sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘Margaret Fieland poetry’

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:

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.




What makes a poem?

What makes a poem

When I was a child, my definition of a poem was something that resembled “The Highwayman,” rhyming lines formed into stanzas, with evocative imagery, and that told a story. As I grew older, and discovered poets like Sandburg and Amy Lowell, I realized poems didn’t need to rhyme, and, as my poetic horizons expanded to include Whitman and Elliot, I realized that they didn’t have to tell a story. My definition of a poem became lines and stanzas with evocative imagery. Then I encountered prose poetry.

Now I’m not a big fan of prose poetry. For me, I need lines and stanzas to feel that it’s a poem, but modern poetry doesn’t agree with me.

So what makes a poem, beyond the let me read it, and I’ll let you know if it’s a poem? The use of language to move beyond literal meaning, to evoke a mood, a sensory image, by the way that language is used is the basis for poetry.

If you studied poetry in school, you may have studied poetic devices: rhyme, meter, alliteration, assonance, consonance, metaphor, simile, to name a few.

Rhyme is probably the most familiar: cat, hat, sat, bat, rat, with meter, the rhythm that the words form when read aloud, a close second.  Alliteration, where words begin with the same consonant sound, assonance, where words have the same vowel sound, as in black cat, and consonance, where words have the same internal or ending consonant sounds as in near cure.

Here’s a poem of mine, in the tradition of Walter De La Mare’s The Listeners: It appered in the June, 2010 issue of ezine Dark Eye Glances. Notice how the first and last stanzas are   nearly  identical —
At Midnight

Three to ride the shadowed road,
two to catch them as they slowed,
one to flee and try to warn,
none to live to see the morn.

Three rode out one moonless night
beneath the shafts of silver light
of stars above in a cloudless sky
and none of them demanded why.

Not one of them asked why they rode,
why they left their snug abode
to ride the woods that dark, dark night
beneath the shafts of silver light.

When midnight chimed they stopped and stared.
Two strangers stood with broadswords bared.
Two brothers dead without a fight,
one brother left, one to take flight.

One brother turns and flees in fright,
rides and dies that dark, dark night,
killed by strangers with broadswords bared.
Three brothers caught all unprepared.

Three to ride the shadowed road,
two to catch them as they rode,
one to flee and try to warn,
none to live to see the morn.

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