On the shores of Lake Erie,
most weak & most weary,
a soldier sat sunning,
returned from the wars,

    And though it were bleary,
he still could see clearly
when a bonny lass found him—
her beauty shone pure:

    “Though Darlin’, I’m dying,
your vision is blinding,
and I can’t stop from sighing
as I gaze at you,

    “So please take these roses
I plucked in old Flanders
while the gas and explosions
made mincemeat of us;—

    “They’re wilted & muddy
and some, slightly bloody,
but they’re all I can offer
as I die from my wounds”—

    She spoke not but kissed him
with ebony wisdom
embraced him & graced him
with slumber divine,

        For she was an angel
        come down to lead his soul
        to the high halls of Heaven
        and wonders of Time.

 

 

G. M. H. Thompson’s publication credits: ScifaikuestShemomBear Creek HaikuHaikuistAnti-Heroin Chic (formerly Heroin Chic), Old Red KimonoRoad Not Taken: The Journal of Formal Poetry. Let Us Go, a poem by G. M. H. Thompson, won the Winter 2016 Heart & Mind Zine Judge’s Choice award in the category of poetry.  Four of G. M. H. Thompson’s as-yet-unpublished poems will appear in the forthcoming 2016 anthology of Scurfpea Publishing.

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2 Responses

  1. Gleb Zavlanov

    I really enjoyed the melodious meter of the poem. Could you tell me what the foot is called? I believe Trochee but I could be mistaken. The greatest poetry is often the simplest and most compact. Well done!

    Reply
  2. G. M. H. Thompson

    Thank you– your words are very kind. It’s actually mostly in amphibrachs, which is a three-syllable foot that goes unstressed-stressed-unstressed, but the fourth line of most of the stanzas is a amphibrach followed by an iamb. Also, the third line often goes unstressed-unstressed-stressed-unstressed-unstressed-stressed-unstressed. Another way to look at it would be to say that the poem is accentual with two beats per line (in fact, that’s how I looked at it until I read a book that explained to me what an amphibrach was about two months ago (that book was ‘Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters’ by Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, a surprisingly enlightening anthology of formal poetics)). The metrics are not perfect, but I constructed the poem based on a simple melody (a method I highly recommend, but it can be difficult coming up with a melody, I know) (it is somewhat difficult in places to pick out the metrics without knowing the melody) and it works well as a song, so I kept the imperfections anyway. Here is the complete metrical scheme if it interests you:

    uu/uu/u
    u/uu/u
    u/uu/u
    u/uu/

    u/uu/u
    u/uu/u
    uu/uu/u
    u/uu/

    u/uu/u
    u/uu/u
    uu/uu/u
    u/uu/

    u/uu/u
    u/uu/u
    uu/uu/u
    u/uu/

    u/uu/u
    u/uu/u
    uu/uu/u
    uu/uu/

    u/uu/u
    u/uu/u
    u/uu/u
    u/uu/

    u/uu/u
    u/u/u/
    uu//u/u
    u/uu/

    Reply

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