is a CHANGE of TACK
so for the duration I shall be posting a Poem Of The Day. But first, a word from our sponsor (me) serving in the office of an ‘ABOUT’ page:
to me remains undefined and thus unbounded. But whatever poetry is it has to move me, which means resonance—it has to reach past my defences, go below the surface, rabbit around in my emotions until it gets a grip and then pull. Hard.
Sure, I’m old-fashioned enough to prefer rhyme and rhythm in my poetry—something you don’t often find in English translations of haiku, or modern offerings; ergo not absolutely essential. BUT: much of what is offered as ‘poetry’ today leaves me cold, so I must pass muster as a Philistine.
Or not, perhaps most of it really is hopeful rubbish … to each his own. Sadly the one thing I ain’t, Mate, is a poet. But I do know what I can safely call art—and if it don’t move me, then regardless of the experts … to me it ain’t art.
So then for the duration this blog will look at some of the poems that I find inspiring. On occasion I may offer my own perspective; other times just the work itself—and you may take it or leave it as you see fit.
WHAT PROVOKED THIS?
Sitting in S’Bux guzzling a coffee last week—let my notebook take up the narrative:
TO MY LEFT there sits a young lady beavering away on a laptop. I think from the frequent celephone calls she makes she’s running (or at least working) a business. Under my own little table lies a beautiful fully grown black Labrador. He moved over a few minutes ago to let my feet in and has been great company since, as placid and amenable as one would expect from a well trained seeing-eye dog. He is that young lady’s sight. I glance across, the screen on her computer is folded almost down to the keys and there’s no way she could see it even if she could see it. But her fingers are dancing lightly across the board, flitting freely about touch-type style. Being two-finger hunt-and-peck myself I’m almost jealous …
and has her ears on. It’s acoustic feedback then, which explains a whole heap. It also leads us to the first
homily (oops) Poem of the Day:
This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream: —
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle’s edge,
And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel —
That blue blade that the king’s son bears, — but this
Blunt thing!” — he snapt and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh, he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.
Oops … girl has just got up. She fitted dog into a working harness, gathered a huge back-pack (and nicely declined my offer of assistance—as blind as a bat she never noticed that I’d already helped her fight her way into her big heavy jacket) and now she’s gone.
(And dog, it turned out, was a she, not a he.)
The poem is called “Opportunity” by one Edward Rowland Sill.