Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sunday Mini-Challenge Time-travel


Hello toads!
Hope that the season is treating you well. Myself I feel weighed down by heavy clouds and lack of clouds. I have sweet memories of the summer passed and I am looking forward to the season of  holidays, winter games and spring. 

From Wikimedia Commons


Already in my first sentence I have been in three times, the present, the past and the future. As a matter fact we are constantly in all these three times, and when writing we are sometimes aware of this, though we tend to tell more about the past. Today I like you to capture all the three times in one poem. How you do it is up to you, but it would be fun to see a poem that make use of all the possible tenses to tell a story that is much longer than the poem itself. But you can use time-jumps too and stick to one tense.

To physically do time travel require science fiction, but in our mind we can do it using the magic wand of our minds. But if you wan't to invent a time-machine and go sci-fi.. that would be a lot of fun.

So the challenge is easy enough. Write a piece of poetry or prose that use past, present and future in the same poem.



Thursday, November 27, 2014

I don't know what to think....really.



Oh my dear Toads what a week it has been.  I am sitting in my RV in Campland in San Diego on Mission Bay right now thinking about what I should post for my Friday.  Should it be Thanksgiving...no, someone else probably has that covered.  Should I post a prompt about San Diego?  Nahhhh....not everyone has been there. Then I thought....Herotomost, you are a damn fool (I finally see what you all have seen since I've been here).  You just gave your daughter away on Monday and were a wreck beyond wrecks for the entire day before and for the entire event.  Toads let me tell you, and many of you probably know already, I had no idea how I should be feeling about the auspicious event.  I mean, the 18 months of planning by my daughter was insufferable.  The price tag hard for a man of my meager means to support.  But onward and upward and soon enough it was time for the wedding.  Up until that point it seemed like something happening to someone else.  Then all of the sudden, it was upon me and I had know idea how to feel about it.  I was numb, I was sad, I was happy for her, for me, for her groom David.  I was bitchy, I was emotional and I was all around a bit of a mess.  I was a mess until she said I do, until I gave the speech, until we had father-daughter dance. At that point I was just grateful that she was happy, and that the wedding was everything she had hoped.
My wife and I in our finery

I look like the kid from A Christmas Story in his snow suit but my daughter looked exquisite
So my lovelies, today's prompt is to think about a situation in your own life in which you had no idea how to feel about what was happening.  I think it happens all the time.  Not just weddings, but funerals, death, love, lust, births. Anything.  Like always, form is of no consequence....none whatsoever.  Just tell me your experience the best way you know how.

I want to wish each and everyone of you the Happiest of Thanksgivings.  Eat, drink and be merry, and if this prompt is not in the cards on this holiday weekend then so be it, just have fun whatever you do.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Get Listed - Travel

Los Angeles

Southwest

Midwest

New York. All images (c) by author


I’m traveling, if that’s the right word to describe being in a place not my home.

Virgin flight 162 departed on time from LAX, destination Newark, but really destination Philadelphia, where work awaits a world away from the ever-dry California coast. (It turns out I should have flown to Philly, because I added 4 hours of train to a 5 hour flight...)

The pilot said it was 8 degrees in Philly. But clear, at least. Temperature at takeoff from LA, even early morning, was 62. I think I’ll need new gloves.

Current track: Please Read the Letter, by Alison Krauss, featuring Robert Plant. Virgin America's available playlist on the onboard jukebox is surprisingly broad.

from Youtube, Fair Use


Below, red dirt ignores the difference between Arizona and New Mexico, because borders don’t exist until we place them there, and the land pays attention to the passing of the sun more than the shadow of a plane.

Your word list for November, inspired by seat 24A looking north out the window:

fly, race, skew, waiting, strangers, clouds, dirt, shadows, horizon, contour, relief, scale

Please select at least 3 words from the list (or reasonable variations) and incorporate them into a new pen.

After you’ve posted to your own blog, return and add a link to your specific post (not just a link to your blog) using Mr. Linky, below. Then, visit and re-visit your fellow poets' work, and please leave comments at their places – because we all like to read letters.

I'll plan to visit later in the week, so feel free to join in anytime, and thanks for reading and participating.

