Musings writing

Snaring the Moon: the Poem

I’ve tried expressing the ideas in my last blog post, Snaring the Moon, in poem form too; questionable if and how much it gains, but I had enough fun trying to make the form work I thought it might be interesting to share.

A glosa, the form I’m using here, takes the first stanza (in this case, the only stanza) of a famous poem and uses each line of it as the last line of a separate stanza. I’ve seen different descriptions of how it’s supposed to work, but I wrote ten-line stanzas in which the sixth and ninth rhyme with the final, borrowed line. I cheat in a couple of ways, but hey.

I could see this as the introductory poem in a collection of poems that attempt to capture these particular moody moments.

Snaring the Moon

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise
–William Blake

Isn’t it a shame how poorly
the music goes into the words?
And yet I’ve never grasped the glory
of transience. That moon I saw
at fifteen years–I want it still,
in gold around my neck, a toy,
and so I said, “I’ll write it down.”
They said, “You can’t.” And inwardly
I laughed. So here’s my unknown alloy
for he who binds to himself a joy.

“This hungry heart,” the Inkling said
“is better than all other fullness,
but do not seek it out! You’ll bed
Something else, strange and revolting.”
And still for him as well as you
I write my sideways, skittish Joy
I try to scrape off sticky price tags
from the Foul Rag and Bone Shop
and my flailing wits employ
the winged life not to destroy.

The scents and sounds that gave it being
cannot cage it. What shapes can?
A book, for starters–that’s a given.
(Books are only half in time.
The other half’s eternity,
and readers, writers, play All-Wise,
All-Good, All-Powerful.) Is it
Pre-Raphaelite, post-postmodern?
Is it any good? It’s lies,
Says he who kisses the joy as it flies

But look! I’ll climb into some beauty—
sometimes even one I sought—
a fair most otherwise, cold, moody,
or gold as sun-scorched pine, or rich
like berries by the gallon, wild
as lightning-birthing rain-drenched skies.
Yes, briefly even I possess
the moon I loved. Now, reader dear,
invade my skull, look through my eyes
to live in eternity’s sunrise.


2 replies on “Snaring the Moon: the Poem”

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