Charlotte Ager, Claudia Emerson, D.H. Lawrence, Katy Wang, Matthew Francis, Ronald Wallace, Tennessee Williams, Wendell Berry, William Logan
A fragile, unearthly prettiness has come out in Laura: she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting.
― Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie
Happy April to All and Welcome to Poetics! Lisa here as your pub host, offerer of liquid refreshment from the well-stocked bar and tasty snacks from the magic cupboard. It is my pleasure to be the provider of today’s Poetics Prompt.
As the weather is warming up a bit in Michigan, the critters are getting more active. I counted four species of squirrel under the bird feeders the other day. I spotted a robin, two male bluebirds fighting over one of the houses, and even a nightcrawler moving across the carport cement last week. These wee beasties were the impetus for today’s prompt. I went out looking for poems about animals and was kind of surprised at how many there were. I was more surprised as I went through some of them in that as much as they were describing the attributes of the animals themselves, they were also paralleling attributes that humans might have.
By Matthew Francis
After Robert Hooke
All afternoon a reddish trickle
out of the roots of the beech
and across the lawn,
a sort of rust that shines and dances.
Close up, it proves to be ant,
each droplet a horned
traveler finicking its way round
the crooked geometry
of a grass forest…
After reading, “Ant,” I felt as if they could compare to each of us at one time or another “finicking” our “way round the crooked geometry” of our lives. This is an excerpt. I do encourage you to follow the link here to read the rest of it.
for Fernando Nottebohm
by Ronald Wallace
And yet, a beautiful complex thing
capable of producing such song!
And he loved them and wondered
how it was they learned such singing,
and some even learning, every year,
a new song! And so he clipped the
neurons in their right brain, their
left brain, leaving them speechless,
and came up with a theory of
neurogenesis that could benefit us all,
even the tone-deaf among us, who,
no matter how hard we work at it,
dissecting all day long, with our
Peterson Guides and bird tapes,
can grasp but a handful of bird notes,
and can’t sing a single song.
How many people know the sterile facts of a thing but not know its essence?
It nuzzles oblivion, confuses
itself with mud. A creature
of familiar taste, it ambushes
from its nest of ooze the pond’s
brighter fish, clears its palate
with their eggs, lumbers fat
and stagnant into winter, lulled
into dreams of light sinking until
light drowns, and all is as before.
How many catfish have you met?
Paris, Jardin des Plantes, After Rilke
by William Logan
Fragonard might have bruised their white and red,
but themselves, they offer nothing,
as a lover does, glancing at you vaguely
from her vanity-table mirror.
They’re taken with themselves, cluttered
along the grass, roses on their stalks, stalking . . .
stalking the image deep in the feathers,
fruit gone ripe, then more than ripe.
There’s a screech in the birdhouse, a peacock —
even the peacock is jealous of them —
but there they walk, each an out-of-work actress,
into the naked audition of themselves.
Academy Awards Night immediately comes to mind.
By D. H. Lawrence
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there….
A favorite of mine from Lawrence. It’s kind of a long poem and so won’t include it all here, but I would encourage you to follow the link here to read the whole story. Snakes express myriad symbolic meanings across the world, from the great tempter, to the source of fertility.
Now that I’ve got you thinking about “lions and tigers and bears, oh my,” I would like to choose one (or more) of the following options to write your poem:
1) Choose any animal and consider its nature and write a poem about the animal;
2) Choose a particular attribute of an animal and write a poem that is about the animal but also an attribute that humans exhibit, similar to some of the above poems;
3) Create your own myth or fable involving animals.
There are no form, rhyme, or subject constraints in this prompt challenge. All I ask is that you have fun with it!
If you are new, here’s how to join in:
Post your piece on your blog and link back to this post.
Place the link to your actual post (not your blog or web site) in the Mister Linky site.
Please read and comment on other poets’ work–we all come here to have our poems read.
Kingfisher my drawing
Welcome to All! The pub is open!
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Thank you… tonight it feels like hot chocolate for me.
My pleasure, Bjorn. One tall mug of hot chocolate for you. Cheers!
