I found a note from one remembered love,
It’s one she’d written many years ago.
She’d washed her fountain pen and had to see
if it would write just like it used to do!
It flowed so beautifully, this conversation
partly with herself; partly me.
Contented, she announced the startling news
that it had started raining; and the cat
had just come in to sit upon her knee;
and then a line, ’twas almost incidental,
as if she didn’t need to let me know,
still moist from her sweet, honeyed pen,
I saw her words say how she loved me so.
My yearning heart took flight and lodged itself
somewhere between her lips and finger tips,
my stomach glowed with love’s eternal warmth
that only comes from passion so consumed.
Her letter’s affirmation spans the years
with warm remembered grace that dries my tears.
Her words were sown like seeds on fertile earth
and bore the fruits of love in painful birth.
No greater confirmation could reveal
that I am blessed with how I know I feel…
that, undeniably, I love her still.
[Poetics Notes: This poem is written in, what is for me, an anchor of poetic story telling… Blank Verse. This was championed by William Shakespeare in all of his plays, but apparently was also used, in some way by Greek and Latin poets.
By definition, Shakespearean blank verse is written with five metrical ‘feet’ (that is units of two syllables) or pentameter, it is mostly, in this poem at any rate, ‘Iambic’, which is to say with stress on the second part of each metrical foot. Occasionally, in order to maintain the sense, from the words available to me to achieve the desired effect, emotion or expression, the meter changes to ‘trochaic’ pentameter and occasionally with the odd syllable missing, or silent – as in the line “partly with herself; partly me.”, where the semicolon provides a pause, which replaces the unstressed first part of the foot, linking to the second, stressed first syllable of the word “partly..”; the beginning of this same line has a missing unstressed syllable, which is effectively replaced by the last syllable of the word “conversation” at the end of the previous line. The effectiveness of this deviation from the scheme, of course, depends on how the line is read, but I think it works well!
Whilst it still has regular poetic rhythm and balance, using this form is a wonderful way for a poet to retain the feel of story telling prose, by not having a regular rhyme scheme. The exception I make for this poem, however, again following the Bard’s tendency for their use, is that I used three rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter in the concluding lines of the piece and one at the end of the second stanza. The poem finishes with a single title line.]
– John Anstie
© 2013, all words, John Anstie, All rights reserved; photograph “Power of Words” by Antonio Litterio under CC BY-SA 3.0 license