So, I have my poetry prompt book by Jo Bell, and I now have “The Very Best Of 52” too in order to assist me in getting to grips with writing poetry too.  I enjoy poetry, but some of it I really struggle to get to grips with.

When I was doing a degree in English Language and Literature we covered poetry by Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes to name a few.  One that both Plath and Hughes wrote was about one of their children, which came from each others perspective. Both really good pieces, but, I have to say, it took me many readings of them to get a grip of them. Some in the class got them immediatly, but I did struggle.  I got it in the end, but I learned that sometimes, that is the way of poetry. I also learned a valuable lesson in reading it properly, as I had in the past read each line and at the end of the lines paused rather than follow the punctuation.

This week the prompt is on travel, however, so far I am stumped. I travel all the time, but putting pen to paper, or in this case, fingers to keyboard I sit and wait for it to flow, and wait, and wait, and yes, I wait some more. Nothing comes forth.

I mentally wrote on in bed at 5am about winter, but as for travel, the timble weeds blow through and nothing else.  I have till tomorrow night to complete this weeks exercise, so fingers crossed, and off to the poetry archive and poetry foundation to get the juices flowing.

I do have a favorite poem, that of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Kahn” detailed below from the Poetry Foundation website.


Kubla Khan


Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
   A damsel with a dulcimer
   In a vision once I saw:
   It was an Abyssinian maid
   And on her dulcimer she played,
   Singing of Mount Abora.
   Could I revive within me
   Her symphony and song,
   To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

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