And we go on and on

There is solace to be had
in solitude; I’m moved by your unmoving ways
alongside though go all those places left behind
traces of bitter-sweet backtracks
follow-ups of footsteps

so many memories we trod like grapes
an unreal wine in the present cask of time
for surely you have forged ahead, upriver

yet still your sojourn here persists, shadowing
neither sly spying spectre nor gesturing ghost
– in fact you hardly seek me out in dreams
aware that I am there
and we shall be again

When the call came was there the sound of wings?
a Passover unbloodied by the lamb?
I’m listening out now, keeping the faith
and though you’ve lost all flesh
lost the taste of it
even with this formlessness
I’m touched

In memory of Martin and the long ago anniversary of an August meeting

Title from the opening lines of Gabriella Mistral’s “Anniversary” as my Poetics Challenge is to select one of three given International poems and re-interpret it: Lost in Translation


44 Comments on “And we go on and on

  1. This is an absolutely stellar use of the poem by Gabriella Mistral… and I think I can read a little bit of other poems of hers in your tribute to your husband.. I feel a lot of strength in coping and treasure the solitude you have.

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  2. Beautifully written, touching words.

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  3. A journey I don’t ever want to take.

    yet still your sojourn here persists, shadowing
    neither sly spying spectre nor gesturing ghost

    but this is how I imagine it. Forging ahead, following behind.

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  4. Beautiful,sad, sincere and honest. I love the way you weaved the words of anniversary and loss together so seamlessly

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  5. Your “unreal wine in the present cask of time” is so touching, like a memory that can no longer be experienced, only savored for what it meant.

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  6. In a clever way you tease death, like baiting a bull. Anniversary of a death, deep and profound.

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  7. I honestly have never been moved much by poetry, Laura, but you have a way that even touches my spirit ver honestly and moves my heart as well. Far more than deep and honest, thank you.

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    • Your words mean a lot – thank you Sherwood – it has taken time for me to find a voice that goes beyond the effort of finding the most fitting, clever words in favour of the right ones – whatever they are. Martin always encouraged me in my poetry endeavours.

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  8. That is so good in every way. Especially liked “an unreal wine in the present cask of time”, which is amazing.

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    • many thanks – that line came quite readily though it was changed from cast to cask – ‘and that has made all the difference’

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  9. This is a beautiful piece of writing here Laura. I followed enchanted where your verse lead — wonderful.

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  10. Really loved the line: “an unreal wine in the present cask of time.” Such beautiful imagery in this piece. Excellent work!

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  11. Your nostalgic reflections are very touching images… I loved this …
    a solstice marred by solemn loss
    of what you’d fettered to your soul

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  12. How beautifully the anniversary of your August meeting with your husband meets with Mistral’s ‘Anniversary’, Laura. Treasured memories and loving relationships stay with us for ever, the ‘solace to be had in solitude’. I love the ‘traces of bitter-sweet backtracks’ and ‘follow-ups of footsteps’. My favourite lines are:
    ‘yet still your sojourn here persists, shadowing
    neither sly spying spectre nor gesturing ghost
    – in fact you hardly seek me out in dreams’.

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    • Mistral’s poem touched a nerve though not at first when I was choosing the poems for the prompt. Several reading later I heard her words as impetus for what I wanted to say – thank you Kim

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  13. Your beautiful verse touched me…such sweet sorrow. And thank you for the wonderful poetics prompt, Laura.

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  14. So much depth of emotion in your words. Mistral can get overwrought for my taste, but the poem you picked has the right balance of feeling, and you’ve taken it and enlarged it and made it both personal and true.(K)

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