impediment

“Vocal Calliope,
With thine august and contrapuntal brow
And thy vast throat builded for Harmony,
For the strict monumental pure design,
And the melodic line”
Journey – Edna St. Vincent Millay

No one asked if I’d like to
nobody expressed concern
I wonder were there worrying signs in speech
was it a remedial ruse of diction through poetry
the subtlest of instruction to find my voice
and lips with tongue and teeth to know their place
straightening a small serpentine lisp with seamstress Susie
the odd jocular spoonerism realigned

If there ever was such an impediment
no one asked why or wondered what it meant
nobody mentioned anything – but  it matters not a damn
that first lesson in the quietest of convent corners
privileged incumbent of the barely visited visitor’s room
the poetry book agape and Sister Agnes speaking in tongues
her eloquence a broadcast of the poet’s melodic messaging
words hoisted from pages like flags, semaphore of pause and stress
it was a thrill higher still than even magic painting
when the big wet-headed brush swept the picture page
and all the hidden colours came to life

my introduction, aged around seven,  to poetry and recitation in the form of elocution lessons and later, Speech and Drama exams.

And after a blog moving break I am happy to be re-uniting with others in Poetry Pantry

24 Comments on “impediment

  1. A wonderful poem!! I loved each word!! “…no one asked why or wondered what it meant…” great words gathered together, I loved it all.

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  2. AH, I find it so intriguing – the wordplay and the trail of thought in here, from spoonerisms to impediments. No one would ask or mention because people generally revel in their ignorance.
    I like the journey through it, with those colors coming to life in the end, once you find your muse and its prevailing touch.
    -HA

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    • a solution without begging the question though I only suppose there was an impediment. No one mentioned because those times were stiff upper lip and less analysis – I miss that attitude even as therapist myself – too much navel gazing goes on. And I like how you drew a connection between Muse and colour.

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    • impediments only impede but can be bypassed or climbed – the effort makes all the different and this path was sheer poetry!

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  3. A hearty welcome to you dearest Laura! 😊 I have missed you. Your poem reminded me of my poetic journey and I could resonate with “the subtlest of instruction to find my voice and lips with tongue and teeth to know their place” .. 💜

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  4. So lovely to see you back, Laura. Your poem is wonderful. It was a nun who opened the world of poetry to me, as well. And encouraged me when my own poems began to flow.

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  5. I enjoyed reading about the beginning of your poetic journey. Ha, mine did not begin until high school.

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    • I got an extra boost at high school with a brilliant English lit teacher – and am still enjoying the journey along with you and Poets United

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  6. kaykuala

    a thrill higher still than even magic painting
    when the big wet-headed brush swept the picture page
    and all the hidden colours came to life

    This is exactly the feeling when the paint can rightly blend to give the right mix of colors to what is pictured in the mind. Wonderful word-craft Laura!

    Hank

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    • Magic painting books probably my artistic limit so I swapped brush for words and thank you for encouraging me further Hank

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  7. How important it is for a child to have a teacher or mentor to give praise and encouragement rather than criticism and admonishment. I did have some great teachers but the worst was the Latin master clearly displeased with me saying “You are less than dust beneath my chariot wheels”!

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  8. Thanks to Sister Agnes for lighting your fire. Interesting to hear where and when your poetry began.

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