Two Poems

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Florida Easter Song

I live in the land of the lizard king,
brown anole, and green tree frog.
Orchids here catch the sun
on back porches
and light
the night
as bright torches
with the scent of honey.
On the lake, what looks like a log
moves by itself--gator ripples that ring
out into the moonlight. That shriek--frogs sing
to find mates. Soon the night is done,
And Our Lord's victory is won
as all things rise on daylight's gaudy wings.

© 2005, Steven Riddle

This is a sonnet with a progressively decreasing syllable count and a rhyme scheme of abcdeedcbaacca. I'm not completely satisfied with it because it seems to me the end is too rushed--probably too big a topic to fit into this compressed version of the sonnet. Nevertheless, I am particularly pleased with the sound-pun in the last line where "gaudy" suggests "Godly." I provide these insights because I am often interested in how others think about their writing and what they are doing. It may give you perspective on intent, it may not. Hope you enjoy the poem. And now for something completely different.

Song of Creation

You have heard, but have you listened? The tale
of the stork clatters out against the dark
purple of the evening, and this noise marks
the start of the tale. You listen but fail
to make sense of the story. The pond and
the wood are too distant, too alien--
the words cannot make sense. You see God's hand
in the lowering night, and wonder when
the Word He sends can be heard and heeded
by you, by those around you. You don't know
why the heron and wren know what's needed,
and men are so reluctant and so slow
to understand--the evening and the night
the stars, the moon-- all God's created things
Rejoice with a great glad noise, without shame,
Man alone pines, mourns, walks as though he's lame,
Til one Man returns to teach him to sing.

© 2005, Steven Riddle

A poem is too short to allow anything to go to waste, even the title. I'm of the opinion that poems are better for titles, but the title should not give away anything already present in the poem. It should, if possible, provide a light to see the poem somewhat differently than one might without the title. All of that seems perhaps a little pretentious and it is mere poetic theory, but as poetry is compressed speech, I think it best to make the most of the least.

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Loved the first one particularly! Doesn't seem too rushed to me, as an outside reader.

Very lovely, Steven.

I have read these both, many times over. In fact, I've printed them off to paste in my little book of poetry I take with me to read in idle times. Well done. Well done.

MamaT and Dan,

Well what can I say? Thank you.

I'm astonished and pleased that you both enjoyed them--opposite ends of the poetry afficianado spectrum. That indicates real success. Now I have to go back and try to figure out why. But this is a good puzzle. Thank you both very much for your comments.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 22, 2005 7:27 PM.

A Question About the Four Last Things was the previous entry in this blog.

Long Black Train and others is the next entry in this blog.

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