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rumisong's very first poem ever, a sonnet, reprised here


rumisong

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I know it was sophomore year in high school, so I had to have been 15-- we were given to write a sonnet over the weekend, and here is where I learned about iambic pentameter, and abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme-- the next Monday, (or, I seem to remember it might have been a three day weekend-- so, it could have been Tuesday) the teacher asked if some of us wanted to read our poems to the class-- I seem to remember being about the third student to read theirs-- the teacher said something about there only being one other student in all of his classes who had a "religious" theme to their poem, other than myself, and for whatever reason, I thought something like "but this isnt really religious (?)" --Im not sure what made me think this, because today I can certainly understand the teachers remark... this is a very funny detail to me today-- it sticks with me in this story... I also remember clearly the teacher asking those of us who read their poems (six ? in all maybe?) how long it took us to write them-- I was the last to answer, after the others claimed things like "all day", "three or four hours", "the whole weekend", etc, I had to tell the truth: "twenty, maybe thirty minutes..." I remember well the disbelieving look the teacher shot at me-- and I remember repeating, because it was the truth, but repeating the longer of the two times "it did, it took me a half an hour" and I shrugged, like, 'why shouldnt it have?' I seem to remember other kids eyes on me...

 

I know that I saved this original in my papers over the years, but sadly, it seems to now be lost-- I dont know where it would be, as Ive lost many of my possessions in two different instances (half lost, and then half again lost and now half again may be in jeopardy of loss still.) So, I now have to rely on my memory to share it here- and I cant for the life of me figure out what happened to the missing stanza-- I honestly thought that it was a full sonnet of 14 lines, but my memory is a COMPLETE blank on what would be the missing 4 lines-- I just have NO GUESS, and NO CLUE in my memory to even start me off on ANY of these lines, leading me now to believe that we may have been allowed to write a shortened sonnet for the assignment, and it is now a detail that my memory is leaving out... (making me all the more curious to want to recover the original, and find out what my memory has left behind)

 

I also remember my great disagreement with the teacher, over the stress on the two syllables of the word "entire"-- he insisted that it could only be stressed one way, thus NOT making it a perfect Iambic Pentameter-- where I had written and used the word with my voice giving it such a stressing that would allow it as a perfect iamb... (now, Tony, you might see where I was 'coming from' in the "Rim" thread)-- for my voice to say ENtire is just as valid as to say enTIRE, which was the only way the teacher would accept it-- and so, he led me to think (or wanted me to think, I never really "gave" him his opinion on this) that my poem was not truly a sonnet--

 

whatever...

 

and so, without further ado, here is 15 year old rumisong's very first poem, that was not a "roses are red" work for mom's birthday card...

 

 

the dusk falls silent o'er the misty ground

a glowing sunset shimmers through the trees

the entire earth at rest there is no sound

I shudder at the chill that's from the breeze

 

against the golden sky I see a flock

the geese are on their southward trek through time

a time that's measured by a man made clock

yet God had made the instinct, theirs and mine

 

the earth around us is a wondrous thing

to know there is a God Almighty King

 

 

 

pray with me, will you? that I find the (answer to the) missing 4 lines in my dreams one of these nights?!

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I also remember my great disagreement with the teacher, over the stress on the two syllables of the word "entire"-- he insisted that it could only be stressed one way, thus NOT making it a perfect Iambic Pentameter-- where I had written and used the word with my voice giving it such a stressing that would allow it as a perfect iamb... (now, Tony, you might see where I was 'coming from' in the "Rim" thread)-- for my voice to say ENtire is just as valid as to say enTIRE, which was the only way the teacher would accept it-- and so, he led me to think (or wanted me to think, I never really "gave" him his opinion on this) that my poem was not truly a sonnet--

 

 

I am amazed, rumisong that the teacher made this a point of critique of your sonnet as I have read sonnets which use a variation of the form - not always with the iambic pentameter, unrhymed and with 13 lines.

