Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Tuesday Platform

Greetings to all poets, wayfarers and friends. We are nearing the month of March when at last Spring shall arrive breathing warm winds over the desolate landscape. The disheveled grass will once again turn lush, erasing the memory of its winter self. It's a sad time for all of us with the chaos going on in the world. It's hard to get one's mind off from what's happening, it's painful to write poetry from a bright perspective. But being human we live in hope and I believe that if it weren't for hope the world  would cease to exist. 

I came across this wonderful reading of the Four Quartets by T.S Eliot and couldn't resist sharing it with you guys. It's one of mankind's greatest poems till date which discusses one's relationship with time and universe. There is something incredibly haunting about the way he recites this poem especially in the opening lines where time seems to halt and the mind is filled with endless musing.

If you have any thoughts to share, ideas you wish to release into the wild or a world view to express, then you have come to the right place. Please share a poem of your choice and enjoy the company of your fellow scribes. We look forward to reading you and hope you have a wonderful day ahead.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fashion me your words to fold ~ RAINBOWS

And; while you are at it, here's Bob to serenade you.

So far, for the Year 2018, i have watched in awe [as if it were my very first viewing] SIX rainbow. I luv rainbows [and clouds][and February - my birth month]

My favourite fact about rainbows from 17 wonderfully curious facts about rainbows
a rainbow doesn’t even actually “exist,” … it’s not an object, it’s an optical phenomenon.

Your challenge today toads, is to Let your words FOLD INTO AS MANY COLOURS AS YOU WISH TO ASCRIBE TO YOUR RAINBOW.

Constraints! Constraints! The Fold [guidelines]

1. 11 lines
2. The end phrase of Line one repeats at Lines 5 and 11
3. The rhyme of line 1 continues through in every other line
4. There must be a reference to nature and how it affect you the poet
5. More in depth instructions HERE
6. Fold origin HERE

I'll give you a bonus IF you fashion me also a paper one and share with your post


Here's you linky: Post; and read the poems of everyone else posted.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Poem as a One-Sided Conversation

Ever get the feeling you're talking to yourself?

Maybe you have long conversations with yourself....

Every Morning

I read the papers.
I unfold them and examine them in the sunlight.
The way the red mortars, in photographs,
arc down into neighborhoods
like stars, the way death
combs everything into a grey rubble before 
the camera moves on. What
dark part of my soul 
shivers: you don't want to know more 
about this. And then: you don't know anything
unless you do...

Read More of this poem by Mary Oliver.

Or say a lot but no one was listening?

Gertrude Stein by Pablo Picasso
Copyright of Meme: Stefan Stenudd
Fair Use

Today, I wish for us to celebrate the poem as a one-sided conversation, written for a silent and even disinterested audience, because poetry is an aspect of individual creativity that goes beyond literary appreciation or criticism. We write because we think and the act of setting the words down shows that these thoughts matter, maybe to ourselves alone, maybe to someone else who happens to read them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Tuesday Platform

Hello fellow poets and poetry lovers! Here in the Northeast USA, we're still feeling winter's chill (it just snowed yesterday) but spring isn't too far off. The sound of birds calling to their prospective mates and sight of buds appearing on some trees and shrubs are already lifting my spirit. I've also found myself inspired by pop culture, especially the new Black Panther movie, which left me feeling hopeful.

Hopefully you're inspired to share some poetry. Submit a poem, new or old, to inspire everyone in our pond in the link below. Don't forget to see what your fellow poets have created this week. If you like something, don't keep it to yourself. Conversation and constructive feedback in the comments section is always welcome.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hasta La Vista, Wormtail: Satiric Verses

Woodcut from John Derricke's "Image of Ireland," 1500s.

Weekend challenge

In ancient Ireland, poets held a special place in the court, attaching themselves to royalty and securing the job of official singer of virtues and deeds. As the king was believed to have married his land, so the poet wore the mask of wife.

And like their sexual counterparts, the poet’s repertoire was not limited to praise. In a society where honor was so valued, the sharp tongue of the satirist was known to burn the cheeks with shame. Such a blemish could ruin a king and kill a rival poet. In Elizabethan England a ripe riposte was called Irish because Irish poets were believed to rhyme rats to death.

