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A. Baez

Night Visitation

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A. Baez

 

 

My bedding lay half-pressed against my side

As I curled lost inside the dreams of night;

And yet the full moon, drear’s celestial bride,

Poured through my windows, mantling me with light.

What power, long unknown to me, would shine

At such an hour with such day-force? Pristine

In solitude, by some obscure design

She reigned in stunning vigil, long unseen.

Awakening, I tossed off crumpled shrouds

As sleep’s last traces with the dim sheets slipped

Away, and I peered out: some blackish clouds

Swirled round the orb where high-born breezes whipped.

Then all the brighter every moon-ray beamed

Against that scrim of gloom where shadows streamed!

 

 

 

CA--I'd put this in the Workshop, but no one has posted anything there since my last post there.

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A. Baez

I recently revised this poem whose first version I'd written when I was thirteen. As a point of interest, here is the original:

 

The Quiet Visitor

 

 

The snug but restless quilts lay tossed aside

And there I lay amidst the present Night

While his accomplice and celestial bride

Seeped through my window with a pallid light.

Now what divine omnipotence could shine

With such immersing opalescent sheen,

Its visitation no request of mine,

Its sly transgression lingering unseen?

I rose, reluctant, from my torpid shrouds

And sleep's last traces with the blankets slipped

Away as I peered out: a blackish cloud

Swirled round the orb that through the dark sky dipped.

What else but Moon would steal over my sill

Unwitnessed while unknowing I lay still?

 

 

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dcmarti1

"scrim of gloom"

I have phrase envy, madam, and I have it bad! :)

Both are "2 snaps up!"

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tonyv

I think your version from way back when is very impressive, but I love the recent version. Like a 2020 remix of a ten-year-old song, the revised version exhibits a contemporary/up-to-date sophistication. I love your application of "half-pressed," "drear's," "day-force," and "high-born breezes."

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Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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A. Baez

Tony, I'm glad to hear it! It sounds like, by your measure, I've succeeded at my aims.

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JoelJosol

I can relate with this experience, A. Baez. What caught my ears are the strong alliteration of a lot of s. I recognize the form as a sonnet. The ending is stronger in your current version than the older one. The change reflected maturity in writing poems. 

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"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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A. Baez

Thanks, Joel--I'm so glad you can relate! And good point--I see now that there are actually a lot of "s'" throughout this poem. Before, when I read aloud the line, "As sleep’s last traces with the dim sheets slipped," I did find it to be quite a tongue-twister, largely because of all those "s'". I agree with you about the ending couplet, too; as an adult, I immediately saw that the first version's was simply stating the obvious.

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dr_con

Ahh yes the origin of 'Lunacy' 😉 Good to the ear and goo to the eye/\. TY

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Gate(less.thumb.png.dc23b19d2478d37a9f6fcdc563973026.pnghttps://conjurd.substack.com/welcome Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-)

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David W. Parsley

Hi Baez, you are new to me, too, but that is my fault for being away so long.  Welcome to the site.  I like the use of rhyme and rhythm here.  The conclusion rushes in with the same urgency the narrator must have experienced in the grip of that moon!

Nice,
- David

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badger11

Nicely gothic AB. Particularly liked the concluding line and the use of 'scrim'.

 

Quote

As I curled lost inside the dreams of flight

Just a thought (night/light is too familiar?)

best

Phil

 

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A. Baez

Hi, David! It's so nice to see you back! A few of the poems that you had posted most recently were among the reasons I chose to join this site in the first place. I could see by these posts (among others) that this was a poetry forum of particular fiber and refinement. I even commented quite a bit on one of these poems of yours, not knowing you had been spirited away for the moment.

I had not really thought of the ending of this poem as conveying urgency, but I'm okay with that effect!

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A. Baez

Phil, thanks! I was not consciously trying to tap into a gothic effect here but that has been one of my favorite genres since youth, so I'm pleased that it has wended its way into this poem.

I see your point about "night"/"light" being a rather facile rhyme, but "flight" would seem to take the line in question off in a head-scratchingly specific yet arbitrary direction. I do like the simple "night"/"light" at least in that it introduces the dark/light, covered/uncovered juxtapositions that repeat in mirroring pairs throughout the poem. It occurred to me late in my writing that these interplays had begun to emerge, at which point I consciously nudged them further: me (light) and my bedding (dark) paralleling the moon (light) and the cloud (dark), and my bedding (dark) juxtaposing with the blanketing moonlight (light).

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David W. Parsley
On 6/22/2020 at 9:51 AM, A. Baez said:

Hi, David! It's so nice to see you back! A few of the poems that you had posted most recently were among the reasons I chose to join this site in the first place. I could see by these posts (among others) that this was a poetry forum of particular fiber and refinement. I even commented quite a bit on one of these poems of yours, not knowing you had been spirited away for the moment.

I had not really thought of the ending of this poem as conveying urgency, but I'm okay with that effect!

Thanks for the warm welcome back.  I, too, came to PMO because the work posted here had a character largely lacking in most poetry published in current journals and collections.  I like your description of that character as relating to a certain "fiber and refinement."  For me it includes an unabashed resonance that does not fear to verge on ecstasy.  And it frequently celebrates uninhibited connection to the natural world in a way that recalls the best of the Romantic Poets, including most deeply felt and exquisite of them all, John Keats.

I did see your extensive comments on As One from the Snowfields and welcome them!  I'll get back on that one later.

Best,
- David

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A. Baez
Quote

For me it includes an unabashed resonance that does not fear to verge on ecstasy. And it frequently celebrates uninhibited connection to the natural world in a way that recalls the best of the Romantic Poets, including most deeply felt and exquisite of them all, John Keats.

This is so true! There is such a prevailing trend in poetry these days towards blasé cynicism that it is both startling and refreshing to see, as I often have here, contemporary poetry that displays, instead, the virtues that you so keenly describe. And I am so glad to see you laying another wreath at the feet of Keats, who has been receiving a lot of positive attention lately from members here, including myself.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of you here.

Regards,

A.B.

 

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