Sunday, January 28, 2007

Themes and Variations (Full Results)

These are the results of the collaborative poetry effort of my last post. From the 10 lines I posted as seeds, 10 poems and 14 variations grew.

If you contributed a line, see if you can find it and read the final result containing your line.

Each of the ten initial lines is from a published work. See if you can guess the author. Answers are in the comments section.

In a few days I'll post comments on a couple of the following that have some special qualities. Again, my thanks for your help on this project!



ONE


I am not a tree with my root in the soil,
Nor am I an ostrich with my head in the sand
But rather the clay's form from the potter's toil
Demonstrating the power and creativity of the potter's hand.

I am not a tree with my root in the soil,
Nor am I an ostrich with my head in the sand
But rather the clay's form from the potter's toil
Be something he carefully pondered and planned.

I am not a tree with my root in the soil,
Nor am I an ostrich with my head in the sand
But a derrick bursting with oil
Not to be held in one’s hand.


TWO



At times you sink, you fall
At times you are upheld
At all times you can hear him call
My strength and power with yours to weld

At times you sink, you fall
At times you are upheld
like Churchhill or DeGaulle
Great men by greater forces felled.


THREE



Bells that toll across the meadows
Flutes that pipe the Shepherds home
Can also call archers to their bow
And call the dead from beneath their loam

Bells that toll across the meadows
Flutes that pipe the Shepherds home
Sheep that bleat each for their fellows
Are drawn together as they roam.

Bells that toll across the meadows
Flutes that pipe the Shepherds home
Can also call archers to their bow
The ladies and gentlemen stand in a row.

Bells that toll across the meadows
Flutes that pipe the Shepherds home
Can also call archers to their bow
And that concludes this telephone poem.


FOUR



Earth does not understand her child
For her child is not her own but God’s
He made them all, both tame and wild
He made us all, the normals and odds.


FIVE



The Truth’s superb surprise
Is hidden like the noon day sun
No matter the effort or how many tries
He always manages to get his work done.

The Truth’s superb surprise
Is hidden like the noon day sun
No matter the effort or how many tries
It can do naught but shout to us: Run!

The Truth’s superb surprise
Is hidden like the noon day sun
When threatening clouds its glow denies
And former brightness now is done.


SIX



You jumped because you feared to fall, and thought
Let us meet death on our own terms
With each breath, our life dearly bought
Oneness with all life, even worms.

You jumped because you feared to fall, and thought
Let us meet death on our own terms
knowing it is what we sought
But that knowledge was filled with vile germs.


SEVEN



To see in death sleep, and in the sunset
The beginning of a the nightmare time
Of doubt and fear and cold regret
The time has come to end this rhyme.

To see in death sleep, and in the sunset
The beginning of a the nightmare time
The blind journey through the upset
and find tranquility most sublime.


EIGHT


One luminary clock against the sky
Ticking away our final days
As heaven waits for us, we all must die
But first we must come through life’s maze.


NINE



I had grasped God’s garment in the void
To touch the hem my soul to heal
And smooth the wrinkles when annoyed
And keep my heart on an even keel.

I had grasped God’s garment in the void
And marked it with my painted hands
That the towers of men would be destroyed
And sifted as the desert sands.

I had grasped God’s garment in the void
In hope, nay faith, that He would hold
Lest all my labors be destroyed
And turn to dust and not to gold.


TEN



I have heard the mermaids singing each to each
And cannot rid the sound from my head.
Though to do so ought to be within reach
I choose to watch TV instead.

I have heard the mermaids singing each to each
And cannot rid the sound from my head.
Though to do so ought to be within reach
I’m hopelessly daunted by the chasm ahead.

I have heard the mermaids singing each to each
And cannot rid the sound from my head.
Like crashing waves upon a beach
What is done and what is said.

2 comments:

Heidi said...

ORIGINS OF FIRST LINES:

I am not a tree with my root in the soil
is from Sylvia Plath's "I Am Vertical."

At times you sink, you fall
is from Pablo Neruda's "The Well."

Bells that toll across the meadows
is from W.H. Auden's "VII from Twelve Songs."

Earth does not understand her child
is from Edna St. Vincent Millay's "The Return."

The Truth’s superb surprise
is from Emily Dickinson's #1129.

You jumped because you feared to fall, and thought
is from Howard Nemerov's "To D____ Dead by Her Own Hand." (This poem is in memory of his sister, photographer Diane Arbus.)

To see in death sleep, and in the sunset
is from Jorge Luis Borges's "Of Time and the River."

One luminary clock against the sky
is from Robert Frost's "I Have Been One Acquainted with the Night."

I had grasped God’s garment in the void
is from Denise Levertov's "Suspended."

I have heard the mermaids singing each to each
is from T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."

ellen said...

Fun to see the results, and also fun to see who authored all of the first lines!