Ode to an Ancient Statue - Tribute to the English Romantics - Writers Block Poetry Contest Week 3

in #poetry4 years ago (edited)


Dawn appears, and dawn is light,
Sol’s smile splits the horizon,
The great yolk spills across the sky,
Finds farm hand’s hand a’rising.

Empyrean shell leaks red then blue,
Time honored lines 'cross a furled brow,
The early bird moves a mouse or two
'neath his early plow.

A weather'd God tarries on a pillar,
The Roman testament to time,
Dutifully watches o'er the tiller
As he scores the field with lines.

A lonely cloud did wonder by
On journey born of vale and tree,
Shadow cast upon the sights he sigh'd,
Golden petals borne on the breeze.

An air of change upon the wind
Bothers not the painted lady,
Finds heaven in a flower's grin,
And a Duke to showcase daily.

Maybe, then, the perch'd cat,
A river winding 'cross a shelf,
Felt a ruffle, for the acrobat
Fell'd an urn of Greece, herself:

"Truth is beauty, beauty truth,"
And none know more than the floor,
Bearer of both the boots of youth
And statues and busts of yore.

A pillar weather'd, once fire's choice
Of leading flock to field,
Hence hath found a Latin voice
Calling manna o'er his yields.

A tenth and three of all he wrought
Bequeath'd, justly, to thee,
Then sun descends o'er Roman plot
Stone sentinel doth oversee.

God appears, and God is night,
The light that flees the sun,
A shirt cast 'cross a lavandière bin,
And the day begun is done.

This poem is born as a fun tribute to my earliest introduction to poetry, The English Romantics.

Each stanza is supposed to pay tribute to a different writer and poem that impacted an impressionable little tyke @carmalain7, making him fall in love with the form.


This was a fun piece to put together for @thewritersblock's Poetry Contest #3 and I'm so glad they are hosting such great prompts, inspiring me to dip into a style of writing I haven't attempted in a long time.

This poem would not be possible without the notes of @whoshim, @geke, and my unofficial mentor, @geekorner.

Also, my British Literature teacher in High School who instilled her love and passion for words through her teachings - any of you who are teachers are my heroes and I love you so much for the joy of learning you bring to this world, often to those who know little of it (such as my younger self).

In honor of the pieces that inspired me, if any of these stanzas in particular speak to you, please let me know in the comments! I will respond with the link to the poem that inspired the words.

I also wish to say that the line, "Truth is beauty, beauty truth," is a flipped version of the line from Keats's famous 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' and is arranged as such at the behest of my best friend and partner, an ancient greek and latin researcher. She wanted everyone to know that ancient art always has a story to tell, but we don't always put the pieces together in the right order, or have all the pieces.

The shattering of ancient art is inspired by my other best friend, my catte, Zarco, who shoves all things on my bedside table, off said table every morning in an effort to be fed sooner.

A bit of the messaging behind the sun descending on a once great empire, and the simple man who toils on without notice of the passage of time.

Thank you so much for your time and the read.

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"Dawn appears, and dawn is light" and the lines of its ilk that follow ("Truth is beauty, beauty truth," and "God appears, and God is night,") are my favourite. Chiasmus (such a great word, that the Isle taught me), and repetition, are vehicles for such beauty, when you change things so slightly. You can keep the form and change the words, or change the words and change the order, or... and yet, it is so elegant, to repeat. In poetry, even if no place else. Must be the liturgical air it gives things.

The other thing I like here, probably to no surprise by @whoshim are the lines where things can be read in more than one way, in particular "Then sun descends o'er Roman plot" which feeds both into the farmer imagery used throughout, and "plot" as in that of the Roman empire as a story, which this poem narrates. Or "shelf", referring both to the shelf of the narrative, but also the geological formation.

The last thing I like in the poem is probably something I put inside, which I am not sure you intended:

Maybe, then, the perch'd cat,

To me, this is the Cheshire Cat, what else could it be?

"Truth is beauty, beauty truth," And none know more than the floor,

In light of the earlier line:

Fell'd an urn of Greece, herself:

The ground knows the nature of beauty, because like Death, here, it is what all beauty meets, before it ends, or changes.

Good work, friend Alain, and congratulations on the deserved recognition :)

A tribute to my proofreaders, no doubt - thank you, Stephanie.

So many great verses and images in this poem @carmalain7. I love the way you have taken the form and made it sing! I find the archaic forms of poetry so hard to write successfully in myself.