 

I love these lines:

 

the geese are on their southward trek through time

a time that's measured by a man made clock

 

 

 

 

I think it is fun to experiment with a form and your sonnet not conforming to the iambic pentameter as the teacher said, in no way takes away the loveliness of the thought and images in it.

 

 

Thank you.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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the dusk falls silent o'er the misty ground

a glowing sunset shimmers through the trees

the entire earth at rest there is no sound

I shudder at the chill that's from the breeze

 

against the golden sky I see a flock

the geese are on their southward trek through time

a time that's measured by a man made clock

yet God had made the instinct, theirs and mine

 

the earth around us is a wondrous thing

to know there is a God Almighty King

Rumisong, are you sure you're not putting us on??? I mean: this is too good to have been composed by a fifteen year old in 20-30 minutes!!! Very Wordsworth ... And though it's only ten lines long, it could even be a derivation of a sonnet, like the Rainis sonnet, which is nine lines. The geese on their "southward trek through time," "measured by a man made clock," is particularly impressive. And the concluding couplet delivers the "punch line" as in a Shakespearean sonnet. Thanks for sharing this delightful work and its background.

 

Tony

 

PS -- I give you my personal certification: this is written in flawless iambic pentameter. Yes, "entire" is pronounced enTIRE, with the stress on the second syllable. I like how you mixed it up a bit, added some variation ... by using the double iamb ;) in L3:

 

the entire earth at rest there is no sound

/ the en / TIRE EARTH / at REST / there IS / no SOUND /

/ {pyrrhic / spondee } / iamb/ iamb / iamb /

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

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Rumisong, are you sure you're not putting us on??? I mean: this is too good to have been composed by a fifteen year old in 20-30 minutes!!!

 

thanks T

 

PS -- I give you my personal certification: this is written in flawless iambic pentameter.

 

yeah, see! I just knew it!

 

but, you too are insisting on only one proper stressing for entire? -- see, to my ear (dictionary be damned) I can hear it either way... funny that

 

Im still insisting my case-- is it british english then? I dont know-- Im saying I can say ENtire, and still be correct-- hmm

 

(as in "rhymes with EMpire" I guess--)

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but, you too are insisting on only one proper stressing for entire? -- see, to my ear (dictionary be damned) I can hear it either way... funny that

 

Im still insisting my case-- is it british english then? I dont know-- Im saying I can say ENtire, and still be correct-- hmm

Could it be part of a local dialect? Where did you grow up? I remember inquiring from someone why Dana Gioia would use a line like the following in his sonnet "Sunday Night in Santa Rosa":

 

the Wheel of Fortune off the wall. Mice

/ the WHEEL / of FOR / tune OFF / the WALL / ^ MICE /

 

All Gioia would have to do to make it a conventional pentameter would be to add a comma and the word "as" after "wall." (I mean, could it be wabi???) The person I asked replied that Gioia might be pronouncing "wheel" as two syllables, and that that would not be inconceivable in some parts of the country. (Though doing so would give the line an extra syllable by turning the second foot into an anapest, it still doesn't explain the nonconforming foot at the end of the line.) My point: the dictionary shows "wheel" as one syllable, but in some dialects, people might pronounce it as two (whe-el). And I know that the word "insurance" (per dictionary) is pronounced with the second syllable stressed, but in a few parts of the country, they stress the first syllable.

 

I do understand where you're coming from, Rumisong. There have been a few words in a few expressions I wanted to use that I have simply wanted to pronounce a certain way (in my case to achieve a certain meter), but I've always ended up altering the line. Why? Because other people would pronounce the word in the conventional way, and they would see that my meter was off. I can't think of one now, but when I remember one, I'll point it out.

 

Tony

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

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Could it be part of a local dialect? Where did you grow up?

 

no, I dont think thats it-- the only word that Ive ever been told I have an accent on is "water" -- (where most seem to pronounce it WAH-ter, I will sometimes sound like WAW-ter, ending up with a tiny bit of the "r" sound as if maybe Wawr-ter) -- but thats it, otherwise, I believe I have what would be considered quite standard pronunciations...

