Popular Posts

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Poet's Duty

ManicDdaily at dVerse Poets prompts us with the theme of  Duty Calls.

He who would write a poem builds a kite
and owes a duty to the laws of flight,

a duty first to trim and balance it
and craft it as his inner self sees fit

in faith that what he's building grants control,
will let him soar, dip, loop-the-loop and roll.

These form the grammar he is pledged to use,
the only truth that he is bound to choose.

These will for fleeting moments in the sky
tout his ideas both trivial and high.

The earth is flatter now than a tin tray,
but kite finds shapes in which the angels play.

So... solving all the problems of the world?
Too much to ask! A violent wind has swirled

and kite has nosedived; world has gone to ground -
though individual men new life have found.

The poet's duty to the truth of things
is first of all to sense them through the strings;

the tugging of the kite, the going slack,
the shapes the kite makes that the strings bring back.

26 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Thank you.

Claudia said...

i much like the image of building a poem like a kite...some of them will fly...some won't.. depending on the wind and the strength of the construction and maybe also the time they're born into..and some fly forever and you have no idea really why...nice david..

A Cuban In London said...

What an ending!

"So... solving all the problems of the world?
Too much to ask! A violent wind has swirled

and kite has nosedived; world has gone to ground -
though individual men new life have found.

The poet's duty to the truth of things
is first of all to sense them through the strings;

the tugging of the kite, the going slack,
the shapes the kite makes that the strings bring back."

I admit that the word "duty" annexed to the words "writer" and "artist", make me feel apprehensive. Your first duty is to yourself as a creative person. Yes, I think that writers, including poets, should be more attuned to what goes on around us, but not obliged to do so.

As an ex-kite-flyer, this poem took me back to my childhood.

Many thanks.

David Cranmer said...

"These form the grammar he is pledged to use,
the only truth that he is bound to choose." Powerful.

Grace said...

I like the couplet and rhyming words Dave.

I specially like the way you use the kite building as a metaphor...how well you capture the fleeting moments in the sky, feeling and tugging the strings, and shapes ~

kaykuala said...

A principle to guide our destiny, an implement with which to act and garner support...I see a lot in your 'kite', Dave. Using our resources to do good. Great write!

Hank

Brian Miller said...

i remember as a child making them out of straws and newspaper....what fun...i like that you point out the first truth of things being feeling it through the strings...the awareness...good stuuf dave

Adura Ojo said...

Really admire the way you've used imagery in your poem, Dave, and the symbol of the kite. So true too.

Mary said...

I like both the images I see as I read this poem and also the form that you used to write! Bravo.

Laurie Kolp said...

I love the idea of a poem as a kite. This is one of my favorites of yours Dave.

Friday night a storm blew through with tornado force winds... a huge mess to clean up.

Teuvo Vehkalahti said...

Teuvo Kuvat- Teuvo Images Finland visited this blog. Come and visit my blog . You should also tell your friends to my blog Teuvo Vehkalahti Finland

Charles Miller said...

This has a wonderful lyicality to it while it conveys such clear insight and pithy understanding. That grammar of action is very striking, and I like the allusion to Wittgenstein since it's all about how words hook up to reality and how acr in the world. Nicely done, excellent write.

manicddaily said...

Ah Dave - lovely poem. I especially like the close, the feeling of the tug through the strings. What I kind of like about poetry--or literature in general - at least mine- is that it is not directly trying to solve problems of the world --it is not so grandiose. (Or that's the kind I like.) This is lovely -- and the rhyme too.

One typo--I think you left out a d in building. ? It is posted as builing. (I didn't even get a chance to proofread mine I was so rushed--thanks for kind comment.) K.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Fine use of imagery and form

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

A delight from the beginning to the end, the first couplet flashes in and prepares the feat of the others.

