"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Monday, August 1, 2011

Night Journey

Sweethearts of RhythmA Dreamscape poem, I scribbled during a poetry workshop I taught last winter. Today is the hottest day of the year, but it was a relief to remember this cold and dreary time of year.

When I heard Marilyn Nelson, and Ron Koertge speak about poetry last month, I was introduced to some new ideas I'd like to try. Here below, I've altered a Sestina, or really not quite followed the directions. Sestinas tend to do what I'd like to try in the future -- a concept rhyme. I had no idea these existed. It's not just a near rhyme or a slant rhyme, it's an antonym, a synonym, or any other type of word you chose, as long as you are consistent.

This may be a new concept that you can't even google yet, but you've heard it here.
Sestina's are a poem form that cause a spiraling motion of reasoning, a forced narrowing just because of it's mathematical form. The first rules are to have six stanzas of six lines. The last word in each line must repeat in each stanza (I've ignored the precise order). I did follow the rule to have each stanza end on a different word. I also followed the rule that my final stanza is only three lines, but does have all six end words tucked inside. Lastly, if you care much about rules, I gave myself two or three extra rules: to make each line as short as possible, one line in each stanza must have only one word, the last word in each stanza is seen again on the end of the first line in the next.

Well you can see it gets tricky. What do rules do? I use them all the time in my free verse. I make up my own rules. Any rule, especially in poetry I think, adds difficulty. But it's more than that. I guess it's like: more difficulty equals more muscle, and more muscle equals more power. I always find even the smallest limitation strengthens the meaning.

Night Journeys  2010

I always dream
about a train,
in the night,
running away
with me.

get off! -- that’s me
it’s not safe on this train!
we are going too fast.
I run away…
to another dream
dark night.

A flight to Paris, at night
second stop, the moon—a dream,
Thank God, no train.
Did I bring the right luggage with me?
Clouds flash faster.

A white van pulls up fast.
A team of dreamers,
here and away,
You are with them, not me.
black inside, with a rolling door like a train.

Destinations, stops-- like a train--
documenting sites, like dreams,
statues of angels, Mary fasting,
No me.
And gray days, no nights.
A new sight to draw you away.
How do you find them anyway?
Steadfast wheels, like a train through the rain.
Nightfall may bring you back to me, to rest, and to dream.

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