Poetry Monday: Snowflake Requiem

In it’s first instant
The first moment
It’s first thought
The first feelings
Falling – drifting – 
Gracefully dropping
From unknown origins
The air is cold and
Powerful, pulling, dragging
But the snowflakes
Never collide or touch
Graceful chaos – 
This snowflake
And it’s unique pattern
It can’t remember the time before
Maybe the other flakes
Have forgotten too
It floats and falls
Surfing on gusts
Still never touching
The multifarious falling flakes
On a journey down
Down to the endless white
What is the destination – 
After the eternity
The snowflake lands
On the branch of a tree
The other flakes continue down
To the whiteness from which
The tree protrudes
The flake sits alone – 
It wonders again of
The time before the fall
And where it came from
No memories are there
The other flakes sit together
On other branches and the ground
Other flakes have stopped falling
This flake sits at the top of a tree
Overseeing so many
Distant and cut off from so many
It wonders how all the other
Flakes can be together
How were they able to come together – 
Children below play with
Multiple flakes packed together
Snowballs, snowmen, snow angels
The one flake envies the fun
All the flakes participate
Except this one
Who doesn’t know how
To join with another flake
Who sits atop the tree
Afraid to join the crowd – 
The night falls and passes
And the sun creeps
Into existence
The air is still cold
But lifeless – 
The flake watches it’s
Brethren disappear
In large patches
Vanishing, melting
Where have they gone
And did they go together – 
In it’s last instant
The last moment
It’s last thought
The last feelings
Drifting – darkness – 
A lonely sleep

From the poetry collection Cats, Coffee, Catharsis.

Sunday Sharing: Sylvia Plath

This week’s Sunday Share is “A Sorcerer Bids Farewell To Seem” by Sylvia Plath. A different take on Alice in Wonderland, Plath is a master of imagery and metaphor. I have found that much of my own writing is similar. I do not claim to be as skilled as Plath. More of her work can be found at The Best Poems Encyclopedia among many other poets.

A Sorcerer Bids Farewell To Seem

I’m through with this grand looking-glass hotel
where adjectives play croquet with flamingo nouns;
methinks I shall absent me for a while
from rhetoric of these rococo queens.
Item : chuck out royal rigmarole of props
and auction off each rare white-rabbit verb;
send my muse Alice packing with gaudy scraps
of mushroom simile and gryphon garb.
My native sleight-of-hand is wearing out :
mad hatter’s hat yields no new metaphor,
and jabberwock will not translate his songs :
it’s time to vanish like the cheshire cat
alone to that authentic island where
cabbages are cabbages; kings : kings.

Plath, Sylvia. “A Sorcerer Bids Farewell To Seem.” The Best Poems Encyclopedia, The Best Poems Encyclopedia, 14 Jan. 2019, www.best-poems.net/sylvia-plath/sorcerer-bids-farewell-seem.html.

The Elements of Poetry Part 3: Form

For week three of National Poetry Month, April, I will continue my brief introductions to the four elements of poetry. These four elements are Prosody, Rhyme, Form, and Diction. The third in the four-part series I will discuss on the elements of poetry is Form. Form is one of the things that distinguishes poetry from prose. The structural elements of form include the line, the stanza, and larger combinations such as cantos. These structural elements combine into larger structures of poetic forms like sonnets or haikus.

The most common form in contemporary poetry is free verse. There is no set rhythm, rhyme, or pattern to the poem. One could say it is free of all structure. Blank verse has no rhyme but its rhythm is in iambic pentameter. Other forms include sestinas, villanelles, and terza rima. Many forms have specific rhythms, rhyme schemes, and refrains making the different forms unique. Structured poetic forms are less frequent in contemporary poetry.

Visual presentation is also an important characteristic of poetic form. Deciding where to place words, lines, or groups of lines on the page can add further effect to the poem and its meaning. For example, a poem about losing control may have words and lines move around the page in a spiral. Choosing whether to align the words to the left, center, right, or combination of all three on the page is another stylistic choice. A structured form or visual creative positioning of words is not required to write poetry. I will always encourage writers to play around with different ideas when writing poetry. Poetry provides more freedom of expression than prose.