Another darkly mysterious quote for the dark season. There may be a name for the form my poem has taken—8 8 8 4 8 8 8 4 8 8 8 8 4—but if there is I don’t know it. Feel free to use it, or a variant of it with a rhyme scheme perhaps.
I’m posting this one in the dverse open link night. I am dedicating this month to Yeats, a line every day, so look in and be inspired.
“… the dark folk who live in souls
Of passionate men, like bats in the dead trees;” —W.B. Yeats
They are there at break of day
They are there at the break of day,
As they were when the sun went down,
The paper whispered voices of
Our secrets dark.
In the stirred river-bottom mud,
As in the chill between the stars,
The airless catch in the throat, lie
The ghosts of loss.
Yet when the sun goes down I hear,
Or seem to, beating in the air,
Like the soft wings of the robin,
The plush bestirrings of the bat,
Sighs of regret.
87 thoughts on “November Yeats Challenge: Day Two”
Have no regret Jane this is so moving. You can read this poem any way you you wish, personal, political , terror or calm it works perfectly on all levels. You set the bar high 💜💜🌹
I’m glad you like it, Willow. I do find that it’s hard to resist the magic in Yeats’ lines, and easy to be drawn into another world.
Oh! It is ,it is! 💜💜
lovely poem, Jane 🙂
As an armistice poem that is very powerful and poignant
I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I hear the overtones now—At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. When we think, waste, inevitably thoughts turn to this particular war.
The WBY line, imbedded in my brain… letting it have free reign as I go off to school. Thanks, Jane!
It’s so easy to find beautiful lines, and so hard to pick out single images. Yeats managed to inject magic into every ‘and’ and ‘the’!
Yep! Been there with Harrison. I love the poem that this line comes from, by the way. Stirring.
I wrote from this today, but it lacks a title, so I won’t post until I have my stuff together. Will come back and read yours in just a bit!
I didn’t note down the sources of the quotes. I picked out so many lines!
To Some I Have Talked With by the Fire
Thanks 🙂 I’ve been reading Yeats with a different eye, looking for short images instead of the whole canvas.
I love your new form Jane. Magnificent verse and poem to inspire us!
Thanks Kat! I don’t know that it’s a new form, it might be old as the hills. In fact now I think of it, it’s like an inverted Minute poem without the rhyme.
I like that. An inverted minute…if we could turn back time… 😉
The ultimate nostalgia form 🙂
When I read this over after the comment–yes, it does sound like a poem for armistice (or about almost any war, I suppose).
Magical Yeats and a wonderful response from you, Jane. I do like this form (now dubbed the Inverted Minute). 🙂
No-Rhyme Inverted Minute. Sounds barbaric 🙂
Hahaha. Some kind of gadget sold on late night TV.
Maybe Dr Who has one.
It is so moving and that last line! Ouch! 👏👏
I agree with Geoff, it works o well as an armistice poem, remembrance, loss, regret….
Happy for a quieter day at the office so I could play with the bats…
Wonderful Jane. Love this poem.
Here is my pingback : https://wp.me/p73yZZ-3Im
I wrote this in about five minutes flat, not sure how it turned out to be.
It turned out well! You could smooth out the grammar and spelling a bit, but that’s the icing on the cake 🙂
Grammar and spelling – blame it on POTUS☺
I’ll happily blame anything on him. Chances are he’s the guilty party anyway 🙂
☺☺☺Definitely. He is trying to wipe the middle class. Who has time for grammar and spelling?
There’s a big debate in France right now about shaking up the language. It’s a beautiful language but it’s burdened as all Latin languages are by the gender problem. Every noun is either masculine or feminine. Where it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever if a chair is feminine and a vacuum cleaner is masculine, it gets problematic when the nouns actually do have a gender, like student, teacher, doctor, president etc etc, and they are all masculine. The complications of making them appropriate to the person involved are giving the Académie Française nightmares.
☺French then must be similar to Hindi. Hindi, India’s national language, is not my mother tongue. I could never figure out which one is masculine and which one is feminine and did rather poorly in the exams because of that. Thanks God the misery was over after eighth grade.
