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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Playing around with Mesostics

600px-william_simpson_-_charge_of_the_light_cavalry_brigade_25th_oct-_1854_under_major_general_the_earl_of_cardiganWhat is a Mesostic? A Mesostic is similar to an acrostic, but the spine word (or words) run down the middle of the page rather than down the left side. The letters of the spine phrase are capitalized. The choice of words also follows certain rules: the next capitalized letter can’t appear between it and the next word, or sometimes both the capitalized letter and the next capitalized letter can’t appear.

Here is a short article on Mesostics:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesostic

Mesostic poems can thus be generated using an initial text (Oracle) and a spine word, most likely using a Mesostic generator program. Here’s a link to one:

http://mesostics.sas.upenn.edu/

and here’s some information about the project at the University of Pennsylvania that produced the program:

http://mesostics.sas.upenn.edu/about.html

Here is an interesting piece by Marjorie Perloff about John Cage’s Mesostics:

http://thebatterseareview.com/critical-prose/116-john-cage-conceptualist-poet

The following was generated from “Charge of the Light Brigade” source using the poem’s title as the oracle:

                      
                  in guns into ii the theirs Cannon
                                rigHt
                              them cAnnon to left of
                                 fRont of and stormed boldly they and of the
              their sabres bare as in air sabrinG
                                 thE gunners there charging
                           army while wOrld wondered plunged in the batterysmoke
            they broke cossack and russian reeled From
                                  sTroke sundered rode but not not
                            v cannon rigHt
                                of thEm cannon
                                 to Left of
                              them behInd at had of from mouth of
             left of six hundred vi when can their Glory fade o
                                wild cHarge
                                   They made all world wondered honour they made
                            the light noBle six
                                 hundRed
                                   I half a half a a onward the rode six
                           forward the liGht
                                  chArge for the
                             guns he saiD
                               into thE of left and through

“Of Frogs and Fishing”

Here are three poems I wrote in response to photo prompts for F2k class at Writers Village University.  Writing a poem inspired by a photograph is harder than you think!

picture-prompt-1b

Of Frogs and Fishing

I’ve kissed a few frogs.

In the fourth grade,
warts on my hands
from kissing a boy,
no doubt,
his eyes bulging, croaking
hello in the halls.

The auto mechanic
who told me fish stories,
never kissed him.

Prince or pauper?

The newly divorced,
washed up on the beach,
flopping on the sand.
Yeah, I kissed him.

Plenty of fish in the sea,
or so they say.

The businessman who flashed
a fistful of credit cards,
enough for decent fishing gear.
I never kissed him.

Maybe it was the tin crown
that fooled me, the too shy
toad always just out of reach.
I kissed him.

Does that make me a princess
in a pink tutu, ever hopeful?

I’ve kissed
a few frogs.

picture-prompt-2c

Patriot

I believe in liberty,
justice, peace and plenty.

All that good shit.

The flag for which it stands.

And the Pursuit of Happiness.

You both get out of my way
before you get trampled.

And that guy, carrying that flag
on the beach, like it was yours alone…
and alone to bear.

These red, white and blue tennies
will leave marks on your back.

So get out of my way,
get out of my way.

picture-prompt-1c

Stacks

My bedroom,
shelves of notebooks
and books, both kinds,
hardback and paperback.

They could be the important
kind, history, philosophy,
politics, law.

Instead, fiction-old favorites
and new friends, cookbooks,
Astrology and travel books,
writing books.

The local branch
of the Westlund library.

Favorite Poems

djinns

Les Djinns is one of my all-time favorite poems.

Here is the poem (in French, of course)!

http://poesie.webnet.fr/lesgrandsclassiques/poemes/victor_hugo/les_djinns.html

Here is a link to someone reading it on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQv4GgQX9A

Here are the first couple of stanzas in French:

Murs, ville,
Et port,
Asile
De mort,
Mer grise
Où brise
La brise,
Tout dort.

