Dragonflies Are Back
We know when the sun takes its hiatus
Buckets of tear drops we see pouring down;
Hedgerows get pregnant with beds of cuscus;
Grassy pastures are laced with much cow-down
Firewood amassed for homes not in town;
The gurgling sounds of gully streams pulsate
For all sorts of insects to conjugate;
Country life is a blissful way of life;
It fills serenity's cup to the brim,
From crack of dawn and beyond sunset blithe;
Eden comes in full view with an awesome gym,
Nature's store-house of gifts for us, from Him;
Despite stiff competition we endure,
Nature holds the keys to unlock fate's door.
No blazing cane-fields to cause frustration,
But this scene over the pond to the west,
Caught my attention and adoration;
Aquatic insects hover at their best;
These dragonflies are back at Sunset Crest
Freely mixing mystic power with grace,
And kites with anchors can't keep up their pace.
With devil's eyes disguised, they prey and prey
On wings of light, long before the ice age;
From prehistoric mist, they've come to stay
With varied names to stump an astute sage;
Dreadful names, but do we find cause for rage?
Whether in damsel wear or dragon suit;
Insect hides they tan them in hot pursuit.
Adonately loved by folks everywhere;
They flaunt their beauty, life histories and
Amazing acts while mating in the air;
They search for pond water throughout the land
On which they lay eggs in the vast expand;
Hating mosquitoes’ unhealthy lifestyles
These cute dragonflies feast on them with flies.
All these dragonflies we respect greatly
In the West Indies, and across the sea;
And Japs adore their martial arts daily.
Look at this dragonfly shot Gregg sent me;
Such a perch it poses for all to see
Its bodily colors, flagging rainbow;
And in its perch its frame lights up the show.
Rhyme Royal advocates the use of seven heroic or iambic pentameter verses with the first stanza rhyming ababbcc; other stanzas that follow would have this rhyming pattern where the first and third verses rhyme; the second, fourth and fifth verses rhyme; the sixth and seventh verses rhyme. "Dragonflies Are Back" is structured in accordance with the rules for creating a Rhyme Royal poem.
Poetry archives do show that Chaucer first made use of the Rhyme Royal structure in his long poem, Troilus and Criseyde and The Parliament of Fowles. He used it for four of his Canterbury tales as well. Here is an extract taken from his works:
Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343-1400)
Excerpt from The Parliament of Fowls
A garden saw I, full of blossomy boughs
Upon a river, in a green mead,
There as sweetness evermore enough is
With flowers white, blue, yellow, and red,
And cold well-streams, nothing dead,
That swimming full of small fishes light,
With fins red and scales silver bright.
On every bough the birds heard I sing,
With voice of angels in their harmony;
Some busied themselves birds forth to bring;
The little conveys to here play did hie.
And further all about I could see
The dread filled roe, the buck, the hart and hind,
Squirrels, and beasts small of gentle kind.
My initial reaction to Rhyme Royal was to think of it as the preferred format for Kings and Queens who wrote poetry. My insight, was not too far-fetch for sure the archives stated that James I of Scotland used Rhyme Royal for his Chaucerian poem, The King is Quaire, hence the name, Rhyme Royal. Other historical icons who have used Rhyme Royal in their poetic creations come to mind; John Lydgate used it for many of his occasional and love poems. Shakespeare used it for the Rape of Lucrece. This form continued to be popular well into the 20th Century. It was used by W. H. Auden in his Letters to Lord Byron. Here is an extract of the last two stanzas of Auden's poem to Lord Byron:
Letters to Lord Byron
I know - the fact is really not unnerving -
That what is done is done, that no past dies,
That what we see depends on who's observing,
And what we think on our activities.
That envy warps the virgin as she dries
But Post coitum, homo tristis moans
The lover must go carefully with the greens.
I hope this reaches you in your abode,
This letter that's already fat too long,
Just like the Prelude or the Great North Road;
But here I end my conversational song.
I hope you don't think mail from strangers wrong.
As to its length, I tell myself you'll need it,
You've all eternity in which to read it.
(W. H. Auden)
The poem “Dragonflies Are Back” is written in the “first person-plural point of view”. The poet or narrator is in conversation with the audience; this is so because of the collective pronouns we, us, our,” being used in this poem as shown in these excerpts from the various stanzas:
“We know when the sun takes its hiatus”
“Nature’s store-house of gifts for us, from Him;
“Caught our attention and adoration:
Dreadful names, but do we find cause for rage?
Dragonfly fauna we respect greatly
Point of View (POV) answers the question poets ask themselves; ‘who shall be part of this conversation’. In “Dragonflies Are Back” The poem’s voice is collectively, that of the poet and the audience. The poem begins with a conversational tone, talking with the audience in a friendly mode, and continues like this to the end. Also there some intimacy between them by way of the poet sharing photo gift of a dragonfly received from a friend with the audience. Clearly in this maneuver, there is a healthy connection between the poet and the audience at a personal level as portrayed in the imagery. Poets tend to take an ordinary experience and change it into an unusual experience for readers, by introducing thoughts which alter readers experience and allow them to see unusual or even unique aspects of the poet’s real life. The mood portrayed is emotional. Not many poems are written in first person-plural point of view from what I have seen, and quite often when they do, they tend to sound didactic in tone. In fact, poets tend not to write in first person persona for this tend to label poets as having narcissistic tendencies, a label no one in their right mind likes to wear.