Northern Drive to St Lucy

Northern Drive to St Lucy
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Comments on - Dragonflies Are Back

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.

Comments on – Dragonflies Are Back

“Dragonflies Are Back” is a poem about aquatic insects called dragonflies. The poem is written in rhyme royal format; a traditional rhyme scheme. This format means that the poem is written with stanzas of seven heroic verses in iambic pentameter and each stanza must have a rhyming pattern where the first and third verses rhyme; the second, fourth and fifth verses rhyme; the sixth and seventh verses rhyme as show in this extract taken from the poem:

First Stanza

1              We know when the sun takes its hiatus                         a
2              Buckets of tear drops we see pouring down;                 b
3              Hedgerows get pregnant with beds of cuscus;               a
4              Grassy pastures are laced with much cow-down           b
5              Firewood amassed for homes not in town;                    b
6              The gurgling sounds of gully streams pulsate                c
7              For all sorts of insects to conjugate;                            c

Stanza 2

1              Country life is a blissful way of ;                           d             
2              It fills serenity's cup to the /brim/,                                  e
3              From crack of dawn and beyond sunset ;           d
4              Eden comes in full view with an awesome /gym/,           e
5              Nature's store-house of gifts for us, from /Him/;            e
6              Despite stiff competition we \endure\,                           f
7              Nature holds the keys to unlock fate's \door\.                f

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
                                                                                                Rhyming Pattern
A garden saw I, full of blossomy boughs                        a
Upon a river, in a green mead,                                      b
There as sweetness evermore enough is                       a
With flowers white, blue, yellow, and red,                      b                ababbcc
And cold well-streams, nothing dead,                             b
That swimming full of small fishes light,                         c
With fins red and scales silver bright.                             c

On every bough the birds heard I sing,                           d
With voice of angels in their harmony;                           e
Some busied  themselves birds forth to bring;                 d
The little conveys to here play did hie.                           e              dedeeff   
And further all about I could see                                   e
The dread filled roe, the buck, the hart and hind,            f
Squirrels, and beasts small of gentle kind.                      f

Rhyme Royal was the preferred format for Kings and Queens who wrote poetry. James I of Scotland used Rhyme Royal for his Chaucerian poem, The King is Quaire, hence the name, Rhyme Royal. Other historical icons that 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
(Excerpt)                                                                                  Rhyming Pattern      ababbcc

 I know - the fact is really not unnerving -                      a
That what is done is done, that no past dies,                 b
That what we see depends on who's observing,             a
And what we think on our activities.                               b
That envy warps the virgin as she dries                           b
But Post coitum, homo tristis moans                               c
The lover must go carefully with the greens.                  c
                                                                                                
I hope this reaches you in your abode,                           d
This letter that's already fat too long,                                 e
Just like the Prelude or the Great North Road;               d
But here I end my conversational song.                         e
I hope you don't think mail from strangers wrong.       e
As to its length, I tell myself you'll need it,                      f
You've all eternity in which to read it.                             f

(W. H. Auden)

 “Dragonflies Are Back” is a conversational poem about the beauty of nature with special reference to dragonflies. The conversation is best described as First Person Persona – Plural because first-person plural pronouns like (we, us, me, our) are used in the poem, thus making the poet the speaker, the extract taken from stanzas 1, 2, 4 and 6 provide examples of these pronouns:

We know when the sun takes its hiatus
Buckets of tear drops we see pouring down;
 Nature’s store-house of gifts for us, from Him;
Despite stiff competition we endure,
Dreadful names, but do we find cause for rage?
All these dragonflies we respect greatly

The conversation which the poet is having with readers moves fluidly between past experiences in bouts of emotional recollections in tranquility, the beauty of nature; the mysteries of nature revealed, its powerful healing, consoling, nurturing and guiding; mysteries of nature revealed through nature’s spiritual face as well as the volatility in nature when opposite side collide and nature at it best restoring depleted assets with new growth. Instances where these have occurred in the poem are shown below:

Stanza 1 -  Mysteries of nature revealed / Poet's recollection of thoughts

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;

Stanza 2                - Poet’s emotional recollections in tranquility               

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.

Stanza 3 – Mysteries of nature again revealed; nature’s spiritual face

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.

Stanza 4 – Volitility in nature when opposite views collide

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.

Stanza 5 – Nature at its best restoring depleted assets with new growth

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.