Dans la plaine
Naît un bruit.
C’est l’haleine
De la nuit.
Elle brame
Comme une âme
Qu’une flamme

Toujours suit !
Note the rhyme pattern, A/B/A/B/A/A/A/B

The form, both the line length and the rhyme pattern, contribute greatly to the effect of the poem. It’s extremely difficult to translate, but here is a link to one that stays pretty true to both the text and the form:

http://lyricstranslate.com/en/les-djinns-djinns.html

At one point I attempted to translate it myself but gave up in despair. Instead, I ended up with the following piece of nonsense:

lee_jeans

Lee Jeans

by Margaret Fieland

 

The real
report:
the meal,
in short,
a quart
of grease,
the teas
a tease,
the torte

,

is too plain
and not sweet.
They complain,
I repeat.
It is plain
it’s insane
to remain
here to eat.

 

The chef, you know,
who kneads the dough:
he had to go.
It’s quite a blow.
He stole the plants,
a big advance,
and all the pants,
when things were slow.

 

I hear him approach
I know it is he.
He sounds like a coach
or an angry sea.
I may be a fool
but I think it’s cruel
and not at all cool
to take things and flee.

 

So I went down the hall
to see what could be found.
I had heard someone call
so I looked all around.
I walked down to the lamp.
I wanted to decamp
but I had a bad cramp
so I leaned on the wall.

 

It was warm for the month of May.
I looked around and he was gone.
The chef hid from me, and I say
that the search for him may drag on.
I know that he has run away;
I looked around to see which way.
I know I won’t find him today,
and I don’t know where he has gone.

 

Our restaurant will close. I want to weep,
We have no more money and we are dinned
by all our creditors. I cannot sleep.
He destroyed our livelihood. He has sinned.
He took the money and he stole away.
If he is caught, then for his sins he’ll pay,
but when that day will come no one can say
and for now all our money has been skinned.

 

We would need to buy some more pants
for the waiters and for the cooks.
We could get by without more plants;
but I took a look at the books:
we can’t get by without more dough,
and there’s no place we could go
that could provide us with the dough.
That chef has really cooked the books!

 

He has passed by the court!
I see him hide away
behind the kegs of port.
He’ll try to hide all day.
I know this thief is Ben
and he has fled again.
We must catch him, and then
he must be made to pay!

 

His name’s Ben Fontaine
He lives in Billox.
He can fly a plane.
He’s sly as a fox.
He has a strange smell.
It’s one I know well,
one like a gazelle
or maybe like lox.

 

His home’s a lab
with no front door.
He owns a Lab
or three or four.
His face is grave.
Although he’s brave,
he is a knave
down to the core.

 

It’s not vague,
what is more,
what a plague
to the store
was that man
when he can
steal a can
or some more.

 

No doubt
in brief,
without
the thief,
our woe
will grow.
We’ve no
relief.

 

What are some of your favorite poems? Leave us a comment and let us know.

More Poetry News

Snapdragon logoI have also been submitting poetry, and my poem “Seeking that which is Lost” is in Snapdragon Journal‘s Summer issue “Journey”.  You can get an annual subscription, or purchase the individual issue. Snapdragon Journal’s mission is to use creativity as a way to process and express the healing journey. The issue is a powerful, beautiful compilation and I am so proud to be a part of it. I have often used poetry as therapy, so I know its power and celebrate what they are accomplishing. I hope you check them out.

 

mary-sig2

 

I actually submitted some poems for publication and they were accepted

.. a couple of them, anyway.

Lvegetation   Like many writers, I’d rather be writing, so I’m often lazy about submitting. Recently, however, I had two poems published. One I submitted and had accepted last fall, and another I submitted recently.

“When I kick the Bucket,” was written several years ago. The title comes from a phrase my father used frequently growing up. In it, I imagine my own funeral. The name of the funeral home is one that was close to where I grew up in Manhattan, and the people mentioned in the poem are real members of my family.It appears in Lighten Up Online, an online humor zine. Here is the link: http://www.lightenup-online.co.uk/index.php/issue-34-june-2016/1008-margaret-fieland-when-i-kick-the-bucket

The next one, “Faded Glory,” appears in the spring issue of a new online journal, Eclipse180. I submitted a set of four poems that spoke to the theme of war, and the editor liked all of them. Her favorite, “Faded Glory,” appears in the spring issue. I’m hopeful that the other three will appear in the summer issue, which is not yet out.

My middle son served in the army and did two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He signed up for the Army Reserve during his junior year in high school. He went through basic training during the summer between his junior and senior years in high school, and served in the reserve during his senior year. He received a ROTC scholarship and entered the army as an officer — a very junior lieutenant — after graduation. All four poems I submitted were written when he was serving overseas.

