Thursday, April 29, 2021

Day 29 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2021


Penultimate day of National Poetry Month!

Robert Lee Brewer’s Poem-a-Day prompt: “For today's prompt, write an evening poem. The evening can be a quiet and contemplative time, a stressed or fearful time, or, well, party time. Evenings can be lonely or romantic, cool or humid, inspirational or numbing. And today (or tonight, depending on when you consume your poetry prompts), evening is the time for poeming--even if you're doing it in the middle of the afternoon.”

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo suggestion: “And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). This one is called 'in the window.' Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on?”


Mashing up both prompts but probably not quite in the manner Robert and Maureen might have envisioned. I offer an ekphrastic tanka sequence (or linked tanka) on a famous Edward Hopper etching, in which a window and evening figure.

Tryst
—on Evening Wind, etching
   by Edward Hopper (1921)
bedsheets shape mountains
of soft muslin, a landscape
in a world of sleep
but not yet — the evening light
out the window glimmering

white curtains billow
like feathery angel's wings
against a backdrop —
inky dark heavy brick walls
framing the open window

she gazes outside,
auburn hair hiding her face
from us and yet not
from someone out there, young man
she’s waiting for, gentle smile

her hand smooths the bed:
come in, be my muse, sing me
a sweet aria,
velvet nocturne, till morning
brings dawn’s silky serenade

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

Edward Hopper, Evening Wind (1921)   (WikiArt)

Alan's window and evening are the wrought center of this poem, which orbits around that nexus.

Evening Window

From the domed hill in our backyard, one can see into the lit living room of our home, although we
            keep it lit by only a single lamp and the large panel of our television.
Depending on where one stands, one can perhaps peer into our dining room, through the large glass
            doors, but we keep that room unlit unless we sit at the table together before twilight.
Who would stand in the tangled back lot and look?
Once, my father warned me that someone could wait in the back of our lot and shoot through the
            kitchen window to wound me as I stood washing dishes,
as he once warned me that the political stickers on my truck could lead to vandalism or even road
            rage—this warning came years ago, before grievance became the primary means of
            expressing political tribalism,
and that Hell was a place for punishment with a wandering warden, walking to find vulnerable
            suckers for eternal punishment.
Who could stand back there, among the tangled honeysuckle and barbed black locust, to case our
            small home
where our routine has so exhausted us of stories
that we search for them on pages, in recordings, through streamed feeds
and not for a stranger crouched behind the elderberry, beneath the redbud?
Who would say “Flowering Judas” to my neighbors and expect them to understand?

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

Friends, won’t you comment, please? Love to know what you’re thinking. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   


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3 comments:

Bruce Niedt said...

Would you believe that I too am working on an ekphrastic poem based on an Edward Hopper painting? I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising as windows were often a prominent theme in his work. Not quite there yet - will post later.

Bruce Niedt said...

P.S.: Check out my day 28 poems too when you visit.

Bruce Niedt said...

Day 29 is up - also a bonus post, revisiting the subject of an earlier ekphrastic poem.




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