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I to a branch of ravens

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  • I to a branch of ravens

    I to a branch of ravens prattle
    or pray
    as wind hisses over the bottle's mouth
    and wields the bay of sails
    like knives

    and fishes leap from the swell
    so like a lightning message
    so far from herald

    one boat rules with a red sail
    stately bisecting the air from here
    to the slumping headland over snipe
    interrupted water
    the rocks my love's interred in

    lessons levelled at wine bemoan
    my reddened mouth yet all I sought
    was peace of the waters and rippling stone
    and the careless crewmen wrestle
    their clipping sail across my wish

    how truly meet it is
    that the joy of wings
    should speed the carrion drive

    the ravens leave
    along one violet cloud in the join
    of the hills among the flock of bone
    as if to mean
    that even death won't see me

  • #2
    Such beauty, the pacing, tone, everything immaculate. Breathtaking really. A joy to read, to share the experience. A favorite artist BT has an album ... Movement in Still Life. This definitely reminds me of that. There is always a shade of such vulnerability I feel to your work... well, best way to sum it up is. 3rd stanza. it reminded me of .. what else, the familiar Damyata: The boat responded
    Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
    The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
    Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
    To controlling hands

    of Eliot.

    Kudos ... a real treat!


    • grant hayes
      grant hayes commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm glad you found this one so much to your liking, amenOra. Eliot, for me, is a poet of uneven appeal. When he's good, like in Prufrock and The Waste Land, he's very very good; but when he has turns like Choruses From The Rock ..... no, just no.

    • amenOra
      amenOra commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't think i've come in contact with that "poem". Thanks for the heads up. And you just know I gotta check it out now. lol, peace.

  • #3
    More rich the imagery at every turn of phrase and positively haunting at the close. I agree with amenOra - breathtaking.


    • grant hayes
      grant hayes commented
      Editing a comment
      I like to do a bit of haunting with a poem, Rhymist. I think I would make a very good ghost.

  • #4
    From their purloin perch they rise

    To steal the wind and gently glide

    From sail to wing

    Before your eyes

    I do so love your adjectives.


    • grant hayes
      grant hayes commented
      Editing a comment
      List of descriptors:

      adjectives: red, careless, violet
      participles: slumping, interrupted, reddened, rippling, clipping
      adjectival nouns: lightning, carrion

  • #5
    Odin's ravens
    rightly reserved
    to the sacred grove
    where flocks of bone intercede
    carrying graveyard messages
    where death waits, beyond.


    • grant hayes
      grant hayes commented
      Editing a comment
      Ah, yes, I was wondering whether someone would mention Odin. I give no numbers in the poem, but in its Sitz im Leben there was a single raven, which was joined by two others once I started talking to it, and shortly after that a fourth. So, unless Huginn and Muninn brought their spouses (spice?), I cannot lay claim to a visitation from the Allfather's scouts.

  • #6
    Hear again, the tone, diction, and pace are in harmony.

    First rate poet!


    • grant hayes
      grant hayes commented
      Editing a comment
      Many thanks for your kind approbation, Dwayne.

  • #7
    Hauntingly beautiful with such powerful imagery. Thank you


    • #8
      I like to have that haunting effect. I am concerned I may be missing my true calling, mooneyblack, as a ghostly presence Thank you for engaging.


      • #9
        This evoked a sense of helplessness and humility. Wonderful imagery.


        • #10
          Helplessness and humility - yes, I like that reading, Alexandra. I do worry that it's just melodrama; there's a fine line between that and emotive authenticity sometimes. I mean, just mentioning ravens and death together runs the risk of dissolving the whole thing in cliché. It is very difficult to be original.


          • Johntee
            Johntee commented
            Editing a comment
            As scavengers,
            ravens and death
            were so associated
            as were other corbids
            (The Twa Corbies for example).
            Originality must be fief of reality surely?
            Last edited by Johntee; 11-20-2017, 07:19 AM.

          • grant hayes
            grant hayes commented
            Editing a comment
            The poem is drawn directly from experience, Johntee; it is a slavish chronicle. Perhaps my apperception and feeling states are the cliché.

          • RhymeLovingWriter
            RhymeLovingWriter commented
            Editing a comment
            Now there's a thought to ponder for my own work, Grant. Thank you.