Thursday, April 9, 2009

Poetry Month: Terzanelle for the Dancer's Flame

I wrote free form thinking of Davka:


the next time you dance,
let your hips speak a spell for me

when you move in circles
in the dark
and someone watches you;
when you trace shapes
on the skin
of a rapt, new lover

light a candle in
that rich darkness
for me.

light flames for mothers
and nuns
and tired women
walking on their feet,
Not dancing.

light a little glow
for forgotten heat
ask the fire to lick
our soles and toes

ask the wildness to warm
bones that think they are still, to loosen
muscles of dust & rust.

the next time
you are in that place where you call on
that sweet power,
send a taste of it-
a flame, a kiss-
to sisters who sit still,
to women who aren't moving,
to all of us who've lost
that fire, that dance.

Then I culled from it a terzanelle:

the next time you dance
let your hips speak a spell for me
light a candle, move in trance

when you move in circles, darkly
when you trace shapes on a new lover's skin
let your hips speak a spell for me

when you swirl and dip and spin
when rapt eyes are caught
when you trace shapes on a new lover's skin

when the outside fades, is lost
in small flirtatious flames
when rapt eyes are caught

and the spellbound speaks your name
send me some of that fire
in small flirtatious flames

let your hips move, inspired
the next time you dance
send me some of that fire
light a candle, move in trance



Right now I prefer the free form one. That surprises me a little, given my recent structure-gushing. Which do you like better? I might see if I can do more with this. Thoughts? This is fun, posting in-progress poems. I feel like I'm in school, except I never did creative writing classes- was too busy being covered in ink & mud.

3 comments:

  1. Definitely the free form one.

    The secret to (most) poetry that is written in form is that the poems starts out in form, or at least with the idea that it will be in form. *especially* with one of these repetitive forms, because you absolutely need the repetitive lines first, before the rest of the poem can flow from it.

    It is a really good exercise to take a free form poem and edit it into a form poem, tho, because it can teach you how to do the form (and once you know the form, you will better be able to write in it, automatically!)

    Lexie, who took WAY too many poetry classes and thinks WAY too often about pedagogy :D

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  2. Well put, Lex! I am learning so much from you. It was a cool exercise, though. I'm still working on a freaking ODE- I decided the Souster needed a classical English Ode because I'm insane. It's killing me:)

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  3. wheeeeeee I know what kind of poem I am going to write you! I've never heard of the terzanelle, it's way enchanting daisy-lady...

    the Red card is on my wall, brightening my day :)

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