Of those in the entertaining ranks, only the harpist (who could sing praises of the king in the highest and most mellifluent tongue) could aspire to the rank of freeman—and on the condition that he “accompanies nobility.” A gloss in the Brehon Laws defines the unfree musicians as singers of cronan, a word also associated with the buzzing of flies.
A black, despicable art, that satire. Satire was the dark half of poetry, a teeming underworld. This from Alwyn and Brinsley Rees’ Celtic Heritage (1963):

At the bottom of the social scale in Ireland were the disreputable crossain, lewd, ribald rhymers or buffoons who went about in bands. There is an account of a band of nine of them, jet-black and hairy, chanting from nightfall till dawn upon the grave of a king after his burial. They are likened to demons of hell, and when they are dispersed by Mass and holy water they appear in the air above in the form of jet-black birds. Though satire was permissible to all poets, the satirist as such classed with 'the sons of death and bad men' - fools, jesters, buffoons, outlaws, heathens, harlots - who hold demon banquets. (128)

The skilled satirist had a large box of tools to work with. There were essentially three major categories of satire. The aisneis was an insulting speech that was not rhymed, rather on the order of a cut or slam. The second, the ail was a disgraceful epithet that stuck to the victim. The third, most potent category of aircetal aire had three levels of severity and was probably rhymed. The first level of aircetal aire was a poem composed but not spoken; i.e., kept to one's self. Simply thinking ill in the poetic sense could have its damaging effect. It wasn’t until the eighth level or satire that its intended victim was identified by name.  The most damaging type was the 10th level which could raise blisters on the face of the victim (enough of a blemish to cause a king to lose the throne) or even cause death.

This curse was uttered by Neide unto his uncle Caiar:

Maile, baire, gaire Caíar
Cot-mbéotar celtrai catha
Caíar Caíar di-bá, Caíar di-rá- Caíar!
Fo ró, fo mara, fo chara Caíar!

Evil death, short life to Caíar,
Spears of battle will have killed Caíar,
May Caíar die, may Caíar depart- Caíar!
Caíar under earth, under embankments, under stones.

To keep poets from scalding innocents with their satire, it was believed that if a satire was false, the curse could reverse and inflict the poet instead. Aengus O'Daly a sixteenth-century Irish poet hired by the English to satirize his countrymen and sow discord. By then most chieftans were too poor to retain a bard, so the poets found work where they could. Tribes of Ireland is a satiric masterwork where county by county O'Daly scalds the faults of his fellows. This, from the translated section on Ulster:

 A fly would swallow in one morsel,
Without difficulty, —without trouble,—
The thin cake with its butter on its back,
Which I got at O’Dunana’s Church of Donagh.

Here comes! Here comes! Misery’s personification!
Celebrate now the festival of the dead!
O’Reilly, the decrepit senior,
And his puny, stunted, stammering sons!

The race of Samharadhan of small Boolies (dairies)
And they all with little food;
A horde to whom the music of the fly is sweet;
A shamrock is in the mouth of every one of them.

Apparently, shamrocks are poor food for the ill-abused, starving poet. But Aengus O’Daly overthrew his mark when he satirized the O’Meagher clan. When an outraged servant plunged a knife into O’Daly’s heart, surely the "Tribes of Ireland" waft a collective sigh a relief at the silencing of English oppression wearing the mask of satire.

The first satirist was said to be a cobbler in Rome named Pasquin, whose stall was in the corner of the place at Ursina and was famed for the sneers and insults he heaped upon all passerby. After his death, the pavement before his shop was dug up and a statue of an ancient gladiator was found. It was propped up and furtive satirists would paste their epigrams upon it. (A lampoon is sometimes called a pasquinade.)

We find a satirist on the Island of Iona when Saint Columba was founding his abbey there in 563 AD. One morning the saint is out walking by the shore when he comes upon a great black seal lying silently on the rocks. He offers the seal a blessing and receives in turn a curse in fine Gaelic. Turns out the seal is named Black Angus and he was of the race of MacOdrum of Uist, seal-men who sing with the sea’s voice. He asks if the saint has seen his wife Kathleen, a nun he had lured to the sea a thousand years before and turned into a sea-witch.

Saint Columba was an educated and accomplished poet, and his only return to Ireland after exile we know of was in the cause of all poetry, satire included. The poets of Columba’s day had overpopulated Ireland, becoming a nuisance with their satirical, overbearing and exacting ways. When one poet went so far as to demand a beautiful heirloom of the Ard Ri as tribute to his powers, the enraged king had had enough. He convened the princes, nobles, scholars and ecclesiastics of the land to Drimceatt with the aim of banishing poetry from the land.

