Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8 Poem Inside the Box

April 8 It snowed last night. By the time we went to bed there was a dusting on the deck and ground. By the time we got up there was a strong two inches all over the yard, the decks, the handrails, and the trees. Strangely, the driveway was almost clear; the earth beneath our tires must have been warm and the snow, although exuberant, not powerful. It is now four-thirty in the afternoon, and I have spent most of my day working on my work (i.e., writing and fact-checking), and watching the snow melt. The lawn is almost clear now, and shockingly green. Only the few trees that outline the area that Xander calls the prickly patch still has evidence of last night’s deluge. And I am happy, contented, even dare I say it, satisfied. Eight hours at the computer and I have accomplished less than a tenth of what I hoped to do, but it was a good tenth. And tomorrow is another day. The poem I give you today is an old one tucked away in a computer file long ago. It rhymes. Most of my poems don’t. I find rhyming to be restrictive and forced most of the time, but every now and then a poem begs for a rhyming pattern and practically writes its own as I go along. Often that happens when I think about the lyrics and melody of a song and start playing with my own lyrics to that melody. Sometimes two words attack me in their similarity and I find I have to knock them down and surround them with other words in self-defense. All this – usually – makes for more cheerful verse, something W. H. Auden would call “light verse.” //INSIDE THE BOX //Some poems rhyme no matter what you do. //You think you control them but they control you. //You stab at the meter, you strangle the rhyme //but they lie in wait underneath all the time //and if you slip up and let your mind wander //the rhymes come out laughing metric out yonder //where words meant for Scrabble are all that exist //as if in your frenzy the Watchman you kissed. //And though you’ve tried nobly to stifle the rhyme, //give up, surrender, you’ve committed the crime.

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