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Poetry Magnum Opus

Sundial


Benjamin
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A yard high in the English measure:

it's limestone plinth remains intact.

The ornamental base, is covered

by dandelions and rye grass.

Weathered-- it spirals, slowly upwards

through figures, that no doubt were cherubs

but now are faceless amputees,

who strain to touch a fleur-de-lis.

And on the controversial flower,

a brass plane forms the business end

of this medieval instrument.

Whose style, is set to point the hour,

through ancient Roman numerals

and Latin text in cursive swirls.

 

But verdigrease and green patina

have long since furred the numerals.

And though it was etched in quite deeply,

the adage is illegible.

For generations of bird spatter,

have left a kind of concrete matter

that seems immune to nature's wrath;

and no one ever cleans it off.

The silent hall is left to ruin:

it's shrubs and lawns are overgrown,

and all the people have long gone.

Yet shadows from the style, keep moving

through time-- still measured in a way

that's just as short as time today.

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Two very well-crafted quatorzains composed in impeccable iambic tetrameter. I find this work inspiring, Benjamin. It reads like a still life, yet you express in words those subtle inexpressible thoughts that may come to the viewer of a museum piece even unto the epiphany, which comes at the end. I love the part about the "silent hall," and I feel like I'm there, perhaps on a broken asphalt lot with the sundial, and a building in the background, on a sunny, quiet day. Terrific work!

 

Tony

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

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Thanks Tony. Your astute response to this is gratifying. I'd read selected verses from The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth some time ago and loved the flexibility of his stanzas (in imitation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin). I fancied having a bash :rolleyes: Benjamin

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rosschandler

very poetic. love the tetrameter. this is definitely not prose.

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