Sunday, July 15, 2012

Iseult's Song

 Iseult's Song
A Huitain



How used I am to all this weeping
this solitude, this douce tristesse.
How softly emptiness comes creeping
to meet its new petite maîtresse,          
who cries the more and laughs the less
under god's silent black stardome;
where once were the towers of Lyonesse
now only fishes make their home.


~July 2012 





 Process Notes: "Lyonesse is a country in Arthurian legend, particularly in the story of Tristan and Iseult. Said to border Cornwall, it is most notable as the home of the hero Tristan, whose father was king. In later traditions Lyonesse is said to have sunk beneath the waves some time after the Tristan stories take place, making it similar to Ys and other lost lands in medieval Celtic tales..."
~wikipedia




 Posted for   real toads
Kerry's Sunday Mini-Challenge: The Huitain
Kerry explains this old French form in detail at the link above.



also posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub
 Karin Gustafson hosts and asks us to get our French on in honor of Bastille Day. I went a bit further back.


Note: I'm under the weather a bit this weekend and so there may be a delay in returning visits.








Image: Tristan and Isolde, by Salvidor Dali, 1944
All copyright remains with the owners



25 comments:

  1. You capture the sweet sadness indeed in your poem. The thing about short poems like this is that they must rely on their music. Strike the soul like a bird's simple call, repeated over and over. This has that quality.

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  2. Just terrific, Joy. Agree with Charles The simplicity (not truly simple) but the simple rhythms and music here augment the poignancy. Very well done (as always.) So sorry about the pain. k.

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  3. ugh...sunken kingdoms with only fishes and sad songs and memories of better times left...really like your mournful song here hedge.. always enjoying when you take us into mythological depths

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  4. I have been reading these 8 line poems, and none of them flows as well as this one does. Its simplicity of structure belies the profound...I would say, grief...at the blue heart of this piece.

    To be used to weeping combines the gray nature of unremarkable routine with the most immediate and raw expression of sadness. They shouldn't go together, and the fact that they do is a little shocking. How can sharp sadness become expected, and continuous? It seems like one of those dull but awful nightmares that goes on and on.

    Similarly, it arrives hand in hand with emptiness, as innocuous as a pet presented to its little mistress. It's like you're playing here, but playing with sharp objects.

    I like the way you've constructed the fifth line. This is what I love about your poetry, compared to less well written stuff; by ending with "the more" and "the less", it does more than simply serving your rhyme...it has a lilting beauty in the language that "more crying" and "less laughter" would lack entirely. The right words in the right order...easy to spout the maxim, not so easy to perform what it demands, but doing exactly that has always been one of your major strengths, imo.

    God's silent black stardome is crushing. To me it implies that a Divine presence, *could speak, *could* bring light, *could* create happiness if it can create stars and the heavens, but chooses not to. When one thinks about it, that's much more chilling than mere absence.

    Finally, you finish with a stark contrast. High fine towers giving way to submerged, banal sea life. The only comfort there, to me, is that in using the metaphor of the natural world, there is always the guarantee of further change in the future. Given the state of things as described here, that can only be a good thing.

    Did you know, Ms. Witch, that, the famous and dead aside, you are the most talented poet I know, and the one who works hardest and cares the most about her craft? If not, now you do.

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    1. Goodness, Shay--thank you so much for such an elegant reading of my little short poem--I can't claim much control over it, it just wanted to be written, as soon as I laid out the rhyme scheme, it just fell out. But I thank you again, for your support, and for sharing your impressions and insights.

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  5. Wow, Hedge, your poem fell so beautifully into perfection, and then I read Shay's intelligent response........like watching two geniuses at work, from the sidelines. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks ladies--you are always too kind. You are cheering up my bed of sickness.(actually, sciatica--it sucks but is getting better.)

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  6. nice...it is an intriguing story of them...what a picture as well to go with your verse....the closure on this gives such a feeling of loss...well done hedge....i hope you are feeling better soon...ack...

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  7. I love your vivid and sculptural line structure, the soft and the stark of the piece, the way it is short and infinite at the same time. so very well done. ~jane

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  8. Hope you feel better soon. I must say for being ill, you've masterfully handled both challenges!

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  9. I love the way the entire scene revolves around the concept of sweet sorrow, how eventually we all may cry more and laugh less, as we witness our own lyonesse - in whatever form it may present itself - be swallowed beneath the waves. You have captured the regret, and sense of abandonment incredibly well. In only 8 lines, you have related a story which stretches from legend to modern times.

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  10. [impressed whistle] ... "How used I am" is a striking opening.

    "Sweet sorrow" is practically a poem unto itself. What a weighty phrase.

    "where once were the towers of Lyonesse
    now only fishes make their home" ... What excellent use of imagery to reinforce your theme of emptiness, this hollowing out---swelling soul turned dirty fish bowl.

    There's such a tender acceptance in this pain. There's no lashing out, but rather a timeless enduring.

    Your use of French terms was so rhythmically effective; I love that you made "little mistress" sound sophisticated. :)

    Oh, and your gentle rhyme and alliteration are beautiful, by the way. (Have I mentioned how much I love short poems? This thrilled me.)

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  11. I'm sorry you're under the weather hedge, your poetry doesn't show it at all...you're right on!! Well written!!

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  12. Oh, I know this pain...take care! I had it in both legs for over 6 months. It is dreadful...I hope you can find comfort in your bed~
    Don't lay too long, it can make things worse~ hugs!

    Wonderful and insightful! Congrats on achieving this level of excellence! ATB

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  13. A beautiful song--exquisite form--evoked tristesse exquisitely

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  14. Beautiful. I love the story of Tristan and Iseult as well. Hope you feel better quickly!

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  15. A sense of classical auras and a sense of being in "the now" time! Lyrically beautiful with enigmatic touches of whimsy!

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  16. Hedgewitch, this poem has everything I desire in a poem: musicality and rhythm, a good story, perfect word choice and oomph! I love that word stardome.

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  17. What a lovely little poem. Each line holds nuggets of heavy emotion and it's beautifully displayed here. I love your usage of french words... makes the Huitain seem so complete. Kudos, Hedgewitch! :)

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  18. Is thus the maiden drowned, by her own sweet misery now that not only is her love gone, but also her entire home? A lyrical indulgence that I like very much.

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  19. This is really something, Joy! A short but an utterly smooth take. It imposed a certain discipline in this new form but yours fly through cleanly.


    Hank

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  20. really touched a deep sadness, and i've always felt the spanish "triste" to be particularly appealing in its memories for me, "sweet sadness" as charles at the top of the comments says; thanks so much

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  21. Really lovely, Hedge. Not a wasted word.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg