Sunday, April 6, 2014

It's National Poetry Month

So I thought maybe a poem or two would be a good thing to post. My muse hasn't been too active recently, so I will post some from my backlog. Some of my poems have been published as chapbooks, and two or three were published in literary journals. That was years ago, though. I haven't submitted any poems anywhere for years, so have no idea whether I am still "publishable." But the chapbooks are fun to do, and I get a few dollars out of it.

I am fond of puns, like most of my family, and so tend to title my chapbooks with names like "Classical Illusions" (poems based on things I learned from the Ancient Greeks). Here's a poem from that chapbook"

To Ixion

I thought I was satisfied
to watch you whirl upon a wheel
stretched immortally in Tartarus
for loving me....

(So many times I heard them say
you were proud when they loved you
and in disdain you looked past.)

But here, now, seeing you so racked
despairing of release
I wish I had done differently....

(Indeed, I might have been magnanimous
had I not loved you.)

Ixion, if you cast your mind back, was the fellow bold enough to profess his love for Hera, Zeus' consort. She took an exception to his interest, apparently, and so he was condemned to be stuck on a wheel in the place where the absolute worst things happened to those who offended the gods.

Fun with Stencils

This next one was inspired by my long-time love of Odysseus, begun when I was ten and my Aunt Quail read me Padriac Colum's The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy, a wonderful children's book illustrated by Willy Pogany.

If I had to choose
for the love of Odysseus
either to be mysterious Circe
or faithful Penelope

weighing a year of magic
in the balance against
a daily dream unraveled nightly
for twenty years

even knowing he must go
eventually to his own hearth
being bound to Penelope
I would cast my lot

for Circe. One magic year
spent in the company of such a man
surely equals twenty spent
without him.

More Fun with Stencils

One day, for lack of anything better to do, I consulted my word finder, letting it flop open where it would. and, with my eyes closed. I poked my finger on a word. This was the result:

Song for Sendak

When the fuzzy creatures come
to the circle bound in blue
they link their lanky, hairy arms
they sway from side to side

Pileous and round they are
and crinite are their legs
they dance a hispidulous reel
in the circle bound in blue

Their teeth are long and glistening
their eyes are always green
and in between their dances
they juggle orbs of joy

Their hirsute heads thrown back in song
their music howls against the moon
and crashes stiff and bounces back
exactly to the stars

If you will listen closely
when the fuzzy creatures come
you'll hear the shattered strains of song
fall slowly in the night

And if you're very careful
and concentrate your thoughts
you'll see them heel-and-toe-and-heel
in the circle bound in blue

The word, of course, was "hair."

Yet More Stencil Fun

The poems and the art are copyrighted 2014 by Anne Lou Robkin.

That's all for now, Nan

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