Sky (December 1955) - an excerpt


I remember sunlight,
clear as divination, an open
palm of bright

meteorology. I remember
the world splayed open like
an unfolded map,

the castle’s ridged
latitude scaled against the carp-mouth
breathing flow and

ebb of the
Otagawa river’s stream, swirling and
swift. I remember

the wind whirling
through branches, the elms thumb-tacked
onto the landscape

like the numbered
elevations on a contour map,
by the light

encircled. And I
remember the faint shadow of
the plane, its

contrail jackknifed across
the pale throat of sky,
this Hiroshima sky.


36 comments:

  1. This is an excerpt from a verse novel in progress.

    The structure is a string of lunes, a form invented by Robert Kelly as a Western correlate of the Japanese haiku.

    This poem uses Jack Collom's 3-5-3 wordcount variation of Kelly's original 5-3-5 syllabic structure.

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  2. Beautiful... I especially like:

    the wind whirling
    through branches, the elms thumb-tacked
    onto the landscape

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  3. This truly is stunning work, Sam. I love the way each stanza is connected. Next time I work with the lune form I will attempt that.

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  4. very cool sam...i like them all but just LOVE the meteorology one...the world splayed open like
    an unfolded map.....so very cool

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  5. ha, very cool...i like how yours stand alone but over lap as well...intriguing...may need to try again with that thought in mind...the world open like a map is very cool...that last one as well is really tight with the contrail across the throat....nice sam...this was fun.

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  6. Oh, I love how you ended with a Hiroshima sky.

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  7. I can't pick a favorite part Sam, I like clever way you cut the words from one stanza to another, ending with the Hiroshima sky ~

    Thanks for sharing this lovely form ~

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  8. Nice work Sam - another wonderful piece for us to read and enjoy. Just one thing - I thought that the stanzas were meant to be self-contained - i.e. no enjambement. I edited mine to remove enjambement. I guess I didn't really need to.

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  9. Beautiful images, strikingly clear--as divination. If the rest of the poem reads anything like this excerpt, you have a full-scale masterpiece going here.

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  10. I now will totally look forward to the novel!

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  11. A lovely series, highly evocative presentation of the form.
    Gene

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  12. Beautiful, evocative images of nature. I agree with several others that the "Hiroshima sky" line really smacks you in the end in a powerful way.

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  13. Yes. Very powerful. Many beautiful aspects to this - the carp mouth and breathing disjunction (kind of) as one doesn't really think of carp breathing and yet they do seem to come up for air - especially striking for me. k.

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  14. Sam! I am loving this piece and loving this form! Thanks so much for bringing it to dVerse :) Like those above, I thought your finish just brilliant...not that the rest wasn't, but you take it up a notch with "Hiroshima sky"

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  15. amazing what can be done with this form, not sure it I got it right, and how beautiful a piece you've written

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  16. Wow... I really loved this particularly the last stanza. Just stunning.

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  17. your words paint such a fascinating and beautiful picture and yet there is something ominous lurking here.

    I like how you stringed the lunes together. It is definitely and interesting form.

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  18. Oh, Sam. Yes! I love your line breaks, the flow, the sound/rhyme. Excellent.

    Love these:

    "I remember sunlight,
    clear as divination"

    "... stream, swirling and <-- love this line break
    swift."

    the rhyme of "thumb-tacked" and "numbered"

    this line break --> "encircled. And I
    remember"

    "the pale throat of sky"

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  19. It never occurred to me that you could write a novel in this form...I'm in awe..very cool indeed. Thanks for the instruction, Sam.

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  20. "an open
    palm of bright

    meteorology"

    Gorgeous work.

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  21. I love the way the narrative unfolds through such rich imagery - the map works beautifully - this is an inspired piece and you have inspired me once again

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  22. great prompt you came up with the amazing moon s couple days before new year/














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  23. very cool Sam. Great choice for the first Form-For-All of the year.

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  24. An uncanny way of making the stanzas connect and continue. That makes it somewhat different in a nice way. Thanks Sam! Got to try a similar way later on! Great write!

    Hank

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  25. meterology
    the imperfect science
    houses burn
    people drown
    nature laughs

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  26. ..poignant for me for it's haunting clarity (open palm of bright) which put me there...and because it reminded me of my father having been stationed in Okinawa during WWII on a submarine..amazing what the form does for the words..

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  27. Impressive. You had me with the first sentence, but compelling throughout.

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  28. ...when i read of lunes i really thought each part should have the ability to stand alone but yours quite inventive of infinity... i felt a bit short that i wanted to read more of your keen observations of Hiroshima sky... adorable sir... smiles...

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  29. An incredible slice of life about to change forever. Haunting.

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  30. whoa, that is a killer last stanza! really enjoyed this - thank you so much for introducing the form... you worked it so well!

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  31. Brilliant, Samuel! You linked together these Lunes, creating a chain that tells the whole tale. Really well done. Thanks for the prompt, too!

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  32. This is compelling. My fav lines are'" wind whirling
    through branches, the elms thumb-tacked/ onto the landscape" and the last lune.

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  33. Really like this prompt. It gives more freedom than the traditional haiku and your piece I enjoyed. I never thought of running the theme on, it flows the story :)

    breathing flow and


    ebb of the
    Otagawa river’s stream, swirling and
    swift. I remember

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  34. Oh my! I love how each stanza stands on its own and yet so very much connected as a whole. DOn't know why but the last stanza just grips me.

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  35. Beautiful and startling at once. I love the repetition of the world as map, the idea of remembrance and then the "contrail jacknifed across/the pale throat of sky (!!)/this Hiroshima sky." Whammo. Thank you for this, and for the outstanding prompt. Never have I written anything so quickly.

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  36. A thoughtful tribute to a terrible day
    Hope all is well Samuel

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