The Ninth Hour

Garlic and sapphires in the mud
Clot the bedded axle-tree

Burnt Norton ~ T.S. Eliot.

The ninth hour settled with the holy ghost
one winter flame partitioning the gloom
contented doves on folded wings were host
with quietude, immured in catacomb.
Orisons murmured to a gentler Lord
have garnered sounds enough to fill a spire
yet stillness is the way oft unexplored
disquieting to us who shall expire
from basest mud to sacred blue sapphire

From basest mud to sacred blue sapphire
an interchange too wondrous for belief
our dead inert in earth or ash and fire
and such finality compounds each grief.
All truths are censored by credulity
this here, this now, is keeping minds engrossed
there is no leap of faith, just certainty
– yet still we find when turning innermost
the ninth hour cometh with the holy ghost

Note: the ninth hour from Roman times (nona hora) was a traditional Jewish time for prayer adopted into the Christian liturgy, being nine hours after sunrise or 3 pm. For those who meditate, it is also deemed an ideal time, when energies are more relaxed.

My Meeting the Bar prompt Something Novel in Lines is a poetry form called The Novelinee. Invented by Sarah Rayburn and written in iambic pentameter or 10 syllable lines (decasyllabic) with alternate stresses. It has nine line stanza(s), with a rhyme sequence: a,b,a,b,c,d,c,d,d. The Closed Novelinee form I have written here comprises 2 stanzas with mirroring in first and last lines hence that final stanza follows a different  rhyme sequence of  d,e,d,e,f,a,f,a,a 

42 Comments on “The Ninth Hour

  1. I’m always curious about the reference to the ninth hour in Beowulf, and whether or not it’s a Christian reference, because the composition date is uncertain. To me it’s an hour in which we confront our doubts and fears, and you have captured its essence beautifully in your poem!

    Like

  2. This is so beautiful, Laura. I would love to hear it read, as I was carried along with the sound of it.

    3 PM is when dVerse prompts arrive. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peace inducing, Laura. This feels like the alchemy we each crave:
    “from basest mud to sacred blue sapphire”

    Like

  4. Having just written about circles that never end, this is a lovely exploration of circles that are complete, and the peace that brings. You know, because of the prompt, that the first line and the last are going to be the same, and still it hits like a gift, with such perfect finality.

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    • yes there is something soothing in the enclosure and hence I liked this form the best – and I really appreciate your feedback on the mirroring and predictability or not!

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  5. “All truths are censored by credulity”…my favorite line/concept. Great stuff, LB. & thanks for the cool prompt!

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  6. “our dead inert in earth or ash and fire
    and such finality compounds each grief.”

    This is a killer line, packed with poetry, I’m a bit jealous.

    Like

  7. kaykuala

    All truths are censored by credulity
    this here, this now, is keeping minds engrossed
    there is no leap of faith, just certainty

    Love the wise words Laura!. The truth stays standing in honour by itself without being shaken! Thanks for hosting Ma’am!

    Hank

    Like

  8. I really love this Laura. Your deep reflections in the ninth hour of who we are and what becomes of us are wonderful Your images are so fitting to the poem.
    Mud to sapphires That is so great!

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  9. ooooooooh. the looping you did here and the vivid, strong images in between work so well together, Laura. these lines spoke a lot to me:
    our dead inert in earth or ash and fire
    and such finality compounds each grief.

    thank you for introducing us to another fun form.

    Like

  10. All truths are censored by credulity

    I loved this line! Also – I love how you snuck “the ninth hour” in there in this particular form, Laura!


    David

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  11. As a ninth hour should be, your poem can be read in so many layers and even backwards and make perfect sense. Beautiful, my dear Laura.
    ps I wish WP would let me follow your blog, but I keep getting ‘rejection’ [not from you obviously]. Those WP gremlins need to be tamed!

    Like

    • How clever of you to see the reverse possibilities- thank you for that
      Ps is it the Follow widget on the side that is giving probs – I’ll check out how to resolve this

      Like

  12. Those lines standing as bookends — that’s truly beautiful.
    And in between — oh my, gorgeous.
    I especially took to these words:
    -yet stillness is the way oft unexplored
    disquieting to us who shall expire

    -from basest mud to sacred blue sapphire
    an interchange too wondrous for belief

    Thanks for the prompt. Your poem is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  13. This is a beautiful example of the theme (of 9) and the form. I specially love how the 1st and 9th lines are mirrors or form a circle as if in mystical prayer. Thank you for introducing us to the form.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes the closed novelinee appealed to me the most as I like the feel of circling – healing as the oroboris – thank you Grace for your feedback and appreciation of this somewhat challenging form!

      Like

  14. This is beautiful and moving, Laura! The rhyme and sentiment are gorgeous and makes me think of those keen long-sighted moments one has in life when you understand all the miracles that we take for granted, that we’re all indeed a miracle. My favourite lines:

    “from basest mud to sacred blue sapphire”

    “the ninth hour cometh with the holy ghost”

    Like

  15. a very uplifting soulful poem, I too like the circular aspect and your perfect rhyming! Totally enjoyed this prompt Laura so I had to join in even though my take was more irreverent

    Like

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