Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Light of the silvery...

Well, that's it. I am officially a poet now. I have just written a poem about the moon.

I'm fairly short-sighted so when I don't have glasses on or lenses in even a marvellous big full moon just looks like a very messy, yolkless fried egg in the sky and it really annoys me (stupid eyes!). And of course it makes a person think...about sight, about vision, about the days before contact lenses, about everything. I'm also reading John Baker's 'Shooting in the Dark' which has a blind main character and is very interesting in many ways. I wouldn't have come across John or his books without blogs (specifically Jim's) as I don't look in the crime section usually (too much of a wimp! Too much of a LitFic reader - even when it drives me crazy) but I'm glad I branched out as it is a good book. On a related note Jim is on the subject of genres in fiction this week - get yourselves over there.

But back to the moon. I wrote the poem below last week. I wrote four poems in a day actually which was great as writing time has been a bit limited of late - what with days at beach, family visits, childcare, dogcare...The line about 'moons that fill the sky' just popped out and I really like it - just my kind of line - and then bizarrely a couple of nights later I did dream exactly that! It was a very 'Close Encounters' type of dream and it involved driving and being able to see the moon (the surface and everything) just as if it was on the other side of the street or something, as if we were in a spaceship flying by. I was very excited as these days my nocturnal dreams are usually either forgotten by morning or predictable, dull anxiety affairs (whereas Small Girl of course has fantastic epic dreams about cartoon characters and all sorts). I know some of you (mentioning no names) will tell me it's something to do with the chemistry of the brain but I don't care - I'm calling it magic. I was a very cynical child (never believed in Santa - not for one minute!) so I'm quite enjoying growing into a daft old grown-up who believes in the magic of poetry. Hell, I may believe in fairies by Xmas (though don't hold your breath for Santa)...here's the poem.

Moon lines

The moon will get more blurred, not less
And more and more I'll look in vain
For edges
And reasons

Old errors lose their lines and shapes
Leave flashes, not whole cycles
There are peaks
And troughs

I see how all is blending thick
Mixing, slurring, soup-of-lifeing
Is it done yet?
Is it right?

I stir, I eat, I look, I sleep
I dream of moons that fill the sky
With brightness
With courage

RF 2008


Jim Murdoch said...

The first thing that struck me about this poem was its shape. Your first and last stanzas are 8-8-3-3 and the middle two would require only a tiny amount of tweaking so that they'd all be the same shape. You were clearly conscious of the structure when you wrote this. I'm just a little puzzled why you left it a bit ragged.

It actually flows quite well. I find though that it encourages a declamatory style of reading and by that I mean think Richard III reading it to his troops. (There is actually a compliment in there somewhere I think).

Rachel Fox said...

On shape - I didn't plan the shape... it just fell out like that. It was neater at first - for example it was 'and their troughs' in the second verse to begin with - but as I read it aloud to myself I liked that less and the barer version more. I do read in a very declamatory, dramatic fashion (even when I'm being understated...) and the bare (or ragged) bits come into that too. It's hard to explain...it's almost like I read (and hear) it as 'and troughs BANG/BEAT OF SILENCE TO END LINE/LIKE A HEARTBEAT'.
Same with 'is it done yet?' - I know that technically it is 4 syllables but I read it as I would say it in the kitchen (i.e. quickly...in an 'are we there yet stylee'). It's not rocket science my method...I'll come to Glasgow and read one day - in full crowd stirring fashion - and you'll have to come. I'm not sure where to tell the armies to go though...

hope said...

Okay, we have officially somehow invaded each other's heads. Before I noticed you'd commented on my blog, I wrote one and mentioned you. :)

Living in the country, there are times the moon looks huge! My favorite shot is one I got when it was almost orange in color.

As a "non-critic" [which translates into mere mortal who knows what she likes without dissection], I really liked this poem.

Rachel Fox said...

Non-critics have always been my favourite kind of critics! Glad you like it, Hope. I like the soup bit which came out of the recesses of my mind...partly Clangers (kids TV programme - probably didn't make it to the USA...), partly housewife, partly melting pot, partly evolution, partly...lots of other things...

Ken Armstrong said...

I hope that Jim's tentative suggestion that Rachel adopt a Rik 111 style delivery doesn't simply give her the hump.

That reminds me...

I once saw a hairdressers in Twickenham with a sign in the window;

"Now is the winter of our discount tints."

Rachel Fox said...

Never underestimate a hairdresser...

No humps here...and glad you're back from your holidays, Ken. Welcome home!

Dave King said...

I liked this poem a lot. I thought it had more depth than was at first apparent. I could see analogies bubbling up from your various images.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Dave. A much appreciated comment.

I think 'hidden (or at least quite well-disguised) depths' may have to be the title of my next book...indeed the story of my life...

Marion McCready said...

you've been tagged!