The whole concept of having female chairs but masculine vacuum cleaners is weird. Then when you have something that really is feminine like a school teacher or a doctor, she had to be masculine. There’s grounds for a shake up. I think Danish is a language that used to have masculine and feminine nouns and just ditched the concept altogether so it’s like English. Furniture is neutral 🙂
Pardon my French but those who made the rules must have been perverts or sadistic people.
I try to imagine a roomful of sages deciding whether a chair is going to be masculine or feminine, and the arguments. They must have been really short of things to do.
Loved your latest, Jane! 🙂 My pingbacks don’t seem to be coming through, so here’s my latest:
Thanks Frank! I see the pingback—they maybe take a while to show up as they have to be approved manually and if you post when I’m away from the computer, it has to wait until I get back 🙂
Ah! “‘I see,’ said the blind man.”
I can see the visual you portray, and the meaning is dark as the season… maybe our thoughts are there with candles to bring light…
It’s certainly the season that requires candle light to chase the shadows.
Ok, finally I return! Here is my poem for this prompt: https://jillys2016.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/frequency/
Funny that we both went with the auditory imagery. You captured me with the paper whispered voices & the ghosts of loss. This is calling me to read again…
The night and its ghosts are noisy.
I read this 3 times and got 3 different meanings – bravo!
Maybe it was my muddled thinking 🙂 I meant to give the idea of the dark things deep in our thoughts, the less than admirable or shameful things we’ve done, coming out perhaps, sometimes, as regret, like an acceptance, and it’s a soft, gentle feeling.
Oh no, no, no! Perfect! You’ve nailed it as art when we interpret it in different ways. You’re a victim of your own genius. (Hahaha… for all you know I’ve interpreted it as “a mug of hot chocolate!!” :)- I haven’t, by the way). Its perfect.
It’s true that my brain is fuzzed up at the moment. I wrenched my shoulder/back on Sunday and have been self-medicating with handfulls of painkillers ever since. I’ve numbed it into submission, I think so should start to come out of the haze soon 🙂
I’m sorry to hear that. Get better soon. In the meantime, write more while you’re in thus haze. You might just come up with the best poem ever written! 😉
I’ll just help myself to another cup of opium then…
Excellent! The last stanza is outstanding.
Thank you! I’m posting a quote every day this month. Join in if it inspires something.
Specially love: The paper whispered voices of
Our secrets dark.
Thank you 🙂
I late response. You’re probably dreaming now–I hope happy ones. 🙂
Reblogged this on Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!.
‘In the stirred river-bottom mud, as in the chill between the stars, the airless catch in the throat, lie the ghosts of loss’… this is beyond powerful!
Thank you, Sanaa. In Yeats’ world, there is no limit to the imagery 🙂
“secrets dark” may be what we are unaware of which would have to be a lot if we are planning to survive. I don’t know what Yeats means by “dark” folk. I see them as only what we are unaware of.
I take it to mean the dark impulse behind passionate deeds, the ugly motivations that we might not even be aware of.
I like the feeling of a secret nestled safe in darkness, with its own existence and i got that from this poem.
I’m pleased! There are lots of layers in Yeats’ poetry, many of them dark and mysterious. They make good secret places 🙂
For me it’s signifying a bit of personal struggle. As if two minds sharing the same body…It’s a wonderful expression..
Thank you 🙂 It is a bit of that. I imagine we all have a touch of dark and light, and often what motivates the most splendid actions is less than admirable—egoism, vanity, arrogance maybe.
For many it’s the end result that count. Beside it’s true of what you say, but the idea of being flawless will be utopian.. At least for us humans it will be..
I’m put in mind of people like Lech Walesa who was hailed as a hero because of the cause he was fighting for. Once he got what he wanted and was elected president, people found that they didn’t much like what had motivated his ‘heroic’ struggle.
For me Churchill will be such figure.. But when mattered he provided amenities and resources to Soviet Block, to defeat Hitler. It’s as you said the end result that counts. Same is the case for Walesa..
I agree about Churchill. He wrote good wartime speeches, but his politics were ungenerous and conservative, and as a peacetime leader, nobody wanted him.
“…Ghosts of loss…”. Love that image, Jane.
Thank you, Sarah 🙂
Reblogged this on WL Hawkin and commented:
An homage to one of my loves, WB Yeats by Jane Dougherty.
Thanks for reblogging 🙂