Here is the link to the site. You can click on the link for the spring issue. My poem is the last one in that issue. http://eclipse180.wix.com/spring2016

 

 

More on Rob’s Rebellion, and a poem from the book

Robs Rebellion 333x500Rob’s Rebellion makes the list:
The Frivolist: Reading Rainbows: 9 LGBT Books To Bide Your Time Until Summer
by Mikey Rox

http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=75681

How it got there:

I have been on the Haro mailing (Help a reporter out) list for several years. I don’t always look over the requests, but a while back I was reading through the requests when I noticed a request for information about GLBT themed recent novels, so I sent in the information.

And now, for your enjoyment, is a poem from the novel:

Ballad of Barad and Garan

Barad strode out one two-moon night
upon dark desert sand.
He kissed Garan upon the lips,
then listened to his demand:

“The time has come for us to part.
I’m going off to fight
Let us exchange a pledge of love
before we part tonight.”

Barad replied, “I cannot pledge
although I love you true.
I fear the consequences when
I swear my love to you.”

“Barad, your fear,” his lover said,
“is all that holds you back.
I hope one day you’ll seek within
the courage which you lack.

“I will march off to war tonight
while you remain behind.
The spirits will find fault with you
for love you have declined.”

Barad beheld the moonlit sand
as Garan strode away,
while praying spirits keep him safe
amid the coming fray.

The battle raged in dark of night.
Garan reached for his blade.
Too late, his blood dripped down his breast.
He felt his life-force fade.

Around a world went ringing out
Garan’s last, dying cry.
His lover’s name was upon lips,
Garan let out a sigh.

“You failed to promise me your love.
I lost the will to live.
Your selfish pride, inconstancy,
spirits will not forgive.”

Barad stood tall beside a rock,
the wind blew on his brow.
He said, “Perhaps it’s not too late.
Oh spirits, hear my vow:

“While I may wander through this life,
if love should come to me,
I will not turn my face away,
however hard it be.”

Barad meandered far and wide.
He fought for many years.
And every night he hungered more
for love he’d lost to fears.

One day he met a giant brute
who tried to block his way.
Barad took out his long, sharp sword.
He fought for many a day.

The giant had a longer reach,
Barad was much more quick.
He wore the mighty giant down
The brute was tired and sick.

The giant heaved a mighty sigh,
and said, “Let’s call a truce.
I vowed to stop the fighting when
I found a good excuse.”

Barad continued on his way
up to a heap of stone.
He sat and sobbed, “Deprived of love.
I’ve spent my life alone.”

He rose and wandered to a town
to find something to eat.
But in the town he found the man
he’d feared he’d never meet.

Barad gazed at the other’s face.
The stranger stared right back.
Barad heard spirits call to him,
“Here is the love you lack.

“We spirits bless you with this chance,
and you must see it through.
You must now kiss the stranger twice,
tell him you love him true.”

“I vowed I would not turn away
if love should come to me.
I’ll kiss this stranger with the wish
our love is meant to be.

“I’ve never met this man before
How will he now react?
I’ll take a risk and hope, at least,
I will not be attacked.”

Barad then kissed the stranger twice,
both times with mighty smack,
and said, “Oh, sir, I love you true,
Oh, will you love me back?”

With a smile the other replied,
“I’ve waited many years
in hopes my love would come to me,
for love to conquer fears.

I’ll love you true forever more.
You need not be afraid.
I bless the spirits for their gift,
the love for which I prayed.”

I am a Poet

*This is a repost from my personal blog: marywjensen.blogspot.com

Poetry Header

 

I’d like to share with you some quotes that really echo how I feel about poetry.

What is poetry?

“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”
–Edgar Allan Poe

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”
–Carl Sandburg

Who is the poet?

“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”
–W. H. Auden

Poets don’t publish for the recognition or the money. We do it because we want to connect with the world, with other people. To share human experience and emotion.

“Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.”
–Don Marquis

“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
–T.S. Eliot

“Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement.”
–Christopher Fry

And, above all else:

“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves.
What humans can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature.”
–Abraham Maslow

I am a Poet
A genius in disguise
Forms flow from my fingertips
Words and phrases grow within me
Waiting for ripeness
That moment when I write them
And another poem is born
Mary Butterfly Signature

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