Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Sestina, "In the Margins"

In the Margins

You think it helps when the house is quiet,

no one home, or else you’d have to blot

the sounds. Keep music low in the margins

of your attention, don’t have it merry,

or you’ll have to dance to it, and end

what you want to do with your pencil.

Some people don’t even use a pencil,

think that way of writing too quiet.

They tap on computer keys to end

the constant search for rhythm. Can you blot

what’s beating in iambs, the kind of merry

feet the poem dances on in the margins?

As for me, I think in meter, margins

hold notes for revision, and my pencil

makes comments on others’ poems, merry

or sober reflections for those quiet 

times. I use my one deaf ear to blot

everything but the rhythm that won’t end.

that keeps my head in it. At poem’s end

you’ll see I’ve been dancing in the margins

all along, dipping, twirling. If I blot

out my heartbeat, what good is a pencil?

No! I’ll pay attention to the quiet

rhythms, let that music make merry.

It’s good to stay in your heartbeat, merry

thrub, ebb and flow, wait for the poem to end.

You can find poems in the spaces, quiet

places where silence speaks. In the margins

of each image, someone has written. Pencil

scratchings, or invisible words blotted.

Hold the paper up to the light, blotted

lemon juice words appear: magic! Marry

image now to verb, create with pencil

what might be fresh,  lasting beyond the end 

after you’ve slipped into the margins

of your own breath and into the quiet.

Why blot out music alive but quiet?

Why not write in your own margins, merry

to your own end? Dance on with your pencil!


Well folks, yesterday's PAD challenge really beat me up! I had not written a sestina in quite a while, so the idea of doing one in 24 hours was CHALLENGING! (DUH! it IS a challenge after all! lol)However head-stretching it was, I did it and will share it on this blog. 

What makes a sestina challenging is finding the right six end words so that the poem makes sense, can be sparkling and not just a "write to the end words" kind of sap. The one I have posted here is in iambic pentameter, not because I wanted to play with meter, but because the subject of the poem seemed to ask for iambics. You'll see. So, go kindly into this good morning of my sestina! 

Poem is posted in next post.

gone, but not gone

Mea culpa, mea culpa! I have been a BAD little blogger! Truth be told, I have been bad at this because I've been a good little writer! I am just finishing the Poem-A-Day challenge from Writer's Digest and have been really cranking them out. Now, as to whether any are good????? Well, shortly I will post a few and see. Meanwhile let me recommend a few good poetry books just out:

1. Usher, by BH Fairchild just arrived at my door yesterday and I am sure it will be good. I have looked at a few poems and it seems he is going in a new direction (for him) and I am intrigued.

2. Rough Cradle by Betsy Sholl is a nice new collection. I prefer her older one, Late Psalm, but the new work is very good.

3. Rooms and Their Airs by Jody Gladding is my top pick this time.  She really hits it with this one! I find the poems to be diction-rich and driven by a need to run into the woods and shout and cry and laugh. The poems touch it all.

So enough now. I have a poem to write for the challenge. (and yesterday's sestina to finish as well)