~ Grapeling

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Attempts Spine Poetry, sort of wins.....

Greetings Garden Dwellers.....


In late October, Hannah threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to write a spine poem.  The concept is brilliantly simple: use the titles of the books on your bookshelf to build a poem.  This allows me to repurpose my favorite titles into a piece of my own, and it gives you a glimpse into my personal library.  Easy?  Peasy?  Lemon Squeezy?  Hannah advised she'd let me cheat and add a word or two of my own; however, I decided to see this one through without it.

I couldn't settle on one final product, so I've brought you four spine poems today.  So have a look a around!  I tried very hard to keep only my most favorite titles while building these poems, do you recognize any of them as favorites of your own?   Tell me all about it in the comments!






                                    Marabou stork nightmares,
                                    the anxious object
                                    rotten stiff
                                    a clockwork orange engine empire.
                                    The birthday of the world
                                    my mother: demonology.

                                     Do androids dream of electric sheep?
                                     The elephant vanishes.
                                     Art and fear stand still
                                     like the hummingbird.




                               Dance dance revolution
                               never let me go.
                               A canticle for Liebowitz,
                               fear and loathing 
                               in Las Vegas in caddis wood. 




                                         Pussy, King of the Pirates.
                                        Alias Grace.





                                  All of tomorrow's parties
                                  trash St. Lucy's home for girls raised by wolves. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Open Link Monday with Magaly

I love red

Crimson is one of the reasons why I get so absolutely excited about the Winter Solstice. In North America, the holly bush gets decked up in bright berries. Most stores, streets and homes in New York City go red and glitter crazy this time of the year.

While flying around some of my friends’ cyber-homes, looking for red and fun, I ran into this lady:
“Red Riding Hood” herself, crafted by the gifted Rhissanna Dollmaker. I’ve admired Rhissanna’s dolls for some time. I love the detailed work, the way the artist shares the process over at her blog… When it comes to the wee lady above, I love the dress, the smirk on her face, and the red cape; the basket, with its miniature goodies, is also a real treat.
I hope everyone has a great week. I wish you find a little something you enjoy to look at… Please link a poem for us to delight in. As always, for Open Link Monday, you choose the theme, publication date and everything else. Share your word-yum and visit other word lovers.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Play it Again, Toads! #11


Welcome to the 11th "Play it Again, Toads!" where we revisit the archived challenges of the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  Choose your own (the archive is on the sidebar 2011 - 2014) or select from three I highlight below.

You may use my photos of children's artwork from my daughter's school or use your own - but please combine them with an archived challenge.  You may choose to do more than one challenge if you are so inclined.

Original poems only and link your specific post to Mr. Linky below.  Make it clear which challenge you are resurrecting by including a link.  Thank you, and I look forward to reading your poems.

1)   Kenia's Wednesday Challenge - a philosophical challenge

2)  Sunday Mini-Challenge - dolls interpreted (part 1)
    and Sunday Mini-Challenge - dolls revisited (part 2)

3)  A Toad's Favo(u)rite poem - a look at writing poetry aka Diane di Prima (in her own words:  "Well, nobody's done it quite this way before but fuck it, that's what I'm doing, I'm going to risk it."  This was not originally a challenge, but I think it is fun to revisit it and make it one.





Friday, November 21, 2014

Artistic Interpretations - Still Life with Fruit - Severin Roesen

"Still Life with Fruit 1852 - Severin Roesen  iPhone image by M. Bednar
Welcome to the 19th Artistic Interpretations.  Today I present "Still Life with Fruit" oil on canvas by Severin Roesen in 1852.  He was born in Cologne, Germany in 1815 and died after 1872.

Roesen's still life celebrates an American harvest and the promise of future abundance.   The split pomegranate and half-eaten melon carry the seeds of next year's planting, while the glass of champagne invites a quiet moment of appreciation.  Roesen was among many Germans who fled their country's political troubles of 1848.  They brought with them a level of craftsmanship that found a ready market among Americans whose prosperity matched the natural abundance the artist captured here.  These "new Americans," whose dreams of democratic reform in Europe had been crushed, also brought to this country a liberal social conscience that played a significant role in the drive to abolish slavery.

