Sunday, June 15, 2014

W.B. Yates in the Imaginary Garden

For her form challenge this weekend, Kerry has presented to The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads the octaves of William Butler Yeats — a poet who, as Kerry says, needs no introduction.
Considered one of the foremost poets of the 20th Century, his influences were traditional Irish ballads and songs. Writing extensively in rhymed verse, Yates used quatrains in his earlier poems but, later, he preferred the octave as a stanza form.

foxhunter, from Wikipedia
Having returned to writing after something of a drought caused by illness, fear and exhaustion, I am not quite up to par, in my own estimation. I should have been excited to see the word ballad and, indeed, I was pleased, but nothing sprang to mind yesterday.

Earlier today, I couldn't quite come up with 8 lines of 8 syllables, and produced only this bit of nonsense, alternating 6 syllables with the requisite 8, arriving at a Kiplingesque rhythm rather than a proper Keatsian iambic pentameter.
the fox was out with many men
to take them for a ride
he knew they’d follow where he went
and knew where he could hide
outfoxed they were, those many men
who’d come from far and wide
Texas "Haunted" house built by
Dan Baker and friends
when brother fox, he ran them out
across the countryside

Later, although I couldn't avoid considerable maudlin sentimentality, and definitely couldn't call up my usual humorous muse, I did manage an entire two stanzas, then decided to post them in order to give up the struggle for today.

the house where lives my broken heart
is haunted by the loss of you
I promised always to be true
and now don’t know how I can start
a life without you in this place
where ev’ry wall and ev’ry door
where ev’ry board in ev’ry floor
seems each imprinted with your face

my heart has longed for you too long
my soul aloud for you has cried
but to the outside world I’ve lied
and did my best to be so strong
to hold my head up, even smile
say “I am fine now, thank you, please,
“don’t worry now, just be at ease”
to fool them all out there a while
Kay Davies, June, 2014                   


Hannah said...

I love the visual of that fox darting and skirting...excellent!

In your second piece I enjoy lines 5-8 in your first stanza...the longing is palpable.

Hope you're feeling better soon, Kay. ♥

Gail said...

If only I could do as well...

Jim said...

Been there, done that, Kay. Except she had the place
"where ev’ry wall and ev’ry door
where ev’ry board in ev’ry floor

was, along with the kids and the new station wagon (I kept the '62 VW bug, my work car).
Nicely written, am wondering if you've been there also.

Sumana Roy said...

enjoyed the first one thoroughly.....
in the second verse i like how you've created that sense of deep yearning..
nice use of form too..

Mara said...

Love both poems, but the second one especially!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I admire your tenacity at sticking to this task, Kay, despite not really "feeling" it. I know the feeling too well these days and my poetry does not work well when forced.
I enjoyed your fox and hunter piece - it has a very jolly rhythm and I am always happy when the fox escapes.

Your second piece has a classical feel to it, with the subject of unrequited or lost love and the haunted house. I often wonder at these hearts remaining doggedly true to a dream of love unfulfilled - that takes a different kind of tenacity.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
...methinks she protesteth ower much, for fine words and aching hearts are well matched; as well as any fox with strategy hatched!!! YAM xx

Björn Rudberg said...

Two very nice poems.. the second which is perfect to the form is so full with sorrow.. and how much energy we give to appearance..

The ballad meter in the first piece just sings for me.. and hooray for the sly fox.

Helen said...

You managed things quite nicely, dear Kay.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

You did good Kay. Second, rather special.
Anna :o]

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You know, when you have a tough writing day, it makes the good ones look so fabulous!
Give yourself permission to relax.
This is good for your brain to try, but not to get frustrated!
You have so many excellent poems!

Anonymous said...

who's fooling who? ~

Marian said...

Kay, gosh, that first stanza of your second poem just struck me. ouchy truthiness. i think well done!