Today’s prompt was the challenge to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones.
Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line (or two) of the poem is the same as the first.
This is based on a true story. One day, if the mood seems right, over coffee and croissants, I will share the rest of the story with you.
Come on by and let’s make a date for coffee.
What I remember most is the ocean releasing— crisp, cool breezes and a bevy of blues.
You left me there by the stony beach—blues and greens assault my senses, I cannot look away
A way off in the distance your boat lurches But not as much as my heart when she slips
Slips slowly under the water, eyes wide open Open arms floating just beneath the surface
The surface of the water explodes With my crazed frenzy. Panic rising
Rising until bile is all I taste, but somehow, somehow… My memory is blurred but I remember—
crisp, cool breezes and a bevy of blues; what I remember most is the ocean.
Today’s challenge was to write a poem that reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. I had to begin with a photograph, and then find a poem in a language I didn’t know. My mission was to start translating the poem into English, with the idea that the poem was actually “about” my photograph.
I chose a poem in Irish (Gaelic) and used a photo I took at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. First is the poem in its original language, and following is my “translation”.
Faoi Chabáistí is Ríonacha By Celia de Fréine
In ionad bláthanna a bhronnadh ar a bhean agus é i mbun tochmhairc, d’fhrasaigh Risteard bronntanais ar a máthair. I dtosach tháinig na málaí plaisteacha, ansin na saic, iad lán le glasraí a d'fhás sé féin a is a athair. Leasaithe go nádúrtha. Uiscithe faoi scáth hoíche i rith an triomaigh. Turnapaí ar aon mhéid le do chloigeann. Prátaí Rí Éadbhard as ar deineadh na sceallóga ba shúmhaire. Cabáistí sách leathan le ceathrairíní a cheilt. Ní raibh bean Risteaird ag súil le ceathrairíní – iníon a leanbh sise, í tugtha go mór do fhrithbhualadh na glúine, ar nós a máthar.
Fair Chaps Beware
Over eons the base of the bastions blossomed, ageless and immune to time
like a resilient band of brothers. I searched those majestic rolling plains atop the pounding sea,
and under my gaze their angel hair frolicked in the wind. Let no man go adventuring,
unless he find the path; for high and wide the tumultuous treachery hidden below the churning sea.
Yes, pounding against and pounding beneath, the salacious sea sings her song. Come, she sings,
lay your head on my chest. No radiant beams shine more resiliently than I, she croons; from here,
I lovingly rise to greet the moon. So lest you frivolous and foolish be, go no more near the edge of the sea.
The prompt for today was a challenge to write a tritina. The tritina is a shorter cousin to the sestina, involving three, three-line stanzas, and a final concluding line. Three “end words” are used to conclude the lines of each stanza, in a set pattern of ABC, CAB, BCA, and all three end words appear together in the final line.
Ok, so this one confused me a bit. I read it several times, and then read an explanation online. The words don’t have to rhyme, and you can chose whatever meter you wish for the three lines. So….Here is my very first tritina. Enjoy!
the sea and the shore
whitecaps exploded as sea met the shore–
spumescent waves of gossamer shimmer.
what could i do but listen to their song?
the melody calm as an angel song;
a lullaby dancing on toes near shore.
what could i do but watch the blue shimmer?
the sun rose adding light to the shimmer,
the earth rejoicing in this morning song.
what could i do but cast my eyes from shore?