Empyrean shell leaks red then blue,
Time honored lines 'cross a furled brow,
The early bird moves a mouse or two
'neath his early plow.

I particularly love the way you blend vivid visual imagery:

Empyrean shell leaks red then blue, Time honored lines 'cross a furled brow

with a more modern term (The early bird) in the above verse. Very nice stuff :-)

Kinder words have hardly ever been spoken, @raj808, thank you so much, mate!

I love that stanza and it was one that I reworked a number of times with a lot of input to get to where it is now. Much praise to my proofreaders for their help, and so happy you found value in those words!

My favorite line is "The light that flees the sun". What is it inspired with?

that's actually a line I wrote to drive the narrative, but the stanza was a tribute to one of my all time favorites: William Blake's 'Auguries of Innocence'.

Thank you for the kind words, good sir!

A very strong line indeed!

your partner is very wise, I read about the grecian urn in a book, I understood why it was funny now

i hope to become wiser through osmosis, she's kind to lend me some of her wisdom from time to time - thank you, Charu!

Wonderful piece of poetry, I admire the way you have used the classical romantics style - it no doubt made the creation much harder but you pulled it off quite spectacularly.

Thank you, @c0ff33a, my friend, I am fortunate to have a lot of reading of the style under my belt, so it wasn't as foreign as it could have been for me to try and emulate, but this certainly had to see many drafts, rewrites and revisions to get there.

Elated that the effort showed through the work to you and grateful for the read and your kind words. Thank you so much, good sir.

I like the Romantic Poetry nod; my favorites are Keats and Wordsworth, though our modern times are more aligned with Ezra Pound's "Total focus on the object or thing itself." I like how you harkened back to the meter and rhyme of those old romantic poets; even calling some by name and invoking gods as well.

I must admit, I've had many times in my writing where I have gravitated towards the Ezra mantra, and I do not think this poem would read well in any language but mine.

It's far from perfect, but it's been through many and more reworks, and I'm very happy with what it has become.

Honored that you have found much of what I've hidden in, Jocelyn. Despite the British Romantics being a gateway drug and often treated as nothing more, I still believe they have a lot to teach someone like me.

Thank you so very much for your comment, @jocelynlily, and many congratulations on your currie!!

That is a beautiful poem and my favorite part is:
Truth is beauty, beauty truth,"
And none know more than the floor,
Bearer of both the boots of youth
And statues and busts of yore.
Words are really power and can mean so much.
Well written

much appreciate the kind words, Saffi, honored that you found a piece of my scrawlings that connected with you.

And I couldn't agree more with you about the weight and power of words, they are rooted and seeped in more history and power than I can wrap my mind around.

Thank you again, @saffisara, honored.

My pleasure my friend, well deserved 😊
It's a beautiful poem and I think most can relate to your words and I found mine.. Lol
So very true about being rooted and I love your choice of words, really spot on.
Well put. Have a wonderful weekend dear. Cheers!

Beautiful poem..kinda reminds me of Robert Frost's style. Keep up the great work!!

From his notes and recorded conversations and observations of Frost, he had a bit of a one foot in - one foot out relationship with the 19th century English Romanticism movement. I think he's possibly one of the most tangible bridges between their approach and the antithetical movement of Ezra Pound's Imagists.

Theory aside, kinder words have hardly ever been said; to even be mentioned in the same breath as Frost, it's a true honor and thank you so much for the kind words, @thethreehugs.

You are most welcome! Thank you for posting.

I like your poetry

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The writing is stellar. I love your logo! Keep up the good work.

"God appears, and God is night.."
I love this.

I'm sad for having missed this piece. Needless to say, I thought the imagery was awesome, but I loved the homophones and the plays on words. Great piece, Carm. Upvoted your latest post.

Although I'm impressed by and a bit in awe of the ambition and discipline required to write a piece like this, (10 stanzas, each dedicated to the style of a different Romantic Poet!), what I love most about it is the gentle, dry humor throughout. Especially in:

"Truth is beauty, beauty truth,
And none know more than the floor,
Bearer of both the boots of youth
And statues and busts of yore."

"And none know more than the floor" for me echoes Shakespeare's "My mistress' eyes/Are nothing like the sun" bringing the ineffable (truth, beauty, the feeling for one you love) down to reality with a crash.

The panoramic, pastoral musings of this poem seem to take a long view, or maybe an overview, or both, of time and space, as if observed from the perspective of a creature not of this Earth. You really captured the spirit of the movement here Alain, beautiful :)

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