Sunday, January 15, 2012

Poetics: Sofia

Sofia was born with eyes
the color of the sea; she
stared at her folk in silence —
no coos or cries or
sleepy sighs.
·Only eyes·

Sofia's hair was soft black
but later changed hue, shining
like black pearls in the hot sun —
no pins or bows or
·Only braids·

Sofia's heart was carefree
and her dancing in the sand
brought joy to her small village —
no boys or beaus or
dance partners.
·Only girl·

Sofia's spirit was searching
for the source that blued the sea,
for the songs inside the sand —
no more or less or
in between.
·Only soul·

Sofia's calling was lifelong
as she grew in faith and girth
in the abbey lost in fog —
no hearth or mirth or
peaceful soul.
·Only eyes·
                  MLydiaM ~ January 2012

Submitted for Poetics at dVerse Poets. This week we are asked by Victoria C. Slotto to consider the art of Fernando Botero. From her options I chose: "Write an Ekphrastic poem on a piece of art by Botero."
The piece above is Mother Superior by Fernando Botero.



Grace said...

First I like the name (it's my daughter's name) ~

Next, I like how you created her from the quiet girl, into someone who heard the calling of her soul ~

Nice form too ~

Claudia said...

only eyes - looking
only braids - flying
only girl - twirling
only soul - longing
and then the eyes again..alone this would make a poem in itself.. i like how you make us see her..

Jose Maria said...

really good poem!, I love doing poetry like this one you have done, I call it "free" poetry. and this one is so nice..
Jose Maria

Brian Carlin said...

I like the structure and layout of this. And the tone. Would be difficult to pick out a favourite all hangs together so well

mythopolis said...

It think this is exceptional!!

Fireblossom said...

What a different take on St. Sofia, if indeed that's what you meant here. Wisdom sometimes does come through solitude, and focus.

She could not have been too solitary, though, with three daughters. Faith Hope and Charity, all martyred. Sometimes i seriously wonder whether it's such a good gig, to be one of God's chosen.

Brian Miller said... really bring her to the progression in this...your end caps on each are very cool and love the circle wound...very well played...

and shay, been there, it is not....

Anonymous said...

the second to last stanza is so perfect. "the source that blued the sea, for the songs inside the sand - "

I love it. :)

ds said...

I love this, Lydia. You truly bring her to life: with each stanza we see a little more of Sofia, and then at the end you bring it full circle. Just gorgeous. Thank you.

Victoria said...

I also loved the second to the last stanza. I would hope if that were the case, there would not be emptiness in her quest, those staring eyes. Really enjoyed this, Lydia.

hedgewitch said...

Wisdom(Sofia) and Faith always have that dance to do--somehow I feel its a painful one in the end for Sofia, but at least she's still's not a happy picture, of course, and I think you do a wonderful job of taking a young lively spirit and somehow merging it into that inflated yet constricted, expressionless form. Anyway, forgive me if I've read this completely wrong--I enjoyed it very much.

Owen said...

Although I don't like what she ends up as, I do like the way you spin this tale, very much...

Sheila Moore said...

it sounds very sad and makes me wonder for how many this is true. btw, thanks for the bday wishes :)

Mama Zen said...

You did an absolutely marvelous job with this. Beautifully structured.

Christine said...

perfect how you have her beginning with eyes looking and ending on the same note, enjoyed this

Rob-bear said...

Thought provoking, your poem is. Seems such a perfect understanding of such a woman.

And yet, and yet — I wonder.

no hearth or mirth or
peaceful soul.
·Only eyes·

Could that be true for such a soulful person as your Sophia?

Bear wanders away, puzzled, pondering.

Wander said...

This poem...I enjoyed it but at the same time it creeped me out, same with the pic. Maybe if I hadn't looked at the picture first I wouldn't have had that reaction.

Catfish Tales said...

Oh, this is so beautifully composed. I absolutely adore it!!! Thanks so much for sharing and brightening my day with your wonderfully poetic words...and, soul. Cheers

Lydia said...

Grace~ Thank you.
You gave your daughter a beautiful name!

Claudia~ Thank you for saying I helped to see her...because I realize I described her rather than the painting, which means it is not an ekphrastic poem in the truest sense.

Jose Maria~ Many thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

Brian Carlin~ Thank you, and welcome to my blog!

mythopolis~ If you think that then I am so pleased. :)

Fireblossom~ Your comment sent me to search St. Sophia because, no, I did not use her as my model for the poem. I actually was unaware of her and am sorrowfully touched by her story. The way I came to the name, actually, was by googling "Columbian girls' names"...and Sofia seemed right here. Thanks for the lesson about St. Sophia!

Brian Miller~ I appreciate your thoughts about the poem. And your aside comment to Fireblossom, added to other comments of yours I've caught from time-to-time, just make me so curious about your own story...

Amber Lee~ That was my favorite stanza, too. Thank you. :)

ds~ Thank you for leaving your kind thoughts about the poem. Much appreciated.

Victoria~ I so hoped that, as well. No matter how many times I worked with the final stanza to follow up that second-to-last one, what came came as a result of the painting itself. I was sad about the end myself, to be honest!

hedgewitch~ You absolutely read it the way I saw it also. See my comments just above to Victoria...
Your description is why I could not make the final stanza a satisfying one: "a young lively spirit and somehow merging it into that inflated yet constricted, expressionless form." The painting ruled. Thank you.

Owen~ Thanks, and please see my comment to hedgewitch above regarding the way she turned out. :)

Sheila~ You betcha! Hope it was a great birthday.
I hope that most would not turn out this way, but wonder about it myself.

Mama Zen~ Thank you! I appreciate your comment.

Christine~ Many thanks for the visit and kind comment. Many, many thanks for the follow!

Rob-bear~ I know, I know...I feel that way too. Please read my comments to Victoria and hedgewitch above for explanation about the ending.

Wander~ "Creeped me out" is an admirable comment about the painting and the poem it generated! Unless you want to be further creeped out you should not look at other works by Fernando Botero (he is unique, that's for sure!).

Catfish Tales~ Your comment was so generous! Thank you for brightening my day with your words. :)

susan said...

'Let those who have ears, hear. May the Divine Sophia inspire our understanding and our prayers ascend to the threshold of the true awakening.'

- a Gnostic prayer

You've written a very lovely poem that illuminates the wisdom and sorrow inherent in her name.

Lydia said...

susan~ Thank you for including the Gnostic prayer in your comments. It is beautiful. I wonder what Botero would think of my gut-level reaction to his painting...

Roxana said...

first, thank you for introducing me to Botero, i am very intrigued and will go now to search about him. your poem is wonderful, and it is the perfect work of ekphrasis here, as in the end both the painting and the poem seem to be ambivalent about the aspects of religious life related to a monastic life (perhaps even critical) - but perhaps you could forget the poem and make a different version of it, just let yourself go where your heart wants to take you, to a different Sofia who lives in the rest of the poem? :-) i know, it may be difficult, if not impossible to get rid of that haunting image in the head, but it would be an interesting attempt!

Lydia said...

Roxana~ Botero was new to me also, and it was a fun discovery scrolling through many online pages of his work.
I have thought many times, since reading your comment, about revisiting the Sofia discover what else may be hidden behind the name or the girl who I first saw in my mind. If I do it I will be sure to let you know it's posted. (Your mind is so wonderful!)



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