Saturday, October 17, 2015

Falling Into Lines - Weekend Mini Challenge

Fall is falling where I live.  Fall is even falling off (meaning that it is right now a wintry 33 degrees fahrenheit.)  I live, in short, in mountains.  Which people also sometimes fall off of.

And which are littered with apple trees that apples fall off of, and apples, come to think of it, are rumored to have generated a fall of their very own.

Masaccio's Expulsion From Eden
Before/After Restoration
(Wiki Commons)

Sure, In some places (I’m thinking of you, Kerry), Spring is springing, but spring too animates certain kinds of falls (as in Victoria). 

Which brings me to my prompt-- fall.  In whatever version you wish.  From grace.  Off the wagon.  Onto the ground.  Into the sea.  Or luck.  Or out of luck. Or love.  Or out of love. 

Of course, you can simply write of fall as Autumn.  Or something spooky that happens in Autumn (like October).  But do not feel required to!  I really want this to be very broad.

You can start writing right now, and read NO MORE (other than your friends/co-poets).  Or, if you want further inspiration, you can read a couple of my favorite examples of poems involving falls.

I’m giving you an escape hatch because the first selection is from Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, published in 1590, where, towards the end of Book I, the Redcrosse Knight, fighting a terrible dragon, is burnt (in part because his armor has been poisoned), beaten and falls into a pit, which seems the absolute end of him, but which turns out to be a Well of Life, i.e. renewal,  

Healed, the knight fights pretty well the next day but then is again wounded, and the second time happens to fall smack into a creek of Balm.  Spenser seems to have loved this device and I too have always loved it because it reminds me how one can literally stumble onto a good thing (even if it seems pretty awful at first hit.)  

XXVIII  (From Book One of The Faerie Queene - describing wounded, poisoned,Redcrosse Knight) 

Faint, wearie, sore, emboyled, grieved, brent
 With heat, toyle, wounds, armes, smart, and inward fire,         
  That never man such mischiefes did torment;
  Death better were, death did he oft desire,
  But death will never come, when needes require.
  Whom so dismayd when that his foe beheld,
 He cast to suffer him no more respire,                     
But gan his sturdy sterne about to weld,
And him so strongly stroke, that to the ground him feld.


It fortuned, (as faire it then befell,)
  Behind his backe unweeting, where he stood,
  Of auncient time there was a springing well,                     
  From which fast trickled forth a silver flood,
  Full of great vertues, and for med'cine good.
  Whylome, before that cursed Dragon got
  That happy land, and all with innocent blood
  Defyld those sacred waves, it rightly hot                        
_The well of life_, ne yet his vertues had forgot.


For unto life the dead it could restore,
  And guilt of sinfull crimes cleane wash away,
  Those that with sicknesse were infected sore
  It could recure, and aged long decay                            
  Renew, as one were borne that very day.
  Both Silo  this, and Jordan did excell,
  And th' English Bath, and eke the German Spau;
  Ne can Cephise, nor Hebrus match this well:
Into the same the knight back overthrowen, fell.                  

Another poet that I would direct you too is Rainer Maria Rilke.  He has written a few beautiful poems about Autumn--one called Autumn Day -about ripening, and another even more beautiful (I think) poem called Autumn, about everything falling, and Someone holding that falling in their hands.  (I cannot find a good link for that one.)   But here's another Rilke poem that uses the idea of a fall in a non-autumnal way (writing more, perhaps, of the fall of night): 


The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heavens, one that falls:

and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion
of what becomes a star each night, and rises:

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.

by Rainer Maria Rilke, Stephen Mitchell (best translator of Rilke ever in my view) from The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, edited and translated by Stephen Mitchell, Vintage International.  (I hope this is not copyright infringement and urge you to all buy Mitchell's translations of Rilke or of anyone.)  

