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One Great Poem a Day
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All I'm doing here is posting one great poem every day(not mine, obviously) and attempting to summarize the key elements that I think make the poem work....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....(opinions may vary, results not typical, etc...)Does that sound like a (kinda ambitious) plan? Alright. Holden Caulfield lives..."Poem in October" by Dylan Thomas...

 

                Poem in October

 

   It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood       And the mussel pooled and the heron                   Priested shore             The morning beckon With water praying and call of seagull and rook And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall             Myself to set foot                   That second       In the still sleeping town and set forth.


      My birthday began with the water- Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name       Above the farms and the white horses                   And I rose             In rainy autumn And walked abroad in a shower of all my days. High tide and the heron dived when I took the road             Over the border                   And the gates       Of the town closed as the town awoke.


      A springful of larks in a rolling Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling       Blackbirds and the sun of October                   Summery             On the hill’s shoulder, Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly Come in the morning where I wandered and listened             To the rain wringing                   Wind blow cold       In the wood faraway under me.


      Pale rain over the dwindling harbour And over the sea wet church the size of a snail       With its horns through mist and the castle                   Brown as owls             But all the gardens Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.             There could I marvel                   My birthday       Away but the weather turned around.


      It turned away from the blithe country And down the other air and the blue altered sky       Streamed again a wonder of summer                   With apples             Pears and red currants And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother             Through the parables                   Of sun light       And the legends of the green chapels


      And the twice told fields of infancy That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.       These were the woods the river and sea                   Where a boy             In the listening Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.             And the mystery                   Sang alive       Still in the water and singingbirds.


      And there could I marvel my birthday Away but the weather turned around. And the true       Joy of the long dead child sang burning                   In the sun.             It was my thirtieth Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.             O may my heart’s truth                   Still be sung       On this high hill in a year’s turning.      

 Summarization

Home, childhood, loss,

Returning to simplicity,

Awareness of the world,

Ethos, pathos, logos. 

 

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

El Capitane...

 

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Alex

Would you be willing to post one of your poems tomorrow and analyze it for us--tell us why it works, how you worked through it?

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Poem

Sorry, Belle - that way lies madness! The blog is specifically about (hopefully) introducing readers to(or re-acquainting them with) great poems - not just poems, and especially not my poems. See the note at the beginning of every one of these blogs("not one of mine, obviously").

But thanks for asking!

 

Alex