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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Star Cluster in Nebula NGC 3603
Source: Hubblesite.org

 A wispy breeze, sweet autumn's song;
A birth in summer starts with hope.

An accidental meeting here;
A modest smile, perhaps there's hope?

A frightening voice that threatens doom
In darkest Lent a psalm of hope.

A broken bridge; land lost in fog
With fearful foot, forced will finds hope.

A weakened heart, a greatful mind
Holds on to hopeful promises.

The wave begins to coil off land
A hemisphere away men hope.

The season burns the throat, the land.
I wait in drought with nought but hope.

* ad astra per aspera - to the stars through difficulties
My Latin teacher said it was a kind of idiom for "hope".

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * August 2011
       All Rights Reserved

Submitted for Ghazal on FormForAll at dVersepoets
on Thursday August 11, 2011
Hosted by John Alwyine-Mosley (AKA @bookdreamer)

41 comments:

  1. Gay! This is beautiful! (I actually have that image from Hubble as my wall paper!) so I was sold before i even read! This reads absolutely perfectly,and you kept the hope alive right through to end.

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  2. Everything brought back to hope, lovely write ~ Rose

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  3. Excellent! I'm with Natasha on this, as if I were viewing through the eyes of the Hubble.

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  4. Hi, my feedback is based on these five factors starting from a traditional perspective.

    1) Association
    One of the key factors of the form - traditional or modern is that the couplets need to be based as it were on variations on a theme. And stand alone as the order should not matter. I think this poem does this well as I feel a range of issues get stated explored.

    2) Theme
    This is about seeking hope so in part unrequited yearning, which is within the modern take on the form

    3) Couplets
    You have done a nice range with no enjambment in any couplet. And by mentioning the "i" of the narrator in the last couplet link back to the traditional form.

    4) Rhyme and refrain
    In the classical tradition, the opening couplet would set the refrain as the same in the end lines as well as establish the internal rhyme. Then in the rest of the couplets the refrain and rhyme would be on the second line. Here you have no interam chain of rhyme you do have a refain except for a break halfway down This is fine in a modern form.

    5) Metre
    I think you have gone for an iambic Tetrameter metre which is fine but perhaps a longer line would helped with the flow

    In short, this is a fine exploration of an important theme and you use much of the classical featues with a sprinkling of your poetic fairy dust to mean it clearly falls within the Ghazal form

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  5. Thanks John - I wondered whether iambic tetrameter were long enough. I tried not to use extraneous words even though trying to keep it iambic. I didn't use the word "hope" in the first line. I noticed everyone else used their repetition in the first line and am curious if I should have. I am glad you told me about the break. I purposely did that to see if it fell within the limits of the form. Thank you so much for the lesson and for being so detailed in your critique - as we say over here these days - You're the Bomb!

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  6. @Mama Zen - I felt when I finished this it wasn't very poetic as it didn't use many poetic devices. Thanks for your comment. At least in that couplet there were internal rhymes and works that spoke to one another. Thanks again.

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  7. @Everyone - Again much appreciation for reading my effort, for writing, and linking. I love your support for these days at the pub & our lessons on form.

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  8. ad astra per aspera... what a great title gay...much enjoyed your hope-poem..not yet sure if i try my hands on the form...doesn't seem so easy as it looks at first glance...ha - we'll see.. thanks so much for the top notch work you're doing with FormForAll..much appreciated

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  9. nice...uplifting piece gay...great job tonight between you and john...and a fun form...the trembling voice stanza was my fav...

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  10. Hey,
    This form is new to me and i struggle with any restraint although i try 100%. I think we can all take something from all theses amazing sources and channel it into our self styles.
    However - you seem to have smashed this one out of the park - i thought it to be so smooth and poetry fine enough to match your grandiose pic.
    Awesome

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  11. A beautiful and meaningful poem... thanks for giving us an example ~

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  12. Nice try @Claudia - you can conquer this in one! You'd bring those metaphors I envy so much to enrich it with music! Give it a whirl, I say.

    @Brian - Thanks so much. Looking forward to yours!

    @Arron - Mine pales next to many I've read this evening. Lovely stuff!

    @Heaven - thanks for the reinforcement There are several that get things a little more to form than mine. Much to admire linked tonight!

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  13. P.S. Arron - Thanks though, I appreciate the kind words!

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  14. Enjoyed your Ghazal Gay! I love how it sounds as I read it aloud. Lovely!

    Cheers

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  15. Beautiful Ghazal with all its props and inclinations touching on hope. I'm still trying to get to terms with this new form. John has been so helpful earlier.

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  16. @lkkolp - Thanks Laurie!

    @Padma - yours was so beautiful. Thank you for your very kind words. I guess the lines are short but I had hope it would "sing".

    @kaykuala - Well it's new to me as well, so we're all well. I had an idea a while ago to write one with bells as the repeat..a tintinnabulation sort of a ringing, singing POEtry of a Ghazal. I'll think about it ;-)

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  17. I could read about hope all day n night. And great use of the form. I really need some work on it. I really liked this!

