Poetry

An Essay By Beatrice // 11/7/2000

I really like poetry. I like how through a few lines of poetry, a whole world can be formed: “Then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.” I also love the diversity of words that appear in a poem-- “Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie.” Something else I find intriguing about poetry is the great importance a single word can have, and then on the other hand how a poem is more then the words. It’s the way they sound beside one another. “Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes.”
One of my favorite aspects of poetry is the way memorizing it, and reciting it, bring it alive. Right now, I have, let me think… five poems committed to memory. I can pull them off the shelf in my head anytime I want. They keep me company, like friends. It’s so satisfying to have them there! I like to recite them out loud, to nobody. Enunciating the syllables, glorifying each word, in its own way, I imagine myself captivating my imaginary audience by my performance. “A narrow fellow in the grass occasionally rides!” The poems I’ve memorized are so different from each other, and each has its own way of touching me. There are my wonderful Robert Frost poems; then, the one I love to recite, by Emily Dickinson -- oh, and what about the one by Robert Hayden, which expresses so much feeling. Who’s missing? Oh, Gerard Manly Hopkins! His is very evocative. Which one should I show you? How about this one:

Tree At My Window
By Robert Frost

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.

Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.

But, tree, I have seen you take and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I have slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.

That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

I love how Frost uses such imaginative language! Whoever heard of calling a tree a “Vague dream head”? Isn’t it interesting how Frost uses the word “thing” when talking about the tree? In a funny way his using that word, seems just right. It’s so, un-poetic, and spontaneous. I really understand how he could compare himself to the tree. I definitely know what he means by “inner weather.” I experience a lot of it.

Just lately my mom has given me some sonnets to read. I wrote one myself. It’s not very good, at least as far as the rules for sonnets go, but I’m rather pleased with it. Sonnets are supposed to have 14 lines, rhyming pattern, and a particular meter, if you know what that means. Here it is.

The Traveler of Time

Most heartless hands our eyes behold,
Are the hands of our clocks, our jailors.
They never speed or slow, and always, so cold.
Oh, to ride time, like a ship does the sea,
Time like the waves would break against our ship--
How great the liberty of a time sailor!
On this earth, our home, that freedom is sold
Never shall I see that vessel, my dream,
For a cage encloses liberty of old.
Yet, our heart within has wings that beat
Like a caged bird, wings fluttering, clipped.
Seconds, hours, our chains, heavier, do grow.
Someday, the eternal doors will open.
Then, above time I will soar, wings unfolded.

I'd love to hear from you! What's your favorite poem? Send it to comments@apricotpie.com , and ben can forward it to me.

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