Roesen is recognized as one of America's preeminent still-life painters, and several of his meticulously detailed paintings are also included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Wing.  One hundred years after his death, his work was introduced to a wider audience when First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, hung several of his pairings in the White House.

Roesen adopted creative liberties with arrangements of fruits and flowers that betray their life cycle; many of his subjects in fact bloom and ripen at opposing seasons.  These impossible curations reflect a prevailing sentiment:  In an age of American prosperity and hope, anything was possible.

This painting is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  I was quite awed by the beauty of it - found myself entranced by the rich details.   This is what I offer today - the details.  Please select a photo below (I took them with my iPhone) or the whole image, above, and prepare either a new poem or one re-worked.  By all means, feel free to venture far from the above explanation of the painting.

If these particular images do not inspire you, I give you leeway to google and seek an image of Roesen's that does.  HERE is a link from the New Britain Museum of Art featuring "Fruit and Wine Glass" - 1870.

As always, please link up with Mr. Linky below.  Friday is often a hectic day, so feel free to submit late and remember that Monday is "Open Link" here in the Garden.

I am looking for your artistic interpretation.

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mid-Week Challenge ~ Youth & Age

Hi Toads and friends! Kerry here, stepping in for Izy at the last moment.

Source: Bored Panda
Photographer Qozop



In his new “Spring-Autumn” series, Asian photographer Qozop addresses the role of clothing in our society through a clever and playful juxtaposition of two generations. Participating youths and elders (parents and children or grandparents and grandchildren) are photographed in their attire and then asked to swap clothing and pose again. Read more and view other examples of Qozop HERE. Please click on the photos to enlarge them.


Source: Bored Panda
Photographer Qozop

Below are some interesting facts about the achievements of several historical people, who have defied the strictures of age in their pursuit of success:


  • Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5.
  • Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.”
  • Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank.
  • Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14.
  • Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15.
  • Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil.
  • Elvis was a superstar by age 19.
  • John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961.
  • Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936.
  • Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world
  • J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter
  • Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind
  • Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream."
  • Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics 
  • Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa.
  • Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president.
  • Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat".
  • Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise
  • J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out
  • Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President” 

Let us challenge the stereotypes of youth and old age in our poetry today. 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Erasure? Sure! – Personal Challenge for Hannah

Yay!! I was picked and here’s the challenge…

Björn says, “I want you to present a piece of erasure poetry. The idea is simple – take a book page – provided by me. Then by erasing everything but the words needed for your poem present it (together with a picture of your book-page). As an additional (which should be easy for you) the poem should have an autumn theme).  So print it out and black out all the words that are not part of your poem J. The words have to be used in the exact order that they appear in the text.

I didn't actually print it out because the gremlins got into my printer but I used my writing program and highlighted in black. Unfortunately, you can still see the original text through the highlighting but actually, some might be interested to read the context, (a page from Bleak House), from which I’ve carved this poem.

I hope you enjoy it…I certainly did! Thank you for the challenge, Björn.

Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time—as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look.
The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln's Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.
Never can there come fog too thick, never can there come mud and mire too deep, to assort with the groping and floundering condition which this High Court of Chancery, most pestilent of hoary sinners, holds this day in the sight of heaven and earth.
On such an afternoon, if ever, the Lord High Chancellor ought to be sitting here—as here he is—with a foggy glory round his head, softly fenced in with crimson cloth and curtains, addressed by a large advocate with great whiskers, a little voice, and an interminable brief, and outwardly directing his contemplation to the lantern in the roof, where he can see nothing but fog. On such an afternoon some score of members of the High Court of Chancery bar ought to be—as here they are—mistily engaged in one of the ten thousand stages of an endless cause, tripping one another up on slippery precedents, groping knee-deep in technicalities, running their goat-hair and horsehair warded heads against walls of words and making a pretence of equity with serious faces, as players might. On such an afternoon the various solicitors in the cause, some two or three of whom have inherited it from their fathers, who made a fortune by it, ought to be—as are they not?—ranged in a line, in a long matted well (but you might look in vain for truth at the bottom of it) between the registrar's red table and the silk gowns, with bills, cross-bills, answers, rejoinders, injunctions, affidavits, issues, references to masters, masters' reports, mountains of costly nonsense, piled before them. Well may the court be dim, with wasting candles here and there; well may the fog hang heavy in it, as if it would never get out; well may the stained-glass windows lose their colour and admit no light of day into the place; well may the uninitiated from the streets, who peep in through the glass panes in the door, be deterred from entrance by its owlish aspect and by the drawl, languidly echoing to the roof from the padded dais where the Lord High Chancellor looks into the lantern that has no light in it and where the attendant wigs are all stuck in a fog-bank! This is the Court of Chanc-


