Popular Posts

Monday 30 May 2011

Domination of Black : A Wallace Stevens Challenge

At Sunday Whirl, this challenge with three aspects: The title of Wallace Steven's great poem "Domination of Black", the poem itself and a wordle drawn from the poem.

As a child, the darkness dominates your mind,
you fear the colour black. Your growing up
becomes a process to reverse this state.
Like blowing on a fire to see it flare,
sparks fly and then, like burning leaves,
fall back to earth. Dim lights like fiery tails
of distant comets promise to oppose
autism's baleful glare, with colder reason's
glance - and do. The first twilight you've seen. Before,
you wandered, blinded, either by the light
or lack of it. But either way, though still
afraid, you light those fitful beacons in
the mind and watch the dark sack of your childhood
turning inside-out. You see your shadow
striding from its fallen world to take its place
against the cry of nature's wildest wind,
beneath the roar of nature's fiercest sea
among the planets where your world awaits.


Brian Miller said...

nice blend in of autism there in the middle...as a kid yes the darkness could be a scary place, as i have grown older that fear has far numbed and i have become much more confortable with it...maybe at times a bit too much...

David Cranmer said...

Nice poem that made me think, Dave. At first I disagreed with the opening line of "As a child, the darkness dominates your mind." On a second reading I saw what Mr. Miller above saw. Excellent.

jabblog said...

I never liked the dark as a child - now it is a friend.

Mary said...

I like your mention of being blinded by the light or the lack of it. So true. Twilight IS a nice mix.

Rose said...

Powerful write!

Nilofer said...

Good one. Do visit my blog and leave your footprints by posting comments


Anonymous said...

I found your poem a tad scary, like pitch-black darkness. Wordle words cleverly woven in with yours.

izzy said...

This is just grand! Thank you-
It reminds me a tiny bit of Robert Bly
and his long sack dragging behind-
& I just read a piece this morning
by Alan Watts: In My Own Way,(reprinted by The Sun, The Dog-Eared Page,June 2011,p.13) Keep on keeping on!

flaubert said...

First read I didn't notice the wordle words. Sign of a well-crafted poem, Dave. I see your reference to the comet's tail is nicely placed. I had to put it in my title, as I could not fit it in the poem. Nicely done.


Judith C Evans said...

I really like the way this poem weaves in the subject of autism, and then finds its way "among the planets where your world awaits." Count me as your newest follower!

Elizabeth said...

Our world always awaits, no matter the time of day or degree of light or dark. Maybe someday we'll actually get there. Good use of the wordle words,


Traci B said...

Terrific poem, Dave, and a completely different take on the wordle than any other I've read so far.

The opening lines reminded me of my own childhood and how I had to overcome a fear of the dark - or rather, what might visit me in the dark. Vampires, you know? Of course, my army of dolls and stuffed animals stood sentry duty around my neck each night for a while until I got past that phase...

Kittie Howard said...

I so agree with Judith above - your poem is beautifully crafted. You have a poet's soul, Dave!

Crafty Green Poet said...

It's interestign how our relationship with the dark changes

Liz Rice-Sosne said...

This might be a repeat comment ... something happening to me frequently today. I especially enjoyed how you lead up to the storm. It was very thoughtful.

Windsmoke. said...

Being scared of the dark is the same as the fear of what's lurking under your bed ready to jump out and grab you :-).

brenda w said...

I thought I left a big long comment about losing the magic of childhood. LOL I must be losing something else...

I love this piece, David, and am happy that you are participating in the wordles. This is one of the strongest pieces of the week. It speaks to me on a deep level. Thank you.

Carl said...

Wow thats good!

You see your shadow
striding from its fallen world to take its place
against the cry of nature's wildest wind,
beneath the roar of nature's fiercest sea

Just awesome!

Dave King said...

Yes, I suppose that's the common experience, though it might depend what sort of darkness we are considering. I remember the darkness of everyone thinking we were going to go out in some nuclear disaster - as we still might, I suppose, though it seems less likely now. Thanks for the comments.

Yes there's a deal of ambiguity in it - as there ever was, I guess. Much thanks for the feedback.

That's more or less the premis from which I started, but thinking back I do believe I was more frightened of the half-light with all its shadows and strange shapes that morphed all the while.

It is when it's friendly, but it wasn't always so as a child. Thanks for the observation.

Thank you very much.

Welcome. Thanks. Will do.

Glad it was only a tad. Quite unintended! Thanks for the comment.

Much appreciate the references. Thank you, must look up the Bly.

Thanks. The thing I found the hardest was trying to exclude Stevens's poem from my mind.

Hi and a warm welcome to you. The comment is very much appreciated and it is brilliant to have you as a follower.

Good thinking. I like it lots. Thansk for the response.

Hi and really good to have you visiting and to read your comment, for both of which, much thanks.
It sounds we were much alike, though I had soldiers, not dolls. If the truth b e known, I might have preferred dolls, but that was impossible in those days for a boy - I did manage a Noah's Ark though, in lieu of a dolls house!!!

Wonderful comment, for which I thank you very much. Really good to have you visiting.

Dave King said...

Crafty Green Poet
Yes, and what about it seems universal. Good to have you visiting.

Old Raven
Hi, welcome to you. Thank you very much for the comment.

It is. Exactly similar in the way we experience it. I wonder if the cause is the same, though.

I, too have been losing things. Maybe some deep holes appearing in the net! Thank you for your comments. The feedback is most useful.

Thanks Carl, it's so good to have such feedback.

Henry Clemmons said...


Mr. Walker said...

Dave, I deliberately avoided reading Stevens' poem before writing my own; glad you didn't. I loved "the dark sack of your childhood / turning inside out" - and how the "shadow" is incorporated. A wonderful poem!