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Friday 1 March 2013

Midwinter, Magic and an (ekphrastic) Trireme Sonnet

A blotting paper scene: I watch as snow
soaks up the inky stains that we call night,
becomes the source of colours wholly new.

The hues seem solarized and time is slow,
stopped by the trees as though it is their right.
Sky hammers copper from a common blue

'til more exposure turns it indigo.
The landscape now, a Mondrian's delight,
a grid of whispers that the eye sees through.

The moon alone, serene, appears to know
which other worlds have put our world to flight
and if they've new agendas to pursue --

but trees spread wide their arms as if to show
that we are welcome here where spirits grow.

At dVerse Poets: Form for All Samuel Peralta has set three challenges in one: Midwinter, Magic and a Trireme Sonnet. And as an extra bit of insurance, in case that was not quite enough, the suggestion that the sonnet could be ekphrastic. I have done my best, played a bit, using a painting of mine that some of you will have seen before -- is that cheating?


Sabio Lantz said...

I loved the line "that we called night", and the word "solarized".

Your painting reminds me of Piet Mondrian's "Gray Tree".

A gorgeous mood painted with these words. Nicely done, Dave.

Brian Miller said...

really nice cadence in this dave...i can hear it as i read..the opening stanza grabbed me as i like how the snow pulls in the night and brings out the other colors...it is like the pulling back of a curtain at a play. well done to form.

brudberg said...

I really liked it, it's perfect iambs and description of transition into day. I really like this. :-)

Mary said...

Beautiful progression in this sonnet, Dave. Loved the line(s): I watch as snow soaks up the inky stains that we call night." I feel, when I read your poem, that I have just got inside the mind of a painter.

Sabio Lantz said...

I must agree with Mary: Though I am not a painter, nor understand painting, nor seek out paintings, through your work I am brought into a world I may miss and I love the view. 'Tis fascinating.

Manicddaily said...

Agh. Lost comment and on phone!

Beautiful painting. The light palpable and the online so striking. Terrific.

Wonderful poem. One of my favorites of yours. I love the stories as you know so won't compare to those. But this is so subtly musical and uses such beautiful words, stretched on a spectrum. It also reflects your interest in science and the other worldly. Great work. I am not up with mine yet-- have something but life a bit of an obstacle right now! K.

Janine Bollée said...

Only one word for this:
I'm so impressed. Every line, every thought every metaphor in its place.

Scarlet said...

There is something about writing sonnets that makes your verses elegant and makes the painting come alive ~ I love this Dave ~

Gerry Snape said...

love the painting...no I hadn't seen it before...and the first line blotting paper...soaking up...how did you come up with such a perfect metaphor!!!...there are other lines also too many to put up...just a great poem Dave! thankyou.

Kathy Reed said...

the sonnet is truly pretty ..love the copper and blue and your unique paingting!

anthonynorth said...

A perfect depiction of the image. Loved it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Nothing is cheating in poetry - and in your case Dave, everything you write is absolutely beautiful.

Wolfsrosebud said...

you did this so well... i wanted to keep reading... just beautiful

Wolfsrosebud said...

you did this so well... i wanted to keep reading... just beautiful

hedgewitch said...

This is one of the most impressive sonnets I've read in a long time, David--every word well-used, every image building in perfect perspective, leading to the next, and every rhyme a lovely, melodic chiming. Very fine work here.

Claudia said...

oh wow...so beautiful..love how the artwork inspired you...and what a picture you paint with your words as well...where spirits grow...loved it

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, David, just beautiful - sonnet and painting both. Maybe one or two minor tweaks (no 's on Mondrian for example) - but that's me being ultra-picky.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

A delight to read this, the lyric voice so close to my feelings, the cold core of the present season with a warm edge looking forward.

kaykuala said...

Perfect in all respects! Great painting Dave. You did well to have it as base. Good idea to do so as one is more familiar with one's own! Nicely!


Unknown said...

love the consistency with color here, and what an awesome way to open this up by comparing ink stains to night. Really nice Dave

Peggy said...

Good creative use of the form. I like the painting too!

kelvin s.m. said...

...Dave, sir, i don't know but for some reasons your painting & words brought me back to the same enchanted feel i had when i read Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on A Snowy Evening... maybe your complete raised many many things to mind leaving some mysterious moments or rather memories of yore about people who come & passed by... i was able to feel my presence inside of all these... like i was there before the creation of everything in mind & pen & brushes... neat & wonderful to read...smiles...

Semaphore said...

My first impression on opening your page was, Oh what a wonderful painting that is. Imagine my surprise when you noted it was one of yours! A great start, then, to an ekphrastic poem, a trireme sonnet that hits all the notes with the various challenges implicit in the article. It's a beautiful unfolding that you've created here, from the blotting paper to the Mondrian to the moon, all wonderful aspects of that magical world that is spread out, glowing, in the night.

Elephant's Child said...

Love both the vision and the verb. Thank you.

Bodhirose said...

No, that's not cheating. I love your painting, David...very nice. I'm glad I got a chance to see it. And you did a wonderful job of capturing a story from your own artwork...really enjoyed this.

Rachna Chhabria said...

This is beautiful, Dave.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

This is perfection Dave and nothing but. Beautiful.

Anna :o]

Dave King said...

Thanks so much. Generous comment.

Thanks. V interesting comment.

Hi Welcome. Many thanks for the comment. Much appreciated.

Wow! I love this response. Thank you so much for it - means a lot.

Most welcome and most appreciated comments. Thank you.

A really gracious comment, which I treasure. Thank you so much.

Thank you for saying this. A valuable comment.

I found this particular sonnet form specially conducive and will probably persevere with it for a bit to see where it goes. Thanks.

Thank you. The sort of comment that is a real help to me.

Thank you so much.

Thanks for this.

The Weaver of Grass
I do actually agree that nothing's cheating - like all fair in love and war!
Thanks, though, for the gracious comment.

Thank you. Lovely compliment.

And much thanks for a really wonderful appraisal. Any sort of feedback is most useful, but one like this is so reassuring.

Thanks Claudia. Most grateful.

Not picky, no. I'm very appreciative of such things being pointed out - I'm a useless proof reader!
So much thanks.

Oh, I really am appreciative of this. Thank you so much.

Thanks Hank. In a sense only the painter knows what the painting was about and so doesn't have to interpret it.

Thanks a lot Fred. Good to know your thoughts.

Thanks for your kind words.

Wow, I take this comment as a great compliment. I have read Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on A Snowy Evening, but not recently. I mjust go back to it. It is the moments of mystery in life and creation which are the sparking points for me.

Thank you so much for this critique and for the inspiration your prompt gave. I am quite taken by this particular form of sonnet and. indeed, have tried it again in today's post. this seems strange to me just now as I mainly do not write much rhymed poetry. Thanks again, for all your help and interest.

Thank you so much. Very good to hear from you and to get your thoughts.

Thanks so much.

Wonderful to hear. Thanks very much.