This is my compiled and titled version...probably easier to read. :)

Autumn Afternoon
Looming fog in streets,
sun from fields seen by boy.
Light before time – seems to know.
Look
raw afternoon
near that Temple
at the very heart of fog,
fog thick, mud and mire
deep –
hold this day in sight
heaven and earth
an afternoon sitting here
glory softly fenced with crimson
addressed by a little voice,
brief and direct.
Lantern can see on such an afternoon
mistily engaged an endless tripping –
running horse…
walls of words play on an afternoon inherited.
Fortune in a well
(look for truth at the bottom),
red silk owns answers –
mountains piled.
Candles here and there stain windows
and light of day may initiate from streets;
through glass panes entrance by owl
and languid echoing…
the lantern has light in it
and fog. 


I'm looking forward to picking on someone for the next challenge - so keep an eye on your inboxes Toads! 

There isn't a Mr. Linky today but if anyone is inspired by this challenge and wants to play, please feel free to leave a link to your blog below or paste an offering in the comments.

Have a wonderful day Garden Dwellers! 


Monday, November 17, 2014

Open Link Monday

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden...

Autumn Photography via Bored Panda
Copyright Reserved
“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen." Ernest Hemingway 

Good day to all poets, friends and visitors! It seems to me that the year is winding up, as we move through the final weeks of November. Time to take stock of those resolutions, and consider whether we have achieved the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year, all the while knowing that a new year will be upon us before we are quite ready for it.


Source as above
Copyright Reseved

What better time, then, to pause and reflect than a few minutes gleaned from the day and spent in the garden among poets. The creative energy which is shared here every week is an inspiration. Even at my most exhausted, I always feel a renewal of intellectual energy after reading and marvelling at the high calibre of work shared. Please enjoy your time spent here: link up a poem of your choice, read, comment and become a part of our community.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sunday Mini-Challenge ~ In Other Words

It's the third weekend of the month, and time to try our hands once again at substituting our own words into the titles of novels, and spinning a few threads of thought into poetry.

The novels I have chosen for this mini-challenge are:

The World According to Garp by John Irving, published in 1978, the book was a bestseller for several years and the paperback edition won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1980.

Book Cover


The role of Garp was played by Robin Williams in the movie adaptation of 1982. It was the first time I saw him on screen and was so moved by his performance that I went out and bought the novel, and now own every novel written by Irving.

AND

Love in the Time of Cholera, a novel by Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez, first published in Spanish in 1985.

Book Cover

The book was also adapted into a movie starring Jarvier Bardem, in 2007.

Our Challenge: 

Select either of the titles and substitute your own words in the place of those indicated below, and write a new poem under the title you have created.

1. The World According to _________

2. Love in the Time of _____________

In addition, you may substitute a word of your own choice for either the word "World" or the word "Love". (E.g. The Sea According to Sinbad)

Link up your poem, and visit the other participants' blogs to see what innovative words and ideas they have chosen. Have fun!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Love of My Life

Speaking of icons... Of course, many artists and visionaries are born and die in any given month, but somehow at my house, November has come to be known as Freddie’s Month. Freddie Mercury passed away in November 1991, if you can even believe it. What a long time ago, and how young he was.



I am a great admirer of Freddie Mercury for many reasons. But lately, while watching concert footage like the one that's our focus today, I’ve been ruminating on how he related to his audience. There are other beautiful versions of "Love of My Life" to be found on the internet, but this one is my favorite because of his interaction with the massive crowd (at Wembley Stadium). He quite literally conducts the people, and it is wonderful to watch.

