Poem Appropriate for October


As with many this is old and needs a bit more shaping than the swift brush up it is getting in retyping, but, all of that said, it seemed particularly apropos to October. The poem is build on productive ambiguity of phrase that helps by resonance to expand the poem.

Ars Poetica
Steven Riddle

Let's not talk words
though I am armed
in this escalating race

with books that tell
me how to pull shape
from shapelessness

and how to tell the sound
of a silver bell from a brass.

Sharp words slice the enveloping
sac and lay bare fragile flesh
to scouring sand, wind, and sun.

Words turn on those who utter them
and exact vengeance
for being loose and free

in a world that scarcely
notices a cyclone of them.

Words wrap around the blasted heath
descending to the body of the poet
spent with rage
and hope and feed there.

Promethean in their vengeance
eumenidic in their exactions

they rest forever
outside once uttered always
eating a way in.

©2002 Steven Riddle

The two lines that begin with Greek references seem somewhat weak to me, so abstract as to be flabby and unnecessary, so likely in subsequent renditions they will either be cut or transmuted. I hesitate to bore you with the details, on the other hand, some find the process of growth and revision, particularly of a type of writing they are less familiar with, to be of interest. I'm sure, all of you being quite courteous, I sha'n't hear any complaints, but if you would prefer to hear only perfect and polished gems, drop me a line. I am certain that I can find some somewhere in the works of the 16th-17th century! :-)

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 6, 2002 7:51 AM.

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