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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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my last poem of the year(?) and associated musings

Antigua Guatemala

South cannot be lost, for there
The mountain stands above the town
Slumbering, green, a dire and fair

Reminder; like these churches, tumbled down
Along the foursquare streets, shadowed by
The mountain standing above the town:

Cloud-veiled and lost, it yet looms high;
And our feet feel in cobblestones a thrill
Along the foursquare streets, shadowed by

Faint knights and ladies who linger still-
We meet them in sudden silences
And our feet feel in cobblestones a chill

The sun cannot quench with any presence.
We seek for dreams of earth and sky, and
We meet them in sudden silences,

Overshadowed, as we understand-
South is never lost. And there
We seek for dreams of earth and sky, and
The mountain stands above the town.


Something of an experiment here... I started out with the vague idea of writing a villanelle, but while researching it found a new (to me) form on this page. It's called a terzanelle. I like it... the way the rhymes and repetition intertwine remind me of Celtic knotwork.

I'm mostly a free-verse poet, but every once in a while I like to turn my hand to something rhymed and metered, if only just to prove I can still do it. It's an interesting challenge, too- you have to find a way to make the form work with you, and neither follow it too slavishly or bastardize it too far. It's a delicate balance, and not always one that I'm capable of.

In the past, I would when inspiration and need for form combined write a sonnet- there's a compact, crystalline beauty to a good Shakespearean sonnet, the three quatrains focusing down on the last couplet, the iambic pentameter thudding like a heartbeat. Now I'm trying some different forms...

A lot of this stems from an experience I had at a shamanism workshop this past fall: we were doing upper-world work for each other, and I asked ravenrose to get her ally's advice to me on how best to remove the writer's block I'd been (and still am, to a lesser extent) laboring under. Her ally's reply: "Use different tools."

So I'm trying. Trying different poetic forms seems to help; so does writing them out longhand rather than trying to compose directly on the computer. That, and other indications, makes me hopeful for the new year...

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Beautiful. Thank you for posting. It has always surprised me how a new form can inspire new thinking - although it makes perfect sense. I hadn't realized that longhand v. computer makes such a difference to poetry, but I suppose that also makes sense.

Your talent astonishes me.

Thank you for letting me in.

Your talent astonishes me.

thank you!

Thank you for letting me in.

you're most very welcome!

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