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  18. I think it reads really smooth and sings in rhythm. Your picture and title is so creative!
    Thanks So Much for reading mine.

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  19. "ad astra per aspera - to the stars through difficulties"-- what a beautiful motto. I love the last stanza, and the theme of hope! This is wonderful, I enjoyed it!

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  20. Gay, this beautiful poem demonstrates how the ghazal form is perfect for alternating images of darkness and light, fear and hope. I really love the title, too!

    David

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  21. Gay - This was a stairway to the stars - What a pleasure to read. I'm here from the hop.

    P.S: I do a creative blog hop over the weekends - this would be a welcome addition, should you wish to link up

    http://wordsinsync.blogspot.com/2011/08/weekend-creation-blog-hop-plus-2-poems.html

    SHAH X

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  22. Beautiful, Gay! I loved all the couplets, but my favorite was,

    "The season burns the throat, the land.
    I wait in drought with nought but hope."

    This was a difficult form for me. I struggled with it, so we'll see how close I came (or how far I strayed, lol).

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  23. I also can relate to that last couplet, as you know. I like how you took this and ran with it, I found it very associative and in a freer way than expected. You've done a serious job dealing with a topic--hope--that could be saccharine, but instead is biting and without cliche.

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  24. Hey Gay - thanks for stopping by my blog today to take a look at my poem. You were right, it didn't conform closely enough with the rules. I read the link post and thought 'Oh I have one of those' and linked it up. Should have looked more closely. Rushing through my day helps nothing!

    Your poem is beautiful. The form of this actually does help the musicality and so the message so well. Shah .x

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  25. @ all - thanks for your kind comments on my attempt. I chose "hope" because I was searching for a topic and thought what is my favorite word and "hope" sprang to mind. I have written three of four unsuccessful poem with hope as a topic. I ran with it here.

    @hedgewitch - I think you're right, the form allowed me to consider the word from enough angles not to let it get syrupy.

    @Shah - it was a good poem, and I believe there may be a lot of latitude in the ones in another language. I think they are primarily for taking a word or phrase and sinking it to it and looking at it from all sides. I thought of the word as a prism and when broken up it yielded different shades of meaning.

    Lori - Thought your piece was beautiful. No worries.

    To those who noted the title - When I finished, I thought I needed a title and I flashed on this quote from my high school Latin. Apparently it is used sarcastically meaning "good luck on ever achieving that" but I think the early meaning combined courage and hope and I like that.

    Thank you one and all for stopping by my place. I'm a novice at this form as it's new to me as well!

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  26. I like the way you made the form your own, Gay. Your theme is most apposite to the times (and the weather you are experiencing up North).

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  27. Thanks Kerry. I enjoyed yours very much. Ah we're a balmy 99 today headed for 101 tomorrow! No rain in sight in North Texas (or at the beach). Texas is straining and the trees are brown as dirt. But at least we hope for "cooler and wetter days" - school starts soon and it's a new season for learning and loving.

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  28. Gay, you have great images/juxtapositions here: convergence/divergence; fear/hope; certainty/unknown. I love the Latin idiom and its tone, lovely.

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  29. A very natural-feeling filling up of the form. You have enough imagery and content so as not to need lengthier lines. The 'eight' gives a nice energetic pace.

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  30. Gay.. an inspired title and theme.. seems perfect for this form.. love your control which yet allows free movement. This feels completely finished...

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  31. Thanks Anna, Rose, Steve and Becky -
    For coming by, and for the kind words. I feel as tentative as you guys (ok make that some of you) feel with this form. But like Joy for certain subjects I think it allows you a lot of room to roam around without having to link logically or make any particular transitions. So in a way when you want to just "play" with a word like "set" say you can talk about it in all 464 of its meanings! (if you want to go on that long) ;-)

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  32. The ever encouraging waves of hope.. on which we all sail, and try to stay afloat...

    So beautifully articulated here, Gay.. you have done justice to this lovely poetry form.. and you seem to have done it in an effortless manner..

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  33. Gay, as I have come to expect from you....a marvelous poem...ghazal...in the mouth and in the heart.

    You constantly amaze me with your work.

    Lady Nyo

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  34. Gay, I've enjoyed reading your poem again. Thank you for your thoughtful comment on my poem about Amy Winehouse.

    David

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  35. I really enjoyed reading this; a beautiful exploration of the theme.

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  36. Both rhyme and rhythm were well sustained, the quality was even throughout, but the one couplet that caught my attention was:-
    The wave begins to coil off land
    A hemisphere away men hope.

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  37. Thanks to everyone. Kind words. Feel it was a decent first attempt - next time will go for iambic pent. I have an idea in mind. Thanks Dave I am glad you caught that couplet. Having a house on a barrier island, my eyes are always on those coiling waves leaving Africa and I always hope they don't develop and wreak havoc on land becoming a large hurricane; though this season the hope might go either way as the South is baking in heat and drought.

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  38. this is beautiful, Gay. I love the topic of hope - it lends to the poetic lines well and the photo you chose is mezmorizing to me.

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