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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Left In Coole

Migrating Wild Swans  by Gay Reiser Cannon
Published by Winnipeg Free Press


I wake to find the swans have flown away;
their honking calls have ceased; the rushes stilled.
No more their graceful glides upon the lake;
now autumn's passed, my aging body's chilled.

The conversation's brief, no warmth of love.
I wake to find the swans have flown away;
I search for sounds of wheeling up above,
but hear instead soft chirps of birds who stay.

Cold floorboards creak, the grate emits no flame.
I wrap my doubts inside my old gray shawl --
I wake to find the swans have flown away
beyond the feathered clouds, the castle's wall.

I wait within and bear the solitude;
the window frost conceals my masquerade.
The wind and trees sing frozen winter tunes,
I wake to find the swans have flown away.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved
Preview for FormForAll @dVersePoets Pub
12/6/2012 - posted for #OLN

Variation on a Quatern - where five meets four
four stanzas - four lines - five feet iambic pentameter
Refrain line quoted from W.B. Yeats'
Wild Swans at Coole

46 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this form, and what a beautiful poem you wrote. So sad when some birds leave us for a time, but at least we can always know that they will return and look forward to that. And perhaps in winter we can more deeply appreciate the birds that DO stay.

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  2. Lovely, Gay. The poem is lyrical and beautifully supported by your imagery.

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  3. really lovely on the visuals gay...and it does turn out very lyrical...there is a nice understory in this as well...a felt one when you look to the birds as metaphor...

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  4. this has a breath-taking flow gay and a very melancholic tone...love how you wove int the repetition so seamlessly and finely painted emotions.. i started mine today, that's how i know how difficult it is to make it look so easy..

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  5. Oh, such a beautiful dark thread runs through this.

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  6. Yeah off they fly and leave an empty sky, except for the crappy snow, which I hope will never show and great flow!

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  7. Love the beautiful images and the repetition...gorgeous write.

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  8. The repetition of that line is a refrain that evokes the mood of winter, of loss, of sadness. Gorgeous poem.

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  9. Thanks everyone. Yes, the mood is somber almost funereal. It mirrors the tone of the original poem only a little darker I think. I was pleased at how the refrain eased into each stanza. Not having such luck with the tetrameter one :-(

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  10. "I wrap my doubts within my old gray shawl --"...such a beautiful poem Gay.

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  11. Wonderful form, flows beautifully with such melancholy. Lovely poem.

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  12. What a lovely form Gay, I do like the repetitive line of the swans flying away ~

    You have captured the solitude and sadness of autumn's passing ~

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    Replies
    1. Is the form always in pentameter? I read that its also written in 8 syllables per line? Thanks for the tip for Thurs ~

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    2. No it can be syllabic count, trochee, or iambic. It should NOT be pentameter. It should four feet of two beats or eight syllables. This is not a true quatern which should have four stanzas, of four lines, made up of four feet.

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  13. A very sad poem and a sadly sinking form to match -- the swans fall down the verses -- to disappear.

    Question:
    "the window frost conceals my masquerade." (what masquerade?)

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    Replies
    1. Daily pretenses that sadness doesn't overtake her - the sense of loss should be palpable.

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    2. Ah: She wraps a shawl in dignity pretending her solitude is meditative but it is sad, lonely despair. The beauty of autumn is lost -- as the years have stolen the joy of youth.
      I think I get it.

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    3. There's something of a natural irony in it. She is already alone and the frost conceals her from anyone seeing in - yet her "persona", the act that she is brave and resilient is like clothing she puts on daily after such a time that she has donned that masquerade.

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    4. Cool, thanx. Much richer for me now.

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  14. I love the form and I', a big fan of repetition as I struggle with a poetic studder from time to time. Love the geese images though we of late have learned it is better to follow them :) But I love the symbolism and the great skill in which you write.

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  15. Beautiful poem, Gay. In a form, which is clearly over my head.

    Pamela

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  16. I read to find my breath had flow away as well. Beautiful poem.

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  17. Migration descends like ice storms, chilling our poetic marrow. This piece flows like swan's wings fluttering on the pond's surface, flattening the cat tails and lilies. The form seems classic, but the exact name eludes me; perhaps it has just been "cannonized"; lovely regardless.

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    Replies
    1. Glenn this is a variation on the quatern which I am featuring the next FormForAll. It meets all the criteria except the syllable count per line (should be 8).

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    2. PS thanks for the comment - I am so gratified.

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  18. Stunning poem, Gay. I love the Yeats, and you've done your own beautiful version. Great form too. k.

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  19. I liked the "spying" aspect and felt the ache of the birds having gone. Very good poem.

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  20. I love this poem, partly because of the rel=peatd line nds how it passes from immediate slowly to last just as the changing season leaves behind their migration. What a gentle poem considering its topic and the morning waking quieting into solitude.

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  21. Such beauty here in the bird metaphor, and of course, sadness and loss. The lovliness of this poem is enhanced when recited aloud. Great write!

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  22. ..lovely..and awe-inspiring piece.. that's it..yes..yes...

    good day!

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  23. Wonderful quatern. Time passes before we realize it. Your metaphors are gently gorgeous and incredibly effective. Bravo!

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  24. "I wake to find the swans have flown away
    beyond the feathered clouds, the castle's wall."

    This is just lovely, read both literally and metaphorically. I too have been pondering migration, as we listen to the geese flying south. Mine more literal than metaphorical, here if you wish to check it out: http://insideoutpoetry.blogspot.com/2012/12/southbound.html

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  25. So well-written, Gay. Being (ahem!) in my eightieth year,
    my brain autmatically translated
    as it ever
    wished to do:
    "I woke to find the swans had flown away.
    Among the missing was ME that very day...
    flown away too!

    PEACE!

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  26. I feel the loss of the swans. a truly beautiful write!

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  27. A very beautiful write, Gay. Great message, too!

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  28. ( my apologies, between being sick - first time in nearly two years, and losing internet connection, i've been unable to to resp to the good people who visited my site for OLN - feeling better, and working w/a good connection ;-) )

    beautiful refrains and imagery (my aging body's chilled, how i know that from vermont and paris since i left texas!)

    read it to my wife, thanks so much gay ;-)

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  29. MASQUERADE

    A masquerade
    is always made
    by beings sad,
    not very glad.

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  30. cheating?! pffft! - this is beautiful!
    "I wrap my doubts within my old gray shawl --"
    so brilliant.

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  31. this is so beautiful.. loved every line.

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  32. Gorgeous! I love the Trumpter Swans.. they are huge and so graceful! I hope they, and spring greens find their way soon to your side of the world soon. :)

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  33. Every line of this is loaded with beauty. Yours are seamless with the refrain. A real jewel of a poem, this.

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  34. thank you for the wonderful card gay...smiles...merry christmas...

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  35. Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •。★Christmas★ 。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚

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  36. Exquisite, a beautiful read and flow to this.

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  37. I love this, Gay....beautifully lyrical and settled in the bones in a soft and lasting way.

    HOpe you are well, am so here...just reran the "Man'yoshu" entry that you so graciously helped me with for dversepoets that time a long time ago.

    Your poem is such a gentle one...and haunting.

    Love,
    Lady Nyo

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