Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Revered" and IGWRT's - Sunday Challenge "Nine Lives"

(Sunday Challenge for IGWRT's is the second poem - based off this first one)

"Domesticated" you think me,
a grey cat beside a grey fence
in your grey back yard,
but with ears pointed, I listen

to an ancient chant,
sensitive whiskers quiver,
respond to Bast's call
summoning me to her temple.

With a blink of green eyes
I may choose to answer,
where drops of my blood
are coveted, my beauty, ideal,

my presence, revered.

by Margaret Bednar, 11-10-2012

The poem below nearly had me tearing my hair out.  It is for Imaginary Garden with Real Toad's - Sunday Challenge.  The stanzas are written in six lines and set out as follows:

xxxxxxa (7 syllables - double rhyme, (feminine)
xxxxb     (5 syllables - single rhyme, (masculine)
xxxxxxc (7 syllables - double rhyme, feminine)
xcxxxb  (6 syllables - single rhyme, masculine & double rhyme feminine on syllables 1-2, C rhyme)
xxxb      (4 syllables - single rhyme, masculine)
xxxxxxa (7 syllables - double rhyme, feminine)

feminine rhyme
noun Prosody .
a rhyme either of two syllables of which the second is unstressed (double rhyme),  as in motion, notion,  or of three syllables of which the second and third are unstressed (triple rhyme),  as in fortunate, importunate.

masculine rhyme
noun Prosody .
a rhyme of but a single stressed syllable, as in disdain, complain.

(I didn't use single rhyme masculine, & "c" was off a bit)  ugh.  This was HARD!

Nine Lives

Bast summons... Do I answer
her ancient divine
chanting?  Oh, Goddess of Ra!

...withdraw into feline
stillness, recline,
reminisce... with eyes amber.

by Margaret Bednar, 11-10-2012

Google the Goddess of Bastet (or Bast) and you may see way cats are mysterious.   I also got inspiration from O'Henry's "Gift of the Magi" (She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard.)

The video below is really cool and 30 minutes, but if you love cats and history you might enjoy every minute of it.  It also has fabulous imagery of an ancient land.


TexWisGirl said...

i like that - never forgetting its royal heritage.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love the whole idea behind this poem, Margaret. I like to think of the proud lineage that stands behind something as common as a house cat.. the secret in the green eyes.

Fireblossom said...

As you know, I love to use cats as symbols and characters in my poetry. Bosco the dog does not approve of this practice, but I persist. Blame the Goddess!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Your cat TOTALLY embodies the spirit of the sculpture. Wonderful! Revered, indeed - I wish humans had some of their confidence!

Kay L. Davies said...

I can certainly understand the nearly-hair-tearing, Margaret. Syllable counts, double rhymes, single rhymes, masculine, feminine...I thought I had stumbled upon something written by a leftover Hallowe'en witch masquerading as our Kerry.
LOVE what you did with the cats, however. Never has there been such an undomesticated pet as the cat whose domicile is a peopled house.

Green Speck said...

Cats are mystical beings ... loved your words !!!

Susan said...

I loved this poem and the ideas behind and in front of it, so I did not count the form. But after struggling with the form myself I am here to tell you I admire the skill here which makes this poem so very concise, spare, and witty.

Wanda Lea Brayton said...

The poem is written with obvious care - not just about the form and structure, but about the content, as well - I think any cat would purr for you and twine themselves around you with adoration for having penned them with honor. I love all animals, but most especially cats, dogs and horses (although I still remain rather fond of a large brown-eyed llama that kissed me on the cheek once). I had 3 cats at one time, a brother and sister I got as kittens and then one from her litter, a few years later - so I had 1 orange tabby and 2 black cats. When I had surgery, they laid on the bed next to me for over a week, rarely leaving my side. There's a funny saying that's one of my favorites - I don't know who the original source was. "When considering getting a pet, just remember this: a dog thinks you're family and a cat thinks you're staff." There's a lot of truth to that and I have been proudly owned and unconditionally loved by all - as long as I has opposable thumbs (for the can opener and the deadbolt), I could be assured of their devotion...and yes, I spoiled them rotten - they definitely deserved it. Thank you for sharing your tender and beautiful artistry. It's very enjoyable and heartening to visit your pages. I am sorry about your hair, though. :)

Margaret said...

I think this may be one of the most difficult poem forms I have ever tried, and I didn't quite do it 100% to the rules. I DO think, when done perfectly, it reads beautifully. I will try and come back to this form ... but first I have to recover from this one :)

Such lovely comments! They do so much to encourage me. Thank you all.

Wanda - yes, as long as I have my thumbs, my cats (and dogs) will need me. :) ha

Daydreamertoo said...

You can pretty much read what is in a dogs mind but cats are entirely different. They are aloof, highly intelligent and, it is as if they 'tolerate' our presence as a necessary evil into their world.
Fabulous poetry Margaret. Not a form I would care to tackle at all. I love the ancient connections all though this and think this is one of your best but then, they are all really good.
RYN: Everything I read about them said she was 16 when they met and they married after 2 weeks of knowing each other. The age difference does make you cringe, doesn't it. Creepy. But yes, he took some brilliant fine art nudes of her. :)

Marian said...

love it! you did a great job with the form. and, as i've been begging for more photos of cats in the wake of the election distracting us from same, i so appreciate your subject matter :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love that you came back to your cat theme to try out the Macneice stanza! The impressive nature of felines is just as strongly felt in the condensed lines.

Mama Zen said...

These are both gorgeous! You did an incredible job with the form!

barbara l. hale said...


hedgewitch said...

I totally agree on how hard this one was, Margaret--I started yesterday and tore two poems completely up(figuratively--actually hit the delete key. ;_) )then started again at 6 this morning, then spent at least two hours counting and tweaking. But I love the way this sort of thing makes us get our minds in gear, makes words sometimes just happen. Your first poem in free verse is lovely, but your second in the form, seems more mysterious and cat-like. Thanks for the video also--I will be back to view when I have a little more time. I love that kind of stuff.

Far Beyond The Ridge said...

I love how the first poem seems to say, "you think you know me, think youv'e seen all there is of me~but only because i like it that way"
Very good!

Mary said...

You mastered the form beautifully. And doesn't it just feel good?

Susie Clevenger said...

Love the photo and the poem. You have done such a wonderful job with the form and communicating the lineage of the domestic feline. I have three of them and I don't know what I would do without them.

Ginnie said...

I've never owned a cat, Margaret, but I have a feeling that if I did, I'd be opened to a brand new world!

kkkkaty said...

My cat would love it..well done..

Hannah said...

Mystifying...I just love the opening poem and am glad you used this powerful image in your form...such a great job, Margaret, truly!! :)

Other Mary said...

Wonderful use of the form, and I love your subject. Cool video clip too!

Other Mary said...

*True confession: I didn't watch the whole vid...but what I saw of it is cool.

my heart's love songs said...

cats certainly have cellular memories of being divine and revered... and they let us know we should still be worshiping them!

i thought you did wonderfully with such a difficult form!