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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

365 Poems: Fragmented

Day 338

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea.

Oddly connected to today's post
about poetry fragments.
Samuel Coleridge: now here's a guy who could write fragments, Kubla Khan (Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.) being one of my fav poems ever, and I just now realized the Khan connection with Star Trek: Wrath of Khan and Star Trek Into Darkness. Dark and mysterious and just on the edge of not making sense, the best kind of fragment, the flash fiction of poetry.

So I'm thinking about fragments because of a couple lines that have floated around in my head for days, lines without a poem, a brain worm of a fragment:
Snow a thin memory of snow
that night last winter when 
Snow shifting over asphalt ahead of us
a cold mirage with no oasis near 
Snow, we pass through winter's ghost,
white exploding from blackness we are 
Snow clustered in the street lights
we drive dragging along our memories 
of snow.
Okay, so I thought of a few more possible lines just now writing down the fragment (it's the first two lines I couldn't get ride of) but still, not much going on, images and maybe a hint of a story and maybe it's not even about snow -- but I guess it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: pretty thin.

You know who else did a fragment well? Thomas Hardy. He has another of my favorites, called (surprise!) 'Fragment':
At last I entered a long dark gallery,
Catacomb-lined; and ranged at the side
Were the bodies of men from far and wide
Who, motion past, were nevertheless not dead.
'Motion past'! Kind of like me every night after work. (haha) Yet a strong image, and puts me in mind of the upcoming zombie apocalypse (CONSTANT VIGILANCE!).

We really can't wrap up today without a little more Kubla Khan:
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
My God I love that last stanza -- His flashing eyes, his floating hair! I get the creeps still reading that line. Beware! Beware!  Close your eyes with holy dreadFor he on honey-dew hath fed, and drunk the milk of Paradise. No snow there, I bet.

And in today's playlist, WHAT ELSE:


P.S. You. Are. Welcome. That I refrained from mentioning the 1980 cinematic spectacular Xanadu, starring Olivia Newton John. Also, Alf. Samuel Coleridge, feeding the lexicon for two centuries.

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