Today's prompt was "looking back". I did not feel like waxing philosophical about it, so I waxed flippant instead:
I lost the fight to a flourish of wit.
I was right - but he won it.
His clever tongued had out-fenced me.
My mind, too full of things to say,
Rendered me speechless - my dismay,
That I, so right, should voiceless be.
So I lay, insomniac, on my bed,
Thinking of all I should have said...
I won that fight at half-past three.
That is the one I wrote for my prompt. One of the odd side-effects to writing so much poetry, is that I have started reading a lot more of the stuff lately - a rather wide range of it too, including far more modern verse than I care to make a habit. On that: I have got to a point where I can see where people are going with some of that formless, meter-less rambling free verse stuff. I've come across lines, and phrases that impress me enough to make me re-evaluate my idea that free verse kills poetry. That being said, it seldom holds my attention for very long. I get wildly frustrated by the lack of completion in the lines - the sentences wander and break off in a way that I think is supposed to mimic the cadence of daily speech. It doesn't work for me. I find it effected and aberrant.
So I mostly stick to older poets - which meant that I was trying to get my head around Gerard Manley Hopkins this morning. He is a remarkable poet, who wrote brilliant things... And I have a love-hate relationship with him. He uses accents marks to show how to the poem should be recited. And he has a curiously Germanic tendency to long word-phrases in his descriptions:dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, for example. Now I am very fond of kennings, and of word phrases, such as sword-bright courage, but I find the sheer abandon with which he uses them quite overwhelming. But his poetry is gorgeous and astonishing. I was reading The Windhover this morning (whence came dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon) and this came at once into my mind:
An Eagle, unfurled against the sky
King of Birds, wind-lifted high
On mighty wings that Cross-wise spread.
So did our King His arms wing-spread,
When Love had lifted Him on high,
Unfurled in Death against the sky.
And that is that. I have things to do. Things to clean. Things to buy for dinner. I shall see you all again tomorrow, God willing, and the Prompt be not too difficult.