tonyv Posted August 10, 2009 Share Posted August 10, 2009 Its ocean must have never tasted salt. Since mammoth age, throughout the humans' reign, its dimmer orbs have watched from in their vault as if to defy you ... and Pascal: pain dwells in the blue-black space between these stars; the air is cast in granite to sustain it, and beneath an ice cap hide the scars that typify a thankless stab to mend a continent much lonelier than Mars. And here, when all accounts are settled, friend and foe are far from where they said hello. There is no more. This is their journey's end, and each will claim this desert place of snow with nothing to get, nothing to bestow. __________________________________This poem was partly inspired by THIS image. Notes: When I started to write this poem, I wasn't precisely sure in which direction it would go. I always loved the image in the link above, and I wanted to write a poem which somehow captured the things I felt when viewing it. I had also recently obtained a wonderful biography of Robert Frost called Robert Frost, a Life (Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1999) written by Jay Parini, a professor of English and renowned Frost expert at Middlebury College in Vermont. Now, I never really liked Frost, but when I picked up this book in the store, I couldn't put it down. In addition to the fascinating things about Frost's life (including pictures), there was also some expert insight into some of Frost's poems, including my two favorites, "Desert Places" and "Acquainted with the Night." There was one part in particular (on p. 286) which struck me, in which Parini cites a part of "Desert Places": And lonely as it is that lonelinessWill be more lonely ere it will be less --A blanker whiteness of benighted snowWith no expression, nothing to express. Parini writes, "For equal severity, one would have to turn to Gerard Manley Hopkins's so-called Terrible Sonnets, especially the one that opens: 'No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,/More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.' Like Hopkins, Frost would sink into a deep melancholy, then cast his thoughts upon the landscape around him, finding in that external reality a corresponding vision of bleakness.[emphasis mine]" Parini goes on to mention that, "The poet in 'Desert Places' looks up at the stars and says: 'They cannot scare me with their empty spaces/Between stars,' alluding to Pascal, who spoke of the 'infinite silent spaces between the stars.' In the chilling final couplet, Frost concludes: 'I have it in me so much nearer home/To scare myself with my own desert places.'" These parts from Parini's biography of Frost captured me, because I see a similar methodology (or is it a "pathology"?) in myself, if I look closely at my own inspiration and concomitant versification attempts. The book has given me a deeper appreciation of the poet, and I decided to dedicate my poem Antarctica to Frost. The poem is an attempt at a TERZA RIMA SONNET. "Acquainted with the Night" is a terza rima sonnet, as is my poem RIM, the only other terza rima sonnet I have written. 1 Quote Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.