Monday, August 16, 2010

"aflame upon the wall"

You may, if you have felt so inclined, have noticed that from time to time a meandering comment thread evolves that has almost nothing to do with the post and everything to do with digression. One day when archivists and scholars minutely study this blog (oh yes they will!) in order to illuminate the esoteric and exoteric meanings that lie behind and within the words here writ they will find these threads and the co-wizards and partners in sublime bollocks who helped to spin them.

On one such thread - we had gone past the magical number of one hundred, when good things have inexplicably come my way - I felt moved to spread the goodness around and give a poetic/literary task. I have done this before with astonishingly good results (you can find the 'e' fairy tale here). The task was to write a ghazal, with the repeating word of 'signs'. I have published the result below. It is the clear winner - for firstly it was the only one submitted and secondly it is rather fabulous. I can't help that much of it sounds like a hommage to moi - it belongs to the form and you'll just have to take it as part and parcel of the artistic endeavour.

The tradition in a ghazal is for the poet to add a kind of signature at the end, giving a clue as to the authorship. So obviously you won't need me to tell you who it is.

Night after night, we long for you, we Read the Signs
Though darkness gather round, yet still, we Read the Signs

In life’s dread passage, cripples we, and lonely
Where’s comfort, company, love, hope? We need the Signs

The comments flowed like hundred years of solitude
You were forewarned! Now poets be! Decreed the Signs

The words aflame upon the wall, yet we were blind
We never realised these were indeed the signs

Now, eyes burnt out, we grope our way, we fall, we cry
our warning-call – too late! – Take heed - the Signs!

Nothing for it – to love’s great work we set, forlorn
Pray, just be auspicious, in your name! We plead the Signs

Deaf, blind and mute, we flail, inconsolable, we wail
The sought-for word escapes us – don’t recede, the signs!

We longed to be your first and best, oh pray, forgive us
This most unsightly pride, this selfish greed, The Signs

Where there is ever poetry, there you are.
No publisher will in his life impede The Signs.

We’ll stand in the sidelines and we’ll coo and clap,
As after Carol Ann, you shall succeed, The Signs.

Ah, ploughman, to be a field, ripe, nourishing and fruitful,
In our blank mind, you have thus sown The Seed, The Signs

And in our nightly prayers, the rosary falls from our hands
For in our minds, we hold but you: The Bead, The Signs

As Clarissa P, the Abbess, A*** *R, and Legion,
We thank you for the nourishment, the mead, the signs.


Reading the Signs said...

oh really, I mean to say - what is wrong with everybody?

Hey Abbess, you there? Actually, I read this silence as a mark of profound respect and awe.

Abbess said...

I am indeed here, my child. And where you see only one set of footrpints on the sand, I was carrying you.

You catch me at the very last moment before sleep, however, so i must just bow most graciously and disappear. I'm sorry.

many mwahs in the meantime xxxxx

Reading the Signs said...

Abbess, Hildegarde, if I may make so bold - that's very reassuring to hear. I have put on a few pounds recently but that won't matter, I hope - (sings) she ain't heavy, she's my seestah.

It was the silence of Les Autres I was referring to btw, not yours, but still, it is fitting that you should make an appearance e'en at the last moment before sleep - to which I also now go oxoxo

tpe said...

An epic. I was really quite impressed by this. Giving it a bash, it soon became apparent that the form (a ghazal, I mean) was rather a difficult one to achieve, so I appreciate the effort behind this. She done you proud, poet.

Kind regards (to both) etc….


Reading the Signs said...

well, yes, TPE (mwah!) - I had a couple of bashes myself once and didn't really manage. Poetic sensibility is not enough - one needs the faculty of being able to focus in a certain way. It can be developed, I think. But she just, you know, did this.

And kind regards to you also. And with etc....

H. said...

Ah, my Beloved Children. How charming you both are, and such praise you heap upon my humble person, it is enough to make a St. blush. Thank you most kindly.

(Perhaps a certain lack of poetic sensibility and artistic ability assisted in this effort, though? For let it be made known I worked in a very un-artistic fashion with this, starting with thinking up a pageful of rhymes and then writing the lines to join these together. More like solving an equation than writing poetry. Shame on me.)

Kindest and most loving regards to you both. Etc.....


Reading the Signs said...

now look here, (fabulous song you have there H and lyrics to die for) - but the thing is: I myself have been known to concoct a Petrarchan sonnet in the same fashion and it won a prize. I have it on good authority that Shakespeare may have written all his sonnets using this method. Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense - etc...

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