How do we relate to our audiences? How do the readers of our poetry impact how and what we struggle to write? How does that change, or intensify, when we read our poems out loud to other people? I wonder what it would be like to perform as a musician on a stage in front of hundred of thousands. Or even dozens! I’m interested in how you all think about your stage, and how and why you have put yourself on one. Did you know that Freddie Mercury was actually quite reserved, unlike his on-stage persona? He talks in interviews about how he loved to perform for people.



Be moved--allow yourself to be conducted, even--and please bring us your new poems inspired by Freddie Mercury, Queen, performing for a crowd, audience participation, life-long love, friends forever, dying well before one’s time, living well, extroversion vs. introversion, or whatever comes to mind when witnessing this performance, hearing these words, thinking about Freddie.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kerry Says ~ Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Miss American Pie by laFada 

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play

And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
Continue reading HERE

I came across an interesting on-line article written by James Waller (2014), entitled "The Day the Music Died". "For a monster hit, singer-songwriter Don McLean’s “American Pie” was an unusual record: Clocking in at more than eight and a half minutes, it outdistanced the Beatles’ seven-minute “Hey Jude” and took up more airtime than another superlong 1970s standard, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Plus, its preternaturally catchy tune features lyrics—five verses, an intro and a refrain—as obscure as they are memorable. Partly an oblique autobiography, partly an allegory about the first generation raised on rock and roll, “American Pie” amounts to a riddle that listeners have relished trying to solve since its release."

Album Cover (Fair use)


Most critics, fans, music buffs tend to agree that "the “long, long time ago” of the song’s intro refers to the February day in 1959 when a plane carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper went down in an Iowa cornfield" but they are not the only iconic personalities who have become associated with the song:
"Among those appearing in poetic disguise are Bob Dylan (as “the jester”), Elvis Presley (“the king”) and the Beatles (“the sergeants,” after their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band). Three lines of the song’s final and most haunting verse may describe Janis Joplin: I met a girl who sang the blues / And I asked her for some happy news / But she just smiled and turned away." Don McLean has not proffered an in depth interpretation of his lyrics, saying: "They're beyond analysis. They're poetry."

Our challenge today is to consider the role of iconic people in society, how they shape memory and history; how they come to represent an era or a country; what they give to group identity or reveal of the human condition. You may speak of their passing, their legacy, their fall from grace. You may choose to make your icon recognizable or enigmatic.

For those who would like to listen to the song and review the lyrics, I have included this video.






Monday, November 10, 2014

Open Link Monday with Magaly

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading, editing, rewriting, rereading, reediting… a short fiction collection. I enjoy working on my words. But every now and then, I sit in bed (that’s where I write) and just stare ahead.

Below is a photo of my latest gazing spot. My mind is busy, I’m sleepy… I figured that I would take it easy, today. Maybe share the poetic seed that sprouted the story I was working on before writing this post


As always, dear Toads, Open Link Monday is for everyone who loves getting lost and found in delicious words. I invite you to link up a poem—new, old, short, long (don’t go crazy with the length! Just kidding)—share any poem you like. And, of course, visit other word lovers.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sunday's Mini-Challenge: Salvatore Quasimodo

Hi toads and friends of the garden !   I am enjoying this series of sharing with you the work of other poets.  For today, it is the poems by Salvatore Quasimodo who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1959.

Salvatore Quasimodo (1901-1968) was born of Sicilian parents in Syracuse. Desiring to become an engineer, he attended technical schools in Palermo and later enrolled at the Politecnico in Rome. In addition, he studied Latin and Greek at the University there. However, for economic reasons he was unable to complete his studies. He obtained a position with the Italian government's civil engineering corps and was sent to various parts of Italy. In 1930 he had three poems published in the avant-garde review, Solaria, and later that same year appeared his first book of verse, Acque e terre (Waters and Lands). Two years later he published Òboe sommerso (Sunken Oboe), in which he proves a more mature poet. The "poetica della parole", the poetics of the word, which is, for Quasimodo, the fundamental and virtually limitless connotative unit, pervades his first book. While this concept still serves as the basis for Òboe sommerso, the main interest of this collection lies in the rhythmical arrangement of words around a lyrical nucleus. In both these and his later works Sicily is the constant, ever-present factor.

