as my first comment seemed to have been eaten--but I always admire your facility with meter and rhyme especially given that English is not your first language. You are very inventive with it, however. Sanguine a lovely word here especially with its multiple meanings--and there is an especially swaying cadence. Thanks much and thanks for your generous and open spirit both in blogging and commenting. k.

Susie Clevenger said...

An amazing piece! You rocked it in form and substance...life is definitely a dance..beautiful

brudberg said...

Thank you for all for the kind comment.. I have made my selection for who will take November's challenge.. Now I need to figure out what the challenge should be :-)

Marian said...

this is fantastic, Bjorn... i actually find the villanelle just awful try writing, and often to read. yours is spectacular and might even tempt me to try again instead of just being curmudgeonly about it. :) great job!!!