The daily prompt today was a challenge to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words.
I chose the word WINTERCEARIG. It is from an Anglo-Saxon poem written in the late 10th century and essentially means ‘winter-sorrow’, and was likely meant to describe a feeling of downheartedness or despondency caused by, or as desolate as, the depths of winter. In other words, WINTERCEARIG is Seasonal Affective Disorder identified 1,000 years before the term was used (1984) by Norman Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD.
Obviously, the sky outside my window inspired this poem. Michigan in winter (because Michigan doesn’t recognize March 21 as the first day of spring) is nearly always gloomy.
For my poem form I chose the sevenling because it seemed unnecessarily difficult and fit the mood of “wintercearig” perfectly.
Simplified, the sevenling poem is a seven line poem. Lines one to three should contain three connected or contrasting statements; lines four to six should similarly have three elements connected directly or indirectly or not at all. The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or an unusual juxtaposition.
Well, not as complex as some form poems, but certainly not without its challenge. I connected two sevenling stanzas in this poem. I’m not sure I did it exactly right because I am still unsure whether each line must be a complete sentence. There are conflicting definitions online. Perhaps one of you is more familiar and can educate me.
Also important is the fact that according to the Anglo-Saxon scholars on the Twitter account, the word that I chose (WINTERCEARIG) is pronounced “winter-chee-arry” or “winter-cherry”, so you will see the cheery/cherry play on words come out in my sevenling poem.
I dread the moment the first picture perfect snowfall ceases to glimmer, when the gray slush of snow matches the gray slush of sky overhead, and when last vestige of green is covered with frost. The sorry and sorrow of winter sets into my bones, my mood matching the graying skies, and cheer quickly dies.
Wintercearig sets in.
Not every color is lovely: gray strips away the energy, beige removes any hint of excitement, and black resembles my soul full of rage. I long for skies of cerulean blue, aqua waters of the Agean variety, and the vibrant orange of tiger lilies in bloom.
Summer cherries make me cheery, but "winter-cherry" grows me weary.
Today’s prompt was to write a poem that contains at least one kenning. Kennings are metaphorical phrases developed in Nordic sagas. They generally consist of two nouns joined together which imaginatively describe or name a third thing.
This poem is dedicated to my friend, Amy–a great lover of those sweet purple faerie blossoms of spring who rise from the frozen ground year after year. (The photos are also hers.)