Saturday, April 11, 2015

PAD Day 11: Sappho and Tornadoes

I'll be brief because it's a busy weekend. Today's dual prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo:
(1) Write a seasonal poem, and 
(2) Write a "Sapphic" verse.  Sappho was the Greek poet who invented this form, which I've never done before and is a bit tricky.  I'll let Maureen Thorson describe it:

"These are quatrains whose first three lines have eleven syllables, and the fourth, just five. There is also a very strict meter that alternates trochees (a two-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed, and the second unstressed) and dactyls (a three-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed and the remainder unstressed). The first three lines consist of two trochees, a dactyl, and two more trochees. The fourth line is a dactyl, followed by a trochee."

Got all that? To put it another way, the stresses fall like this on lines 1-3:
DAH-dum DAH-dum DAH-dum-dum DAH-dum DAH-dum
and like this on line 4:
DAH-dum-dum DAH-dum

Anyway, here's my seasonal Sapphic. I can only imagine what it's like to survive a tornado, like so many of our fellow Americans in the South and Midwest this week, so forgive me any presumptions.

The Gleaning

Spring has zeroed in on us - downdrafts cooking
up tornadoes, hammering little towns like
model train displays - in an instant, nothing
left to hold onto.

Yet we pick through remnants to reassemble
lives - our children's photographs, dishware, jackets,
chairs and spoons, a teddy bear. Are we crying?
Yes, but we're living.

Trees were budding yesterday - now the ones that
stand are stripped like skeletons, winter-bleak and
mourning what this holocaust killed last night in
terrible weather.

As we salvage what we can find, we stumble
over signs of nature surviving - crocus
in a ransacked garden,  a pair of robins
watching us forage.


Vince Gotera said...

Good job with the sapphics ... you nailed down the rhythm very nicely.

Vince Gotera said...

Good job with the sapphics ... you nailed down the rhythm very nicely.