Stanza 6 – The beauty of nature and the good feelings and emotions it provides in natural environment

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.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Comment on Prose Poem "Dragonfly"

Dragonfly
(Prose Poem)

Gone is the rain chased by sky candle.  Everywhere is blooming, on bird-road the dragonfly, devil's darning needle, ear cutter, snake doctor. Earth dwellers' dreadful names you wear; your translucent wings soar in the sun.  You stalk. You prey, in broad daylight. You open mouth to prey, a predator on the loose. Mosquitoes, gnats are in your noose.  Flying high, you search for a mate. Rest, you must on blade of grass. In careful watch, you must; children passing by, your wings wishing to pluck. How they laugh at you, you standing on your head on the grass; tail straight, the giraffe.  In the groove, in the notch you, conjugate. Mating wheel is clear to watch. Audible impact, the lust; teasing and fussing a dragonfly on my callaloo; oh ho! you are the tantaboo.

Comments on – Dragonfly

The poem “Dragonfly” is a Prose Poem defined by rhythmical prose.  Prose poems are set on the page in continuous sequence of sentences without line brakes. It establishes its poetic qualities through cadence, heightened imagery, parataxis and emotional effects as shown in Table below.


Dragonfly


Version One –Prose Poem

Version Two – Prose


Gone is the rain, chased by sky candle.  Everywhere is blooming, on bird-road the dragonfly, devil's darning needle, ear cutter, snake doctor. Earth dwellers' dreadful names you wear; your translucent wings soar in the sun.  You stalk. You prey, in broad daylight. You open mouth to prey, a predator on the loose. Mosquitoes, gnats are in your noose.  Flying high, you search for a mate. Rest, you must on blade of grass. In careful watch, you must; children passing by, your wings wishing to pluck. How they laugh at you, you standing on your head on the grass; tail straight, the giraffe.  In the groove, in the notch you, conjugate. Mating wheel clear watch. Audible impact, the lust; teasing and fussing a dragonfly on my callaloo; oh ho! you are the tantaboo.


The rain is gone and the sky glows in the sun. Everywhere is blooming and in the sky is the dragonfly. The dragonfly is also known by such names as the “devil’s darning needle” ear cutter and snake doctor.

 These names have been given to the dragonfly by people who have seen the way it behaves. People have observed that dragonfly is a predator for mosquitoes and gnats while flying in the air.

 When not searching for food the dragonfly can be seen perched on the grass with a keen eye out for its predators. When the dragonfly is not preying on mosquitoes and other flying insects it can be seen perched on the grasses in a provocative stance. Its head is down on the grass or whatever, and its tail is straight in the air like the neck of a giraffe and kids find this stance of the dragonfly to be amusing while they plot to sneak up quietly while its head is down on the ground and pluck its wings so to proof if the dragonfly can still fly.

The dragonfly mate in the air in what is known as the mating wheel. The baby dragonfly is called a larva but it proper name is a nymph and is an aquatic insect because the female dragonfly lays its eggs in stagnant water where they hatch and fly away as dragonflies. 

Parataxis is what defines Prose Poetry. Normal Prose is defined by subordination conjunctions; line breaks and paragraphs. Parataxis is a poetic device that favors short, simple sentences, with the use of coordinating rather than subordinating conjunctions.  Examples of the use of paratactic syntax and as taken from poem “Dragonfly” are shown underlined in the excerpt below:

Gone is the rain, chased by sky candle. Everywhere is blooming, on bird-road the dragonfly, devil's darning needle, ear cutter, snake doctor. Earth dwellers' dreadful names you wear; your translucent wings soar in the sun.  You stalk. You prey, in broad daylight. You open mouth to prey, a predator on the loose. Mosquitoes, gnats are in your noose.  Flying high, you search for a mate. Rest, you must on blade of grass. In careful watch, you must; children passing by, your wings wishing to pluck. How they laugh at you, you standing on your head on the grass; tail straight, the giraffeIn the groove, in the notch you conjugate. Mating wheel clear watch. Audible impact, the lust; teasing and fussing a dragonfly on my callaloo; oh ho! you are the tantaboo.
                          
Parataxis also refers to a technique in poetry in which two images or fragments usually startle dissimilar images or fragments, are juxtaposed without a clear connection. Readers are left to make their own connections implied by the paratactic syntax. Here are two examples taken from “Dragonfly” below:

Flying high, you search for a mate.
tail straight, the giraffe.
Audible impact, the lust

Simile is a poetic devise found in poems. In order to be a simile the word “like” or “as” must be present.  This rule is broken in paratactic syntax; for example, take this excerpt from the prose poem, Dragonfly:

...you standing on your head on the grass; tail straight, the giraffe...

