Monday, March 09, 2009

Eleven lines of terza rima, with subsequent illustrations.

Twelve lines of terza rima, Joe suggested. Turns out you should really do fourteen, if you do the finishing couplet, which I think you should. Think Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind', easier than Dante. However, I didn't really like it with fourteen (four lots of three and the couplet), so I scrubbed that and collapsed the last five lines into the final two.

Form is, can be, liberating in its constraints. This may not be ready, I should perhaps have worked on it longer, but I feel inclined to jump in anyway, kick start myself into poetry again. This morning was something springlike, and I felt moved to walk the camera in the garden (except the fritillary, which is on the windowsill and came as a gift from A. who came to lunch yesterday. Roast chicken and potatoes, glazed carrots, stuffing, cherry sherry trifle, all a Sunday lunch should be...). I've put pics and poem together, whether appropriately or not I don't know.


Leaves and earth, chocolate and iodine brown,
decay and comfort, dullness, depth and sorrow,
longing for life, but draws the spirit down.

"I'll grab and grasp, beg or steal or borrow
just let me live!" She asks
too much, or nothing, waits for a green tomorrow.

With webs of mingled threads she masks
the worm-wrought woodwork, powdering stone
pours rotting matter's liquor into dusty flasks,

fingering the last left relics, shell and bone,
and numb and shameless, knows she'll be alone.


Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the interleaving of poetry and photos, lovely...

christopher said...

This is an inevitable poem. Life knowing life, rotting matter's liquor is essential, so death is essential, and it's the old truth, the dusty old truth, but wanting to live is a shameless desire.

Like Dylan, What He Said

And right here I want
to rebel against it all,
rebel against you
who created me,
you who will take me so soon
that even now I
feel the coming dark
in the pains of joints, dimming
sight, the loss of love,
leaking confidence.
I want to stand up straight, shake
my fist in your face.
I'll stand my ground, force
the fire to consume me right
in front of you here.

Lucy said...

Thanks both.

It comes across as more melancholy and morbid than I am! But that's Ok, and Christopher, that's a wonderful response, which informs and complements it for me. One of those that rather wrote itself, which, as you know, are often the interesting ones.

Plutarch said...

You have done what I only talked about, and beautifully, proving I suspect, my point that the form can often drive the thought and breed lilacs out of the dead land. As usual you demonstrate that photographic images can augment rather than swamp the words. I wonder which came first here though.

Barrett Bonden said...

Ah the pleasure of being handy with the languages of trade. For you terza rima, for me 1¾-in. British Standard Whitworth, countersunk head. Hardly a mite of difference.

Michelle said...

Just the term terza rima makes me quake.

The combination of poetry and photographs is grand, Lucy.

I particularly love these lines:

"With webs of mingled threads she masks
the worm-wrought woodwork, powdering stone
pours rotting matter's liquor into dusty flasks,"

Rouchswalwe said...

Ahh, quite nice indeed ... the tinge of pensiveness only adds to the entire wordpicture.

Dick said...

A tricky form, beautifully managed, Lucy. Lovely pictures too. But I'd prefer poem and pictures separate. Too much split focus and each needs its wholeness, I feel.

Lucy said...

Thanks again.

The poem came first; I didn't take the pictures witha view to putting them together, but was editing them at the same time, so it occurred to me to do so.

I'm not actually so sure about the interleaving myself, especially with such a slight poem, it does threaten to swamp it and break it up too much. Better would be to have the pictures running down the sides in parallel, but Blogger's not up to that!

herhimnbryn said...

A new form to me and how beautifully you have illustrated it for us. Words and images that compiment each other.

Lucas said...

I find the photographic essay and the narrative of the poem work wonderfully together. There is a trance-like quality - perhaps the result of the terza rima - which makes the narrative suspenseful too.

apprentice said...

I enjoyed both, but do think the poem deserves to stand in its own blocked out space.

Even Larkin was moved by Spring. It is such a powerful, if deluded, sense renewal - I bet politicians wish they could tap into it.

Bee said...

I like the first bit: the dead leaves have their purpose and function, but we don't want to see them hanging around anymore!