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“…it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…
 Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities

Today is Maundy Thursday and for those of us who celebrate or mark this period as Easter/Pascha, or Passover, or later this month, the end of Ramadan, we become aware of extremes – how opposite in emotion; death to life, sadness to joy, fast to feast. All are essentially epitomized in the Spring revival.

In his concrete poem George Herbert’s Easter wings” take just such a dip and rise

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
      Though foolishly he lost the same,
            Decaying more and more,
                  Till he became
                        Most poore:
                        With thee
                  O let me rise
            As larks, harmoniously,
      And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me

Note the paradox of opposites in that final line!

And in this extract, Edna St Vincent Millay combines opposites to relay the contradictions she feels at the coming of Spring:-

“…The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing, 
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

And so for today’s prompt we are playing with opposites, cleaving them in fact.
Fun Fact: Cleave is a contranym, a word with 2 opposite meanings: i) split or sever. ii) become strongly involved with or emotionally attached to.

Thus we are taking an opposing word pair as theme prompt and writing two distinct poems, which then combine as one larger composition i.e. whilst they are distinct the 2 poems also should converse/relate  with/to each other

A.  Choose ONE of these paired opposites for your two poem’s theme whilst also including the chosen word somewhere in the body of each poem

  • admit – deny;
  • amuse – bore;
  • beg – offer;
  • condemn – praise;
  • fix – break;
  • mix – sort;
  • scatter – collect;

B. And with your chosen antonym pair, write your poem(s) in ONE of these poetry forms:

  1. THE CONTRAPUNTAL – 2 poems that are distinct from one another but together can be read as one poem. They can be adjacent columns or  fit alternately (italicised , boldened, indented to distinguish one from another  if desired)
    There are  lots of examples  
    HERE or read  Pauls’ MTB prompt in 2018 The Contrapuntal
  • THE CLEAVE  –so  similar to the above  to be almost indistinguishable – I’ve seen it defined as 3 poems but ‘the inventor’ only states 2!  Seems the poems blend together across each line to make one poem -see examples of CLEAVE POETRY HERE

There are no rules for rhyme or meter (phew!) so once you have written your poem add it to the Mr Linky below. And then go visiting others as that is half the fun of our dVerse link-ups.