Would you not say that “tail straight, the giraffe” is a special kind of simile, the “implied simile”?  Some would say it is not a simile because it does include “like” or “as”.  Some would say the phrase simply says that the giraffe tail is straight...and that would be correct. Some would say that the phrase is a simile because it is in a paratactic syntax. You know what, the answers supplied are correct because parataxis creates heaps of ambiguity and is only used in prose poetry and not used in regular prose or rhetoric. So yes, “tail straight, the giraffe” is an “implied simile”.

Bear in mind that “parataxis” is a poetic device that favors short, simple sentences with coordinating rather than subordinating conjunctions. Parataxis also refers to a technique in prose poetry in which two images or fragments usually startle dissimilar images or fragments, are juxtaposed without a clear connection. Readers are left to make their own connections by the paratactic syntax. The “implied simile” can be found in prose poetry.

Another poetic device used in Prose Poetry is “kenning” were a phrase is used to describe a common thing. Some kennings can be more obscure than others, and then grow close to being a riddle. Kenning is a much-compressed form of metaphor; an object is described in a two-word phrase. Here are some examples:

 ‘valley-trout’ for ‘serpent’
‘fly-stalker for ‘spider’  
‘sky-candle’ for the ‘sun’   
‘battle-sweat’ for ‘blood’
‘mind’s worth for ‘honor’  
‘gallows-bait’ for ‘hook’                                      
‘breaker of trees’ for ‘wind’ 
‘wound-hoe’ for ‘sword’                                           
‘whale-road’ for ‘sea’                        

Those poets who wrote “Beowulf” used kenning. Here are examples shown in Table below: 


Epic Poem – Beowulf

Kenning
Meaning

Life-lord
bed-companion
kin-slaughter
wave-rider
sea-currents
battle-shirts
hearth-companions
earth-dwellers
gift-throne
sea-skilled
battle-dress
word-hoad
shield-bearer



pitch-black
fire-hardened
war-gear
war-chess

living Lord
spouse
killing of relatives
boat
waves
mail
friends
humans
throne
sailor
armor
vocabulary
thane (in Anglo-Saxon community member of class between freemen and nobility

dark
forged
armor
amor


Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon poem, and the fight at Finnsburg. This epic poem consists of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia. It is considered one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. The reasons given for this is because it is the oldest surviving epic poem of Old English and also the earliest vernacular English literature. The poem's plot centers on Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia. Beowulf comes to the aid of Hrodgar, the king of the Danes whose mead hall in Heorot has been under attacked by a monster known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays the monster, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland.

Here are examples of kenning found in prose poem “Dragonfly”:

‘bird-road’ for ‘flying’
‘air-cutter’ for ‘dragonfly’
‘earth dwellers’ for ‘humans’
‘sky-jewel’ for the ‘sun’

Cadence is another feature in Prose Poetry. It is the fall in the pitch of the intonation of the voice, and its modulated inflection with the rise and fall of the voice. In Pose Poetry the rhythm relies on cadence. In Fixed Form poetry the rhythm comes from cadence and metrical rhythms. Metrical rhythm is produced from the sound effects flowing from the various foot types in use and the rhyming pattern of words.

Here are some facts concerning the dragonfly. It is an insect in the order odonata; with multifaceted eyes, two pairs of transparent wings and an elongated body. It is different from the damselfly because the damselfly’s wings are not held along and parallel to the body when at rest and its eyes are separated. They do share similar morphing skills. The dragonfly is an important predator feeding on mosquitoes and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, wasps. Very rarely does the dragonfly eat butterflies. Stagnant water because an army of dragonflies keep hovering it. The dragonfly’s egg is the larva and the proper name for it is nymph and lives in the water for a long time before morphing into a dragonfly and is therefore aquatic.  Though the dragonfly is predator, birds, lizards, frogs, spiders, fish, water bugs and even other large dragonflies are its predators.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Comments on Day Dreams

This poem “Day Dreams” is written in free verse. Free verse is unstructured poetry characterized by its non-conformity to established patterns of meter, rhyme and stanza. As the saying goes “anything goes in Free Verse”.  In Free Verse the writers do they own thing. It is more liberal than America when you think about it.

