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Happy Saturday to all! My name is Stuart McPherson and it is my pleasure to be hosting today’s poetics.

Of late I have been extremely lucky to have done some travelling (some work, some pleasure) and have been privileged to see and experience (until yesterday anyway!)- Sorrento in Italy.

View from Ischia, Italy- by S.McPherson 2012

‘SO WHAT’ I hear you yawn…well…the thing is this. On my travels I’ve tried to write the odd poem here and there…but EVERY time they seem to come out…well…downbeat! Whilst in Sorrento, and writing about what I had seen, I found myself thinking (and laughing) ‘Why does this always happen? Why do I find myself in these beautiful countries only to write about things, that quite frankly, will just bum people out!’

Fresco Painting in Sorrento, Italy by S.McPherson 2012

And then I remembered about D H Lawrence and his time spent writing in Sorrento. Now, I might be wrong, but I think it was D H Lawrence who talked about writers having a perspective on life that captures ‘a beautiful sadness’. Of course- if I am wrong then this will all turn out to be a very tenuous link!

SO- to put this together

Sorrento + My badly written miserable poems + D H Lawrence writing in Sorrento (and THE BEAUTIFUL SADNESS) = TODAY’S PROMPT

Sculpture by Paladino in Villa Fiorentino, Sorrento, Italy- photo by S.McPherson 2012

Let me give you an example of one of Lawrence’s poems called ‘Piano’. I think this captures the sentiment of ‘the beautiful sadness’ very very well.

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

This piece sees Lawrence being sentimental and creating a nostalgic scene of beauty whilst remembering his mother and his childhood. For me, what makes this so melancholic is the offset between the memory and the strongly expressed desire to go back to a time of childhood innocence, where things were less complicated. It creates images of beauty and sadness both at the same time.

SO- I’m sure you get where I’m going with this!

For today’s prompt write a poem that that captures’ that beautiful sadness’, or in other words, write a poem that about something that captures both beauty and melancholy.

For example

• Write a poem about a beautiful place/person that also has some melancholic back-story
• Write about a sad situation that was also, at the same time, strangely beautiful
• Write abut memory/nostalgia, something that you remember as beautiful but is also tinged with sadness (as D.H Lawrence has done above)
• Write about a painting or a photograph that you feel captures ‘the beautiful sadness’- feel free to use one of mine posted above (for me they capture this sentiment). Of course- post one of your own with your own poem if you want to

What to do next

• Write your poem and post it to your blog
• Add a link to your poem via the ‘Mr Linky’ below
• This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog URL and entered your name, click Submit. Don’t worry if you don’t see your name right away
• Read and comment on other peoples work to let them know it’s being read
• Share via your favourite social media platforms
• Above all- have fun!

See you out on the trail!

Stu McPherson http://www.poemsofhateandhope.com