By the way, I wanted to come earlier to your premises but I had to fight against my blogger and the confusing changes it had brought to its "interface" which had radically changed. Fortunately I found the way back to the old one. Why don't they leave things quiet? What is this obsession of changing that creates what they call, mockingly at this point, "improvements" which reveal themselves at once only as trouble and difficulties?

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

And the last couplet re-inforrcing the perfect metaphor of the strings is simply triumphant.

Slack strings can be a risk that must be run and an ordeal to pass through.

Lolamouse said...

Great metaphor for poem writing, Dave! Sometimes mine get stuck up in a tree and I just have to leave them there for a while!

Anonymous said...

I especially like the ending, Dave:

"to sense them through the strings;
the tugging of the kite, the going slack, the shapes the kite makes that the strings bring back"

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Carl said...

Dave I love this one the image of crafting a poem as building and flying a kite was unique and fun.

PattiKen said...

Well done, Dave. I love the kite metaphor for poetry. We all hope to have a Ben Franklin moment and feel that jolt of electricity flowing through the kite string.

haricot said...

Wow each stanza has the rhyme beautifully. And this experimantal and innovative verse sounds so true and natural.

Cloudia said...

That opening gambit
is perfect - a jewel!

Your stuff satisfies me on a deep level.


Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } (°>

><}}(°>

vivinfrance said...

A wonderful evocation of kite which calls up a vision of the magical aerobatics my son produces on the beach near here. This line spoke to me: "The poet's duty to the truth of things
is first of all to sense them through the strings"

Dave King said...

The Elephant's Child
And thank you.

Claudia
Thanks, it did strike me as a useful metaphor - as your comment seems to confirm. Always good to have.

A Cuban in London
I do so agree with you about duty hitched to the word "writer" (or any artist) is a cause for concern, but I had hoped to have avoided the pitfalls there with

a duty first to trim and balance it
and craft it as his inner self sees fit.

The only other reference made, I think, was to the necessity of adhering to the laws of flight (language), though I agree that even this is relative and arguable.

David
Much thanks for the comment.

Grace
Thank you for these two kind comments, they do provide most useful feedback.

Hank
Thank you, a most encouraging comment.

Brian
Yes, I remember building and trying to flt them, both in my own childhood and later for my children. Never very successful, I'm afraid. Just one or two glorious occasions when it was blowing half a gale and you could have flown an arm chair!

Adura
Thank you. Much appreciated comment.

Mary
Thank you. Very kind.

Laurie
Wow! Thanks for this. Hope all is back to normal now - and no one injured, no great losses sustained.

Charles
Thank you so much for such a comprehensive response. The reference to Wittgenstein is apt, I think, for you are right: it is all about the relationship between words and reality.

manicddaily
Many thanks for your kind and illuminating comment. Much here of interest. Thanks also for the tip re the typo. I had completely missed that.

John
Hi, thank you for your visit and your comment. Both are much valued.

Tommaso
Thanks for this. My sympathies with your difficulties. I have been suffering similarly of late and in fact have had to change my browser for some activities. I, too, have been looking for an answer to your question. If it aint broke, don't mend it, is my motto!

Lolamouse
Know what you mean, know what you mean! The wind blows them down eventually. Thanks.

Anonymous
Good to have your thoughts. Thank you for visiting.

Carl
Than k you for saying so. I thought there might be some mileage in it. Good to know that others agree.

Pattiken
Absolutely! You express it perfectly.

haricot
Lovely comment. Very kind. Thank you so much.

Cloudia
This is a billiant comment. So pleasing to hear. Very much appreciated.

vivinfrance
Good to have your comment. Nice touch of local colour. Thank you.

brendan said...

Wonderfully strung and flown metaphor. Making something artificial fly -- tested by wind, renounced as all mortal things by gravity (or gravitas) -- the poem here is delicate and phantasmogorical at once, with more than a little responsibility of the poet to make things as well as s/he can. - Brendan

Kymberlee Harrison said...

"The poet's duty to the truth of things
is first of all to sense them through the strings;" Just Awesome!