Reading this poem brings to mind such questions as; what are dreams, what are day dreams and are day dreams suppose to be a way of solving problems? Most folks supposedly would proffer that day dreams are task detractors and not an essential quality in solving problems in the real world. Yet some would say that day dreams are nothing more than the mind seeking cover from reality and that prolong day dreaming is counter-productive. It provides a detached existence.

How can we make the compound word “day-dreams” a more mind friendly word? Just take day from it and you are left with “dreams”. The question now is this; Is to have a dream a bad thing? To have a dream is to set a goal in the mind, something to aim for or at. This activity pushes day dreaming on the back burner because an action plan is initiated on what must be done to turn the “dream” into reality. This turning of the dream becomes the “seed”, the seed is planted by way of goals to be achieved, then the seed is given all the necessary nutrients for it to grow and develop into its true potential and like the seed, the brain must be given the correct nourishment that come from the learning process.  This learning process gives folks the ability to comprehend, analyze and synthesize in positive ways desirable for goals’ achievement in the final outcome. This feeling good attitude coupled with monetary payoffs benefits not only the primary recipient by society as a whole.


So yes, to have a dream is essential for it inspires, and it propels one to move into action and not to vegetate.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Comments on Crop-over

Crop-Over

people
masquerading
with crop-over fever
dancing to the calypso beat
for days

If you are writing poetry for the first time, the Cinquain is probably the point at which to start your poetic journey. In this form, there are three styles from which to make your selection. In the poem "Crop-Over" the Crapsey Cinquain form is used. This form is named after its inventor, the female American poet Adelaide Crapsey. She based it on the Japanese Haiku. When she died a single woman at the age of thirty-seven from tuberculosis her poems were published posthumously in 1915. Her Cinquain form is made-up of twenty-two words and is purely syllabic unrhyme free verse lines. Its 5-line syllabic structure contains successive lines as shown in the Table below:


Crapsey Cinquain Rules


Syllables

Crop-Over

Line 1 has 2 syllables
Line 2 has 4 syllables
Line 3 has 6 syllables
Line 4 has 8 syllables
Line 5 has 2 syllables


peo ple
mas que rad ing
with crop-o ver fe ver
danc ing to the ca lyp so beat
for days


people
masquerading
with crop-over fever
dancing to the calypso beat
for days
         
The poem "Crop-Over" is structured around the Crapsey Cinquain and gives some insight into the annual summer festival of history in Barbados culture and fun. It is the most colorful festival tracing back to the 1780's, a time when Barbados was the largest producer of sugar from sugarcane fields. At the end of a successful sugar cane harvest - crop over celebrations began. As the sugar-cane industry of Barbados declined, so too was the Crop-Over Festival and in the 1940's the festival was terminated completely. 1974 was the rebirth of the festival and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to create the extravaganza that exists in 21st century Barbados, an event that attracted thousands of people from across the globe. Crop-Over Festival 2013 began with the Opening Gala and Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes and the crowning of the King and Queen of the Festival - the most productive male and female cane-cutters of the season. Other events fused into the Crop-Over Festival included Bridgetown Market, Cohobblopot, Kiddies Kadooment, Folk Concerts, Art and Photographic Exhibitions.

Calypso is one of the main features of the Crop-Over Festival. Calysonians are organized into "tents". Barbados businesses provide sponsorship to these tents. Calysonians compete for several prices and titles, including Party Monarch, Sweet Socca Monarch, Road March Monarch and Pic- of-the-Crop Monarch. The final of the Crop-Over Festival is Grand Kadooment. This carnival parade features large bands with members dressed in elaborate costumes to depict various themes. Designers compete for the coveted Designer of the Year prize while the revelers seem more intent on having a good time prancing and jamming to the pulsating rhythm of calypso music until they reach Spring Garden, the party continues with more fantastic music, lots of food and drink and, for some, quick swim at the neary beach on Spring Garden Highway. This grand festival ends on Spring Garden Highway. 


          

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Haiti Under Rubble from 7.0 Earthquake

Natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur impact on all of our lives. The Good Book says we are our brothers and sisters keepers lead by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we must do our part when disaster shows its ugly face. Any assistance, great or small, given from generous and loving hearts has equal weight. I'm passing on this information I received that Barbadians can go to First Caribbean Bank to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti. The banking information is shown below:

First Caribbean Bank Account--2645374-- Cheques can be written to: HELP #2645374

For more information click on this link

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.

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