In the only time Columba returned to Ireland, he delivered at Drimceatt an impassioned speech in defense of the bardic class. “Ireland could not be Ireland without poetry,” he said, and continued: "Humans of dust, you are nothing but a story.  How you get your living, or your clothing is a story.  I urge you to keep the bards among you, for it is better to buy the enduring story than the fleeting one." (And much as we prefer praise to satire, the one is wed to the other. Rilke refused psychoanalysis on those grounds, famously saying that if he were rid of his devils he would surely lose his angels.)

Rather than banish the bards, Columba asked the convention to rule that their circle be widened and that they teach what they knew to the community. Columba’s request carried the assembly and his praises were sung by the bards. As part of that decision, a chief poet or Ollave was attached to every person of rank, with a retinue of poets not to exceed the bounds of their lord’s hospitality. The Ollave received a tract of land free from tribute and a sanctuary for all of Ireland. Upon that land a public school was to be built where all could be educated. It also sanctioned the transmission of the old oral literature into writing—an exceedingly rare feat.

So, fellow humans of dust: What are your satiric verses this day? Take permission to unsheathe the sharpest tongue in your mouth.  Take aim at the rapscallions. Let fly your fart arrows and sputum with epigrams and follies, limericks and rhymes, bawdy and bitter and otherwise.

As this is an invitation for criminally tart invectives, I'm insulating the Garden this weekend with lead walls for the blasts and soundproofing against official ears. To flip a line from Macbeth, let satire be the whetstone of your anger!

Let's go kill some rats!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Love Hurts

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. Some people love all the roses, cards and chocolate, and some people go into the psychological equivalent of diabetic shock at what they feel is a synthetically saccharine holiday. For today's challenge, I want you to explore the later idea. Play along by offering your poetic thoughts on Hallmark Holidays, or just simply contribute a poem that touches on the darker side of love (heartbreak, jealousy, etc.) As always, this should be a new piece, created for this prompt. Please visit your fellow Toads and see what they have to say as well.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Tuesday Platform

Greetings to all poets, wayfarers and friends. February has long been a month of romance and is associated with Valentine's Day celebrations. The origin of this day goes back as early as 270 A.D. But it was only during the 14th century that St. Valentine's Day became definitively associated with love. In medieval France and England, it was believed that birds mated on February 14. Hence, Chaucer used the image of birds as the symbol of lovers in poems dedicated to the day. In Chaucer's "The Parliament of Fowls," the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine's Day are related:

"For this was on St. Valentine's Day, when every fowl cometh there to choose his mate."

Interesting, isn't it? I came across this wonderful compilation of love songs and couldn't resist sharing it with you guys. It's really hard to pick a favorite song but if I had to it would most definitely be "I knew I loved you" by Savage Garden. I would love to know what are your all time favorite love songs in the comment section.

If you have any thoughts to share, ideas you wish to release into the wild or a world view to express, then you have come to the right place. Please share a poem of your choice and enjoy the company of your fellow scribes. We look forward to reading you and hope you have a wonderful day ahead.



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Fussy Little Forms: Terza Rima

Hello Toads! For our little form challenge today, let’s try invoking the rule of three in a form that allows for poems that are short or longer--the TERZA RIMA. We’ve played with three in the Garden plenty of times--think triolet or sevenling--but I don’t think we’ve tackled this form directly. It also follows nicely from the chained rhyme we worked on last time, so let’s dig in.

The terza rima has a long pedigree, having been created by Dante for The Divine Comedy, but it is really quite simple in concept. Perhaps that is why it is so long-lasting. It is a series of interlocking three-line stanzas in which the end rhyme in the second line provides the rhyme for the first and third lines of the next, like this:   A-B-A, B-C-B, C-D-C and so on, to your heart’s content.
Another famous example of terza rima with which you may be familiar:
“Acquainted with the Night” by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Usually the terza rima is written in iambic pentameter, but this is not required. It is suggested that the lines be the same length or syllable count, but again, not imperative. There is no limit to the number of stanzas one might include in a terza rima. One can write a terza rima sonnet as Robert Frost did above, like this: A-B-A, B-C-B, C-D-C, D-E-D, E-E

Academy of American Poets has a longer article at poets.org about terza rima that may be interesting or helpful:  ARTICLE

As a sweet-special and totally inspiring added bonus, I found audio of dearest Adrienne Rich reading her poem titled “Terza Rima,” which flies far afield from the form and, of course, amazes:  AUDIO

And here is a review of Arts of the Possible, Adrienne Rich's collection in which this poem appears:  REVIEW