Sunday, April 27, 2014

Safe


W.T. Benda


Safe
A Rhyme Royal


Safe is frequently bought and sold
 in the marketplace of the faceless,
 their masks of wood or hard-bitten gold
hand-carved, hand-painted, the loneliness

lost with expression. The false-positive test
is smoothed-over, the feel symbolized
as only a mask can describe.
 
An infant subsists on its mother
for resolution to every disruption;
so the broken bend to another
in the masks that cover dysfunction.

 A commerce is made of protection;
the result is that safe purchased spot
for those who can't face what life's not.




~February, April 2014


A few months back, Fireblossom used the illustrations of W.T. Benda, one of which is shown above, to inpire us to write in a form known as the rhyme royal, explained in full at the link(this is the quatrain/tercet variation, abab bcc.) I started this back then, and have resurrected and revivified  it today for Margaret's Play It Again Challenge at



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13 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you went back to this poem - your skill at form shows how the intellectual topics can be presented in rhyme, and measured feet. This certainly got my brain firing.

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  2. When I read this I think about a wonderful scene in Rilke's "Notebooks of Malte Laurid Brigge" when he comes upon a woman crying on a park bench and she is show startled, she leaves her face in her hands --then he is almost horrified to see the face without a face.

    Safe is a good word for faces on a musical level, and especially here where they are bought for coverage - and where safe is more than safety, but also a bit like the storage safe--the place where things are locked in. I do not know how you manage the rhyme royal--it seems very hard to me and especially hard to use for a serious subject. But you do manage it, in part because of the slants maybe and also because you use language in such a very traditional, sometimes almost archaic way--I'm thinking of "describe" which is almost here like outline,or depict--mixed in with the rather modern phrases--the false-positive. All layered with irony, but you do not fall into my big issue of over-explanation. My commenting is also breaking down, but things that jump out at me especially are the "hard-bitten gold" --just love that--I can really picture it--the "feel symbolized"--how can feel be symbolized--it is tactile! and well many others--the double-negative at the end--there is something so doubly shackled and risk averse there--it's not even a direct statement of what they cannot face--they can't get that close to it. (Of course, I say "they"--ha! Maybe I should be a bit more honest. ) Take care--good going! Good luck. k. (Im on an infernal device due to overheating computer so will be outlawyer identity as that comps up on blogger.) K.

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    1. Ps - I am sorry for all the typos--"so" startled not show startled. I just haven't had time to get a new computer and can't see what I am typing on this. k.

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    2. I hadn't thought till now of the whole thing of saving face, another facet.

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    3. Thanks, k. Rhyme is my last safe place, as it were. ;_) The rhyme royal is pretty easy compared to some. No problems on the typos--I really have learned from my own how to navigate them--I don't think I've left many comments without one lately, some really embarrassing! We had storms this morning and I was able to do some writing so I think I may now make it to the finish line. I have so enjoyed what you have written--and appreciated it, as you normally aren't able to get nearly enough poetry up for me in a regular month. ;_) Thanks for all your support, and hope you find time soon for a new computer.

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  3. And what it's not is the title. I love that! We live in an age when bookoo political hay is made on the subject of "keeping Americans safe", and in the name of such impossible safety, we give up our constitutional rights, our privacy, and in fact the very freedom it is all done in the name of. That's quite some shell game, yeah?

    I'm tickled and honored that you chose my challenge for this, Joy. Thanks!

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    1. Rhymed form and cool drawings made it the perfect option today, plus I loved this artist. Thanks for introducing me to him.

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  4. Fantastic -- love the final tercet.

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  5. What a lovely form and the last 3 lines are also my favorite ~ I have to try writing this form, smiles ~

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  6. I didn't try the form, but you seem to have such mastery over it. I love the whole piece, but the ending is so striking...so many can't face what life's not. There are so many expectations on life. My daughter's illness has caused me to really see beauty even in the darkest light.

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  7. The idea that the infant relies on the mother's mask is intriguing to me...if I gathered right...this is deep and intriguing, Hedge and I'm glad you brought it back and breathed new and more life into it!

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  8. as noted earlier you've accomplished bending the rhyme to your purpose, so much so that I was in the 2nd stanza before I noticed, and at first I was thinking a slanted sonnet but then upon reading further saw my error. and of course, one of your favorite conceits, the mask, so color me unsurprised that you've again drawn another strong pen ~

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  9. The opening and closing leave me speechless as … well, it is so true. The guts of this poem - especially "the loneliness lost with expression" are individual expressions that could be a whole evenings topic of conversation! I hope you are enjoying your yard work and baby chickens. I've been so crazy busy lately and I'm sorry to be responding to this prompt so late - I truly thank you for participating!

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