Sunday, September 15, 2019

Poetry Pantry #493

We hope this brings you a smile this morning. If only they would sing! LOL. We have another great week coming up at Poets United, my friends. We hope you caught our Friday feature, when Sanaa brought us her interactive Wild Friday! (I love the idea of wild Fridays, needless to say!)

On Monday, Fireblossom and Mama Zen are weighing in, sharing a poem each and a few thoughts on poetry and blogging. You won't want to miss it.  And Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif on Wednesday will be Vigilance, a quality we need in these difficult times, so our countries don't become unrecognizable. 

Next Friday Magaly will bring us one of her interactive features. It sounds like an interesting and fun week. We hope you'll join us.

As today is Sunday, top up your coffee and settle in for some wonderful poetry. Thank you all for being here. We appreciate you, for you are the reason we're here too, doing what we do.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Wild Friday at Poets United

Welcome to the first Wild Friday at Poets United! Starting today, we will be dedicating the second Friday of the month to topics touched by poetry  — it can be about a particular poem, a poetry book or something that is happening in the poetry world. 

The second Fridays will be wild! I hope to pleasantly surprise you with something that we all will enjoy doing together. On that note let us dive into today's prompt:  

In a world dominated by men, it was rare to see a woman in ancient times to wield such power in writing. Sappho's songs were regarded as outstanding, so revered was she that the people of those times referred to her as the "Tenth Muse," and her songs were passed down over centuries inspiring generations of Poets, none of whom managed to replicate her command of metre and sensual artistry.

So, where did Sappho come from? Her estimated birth date places her sometime after the composition and transmission of the works of the Homeric Poets, which told stories of the Trojan War and are preserved in the epics known as the 'Iliad,' and the 'Odyssey.' 

In my eyes he matches the gods 

In my eyes he matches the gods, that man who
sits there facing you--any man whatever--
listening from close by to the sweetness of your
          voice as you talk, the

sweetness of your laughter: yes, that--I swear it--
sets the heart to shaking inside my breast, since
once I look at you for a moment, I can't
          speak any longer,

but my tongue breaks down, and then all at once a
subtle fire races inside my skin, my
eyes can't see a thing and a whirring whistle
          thrums at my hearing,

cold sweat covers me and a trembling takes
a hold of me all over: I'm greener than the
grass is and appear to myself to be little
          short of dying.

But all must be endured, since even a poor [

When I first came across and read this poem I was blown away by the intensity of the emotions that adorned each and every word, placed carefully and with such precision so as to capture the reader's attention. 

Sappho's poem puts me in the mind of love, eros and jealousy. The poem as we have it is apparently incomplete as there is the beginning of an additional line at the end ("But all must be endured... ") Most translators have ignored this fragment and concluded with the previous line, but a few modern ones include it.

Which brings me to question: what could have been the conclusion? What more could have been said? The fact that the poem is incomplete leaves much to be contemplated and adds a certain level of mystery. I remember reading and re-reading this poem and each time marveling at the possibility of there having been at least one more stanza in completing it. 

So, for our first Wild Friday at Poets United, I invite you to write poetry and offer the following two options:

1) Find a poem which is also incomplete and write a response poem that works like an ending for your choice.
2) Or if you don't feel like finding a different poem then use Sappho's.

Add the direct link to your poem to Mr Linky. Remember to visit others and to comment on their work. I look forward to reading what you all come up with. Have fun!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Looking at Stars

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”— Oscar Wilde


“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”— Stephen Hawking

Midweek Motif ~ Looking at Stars

Are you a star gazer? If not better be one and gift us a few lines about your experience.

The moment you look up you’re getting physically connected to these ancient pinpricks of light. Some of these distant and tiny patches of light may not be existing any more. What do they tell you?

It is a journey, poets often take to arrive at an amazing destination and fill us with wonder.

Some stargazing poems:

by Emily Dickinson

Ah, Moon—and Star!
You are very far—
But were no one
Farther than you—
Do you think I'd stop
For a Firmament—
Or a Cubit—or so?

I could borrow a Bonnet
Of the Lark—
And a Chamois' Silver Boot—
And a stirrup of an Antelope—
And be with you—Tonight!

But, Moon, and Star,
Though you're very far—
There is one—farther than you—
He—is more than a firmament—from Me—
So I can never go! 

Stars, I Have Seen Them Fall
by A.E. Housman

Stars, I have seen them fall,
But when they drop and die
No star is lost at all
From all the star-sown sky.
The toil of all that be
Helps not the primal fault;
It rains into the sea,
And still the sea is salt. 

The Embankment
by T.E. Hulme

Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy,
In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement.
Now see I
That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy.
Oh, God. Make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.

Stars Over Dordogne
by Sylvia Plath

Stars are dropping thick as stones into the twiggy
Picket of trees whose silhouette is darker
Than the dark of the sky because it is quite starless.
The woods are a well. The stars drop silently.
They seem large, yet they drop, and no gap is visible.
Nor do they send up fires where they fall
Or any signal of distress or anxiousness.
They are eaten immediately by the pines.

Where I am at home, only the sparsest stars
Arrive at twilight, and then after some effort.
And they are wan, dulled by much travelling.
The smaller and more timid never arrive at all
But stay, sitting far out, in their own dust.
They are orphans. I cannot see them. They are lost.
But tonight they have discovered this river with no trouble,
They are scrubbed and self-assured as the great planets.

The Big Dipper is my only familiar.
I miss Orion and Cassiopeia's Chair. Maybe they are
Hanging shyly under the studded horizon
Like a child's too-simple mathematical problem.
Infinite number seems to be the issue up there.
Or else they are present, and their disguise so bright
I am overlooking them by looking too hard.
Perhaps it is the season that is not right.

And what if the sky here is no different,
And it is my eyes that have been sharpening themselves?
Such a luxury of stars would embarrass me.
The few I am used to are plain and durable;
I think they would not wish for this dressy backcloth
Or much company, or the mildness of the south.
They are too puritan and solitary for that—
When one of them falls it leaves a space,

A sense of absence in its old shining place.
And where I lie now, back to my own dark star,
I see those constellations in my head,
Unwarmed by the sweet air of this peach orchard.
There is too much ease here; these stars treat me too well.
On this hill, with its view of lit castles, each swung bell
Is accounting for its cow. I shut my eyes
And drink the small night chill like news of home.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

(And our Sanaa will have a new exciting feature to share with us every second Friday of the month. So stay tuned for this Friday - the 13th. Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Vigilance)