 

...Gioia might be pronouncing "wheel" as two syllables, and that that would not be inconceivable in some parts of the country. (Though doing so would give the line an extra syllable by turning the second foot into an anapest, it still doesn't explain the nonconforming foot at the end of the line.) My point: the dictionary shows "wheel" as one syllable, but in some dialects, people might pronounce it as two (whe-el). And I know that the word "insurance" (per dictionary) is pronounced with the second syllable stressed, but in a few parts of the country, they stress the first syllable.

 

right, right, like the word "INsurance" as opposed to "inSURance" -- I certainly pronounce it the second way too-- but youre onto something here...

 

I do understand where you're coming from, Rumisong. There have been a few words in a few expressions I wanted to use that I have simply wanted to pronounce a certain way (in my case to achieve a certain meter), but I've always ended up altering the line. Why? Because other people would pronounce the word in the conventional way, and they would see that my meter was off. I can't think of one now, but when I remember one, I'll point it out.

 

yes, yes, yes--- you have really helped me here to explain what Ive been wanting to say-- or how best to say what the experience of this 15 year old actually was, and how this event (why otherwise would I have remembered word for word this poem so easily (excepting the aforesaid "missing" 4 lines)) how writing this work has come to mean so much over the years of my life...

 

and so, what Ive wanted to say is this:

in a very real sense, "I" did not write this poem-- there are many many very amazing things that have come across my voice/mouth/fingers/brain, that "I" cannot rightly say "I" had anything to do with-- truly, a case of what the ancients have wanted to call the "Muse"-- now, the actually character of the myth, no, I would not have ever described it as a god or god-like or angel-like being that I was in conversation with-- that is not the common mode of my communication with this creative "other"-- but ... well, later... I will want to say more later-- not now--

 

but, I CAN tell you, that what Ive been trying to say here- and absolutely what I was in shock about when the English teacher was making his insistence, is that THIS is the very way I HEARD the poem arrive-- that THIS way of pronouncing that word, is not MY way of saying the word either, but that I am in fact INNOCENT in my taking down the dictation from the Muse-- do you see? because I was young enough, and because this Muse found in me a sufficient non-conformist, I have HAD to carry with me the absolute TRUTH of this poem and the story behind it (I believe that you guys are probably only the second to have ever actually been told this story-- I think I may have told my once-wife Pam once about it- but thats it...) none the less, Ive carried the TRUTH of it all this way, and there has been a very important reason for this-- (which, as I say, I will save much of what this is for later, but for now, Muse is as good an explanation as any for what Im meaning)

 

so, put in other words, I am simply REPORTING on what the poem told me to write-- I was simply telling the English teacher what I had HEARD, not a thing that I wanted him to hear-- and there is a HUGE difference there...

 

OH!, I just remembered this!:

this TEDtalk, by Elizabeth Gilbert-- have you heard it?? it is the most FABULOUS of all the TEDtalks, my #1 of all time, for the description of this very thing that Ive been talking about-- and she mentions in it a poet, and how this poet has to run back to the house to "catch" the poem that has arrived from over the hill... oh, please DO give this a listen (or a read, as the transcripts are available at the site too, in a dropdown sidebar on the right near the top) THIS would be exactly what Im trying to say...

 

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

 

I had this encounter recently where I met the extraordinary American poet Ruth Stone, who's now in her 90s, but she's been a poet her entire life and she told me that when she was growing up in rural Virginia, she would be out working in the fields...

 

Oh, you just HAVE to see this one for yourself-- go! read/listen to this!

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(I mean, could it be wabi???)

 

yes, Indeed it could-- I think this thing Im calling Muse right now, is the same as where the Japanese were getting their Zen from, indeed

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

wow what a write mr wabi...

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, this is nice poem, rumi. If this is yours very first poem/or sonnet, then I am speechless. It's brilliant input, and an amazing start. Glad you shared your experience in such details.

 

Thank you.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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