It’s been awhile since I posted due to some health issues causing difficulty typing, but the weekly (or perhaps bi-weekly) newsletters from CAA will be back in August. Meanwhile, I wanted to say congratulations to dVerse on its 3rd anniversary. Even though I don’t post there often, I do follow the blog and I save the posts!
Yesterday I came across an old sonnet I wrote that says a bit about what it’s like being a poet. This one is about a male poet, but of course can be applied to female poets (with appropriate substitutions):
On Contemplation of the Muse
In shadow sits a solitary man,
in pensive contemplation of his muse.
He writes sweet poetry because he can
with clever words beguile and yet amuse.
A simple turn of phrase he will infuse
with dulcet undertones of wit and rhyme.
No lady ever born has yet refused
a poet spinning words three-quarter time.
To win a heart with words can be no crime.
But poets walk alone in mighty crowds,
hearts beating cadence to a different chime,
while heads are often floating in the clouds.
The price is high for those who live to write:
The muse seeks succor day or dead of night.
Carol A. Stephen
And then I was thinking about the lovely photo of the place where dVerse is holding its celebration today. The Pitti Palace, with its lovely Boboli Gardens in Firenze, Italy. I was lucky enough to visit Italy and the Pitti in August 2001 with my late husband. John had been a Renaissance buff for many years, having lived in Firenze when he was a young man.
But to salute dVerse: This is a great blog that presents poets with ideas and challenges to keep the poems coming, whether it is to write a sonnet, or a poem about family history, or an ode to poets and poetry. Congratulations, dVerse! My poem here is about the wonderful venue you’ve chosen for the Poets’ Ball.
Amidst the Soaring Cypresses
I teased my husband when he’d talk
about the Boboli, pretend he’d said
Bubbly and I’d ask about fountains
how many, what statuary, how tall the trees
behind the Pity Palace? Ah, yes the Pitti, sorry.
In 2001, there we were, amidst soaring cypresses,
the grids of green grass and dark shrubs with waxen leaves.
Hot that day. In the sizzle of 37 Celsius, I dreamed of dipping toes
into Neptune’s Fountain of the Fork, settled instead on the long walk
through groves of trees and the shadows of Spiders Lane,
shuddering at the thought of eight tiny legs crawling up my own.
We took pictures of The Dwarf Morgante, the giant stone tub and
statue after statue that still loom and gesture in their frozen poses.
Tomorrow, the Poets Ball at Boboli. I will dance alone among the trees
for the memories of the gardens, the stone figures, and of him.
Carol A. Stephen
July 16, 2014