Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rhythm and Rhyme: an Example

Every now and then I hammer away at the importance of rhythm and rhyme to poetry, the cadence and tone of language put to a special use. Although I don't usually post poetry, and almost never a new poem, I want to share this recent one (the last revision, an hour or so ago, escaped accompanied by a satisfied sigh) because of its use of these fundamentals. It's not a great poem, but it works for me as a poem and a prayer.


May in your new existence every whisper
that touches you be filled with a soft light
that carries in the rhythm of soothing murmur
the promises and mysteries of night.

May grass grow ever taller than your shoulder
and fall away from your approaching face
as you explore the clean expanse of meadow
and know that you belong in that new place.

May life again turn in familiar cycles
unfettered by the linear chains of days:
action and rest, hunger and satisfaction,
while all the words you hear are words of praise.

May simple dreams become their own fulfillment.
Rest on those cushions where St. Francis sat.
And when you sing out in the heavenly chorus,
let every angel know that you are cat.

Basic iambic pentameter. The alternating lines of each stanza (2 and 4) rhyme; the other lines end in feminine rhythm with an extra unstressed syllable. And those are the obvious devices; you can find more if you try.

The poem is not only a fitting memorial, it helps me deal with the loss.


Laurie said...

A fine poem, my friend.

annaken said...

I liked your poem, Jefferson, as it has some wonderful sentiments in it. Life is a precious gift, and Dizzy was a good part of yours.

I am sure that he is enjoying his new life and that you will see each other again in due course.