Thursday, 2 February 2017

I am the difference


I am the difference in my day … 
and like, the little Steller's Jay
– I’d spotted in the garden plot – 
took flight, not thinking it could not …
I too, am master of my way
 
the bird soared passed the birch trees’ sway 
and billowed boughs and lawn hose spray – 
and as I watched its path, I thought, 
I am the difference

I am the difference in my day – 
the gentle word, the kinder way, 
the meal shared, the child taught, 
the hug, the smile, the good fight fought,
with soldier-on and plug-away … 
I am the difference

notes:  This is my first Rondeau – and may, very well be, my last.  It takes its place, in my poetic efforts, as one of the toughest forms I have attempted - albeit with a wonderful compelling cadence.  (In Flanders Fields by John McCrae is a favorite poem of mine – and a Rondeau – and I have renewed appreciation for that piece.)  I found the Rondeau to be a very rigid form – with the beginning of the first line coming in as a refrain at the end of the second and third stanzas (with some sort of flow that integrates it with the piece, rather than just sitting there as a disembodied refrain).  There are - exactly - 15 lines (of 4 metrical feet – except for the 2  lines of the refrain, which are 2 metrical feet).  That – and the fact that you only have 2 rhyming sounds to work off of, made for multiple start-overs when I could not get the word I had pre-selected (before I began writing) to work (and I could not come up with another word with the right rhyming sound).  That said, taking on the challenge of a form piece is, for me, really satisfying … if, occasionally, exasperating.

Steller's Jay – The Steller’s Jay (and yes, that is the spelling - though it looks like a typo) is a Jay native to western North America, closely related to the Blue Jay (very similar in appearance, but with a black head).  The Steller's Jay is British Columbia's provincial bird.
 
photo:  taken at the Stewart Farm, Surrey, BC – Sept. 25, 2016 – W. Bourke

© 2017 Wendy Bourke 

21 comments:

  1. Such a difficult form--I just get frustrated when I try to work with form--the undisciplined side of me--

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  2. Well, I enjoyed reading your poem nonetheless! I love "I am the difference in my day" and "the kinder word," etc.

    Myself, I'm too lazy, I think, to attempt strict forms.

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  3. Yes..like the positive tone and the lyrical quality of it.

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  4. Yes, you are the difference. We all can make a difference on any given day. I loved the positive outlook of your poem. Lovely!
    -HA

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  5. I hardly even noticed the form at first, because you handled it so well and your excellent sentiments took precedence. Congratulations! I have not yet dared the rondeau myself, though I keep toying with the idea.

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  6. Beatifully executed Wendy, a delight read.

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  7. Such an exquisitely penned Rondeau Wendy :D Love it!!❤️

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  8. I like the idea that "I am the difference in my day." Really I think this is an attitude we all must adopt these days when there is so much awfulness around us that continues to drag us down. It is up to each of us, it seems, to find a way to rise above, to make a difference for ourselves!

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  9. Great attitude..we have to be the difference in our day..the difference in the world. Lovely!

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  10. That is indeed a difficult form, I've tried it a few times. I like the repeating line "I am the difference", that is such a strong motivational message for each of us.

    I needed these words today :)

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  11. Luv being different like that

    "I am the difference in my day –
    the gentle word, the kinder way, "

    A happy Sunday to you

    much love...

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  12. You ROCKED the RondeaU! It does have a wonderful cadence. And I LOVE the Message!

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  13. Such a wonderful message, couched in the difficult form of the Rondeau. Kudos to yoU!

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  14. Well, you've made the difficult form read so easy. It flows as free and determined as the jay.

    I love the weaved reminder: we might not control everything in our world/life, but when it comes to the small the decisions we are always the difference. And everyone knows that the big things are made of tiny ones.

    I really liked this.

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  15. Oh, I hear you on the difficulty of this form....it is so exasperating.....but you have accomplished such a wonderful result here with your efforts.....it flows so wonderfully and the meaning in your words is profoundly beautiful. The trick is having it come out the way you have---with the appearance of being seamless and effortless----even though you know better!!

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  16. I must say it was worth the effort. I shall put it on my mirror like a mantra. Your poem could take its place among the greats.

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  17. ah, the rondeau, i must remember to give it another try.
    and your piece is so positive and inspirational.

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  18. Oh I do love the rondeau, and you managed to make it so subtle so I didn't even notice that it was one... it pars with the villanelle to me as challenging forms, and just maybe i will do one. Love the topic of making a difference in the best of ways.

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  19. I admire your work! Outstanding! This is beautiful and does not lose its message in the complications of the form.

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  20. Love the poetry form and the meaning ~ This refrain is really good:

    I am the difference in my day –

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