Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 26 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2014


Day 26. Gettin' near the end, friends. Well, I shouldn't dwell on the ending but rather on the great 25 days we've had so far. Cause for celebration, don't you think?

"For today’s prompt, write a water poem," suggests Robert Lee Brewer (Poetic Asides).

Maureen Thorson's prompt today is one I suggested to her: the curtal sonnet, invented by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I wrote one on Day 20 for the "family member" point-of-view prompt (NaPoWriMo). Basically, the curtal sonnet is 3/4 of a Petrarchan sonnet. If you figure out 3/4 of 14, you'll get 10 1/2 lines. Fr. Hopkins split that line pattern into a six-line opening stanza rhymed abcabc and a 4 1/2–line closing stanza rhymed dbcdc or dcbdc.

I hope you won't think it vain that I'm posting directly below what the NaPoWriMo blog looks like today. If you click on the image, you'll see my name in the fourth paragraph. I'm such a fan boy, huh? I am nonetheless both honored and humbled. Thank you, Maureen!


Okay, on to today's poem, merging the two "official" prompts: a curtal sonnet on water, then.

Water

I fill my glass from the faucet, get ice from the fridge,
sit down to watch an episode of Swamp People,
who hunt alligators in murky, brown water
that makes the monsters invisible. How rich
the ways H2O affects us, both lethal
and harmless. Did you know we all can walk on water?

If it's white and crunchy. It can be unseen yet blue,
giving sky its tint. It makes Earth a marble
glowing aquamarine and pearl in outer
space. None on this planet can live without you,
                                                              our trusty friend, water.

—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

And now to Alan's poem. Alan says, "I attempted to follow both of the prompts today, and I was glad about the curtal sonnet assignment, and I though the water part would be easy. But, strangely enough, thinking about water made me think about chores for this weekend, and I was considering how wet grass requires more attention to mow.

"But the real problem, Vince, is Hopkins's 'Pied Beauty' for an example, because I was wanting to follow that model carefully, rhyme scheme and all. But look at that thing! It looks as if it is abc/abc/dbc/dc, because it's 'things/cow/swim//wings/plow/trim//strange/how/dim/change/him.' But, being from the Deep South myself, I was tempted to claim that 'strange' and 'change' almost rhyme with 'things' and 'wings,' claiming a slant rhyme or some such, but I figured that folks from other parts of the country would consider my claim specious or my rhyming lazy, so I decided to treat the a and d rhymes as if they rhyme with each other exactly.

"There are times when my Southern accent works to my advantage, given that 'guitar' can be either iambic or trochaic, depending on the need, but I want to play fair."

First Mowing after Easter

First mowing after Easter, moisture clumps
                new fresh-grown grass. My mulching mower slows,
                                and I, to clear the clogs, must leave the lawn
for pavement, banging wheels until the lumps
                extrude to free the blade. And, yet, I chose
                                this time to work, an hour after dawn,

for what, mown, this lawn brings, the bird that jumps
                from plainsight bug to bug, how wet grass goes
                                to new-mown pasture smell, the haying done
past family clearing timber, burning stumps,
                                                now gone.


—Draft by Thomas Alan Holmes     [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

What a great poem, Alan. Such a fine ending when the poem goes to family memory. Beautiful.

In your poem, "clumps" and "lawn" (a and c) do rhyme distantly or, depending on one's dialect, more closely. I think it's perfectly defensible to claim what you claimed earlier about a rhyme between "strange" and "things" — not to mention the Deep South pronunciation, there is also the eye rhyme of "ng," don't you think? Quite a Hopkins-ish claim, actually. Remember how in "The Windhover" Hopkins used "-ing" for his a sound and "-iding" for b? That's pretty outrageous, bodacious even. So why not "strange" and "things" as emulation? Works for me, Alan.

Also, making a the same as d is not a violation of the curtal sonnet scheme. It's merely a tighter interpretation of the pattern. Again, works for me. Hopkins in "Windhover" has an a and b that could be seen as both a. Fun.


Won't you comment, please, friends? To make a comment, look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. If you don't see that, look in the red line that starts Posted by Vince, then find the word comments and click it once.

Ingat, everyone.  


POEM-A-DAY 2014 • Pick a day in April: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very cool project, Vince! I'm diggin these prompts, poems, & ruminations. Thanks! --Mark Wagenaar

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

Hopkins has been a major influence among my writing colleagues here at East Tennessee State University. Daniel Westover, one of our British literature experts (and an authority on Welsh poet R. S. Thomas) is currently working with William Wright (Xylem and Heartwood, Bledsoe, series editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology) on a collection of new poems influenced by Hopkins.

Bruce Niedt said...

Don't know if you saw my comment on yesterday's blog, but I thanked you for suggesting the curtal sonnet. I wrote my first one ever yesterday and I think it came out half-decent - it's on my blog: http://bniedt.blogspot.com/2014/04/todays-dual-prompts-from-poetic-asides_26.html
Liked yours a lot, too. Hey, it could have fit Robert's prompt for today as well: "Write a monster poem".

Vince Gotera said...

Thanks, Mark. By the way, the NAR issue with your poem in it is at the printer now. So, watch your mailbox for it.

Vince Gotera said...

Wonderful, Alan. I appreciate Hopkins quite a lot. As I once said somewhere on this blog, I felt freed by Hopkins and his idea of sprung rhythm. I've felt that it says you can stress whenever you want to. I bet Hopkins wouldn't appreciate that interpretation but what the hey. Thanks.

Vince Gotera said...

Bruce, thanks for the comment. I thought I had responded to this ... maybe I did on your blog.

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