Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ray Bradbury and By Candlelight - two rondelets #NationalPoetryMonth

My icon, plus inspirational writing quotes if you click here.
Who are your holy, venerated figures that loom large in your imagination? Who wrote the stories that shaped you, that stay with you, that you return to again in your mind when you're trying to make sense of the world and mend yourself? What works do you keep by your bedside?

For me, there are too many to count or list here, but when Allison Joseph suggested we write a poem inspired by someone we consider to be an icon, this man immediately popped up, and I had to write two rondelets.* One about my icon, and one because of him.

Ray Bradbury

You prompted me
to write one story every day.
You prompted me
to search my own ravines and see
and think about what I should say
and write it down. I love the way
you prompted me.

By Candlelight

By candlelight
I wrote a story for my child.
By candlelight
I read and gave him such a fright.
I took him places unsafe—wild.
At first he shivered, then he smiled
by candlelight.

*Rondelets are yet another lovely circular French form. Written in a single septet (which simply means a 7-line poem or stanza), with two rhymes and one refrain. The refrain is written in tetrasyllabic or dimeter, and the other lines are twice as long, which means they're in octasyllabic or tetrameter.  Like this:

A -4 syllables (2 feet)
b - 8 syllables (4 feet)
A - 4 syllables (2 feet)
a - 8 syllables (4 feet)
b - 8 syllables (4 feet)
b - 8 syllables (4 feet)
A - 4 syllables (2 feet)

The capital As indicate the refrain. The lowercase letters signify the other lines.

The poet Judi Korpi Webb shared one of her rondelets with me, and I am happy to unveil it here, in the fading hours of the day. I might just have to reread it at dawn tomorrow:

So strange this time of in-between
The blush of dawn is seen by car
The very air is fresh and clean
Buildings mirror the sunrise gleam

Got a poem inspired by one of your icons? Got a rondelet? I'd love it if you would share it with me here in the comments. Thanks!

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