Lunar eclipse photo.‘Thoughts on January 31, 2018’s Complete Lunar Eclipse’ and Other Poetry by Amy Foreman The Society January 31, 2018 Poetry 21 Comments Read about last night’s lunar eclipse here. Thoughts on January 31, 2018’s Complete Lunar Eclipse Reflected Glory, full and bright, Transforming inky, blackest night To wonderland of silver-grey, A tintype of my world by day. But strangely, in the early hours, I wake as Full-Moon’s brilliance lours— So slowly, incrementally, That human eye can scarcely see The blurring of that Orb so clear, Which slowly starts to disappear. The World and all its Cares intrude Upon the brightest attitude. Reflected Glory, on my face, The World can blur, blot out, erase, Just like Earth’s shadow on the Moon That bit by bit, but all too soon Can dim the image of the Sun Upon Moon’s face, ‘til there is none. Just shadow, dead, and cold and still, Devoid of Light, and numb and chill. Oh, World and all your Suffering, Pass o’er me quickly, and then bring The Son, to shine again on me. Let me reflect His Majesty. Beatitude #3: The Meek Though you might have been, like others, Wildly letting passion loose, Proud, contending with your brothers, Status given to abuse, Yet you chose to tame your spirit, To ignore your pride of place, Having might, to always gear it Gentler, kinder, full of grace. Strength controlled and power harnessed Governed by your Father’s will, Now you gain the earth: your harvest Spilling out from Heaven’s till. Beatitude #5: The Merciful (A Sonnet) That you had been served wrong, there was no doubt, For all agreed injustice had been done. You’d suffered that mistreatment one-on-one, Offenses marring everything throughout That time, with never sign of turnabout. Until that day, observed by everyone, When tables were reversed, positions spun, When suddenly you had the greater clout. But when that day arrived, we watched, confused As you resolved to not retaliate. Instead you gave forgiveness, mercy too: A gift from you, absolving the accused. This kindness shown, your clemency so great, Invokes now, grace from Heaven, poured on you. Beatitude #8: They Which Are Persecuted Beaten and abused, ill-treated, Though you never gave them cause, Pushed around, exploited, cheated, –Not for breaking any laws– Only for the path you followed, Seeking Truth and giving Grace, Trusting in that Name, so hallowed, Glory shining in your face. Righteousness that made them spiteful, Goodness that brought out their worst, Now you’ve suffered for what’s rightful, Like the prophets from the first. Lift your heads up, all afflicted, Know there comes another day, When the Kingdom, as predicted Comes into your hands to stay. Read the rest of the beatitudes here: theoccasionalcaesura.wordpress.com Amy Foreman hails from the southern Arizona desert, where she homesteads with her husband and seven children. She has enjoyed teaching both English and Music at the college level, but is now focused on home-schooling her children, gardening, farming, and writing. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related 21 Responses Amy Foreman January 31, 2018 Thank you, Father Richard! Reply Fr. Richard Libby January 31, 2018 It’s always a pleasure to read Amy Foreman’s poetry! Reply Joseph S. Salemi January 31, 2018 All four poems are tightly constructed and commendable. I would suggest one possible change: in the first piece on the total eclipse, you might consider removing the capitalization from words such as “Glory,” “Cares,” “Orb,” “Suffering,” “World,” “Sun,” and “Moon.” It seems unnecessary, and is somewhat old-fashioned. Reply Amy Foreman January 31, 2018 I’m a bit of a fan of “old-fashioned,” but you may be right, Joseph! Thanks for your comments, as always. 🙂 Reply Amy Foreman January 31, 2018 Thank you, Joe! Reply Joe Tessitore January 31, 2018 Beautiful, Amy. Congratulations! Reply Amy Foreman January 31, 2018 That’s weird. My responses keep showing up above the comments, but that last thanks was to you, Joe Tessitore! 