Good evening all! Thank you Lisa for giving me the opportunity to return to an old poem and rework it for your prompt. I’m afraid I’m a little under the weather today;I have a sore throat and the sniffles. But I am looking forward to reading animal poems this evening until I go to bed. A pint of ice cold water would be perfect, if you have it, please.
Welcome, Kim. So sorry you are feeling a little under the weather. A pint of ice cold water coming right up. Cheers, my friend!
Thanks Lisa, much appreciated!
Hope you feel better very soon!
your prompt took me to a picture a friend of mine painted to accompany the poem I have shared.
I have shared the link by email to her. if the pic disappears, she has decided not to let me leave it here.
hot choc required before bed please
Welcome, Rog. I sure hope your friend’s picture doesn’t disappear. One tall mug of hot chocolate coming right up. Cheers!
I enjoyed the prompt. Historic day here….watching all the proceedings of the Trump indictment. On that note, I’ll take a fresh gin and tonic please!
Welcome, Lillian. Glad you enjoyed the prompt and I loved what you wrote and the special video for the historic occasion. One fresh gin and tonic in a tall frosted glass. Cheers!
Gillena Cox said:
O really enjoyed the video The Peace of Wild Things
I am drinking water today. I’ve been sipping throught the day
Welcome, Gillena! Glad you enjoyed the video. Raising a glass of water to yours. Cheers!
Loved the prompt, Lisa! 😀 Will be back in the morning to read and comment. Happy Tuesday! ❤️❤️
Welcome, Sanaa, and your poem shows how much you loved it. Wow!
A whole lot! Yes ❤️❤️❤️
A great prompt, Lisa. Animals, birds and insects, are such good inspiration!
Welcome, Dwight! Glad you enjoyed the prompt. Can I get you a hot chocolate?
Oh, yes, always!!
One tall mug of hot chocolate coming right up. Cheers!
Melissa Lemay said:
I want to be a catfish now.🥰
Welcome, Melissa! Fabulous. I watch a YouTube channel, Ohio Fish Rescue, and they have a whole bunch of beautiful ones. 🙂
Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing said:
Fun prompt Lisa. I knew exactly where I wanted to go ☺️ I’d love a nice cold beer tonight. Cheers!
Welcome, Christine! I’m so glad you knew where to take the prompt. One nice cold beer coming right up. Cheers, my friend!
Rob Kistner said:
Fascinating prompt Lisa. My piece involves crows.
Welcome Rob. I just finished reading your atmospheric and lovely poem. Can I get you a drink? Hot chocolate has been the favorite so far today/tonight.
Thank you, Li for hosting. I enjoyed writing to this theme. 🙂
Welcome, Kitty. Happy you enjoyed the theme, thank you 🙂
M Jay Dixit said:
‘Snake’ was in my school curriculum, I remember now. I also got that Albatross reference in that poem. Thanks for this trip down memory lane, Lisa. I’ll try coming up with a piece for this awesome prompt!
Welcome, Jay! So cool you had ‘Snake’ in school and know the Albatross reference. You’re very welcome on the memory lane stroll. Will be looking for your poem 🙂
such a great prompt 🙂
Welcome, AJ, and thanks very much 🙂
OIKOS™- Art, Books & more said:
Reblogged this on https:/BOOKS.ESLARN-NET.DE.
Thank you Lisa, such fun. Digging is hard work so a double whiskey please 🙂
Welcome, Paul! Setting up two double whiskeys. Cheers!
Hi msjadeli et all! Just posted the link to my contribution over at Mr. Linky there. Hope ye enjoy the read! 🤞😁📖🙏
Welcome, Ken! Sorry for the late response. I enjoyed your poem very much. ::::wagging my tail::::
No need to apologise at all! 🙏😊😁
A couple of Corona & limes for me please if they’re going handy?! 😛😁🍻
Ken, you must be parched by now. Setting up two pints of Corona & limes and pouring a pint of Magners for myself. Cheers! 🙂
Great thirst on me here. Ha! 😛😁