Sunday, April 20, 2014

Poetry Pantry #198

Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Me standing under the flag at the top of Chimney Rock

A View from the top of Chimney Rock

A creek in the town of Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Lake Lure, NC - Where film "Dirty Dancing" was filmed

Eastern Continental Divide, North Carolina

Greetings, Poets!

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate!

Glad to see each of you here this week for Poetry Pantry  It is always enjoyable for me to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same.  Admittedly, I personally appreciate those with whom there is a feeling of reciprocity, which makes for a feeling of community.  I think we ALL tend to visit (after a while) people with whom we reciprocate.

This week I am sharing some North Carolina, USA, photos.

Be sure to visit Poets United tomorrow to see what Sherry Blue Sky  has planned to share.  Will it be a featured poet?  A featured blog?  Or a featured poem?

Glad to see the turnout  for  Mid-Week Motif Wednesday continues to be good.  We hope to see you this coming week for another challenging prompt by Susan Chast!

And on Friday, remember to see who Rosemary Nissen-Wade is featuring on her "I Wish I Had Written This" or "The Living Dead."

I issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, let me know what kind of photos you have.  There are participants here from many different cities, many different countries.  I think it is great fun to see different areas featured. I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to letting me know what you have.  I am interested in city or country views - in your home area or places you have traveled.

Anyway, with no further adieu, this is one of my favorite spaces to post poetry each week.  I hope you look forward to it too.  An older one or a new one, it's your choice.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.

Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Living Dead

Honouring our poetic ancestors

Sumer Is Icumen In

— Anonymous

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu;                      
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springth the wode nu;
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhouth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth,
Murie sing, cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu, wel
Singes thu, cuccu;
Na swike thu naver nu;

Sing cuccu, nu,
Sing cuccu,
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu!

OK, here's my own translation, mostly phonetic and not at all scholarly:

Summer is a-coming in,
Loud sing cuckoo;
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
And springeth the wood now.
Sing cuckoo!

Ewe bleateth after lamb,
Cow after calf coo,
Bullock starteth, buck farteth,
Merry sing cuckoo!

Cuckoo, cuckoo, well
Sings thou, cuckoo;
Nor stop thou never now;

Sing cuckoo, now,
Sing cuckoo,
Sung cuckoo, sing cuckoo, now!

I was trying to show how to read and make sense of the medieval English in which this was written, so I kept as close as I could to those sounds — though some words, like the one for "cow", needed a greater change.

The link on the title, above, leads you to Wikipedia. There you'll find a slightly different original version (mine is the version I first encountered, as a child) and a more scholarly translation, into modern language — where we discover that the cow does not so much coo as call, and the "buck" is a goat. We also learn that it was written in the middle of the 13th Century, in Wessex, England, and was a type of song known as a rota, or round, to be sung in four parts.

I've labelled it anonymous, as no-one knows for sure, but some researchers think it may possibly have been written by the medieval monk and composer, William of Wycombe.

I've loved it a long time, just as words on paper. I was lucky enough to be brought up on poetry, and it was in one of my books; but I didn't realise until now that it was really a song. It is also known as The Cuckoo Song, and you can hear it sung on YouTube.

Australia is well into autumn now, but for all of you in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is indeed coming in, heralded by Spring — a very welcome Spring, I gather, after a severe Winter. And above all, this little ditty is joyful. I chose it most of all for the joy. Some of you may well be familiar with it already. For those who weren't, now that you know what it means and (roughly) how to say it, I hope you too enjoy!

PS Steve King, in the comments below, reminds me of Ezra Pound's naughty parody, which is apt in all sorts of ways.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Holy Days and Holidays

:  holy day :  a day set aside for special religious observance
:  a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically :  a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event
chiefly British :  vacation —often used in the phrase on holiday —often used in plural
:  a period of exemption or relief <corporations enjoying a taxholiday>

Midweek Motif ~ 
Holy Days and Holidays

What makes a day Holy?  Which holy day(s) do you celebrate?  How?  
Pick one of the four definitions of Holiday above to address in a new poem.  
Wikipedia lists more than 50 holidays and events in April! 


                        TO MY HAGGADAH

Over the years your staples have slipped
and pages loosened. Here a faded purple crescent
of ancient wine, there a smudge
from bricks of date paste.
But when you speak I swoon. Tell me again
how we were slaves to a Pharaoh in Egypt
but the Holy One brought us out from there
with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
Sing to me of unleavened bread, of parsley
dipped in bitter tears. Remind me
if I wait until I feel fully ready
I might never leap at all. Waltz me giddy
through psalms of praise. Promise me
next year a world redeemed.
by Rachel Barenblatt  of  Velveteen Rabbi, used with permission


“To me, everyday is an observance of a 'holy day' for 
'this is the day the Lord has made' and as such 
I do not observe high nor 'low' Holy days."
― R. Alan Woods [2013]

1.      Post your holy/holiday poem on your site, and then link it here.
2.      Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
3.      Leave a comment here.
4.      Honor our community by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

(Next week's Motif ~ Science)

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