During the 1930's Quasimodo was a leader of the "Hermetic" school of poetry; however, with the appearance of his translations Lirici Greci (Greek Lyrics), 1940, it was obvious that his direction was no longer entirely along the lines of that group. In Nuove Poesie (New Poems), 1942, Quasimodo reveals both the influence of classical stylistics and a greater understanding of life in general. His subsequent translations, which range from the Greek and Latin poets (Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Ovid, Vergil, etc.) to Shakespeare and Molière and twentieth-century writers (Neruda, e.e. cummings, Aiken, etc.), reflect his full appreciation of the original works as well as his modern taste and sensibility.

During the Second World War Quasimodo experienced the need of the poet to feel one with the people and to declare himself as such in his poems. To him the role of the poet in society is a necessarily active one; he should commit himself and his talents to contemporary struggles. Such views were first expressed in Giorno dopogiorno (Day after Day), 1946, and La vita non è sogno (Life Is Not a Dream), 1949.

Quasimodo's later works show this change from individualism toward sociality, and moreover affirm the positive characteristics of life even in a world where death is an omnipresent fear. In La terra impareggiabile (The Incomparable Earth), 1958, Quasimodo has eloquently attempted to fuse life and literature; he has developed a new language which coincides with man's new activities and ever-expanding investigations. Some of his poetry and two of his critical essays have appeared in English translation in The Selected Writings of Salvatore Quasimodo (1960); his Selected Poems were published in 1965.

Mirror
(Ed ecco sul tronco)

And see, buds break
out of the tree:
a newer green in the grass
eases the heart:
the tree seemed already dead,
bowed on the slope

And all I know of miracle;
and I am this watery cloud
that reflected today in the ditches,
the more blue, its fragment of heaven,
this green that splits the bark
that only last night was not there.

Metamorphoses in the Urn of the Saint
(I morti maturano)

The dead mature;
my heart with them.
Mercy on the self
is earth’s final humour.

A light of lacustrine trees
stirs in the glass of the urn.
a dark mutation ravages me,
unknown saint; in the scattered seed
green maggots moan:
my visage forms their springtime.

A memory of darkness is born
in the depths of walled wells,
an echo in buried eardrums:

I am your pale relic.


Grant Me My Day

(Dammi il mio giorno)


Grant me my day;
so I might yet search myself
for some dormant face of the years
that a hollow of water
returns in its transparency
and weep for love of myself.

You are a path in the heart
and a finding of stars
in sleepless archipelagos,
night, kindly to me
a fossil thrown from a weary wave;

a curve of secret orbit,
where we are close
to rocks and grasses.

You can read more of his translated work here.

Our challenge is to write a new poem or prose poem in response to Salvatore Quasimodo's words.   Some examples of responses include affirming what the speaker said or using his title or line of verse as a jumping board for your own writing.   The prompt is wide open so feel free to explore where your muse takes you.   I look forward to reading your work ~ Happy weekend to all ~ Grace (aka Heaven)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Transforming Friday with Nature's Wonders

Hello Toads and Pond Dwellers - it's Hannah with a magical natural location to inspire you. Let's explore the wide web searching for aspects of Antelope Canyon, USA, to write poems about.

There's the Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew.

The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means "the place where water runs through rocks" and the Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí or "spiral rock arches." Both are located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.


(A beam of light in Upper Antelope Canyon
in Arizona. Lucas Löffler wiki cc)

Here's a little background on how these canyons were born.

Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. Rainwater, especially during monsoon season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. Over time the passageways eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form characteristic 'flowing' shapes in the rock.

Many of the clips were a bit too tourist-y flavored, for my liking but this one made me happy. I hope you enjoy it, too.




There're lots of ways you could include these canyons in your work...it could be the setting, color, sound quality or even explore the canyon in metaphor - the choice is yours. :)

Please offer new poems written for this challenge and be sure to make the rounds. I look forward to reading you. Happy weekend everyone! :)