"Bonaparte Before the Sphinx" by Jean-Leon GeromeThree Poems on Her Father, by Sally Cook The Society July 5, 2018 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 7 Comments Heritage I like to say I’d an Egyptian father If that is too obscure for you, I’d rather Explain it just by citing preservation. They preserved mummies, he his indignation At how the world had gone awry, once all Ethics, society had gone on stall. My father then stepped gingerly among Past trophies that his ancestors had won. Hoping his prayer and reverence sufficed He kept his world on track, but when it iced Outside, you could not see the dated rocks He placed beneath his trees and hollyhocks, Each one a past indignity he buried Within his boundaries. Although he was harried By slings of life interred within his yard. At least he had contained them. It was hard For him, to live without what used to be– His venue, and then have to deal with me. A Violinist Reclaimed Before self-righteous rules, brash and insistent There was a natural rhythm, quite unspoken So when my father hired an assistant Traditionalist, he followed this, unbroken. He brooked no power structure interference No lying resumes or false confessing To quasi-moral snoops. He just made sense And went on instinct, and John’s salad dressing, Which proved to be quite good. His violin Then raised the bar for father on John’s score, And entertaining tales that he could spin; Confessing that he drank made even more Sense. But when John said, inebriated, He’d fallen on his violin and spun Across the street, my father celebrated– Exclaimed in joyous tones You are the one! A kindred spirit hired, and in spades! They worked together well for some decades. The Holland Road Pines Long rows of pines my father placed On Holland Road are interlaced With what he knew. I see them there; He cannot know my backward stare. I sense his purpose here. I read His poetry, perceive his need To leave a mark, that we may know Time moves, although it is so slow We barely know it takes us where An aging footstep on a stair Speaks volumes of the speed of night; I see his trees, in fading light. Published originally in Trinacria A former Wilbur Fellow and six-time Pushcart nominee, Sally Cook is a regular contributor to National Review, and has appeared in venues as varied as Chronicles, Lighten Up On Line, and TRINACRIA. Also a painter, her present works in the style known as Magic Realism are represented in national collections such as the N.S.D.A.R. Museum in Washington, D.C. and The Burchfield-Penney, Buffalo, NY. 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) 7 Responses Dan Leach July 5, 2018 What a delight, Sally! The first two are exquisite examples of the kind of warm, good natured irony that I find all too lacking in the world today, and the last one is just a beautiful and haunting emotion, executed with such profound simplicity. It echoes in the heart–Thank you. Dan Leach. Reply Leo Yankevich July 5, 2018 I love all three very fine poems, Sally. Brava! Reply Charlie Southerland July 5, 2018 Yep, gorgeous work, Sally. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 5, 2018 I chose “The Holland Road Pines” for TRINACRIA because I love tetrameter quatrains that rhyme AABB. They are chiselled and tight. Reply James Sale July 6, 2018 Yes, all wonderful poetry, and Holland Road Pines is especially evocative and intense. It has a ‘Stopping by Woods’ feel to it. Marvellous poetry – thank you Sally. Reply Wilbur Dee Case July 12, 2018 Ms. Cook’s memorable “The Holland Road Pines” is a marvelous look back at her father’s “poetry”. Mr. Sale perceptively noted the iambic tetrametre couplets are reminiscent of Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. I have to admit I did not at first see the linkage to Frost’s extraordinary masterpiece: “He cannot know my backward stare.” What actually came to my mind was Alexander Pushkin’s “I Have Visited Again”. Generally I do not appreciate enjambment in poetry, but here, surprisingly, it contributes to the heart-felt appreciation of slow time. This may be my favourite poem of Ms. Cook’s that I have read: its diction is spare, the rhyming quiet, and the tone’s remarkable reserve reminds me of poets, like Philip Larkin or William Stafford. It is amazing what Ms. Cook accomplishes with so little. Reply Joseph Charles MacKenzie July 13, 2018 Holland Road Pines contains a maximum of lyricism in a minimum of space. This is certainly an achievement. Reply Leave a Reply to Dan Leach Cancel ReplyYour 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.