In front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

National Poetry Day: April 11, 2015

NaPoWriMo Prompt: Today, rather than being casual, I challenge you to get rather classically formal, and compose a poem in Sapphics. These are quatrains whose first three lines have eleven syllables, and the fourth, just five. There is also a very strict meter that alternates trochees (a two-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed, and the second unstressed) and dactyls (a three-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed and the remainder unstressed). The first three lines consist of two trochees, a dactyl, and two more trochees. The fourth line is a dactyl, followed by a trochee.

Well, I certainly can count syllables, so my poem qualifies on that count (pun intended). However, as for the trochees and dactyls, I gave up. Lazy modern poet...


That day I first saw Sappho’s island of birth, 
Greek sun rose hot even at dawn’s blue hour.
Scrub covered hills rolled

outside the dust caked car window. I drove on,
clutch crabby and grumbling like an old woman
stumbling on gravel.

To the sea I sped, past signs I couldn’t read.
On to the Aegean where Sappho had first
penned poems of love.

I should have studied some verses to recite,
but my throat ran dry. Words flew away, cinders
orange against blue.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! Perfect evocation of Lesvos and the concrete details of the unreadable signs, the crabby clutch, the dry throat of the poet. I love this!