“The pain of living and the drug of dreams/Curl up the small soul in the window seat/Behind the Encyclopædia Britannica.” T.S. Eliot ~ Animula
Hello Everyone – forgive me for a moment whilst I digress into the personal but it is relevant. I recently purchased Jackie Morris’ “The silent Unwinding” – its subtitle being ‘an illustrated notebook for dreamers’. A whimsical book I’d not normally choose but the invitation to dream my way into creativity was the lure. The temptation to buy, however, lay in feeling mute, masked and muzzled by the combination of current events. I search for sanity in my own accumulated logic lest I become tumbleweed blown along by the latest headline or social media hype but it is the written word, and poetry especially that becomes a salve, an oasis, a ‘finding’ rather than a hiding place as Ms Winterton puts it in this Guardian article:
“A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is…Let’s not confuse this with realism. The power does not lie directly with the choice of subject or its social relevance … Art lasts because it gives us a language for our inner reality, and that is not a private hieroglyph; it is a connection across time to all those others who have suffered and failed, found happiness, lost it, faced death, ruin, struggled, survived, known the night-hours of inconsolable pain”
So for the sake of sanity and soul let us detach from the distraction of everyday events and launch into the heavens with Longfellow’s “Birds of Passage”
“…I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,
But their forms I cannot see.
Oh, say not so!
Those sounds that flow
In murmurs of delight and woe
Come not from wings of birds.
They are the throngs
Of the poet’s songs
Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and wrongs,
The sound of winged words…”
Whilst Robert Frost fills us with a Blue-Butterfly Day
“It is blue-butterfly day here in spring,
And with these sky-flakes down in flurry on flurry
There is more unmixed color on the wing
Than flowers will show for days unless they hurry.
But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.”
Between the pull of two elements, Carl Sandburg considers Flying Fish
“I HAVE lived in many half-worlds myself … and so I know you.
I leaned at a deck rail watching a monotonous sea, the same circling birds and the same plunge of furrows carved by the plowing keel.
I leaned so … and you fluttered struggling between two waves in the air now … and then under the water and out again … a fish … a bird … a fin thing … a wing thing.
Child of water, child of air, fin thing and wing thing … I have lived in many half worlds myself … and so I know you”
And with his freeing verse, full of masterly observation, D. H. Lawrence has us swooping with ‘The Bat
“A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
Where light pushes through;
A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
A dip to the water.
And you think:
“The swallows are flying so late!”
Dark air-life looping
Yet missing the pure loop …
A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
And serrated wings against the sky,
Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light,
And falling back.
The swallows are gone.
At a wavering instant the swallows gave way to bats
By the Ponte Vecchio …
By now you will have guessed that for this prompt we are to be uplifted and take to the air!
- Pen a poem that is about FLYING/FLIGHT (NOT FLEEING)
- Take ONE or MORE of our natural winged phenomena – bird, bat, insect, seed, flying fish! (but NOT mythical creature with wings, NOT mechanical objects either)
- Your poem can be purely literal or mixed with metaphor or even allegory
- Write as subject or object; 1st or 3rd person
- Preferably use FREE VERSE (like Sandburg & Lawrence above) as that best suits the subject of flying!
- If you use any poem as source or inspiration, please cite the original in your post [click links to read above poems in full]
Once you have published your poem, add it to the Linky widget and leave a comment below. Then go visiting, reading and sharing your thoughts with other contributors which is half the fun of our dVerse gatherings.