Speaking of copyright--other than the Masaccio (ha!), all the pics and drawings here are mine, Karin Gustafson, Manicddaily (also known as Outlawyer on Blogger.)  Anyone is free to use a pic for their poem, but please give proper attribution. 

Anyway, poets, may some poem falls into lines for you today.  Please do visit your friends. 


Kerry O'Connor said...

Your photos are beautiful, Karin and you are so lucky to live in such a beautiful environment. Unfortunately for us down south, Spring was short-lived and we have had weeks of heatwaves with temps at 100F for days on end. Thankfully this weekend is a bit less extreme.

It has been a while since I read Spenser, and his work seems more accessible now than when I was a student The Rilke is always inspiring. Thanks for a wonderfully open-ended prompt.

Outlawyer said...

hi Kerry. I am so so lucky to live where I live although it does require me to travel and stay away a part of every week in the city. I glad you enjoyed the Spenser -- I had remembered that part but not read for many years and enjoyed looking for it. Of course the poem is just so long!!!! Sorry it is already hot there but do feel free to take the prompt in an unseasonal direction as I plan to. K.

hedgewitch said...

Yes, Karin-I agree with Kerry(condolences on the heat waves, Kerry--I hate them)you have given us a very fascinating way to look at fall, falling and the fallen. I have a mild germ of a thought--I will see if I can get it to fall out of my head without breaking. Thanks for putting so much depth and variation into the seasonal theme.

Gail said...

I could not make the link work.

Here is my piece


brudberg said...

I'm glad your fall is not fell Karin... actually clear skies here mostly, but quite a lot of fog, running all into midday... Just came back from making a stew, so no I sit down with some chocolate, wine and music to pen something, hmm

Outlawyer said...

I think I have fixed Mr. Linky now. I am having some issues with replying to comment. I will be out for a while, but back after that! Thanks. k.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for mentioning this in writing201. I'm not part of blogspot so I can't follow you, but I will check back as often as I can to see what's going on here.

hedgewitch said...

Well, I've done what I could--I hope it fits somewhat into the theme--that passage from Spencer is wonderful, especially that last bit--redemption and 'recuring' of all ills is worth a bit of a fall. Thanks for the challenge, k. Late here so will visit tomorrow.

Fireblossom said...

I am so behind. As soon as I manage to visit all the people from my own challenge, i will try to get to work on this one!

Susie Clevenger said...

What beautiful photos Karin. It is warm and windy in Texas, but it is getting cooler. Thanks for all the images and poems you shared.

Margaret said...

So beautiful. Thank you.

Outlawyer said...

I look forward to it! Hope all well. K.

Outlawyer said...

Hey susie, thanks! K.

Outlawyer said...

Thanks, Margaret. k.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I began a poem this morning, Karin but couldn't finish it because my in-laws arrived with their 5-year old twins. I will try to complete it tomorrow.

Outlawyer said...

Sounds like fun, Kerry! I have posted again, but no one (of course, but me!) should feel obligated to read. Hope you are having a nice time. k.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I can't resist these things! Also, wanted to try the trimeric form some more. I don't think I have written a very good poem but it was useful as self-discovery.

Outlawyer said...

Thank you, Rosemary!

Other Mary said...

Thank you Karin, this one got me thinking. I loved your pictures and the poems you included, especially the translation of Rilke. But *after struggling on and off all day) I didn't use any of it. I'm useless now, but I'll be around to read everyone's falls in the morning.

Outlawyer said...

Thank you, Mary.

Outlawyer said...

It is 21 degrees here this morning! Brrrrr. K.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Melinda, I enjoyed your poem but could not leave a comment because I do not use any of the platforms needed to log in to your blog's commentary box.

Other Mary said...

And now I've gone back and actually linked the Imaginary Garden to my post. Sorry, it just been way too long, I guess.

Marian said...

Super-late entry but oh well!

Hannah said...

Your opening photograph inspired me, Karen...I may be slow to make rounds but didn't want to miss the post...thank you, for the challenge. :)