🙂 Reply David Hollywood February 1, 2018 Evocative and sincere poetry. Thank you Reply Amy Foreman February 1, 2018 Thanks so much, David! Reply James Sale February 3, 2018 Lovely poetry, thank you, Amy. Reply Amy Foreman February 3, 2018 Appreciate it, James~! Reply J. Simon Harris February 4, 2018 All of these are beautifully done, but I especially like the simile in the poem about the lunar eclipse. What a lovely thought, and a well written expression of it. Reply Amy Foreman February 4, 2018 Thank you so much, J. Simon Harris! Reply Drew U. A. Eclibse February 4, 2018 The beatitudes are beautifully done. Though brief, #3 with trochaic tetrametres, is echoic of Kipling’s “If,” while #5 demonstrates verbal dexterity in an Italian sonnet: notice the strong impulse in Ms. Foreman’s English sonnet writing to place a couplet at the end, despite its structure. Other than its excellent turns of phrase, of which there are many, e.g., “positions spun,” “clout” at the octave’s end, the alliterative, “As you resolved to not retaliate,” “gave, forgiveness” followed by “gift,” what I admire is the normalized simplicity of line, a very difficult achievement. That particular strain Ms. Foreman is pursuing is as good and pure as that of any writer in the English language. In “Thoughts on January 31, 2018’s Complete Lunar Eclipse,” the six stanzas of iambic tetrametre couplets are reminiscent of 17th century poetic practitioners. As to Mr. Salemi’s suggestion to “remove the capitals,” each of us has his or her own aesthetic; and I have to admit I targeted certain words for capitals in a poem on the “same” topic as well; but I long ago jettisoned capitals at the beginning of lines, that both Mr. Salemi and Ms. Foreman use in their poetry. The Super, Blood, Blue Moon: January 31st, 2018 by Drew U. A. Eclibse On January 31st, before the Moon dipped down into the light of dawn, as it—the Earth—was going round, its bright and pale whitish colour slowly darkened some, and fell behind the shadow of the Earth—blocked from the Sun. The Moon became an eerie sight, cast in a reddish hue; because its light was bent, it gave a faint and glowing view, the super, blood, blue Moon illumining my white bed spread. O, it was not the frost that made it seem a dullish red. I gazed between the shutters, as the bright moon reappeared, and looked ahead, within my home, as one more ending neared. Though Ms. Foreman and I wrote poems on the exact same topic (and without either of us knowing the other had written thus), our purposes and our methods were entirely different (a not-exact replication of the challenge of Leigh Hunt and John Keats). We were pursuing different ideas. I was actually astonished at the metaphor Ms. Foreman developed in her poem, when my mind was traveling down a completely alternate path. Certainly her theme, “Reflected Glory,” was masterfully done. Note 1. the theme, “Reflected Glory” stated at the beginning and repeated midway; 2. the neatly alliterative trope tintype; 3. the descriptive, anthropomorphic “lours”; 4. the brilliant use of “incrementally,” a technique I enjoy using, that Dickinson showcased in her poetry; 5. the intricate sentence (what I like to call thought-weave, in my Anglo-Saxon moments) that is developed in stanzas 4 & 5; 6. and finally, the tidy wrap-up of the concluding stanza. One similarity between the two poems is their dating, a practice utilized by Romantic poets, such as Burns and Wordsworth, that I have embraced in my docupoetry, so much so I even stick the dates in the actual poems themselves. Another similarity is the importance of colour in the poems. A third resemblance is the use of the “tug of the World.” Reply Joseph S. Salemi February 5, 2018 I personally prefer the capitalization of initial letters in a line of verse, simply because without them a poem is downright ugly, typographically speaking. The random mix of capitals and lower-case letters at the beginning of lines is offensive to the eye, and utterly unnecessary. And it is purely a posturing affectation of modernism, designed not to improve one’s poetry but to make some kind of virtue-signally statement about oneself. (“Lookit me, folks — I’m modern!”) However, I recognize that my preference is not the practice of all poets, so I tolerate the practice in my magazine if a poet insists on it. But the capitalization of abstract nouns in an English poem (“Love,” “Glory,”) is decidedly old-fashioned, since it goes back to an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century habit of capitalizing all nouns, on the model of German. When I see it today, it reminds me of reading Coleridge or Carlyle. Reply Amy Foreman February 5, 2018 Thank you for your thoughts, Joseph. I agree with your opinion on capitalization at the beginning of lines . . . aesthetically speaking. I think it all comes down to personal style. I happen to like the capitalization of abstract nouns in certain metaphorical poems, though some may view it as old-fashioned. Does the poem suffer for the poet having capitalized those nouns? Would the poem suffer if those nouns were not capitalized? Who knows? But each poet crafts his/her piece with a rather subjective personal aesthetic, and then it is up to the public to