Sunday, August 5, 2012

Poetics: I understood


Storm -image by Lydia Marano*


I understood

Between stillness and the storm
I came to understand time
In the town where I was born
I was ageless, I was nine

I came to understand time
As the sky darkened the day
I was ageless, I was nine
The atmosphere ceased my play

As the sky darkened the day
Sensation sparked in the air
The atmosphere ceased my play
I stood there twirling my hair

Sensation sparked in the air
Dark clouds hung low overhead
I stood there twirling my hair
Full of wonder, full of dread

Dark clouds hung low overhead
Pushing moisture not yet rain
Full of wonder, full of dread
Slowly turned the weathervane

Pushing moisture not yet rain
Air of exotic perfume
Slowly turned the weathervane
My hometown changed to Khartoum

Air of exotic perfume
Heavy rains began to fall
My hometown changed to Khartoum
I was not nine afterall

Heavy rains began to fall
In the town where I was born
I was not nine afterall
Between stillness and the storm



Written for Poetics'His'tory, 'Her'story & time machines  — at dVerse Poets. Our host, Brian Miller, prompts us to "journey back in time" and write "about a moment in history, a character from our history, an event…and it does not matter how far or near back you go. You get to set the date on the Way-back machine. It could be personal history, national or world history or how you interact with it."

In last Thursday's Form For All prompt, Samuel Peralta challenged us to write a Pantoum. I missed joining in for that prompt but was so excited by the form that I elected to try it out for my moment of personal history — that first sense of inner knowing about oneself and one's time and place in the grander scheme of things.



(*Above image is by another Lydia, Lydia Marano, whose work I also 
  featured previously here. She's amazing.)


.

19 comments:

SG said...

Ah, beautiful! Nostalgia, memories. A very effort on the prompt.

Fireblossom said...

I'm not a fan of the pantoum. Imho, it causes a repitition that I don't care for (as opposed to the shrewdly chosen rep, which I love), and they seem to me to meander. Maybe that's the point. If so, that's me, on to something else.

BUT, I am a fan, as you know, of your poetry, so I read on. Lord Kitchener, I presume? As the song said, "we have all been here before." I thought your final two stanzas were really strong, but then, you are The Queen Of Fine Endings, aren't you? Go ahead, girl, strut...

Claudia said...

nice..another pantoum... and just love how you capture the sensation, the being touched, standing between the stillness and storm, the scents, how something familiar changes suddenly with the different light of an approaching storm...loved it

kj said...

lydia, i am so impressed and i learn so much that you tackle these poetic forms.

the repetition in this poem is just lovely, sad lovely,

I was not nine afterall
Between stillness and the storm

i keep getting messages about perception and reality, time and maybe not time. i keep thinking that who i was when i was nine is still who i am today, which actually,, i think is true...but not true too.

best wishes, my friend
xoxo
kj

Brian Miller said...

nice...you did well with the form...and the repetition did just what it should in a pantoum which is build the tension or message...i love the line i was ageless, i was nine....it is a nice contradiction intentionally which opens it up...metaphorically those storms that change our lives, makes us grow up rather quick...that is where this took me...

flipside records said...

"I was ageless, I was nine" ... Wow, you really got my attention here.

And your ending! My goodness. Very powerful:

"I was not nine afterall
Between stillness and the storm"

I love the vagueness in this. We have all experienced some type of childhood trauma that made us feel suddenly adult and yet still child. A betrayal, loss, abuse. And a storm is always a great metaphor for unstable circumstances. Very good work.

Amber Lee said...

Just, wow.

hedgewitch said...

Being a sucker for rhyme and the power of singsong, the pantoum is a favorite of mine, but it's easy to spoil one with even one weak couplet, because then the repetition works against you and derails things. You did great here at avoiding that pitfall, and created a spellbinding set of images--the foreign from the familiar, the real out of the fantasy. Beginning ans ending both are exceptionally strong and mesh perfectly. (And better late than never, eh? I finally got around to writing mine last night and hope to have it up for OLN.)

Rob-bear said...

Intriguing thoughts shared in the process of mastering the form.

Between the words
and the form,
lies the mystery.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

susan said...

That was a wonderfully haunting piece.

ds said...

Lydia, this is wonderful, and the pantoum is the perfect form for evoking the wistfulness of a past time. So much that is beautiful here. Thank you!

izzy said...

You did a fabulous job with the form and content! Bravo.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Pantoums are a very tricky beast - i had a go once and nearly got away with it.

Yours works perfectly

Pitsit sekaisin said...

Loved the poem...:)

Lydia said...

SG~ Thank you for saying it is beautiful.

Fireblossom~ Well, I am a fan of your poetry, most definitely, and also of your comments, which I enjoyed and appreciated.

Claudia~ Thank you for feeling the moment between stillness and the storm!

kj~ Exactly; still are but are not that nine-year-old. I know you are paying attention to those messages you are getting. Lucky you.

Brian~ "Grow up quick..." Yes, there is definitely that. Thank you for commenting on the contradiction, too.

flipside records~ Thank you for your appreciation and comments. I was fascinated by your final paragraph and your interpretation, which delighted me because it is a personal thing that I did not intend in this but see how you could read it that way.

Amber Lee~ Hi there.

hedgewitch~ I can hardly wait to read your pantoum for OLN. We definitely share in love for this form. It was my first attempt and I found great flow in the process. Am anxious to try it again, and will do so after having received your encouraging words.

Rob-bear~ Another marvelous poem from you in response to mine. Thank you.

susan~ Thank you. It was a wonderfully haunting storm!

ds~ Many thanks. Now that you mention the pantoum being a good vehicle for writing about the past you have intrigued me in trying it on another type of topic.

izzy~ I am so thankful you think so.

Pixies~ I want to read yours....unless it is still wandering out there somewhere!

Pitsit sekaisin~ Oh, thank you so much!

mythopolis said...

Well, I certainly like it. I am not so interested in the formal construction so much as the heartfeltness of what is said. That edge you describe where maybe you are ageless and nine, maybe not....growing pains, innocence and its loss, etc. So much is gained in growing up, and so much lost.

M Riyadh Sharif said...

A wonderfully written poetry Aunt! The composition is excellent! And I felt like I was witnessing the journey while reading it! Some very much catchy lines... And the whole thing is just wonderful!
You are my talented Aunt! :)
♥♥♥

M Riyadh Sharif said...

Stole the line... "I was ageless, I was nine" to start my new post! :)

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ I love the last line in your comments. It is so true. Thanks for saying you felt the "heartfeltness" of this piece. I must say that it actually was the very form itself that seemed to tap the memory.

Riyadh~ You are such a supporter of mine, dear Nephew. People must read our comments and wonder about our relationship. It is wondrous indeed that we have chosen one another as family, and that we met via blogging!
I will come over to see what you have done with your post. ♥

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