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Sunday, April 13, 2014

National Poetry Month, Day 13: The elephant in the post

An elephant this cute is always invited.
Let us not go another day without John. One of my favorites, I love the last line:

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
by John Keats

Much have I traveled in the realms of gold
    And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
    Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
    That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
    Yet never did I breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
    When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
    He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise—
    Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Today's Writer's Digest Poem a Day prompt included a challenge, which we partially accepted:
... write an animal poem. Pick a specific animal or write about your animal spirit. Maybe you’ll get tricky and write about mustangs (meaning the car) or jaguars (meaning the American football team). Maybe you’ll do an acrostic, or even go crazy and write a sestina (crickets).
Writing one's first sestina on a Sunday afternoon seemed a little challenging; some searching turned up a similar -- and shortened -- form called a tritina, and that was more doable. Badly, of course -- but doable.

 Elephant in the Room
(A tritina)

This room overfills with you and me and silence,
I’ve given this shitty conversation way too much effort,
and have no energy left for more wretched words tonight;

you know the dark hours don’t just belong to the night,
the pale morning will bring unwelcome clarity to the silence
and our argument will rekindle with the smallest effort, but,

baby, if you can’t give even this fight your best effort –
it’s not like you even tried to understand tonight,
seriously, when I asked, do you love me? All I heard was silence

and the truth: Our story ends with your silent effort tonight.


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