either criticize or laud. I tend to think that if structure, meter, rhyme, and form are solid, then these peripheral preferences and quirks can take their merited “back seat.” Amy Foreman February 4, 2018 Bruce, your analysis of my poetry is both kind and spot-on. I am both honored and humbled that you took the time to formalistically examine my work. Thank you so much for including your beautiful poem about the eclipse, inspired by the same event, but, as you said, travelling down a completely alternate path. And I love the creative heteronym you used for your comment–your wit is always appreciated! Reply Joseph S. Salemi February 5, 2018 Dear Amy — Yes, I agree… it’s largely a matter of taste, and not of necessity. And of course the issue of typography does not arise when a poem is recited. But most poems will eventually survive as printed texts only, not as living words passed on by speakers. Reply Wilbur Dee Case February 5, 2018 1. Perhaps Mr. Eclibse was mainly trying to point out that poets use capitalization differently; and, that like Mr. Salemi and Ms. Foreman, there are differing points of view on this “peripheral preference.” 2. Mr. Salemi brings up an important point about German capitalization, of nouns and pronouns; partially from my studies in German literature, there was a point in my life when I nearly always capitalized You, We, They, etc.; and, of course, it is not uncommon, even today, for writers to capitalize He in reference to God. 3. When I think of reading writers utilizing capitals, I most frequently think of the great prosaist of the English language—Jonathan Swift—and I must admit that I enjoy reading his works, capitals and all. 4. Mr. Salemi is in good company with poets who used capitals at the beginnings of their lines, from traditional poets up through writers, like Whitman, Rimbeau, Corbiére, LaForgue, Yeats, Robinson, Hardy, Eliot, Crane, Frost, Millay, Pasternak, Valéry, Stevens, Masefield, de la Mare, Auden, Larkin, Pessoa, Trakl, D. H. Lawrence, Jarrell, Owen, Apollinaire, Sandburg, George, Heaney, Brecht, Thomas, Guillén, Bonnefoy, Roethke, Tate, Wilbur, Hughes, Plath—just to name a few. 5. On the other hand, poor Mr. Eclibse, the group of poets that used capitals at the beginnings of lines like he does is much smaller, and much more recent, really only since Modernism, writers like, Rilke, Mayakovsky, Jiménez, Benn, Salinas, Lorca, Neruda, Vallejo, Drummond de Andrade, Fortini, Celan, H. D., Ginsberg, Lowell, Bishop, Brodsky, Stafford, Gioia—again, just to name a few. Moore, whose chiseled poems could also fit into this structure, however, she was an advocate of indented lines. 6. Of course, there is another group, who often dispensed with capitals altogether, like Williams, Arp, Ungaretti, Montale, Herbert, Seferis, etc., or the prose-poets, like Solzhenitsyn, Cavafy, Ponge, etc. And lots of the aforementioned poets, including one of my favourite poets, Borges, indulged in both capitals at the beginnings of lines and not. 7. And then, there is the poet who is often conflated with typographical experimentation—E. E. Cummings—and who sometimes didn’t even capitalize his name. Although I only minimally follow Cummings in his practice, I believe Cummings understood the potentialities of capitalization better than any writer in English, as evidenced in nearly all of his poems, even in an extremely short poem, like “Old Age Sticks.” old age sticks up Keep Off signs)& youth yanks them down(old age cries No Tres)&(pas) youth laughs (sing old age scolds Forbid den Stop Must n’t Don’t &)youth goes right on gr owing old Reply Amy Foreman February 6, 2018 Good examples, all, Wilbur–and ones that illustrate Mr. Salemi’s comment: “[ . . .] most poems will eventually survive as printed texts only[.]” Though each of us may fall into a different category with regard to capitalization, I hope that the important, lasting meaning of our poetry will transcend our form. And, as far as our different methods in capitalization go, I believe my father-in-law got it right: “Just keep doing what you’re doing; sooner or later, you’ll be back in style.” 🙂 Reply Wilbur Dee Case February 8, 2018 The choice of not using only capitals at the beginning of lines is not peripheral for me. The following quote from T. S. Eliot applies. “…we may say positively with Mr. Ezra Pound, that verse must be at least as well written as prose. We may even say that the originality of some poets has consisted in their finding a way of saying in verse what no one else has been able to say except in prose or spoken.” Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.