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One Great Poem a Day

I started this blog because I was alerted to the fact that people are unaware that I'm actually a poet(and not just another blogger) - so my plan is to post a great poem every day(not mine, obviously) and to summarize the key elements that make the poem hit the target....i.e. the kernel of what resonates, rather than how it's achieved - the assumption being that it is achieved via craft, beauty, music, imagery, metaphor, whatever....Does that sound like a (kinda ambitious) plan? Alright. Holden Caulfield lives...let's go with numero tres..."Late Ripeness" by Czeslaw Milosz...

 

      Late Ripeness

 

 

Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.

One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.

I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget - I kept saying - that we are all children of the King.

For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago -
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef - they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.

I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.

 

 Summarization

Epiphany, Age, Acceptance,

Memory and remembrance,

Hope, regret, Time, the Earth,

The dualities of men and women,

The common bonds of Humanity.

 

Adios, y hasta manana, mis compadres en poesia... 

El Capitane...

 

 

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Comments
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Question

Alex--Would you be willing to answer my question on meter and free verse?
I don't mean to be a gadfly, but these questions have been buzzing inside my head.

Do you pay attention to the accentual when writing?

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Poem

I absolutely would, Bella - that's kind of why I prefaced the summarization with assumptions about things - my "analysis" is necessarily potted, and I make assumptions or pass over things that would take pages and pages to comment on...

I try to pay attention to everything - consciously sometimes, otherwise other times - but yes, attention is crucial, I think(unless you're a genius...and there haven't been too many of them..)

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Question

Belle -

           Do you mean you think there's a difference between free verse and "metrical" poetry/that they are mutally exclusive somehow? (Good)free verse employs music, formal poetry employs meter - but they are one and the same, I think. I'm not sure I have the full question here - I may be being a bit thick! Would you care to elaborate? Or do you have a different question in mind?

Best,

Alex

 

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Enjoy your summations.

Alex,

I never read Czeslaw Milosz before, know nothing of him. Thank you  for the intro.

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

The above line moved me the most. A recurring idea, but well couched in this metaphor.