Friday, 27 October 2017

reflection in irenic winds - a pantoum



irenic winds – at dawn and twilight – cast reflection
hard edges blur in the confluence of day and night
there is peace in the solitude of introspection
there is vision in the pause between black and white

hard edges blur in the confluence of day and night
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . focus is sine qua non in haze
there is vision in the pause between black and white
at the crux from which the path wends winding ways

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . focus is sine qua non in haze
the spirit stirs, the heart lifts ... the mind clears
at the crux from which the path wends winding ways
there is serenity ... there is rest for weary fears ...

the spirit stirs, the heart lifts ... the mind clears
there is peace in the solitude of introspection 
there is serenity ... there is rest for weary fears ...
irenic winds – at dawn and twilight – cast reflection

I haven’t done a form poem in several months, and so I resolved (as Agatha Christie's Detective Poirot – whose exploits I am currently enjoying – might say) "to exercise the little gray cells", and take on a Pantoum.  The Pantoum is a poetry form that originated in 15th century Malaysia and, slowly, made its way west, steadily gaining a modest popularity with English poets.  It is without meter or fixed length.  The challenge comes with the rhyme and the repetition of two lines from the first stanza in the following stanza (and so on). Additionally, the first line (of the first stanza) becomes the last line and the third line (of the first stanza) becomes the second line of the last stanza. The idea being, I gather, that the lines should cascade melodiously back upon themselves, in the finished piece.  Well, it’s a concept. ~ Smiles ~

Initially, I fought the meter every step of the way – and, when I was finished, I wasn’t terribly pleased with the result.  A rhymed poem: without meter!?!?!?    So, I went back at it, and put it into iambic pentameter.  But that seemed to disrespect the Pantoum form, so ultimately, I loosened the meter, as much as I could bring myself to.  It is a form, I have found, that is far better suited to being recited aloud, than read silently.

notes:  The English word ‘irenic’ – which I love – is an adjective that means “conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, or conciliation”.   In Greek mythology, the Horae (daughters of Zeus and Themis) were the goddesses of the seasons, death and rebirth and natural order (as it relates to human life).  Eirene, one of the Horae, was the goddess of peace and, thus, her name is, the Greek word for "peace". 
 
‘sine qua non’ (pronounced (sin-i kwah non), is a Latin phrase that, occasionally pops up in English.  According to the Cambridge Dictionary it means:  a necessary condition without which something is not possible.  Other definitions referred to it as 'something that is essential'.  (I think I've used it correctly here - though, it's not an expression one hears everyday.) 
  
Photo:  Twin Island Blue – M.S. Bourke
 
© 2017 Wendy Bourke 

20 comments:

  1. Very well executed Wendy! Pantoum is plainly not easy especially in working on the rhyming.

    Hank

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  2. You have worked the form beautifully, Wendy. I have a sense of peacefulness as I read this poem! Lovely wordings.

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  3. With the sense of the sea in your words the rhythm of the poem are like the soft waves that such irenic winds will stir. To use a form like this not only great way to work the grey cells but a good way to let something from that slip back to poetry.

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  4. "there is vision in the pause between black and white" Love
    Special moments dawn and twilight for introspection but also beauty as you can see from your photo. Great words and picture

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  5. hard edges blur in the confluence of day and night... we learn to accept and rejoice in the gray! Pantoum is a tough form..tried it only once!

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  6. I haven't tried this difficult form yet. The content is divine. Your inner radar is truly tuned to the peace-time. The exact hours when the mind is controllable and meditating is easy.

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  7. When I see a poetic form unknown to me I immediately feel tempted but am thankful if others try it first lest I make a hash of it! Another one to try when I am brave...perhaps. You made it look so good!

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  8. takes such time and effort for me to do rhyme - I particularly like the repetition of this form.
    Much of my photography is monochrome and will think of your wonderful lines when pressing the shutter
    "there is vision in the pause between black and white"

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  9. wow, that's such a rhyme scheme and well executed too.

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  10. My goodness this is good! An exquisite execution of the form💞

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  11. You did a wonderful job of the form!!! I enjoyed reading it as well, but would love to hear you read it!

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  12. Pantoum is my favourite form and you have executed it so well. The peaceful feeling cascades down the page along with the poem. Beautiful, Wendy and your photo is gorgeous.

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  13. I wish to delve deep into this peace........

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  14. I read it silently first, and then aloud (before I read your note, so I felt pretty proud of myself). I agree, it's a lovely form to read aloud, it travels through the brain like a chant, getting deeper and deeper and deeper... serene.

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  15. I admire your ability to master this machiavellian form of poetry, which seems to squelch my creativity and leave me spluttering! You've certainly "done it proud"!

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  16. Well that is a wow Wendy--great job with the form and such a beautifully written piece!

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  17. I couldn't agree more with you....I enjoyed this Pantoum and being introduced to it with your amazing poem....and I enjoyed reading it aloud. You succeeded beautifully in 'exercising those little gray cells'. I love Poirot too!

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  18. Wendy, you have taken on the form and created a beautiful piece of writing.

    the spirit stirs, the heart lifts ... the mind clears

    These words bring a sense of peace. Thank you!

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  19. Love the peace and serenity Wendy ~

    Poirot is my favorite detective and the actor who played him David Suchet for many years was really wonderful. I binge-watched all the TV seasons of Hercule Poirot one summer and I love it.

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    1. That series is wonderful! It took me a while to get into Poirot - the character is so very odd - but you soon realize that Poirot is odd ... in the best possible way to be odd. Then you are hooked. I haven't been able to get to all the episodes ... yet. A little something to look forward to.

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