Archive for March, 2012

Poe Patches

we saved a chair for you, old master,
there in the half-lit corner
among the other shadows

blend in and watch

Roderick Usher fall across the threshold
his death rattle in unison
with shrouded Madeline’s;

while Ligeia mourns endlessly behind the drapes
having yielded to the angels,
envious of Morella’s rebirth.

William Wilson stands over his dying doppelganger
and Red Death hovers by the ebony clock,
the Raven perched upon his shoulder.

the pallid bust of Pallas falls and shatters
as Metzingerstein, astride the mighty stallion Berlifitzing,
gallops up the flaming stairs

the black cat sitting imperturbable on the bannister

oh, yes, old master, you too are moved;
I hear the thunder of your telltale heart
thrilling to a chorus of dead ladies

Lenore, Annabelle Lee, and all their kin

reading their MS by the light of eight chained orangutans
Hop-Frog spitting one last jest as he directs the choir

while Montresor busily keeps time with his trowel,
working in silence as the jingle of Fortunato’s bells
dies away in a maelstrom of Amontillado

Copyright 2012 by Faire Lewis.

I wrote this poem in slightly different form for a creative writing class I took in college. I call it Poe “patches” because it’s literally patched together from characters and images from his poems and stories.

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The wind is the singer who sang the first song. . .

This morning a light dampish slightly chilly wind blows through Knobite Corner, under a sunny sky. It’s not always that way: sometimes the wind drives in storm clouds with lightning, hail and hard cold rain. Other times the wind circles back on itself and becomes a tornado, scouring and smashing lives and landscapes–sadly not too uncommon a phenomenon around us.

In gentler moods, though, the wind truly is a singer, the perfect duet partner for pines and willows and tall grass, and a subject for some of my favorite music.

One such song is the one quoted above, recorded by the late John Denver on his 1975 album Windsong. The listing of attributes of the wind makes for some of Denver’s best poetry; wed to the light lilting tune, it’s unforgettable.

“They Call the Wind Maria” is truly sui generis; there’s not another wind song like it out there. From the 1951 Lerner and Loewe musical Paint Your Wagon, it’s been sung by everyone from Vaughn Monroe to Frankie Lane to the Kingston Trio, and, in the 1969 film version, by actor Harve Presnell, but my favorite version is by country music’s great trio The Browns. The orchestral accompaniment and vocals give it a great dramatic punch.

One of the most romantic of all wind songs is Hank Williams Sr.’s “Waltz of the Wind”. Apparently it is, like his mesmerizing “Alone and Forsaken”, a home demo recording, with no accompaniment save his guitar. Ol’ Hank’s reedy tenor turns sweetly seductive here, especially on the line “the trees played the waltz of the wind”.

My alltime favorite song about the wind is also my alltime favorite Sons of the Pioneers song. Recorded on a 1959 album called Cool Water and Seventeen Timeless Favorites of the West, it uses their formidable vocal harmonies and a seamless ebb and swell of dynamics to suggest the rush and whisper of the wind as it passes.

Hope that wherever you are today, the wind sings in its gentlest mood. . .

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also crocheting, reading, singing & watching the world go by. . .

back sometime. . . 😉

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