"South Italian Landscape at Sunset" by Johann Rudolf Bühlmann‘Love’s Refrain’ by Joseph Charles MacKenzie The Society July 10, 2018 Beauty, Poetry 12 Comments For Elizabeth My morning’s mountain wears the lavish light Of candid clouds and truth-engendered white. Ah, heavens, spread your opalescent ray, And open earth-blind eyes to boundless sight, That love abide beyond the close of day! And sip, O buds of May, the frigid dew! Grow fairer, earth, to our yet waking view! Long after bones are dust, the stars will say That we were not found faithless or untrue, That love abide beyond the close of day! Come, let us walk beneath our secret bower And pause to gather every precious flower Life’s once-blown spring is gladsome to display. The rain of grace is falling like a shower, That love abide beyond the close of day! Seek not the palimpsest of time to read Nor alter what its pages have decreed. The parchment of the past, let it decay: Our manuscript has yet to dry. Take heed, That love abide beyond the close of day! When death’s cold hand unstrings my song-worn lyre, And youth’s fair form lies stretch’d upon the pyre, We two shall look across the windless bay To catch the distant, everlasting fire, That love abide beyond the close of day! ©Joseph Charles MacKenzie Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet, the only American to have won Scottish International Poetry Competition. His poetry has appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), US News and World Report, Google News, and many other outlets. He writes primarily for the Society of Classical Poets (New York) and Trinacria (New York). MacKenzie has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. 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 12 Responses David Watt July 10, 2018 The iambic pentameter and strongly romantic imagery reminds me of Keats. Very well done! Reply James A. Tweedie July 10, 2018 “Rhyming?” Check. “Rhythmic?” Check. “Rhapsodic?” Check. “Lovely?” Check. The final verse? Exquisite. Reply Amy Foreman July 10, 2018 This is beautiful, Mr. MacKenzie! I love all of it, but especially the phrase: “Our manuscript has yet to dry. . .” Reply Leo Yankevich July 10, 2018 There is much that appeals in this poem: mastery of metre and rhyme, and of course a lofty theme, conjugal love. Yet I’d like see more range in the next poems posted here. I believe that your gift is so great that you can expand. Reply Bruce E. Wren July 10, 2018 Another McKenzie beauty. SCP is graced to have such an accomplished poet on its site. Reply David Paul Behrens July 10, 2018 Magnificent! Classical poetry at its finest. Reply David B. Gosselin July 10, 2018 Of the poems I’ve seen posted by you MacKenzie, I think this one is the best. I think your choice of language is elevated, but without sounding unnecessarily archaic, which I couldn’t help but feel with some other pieces. No one should have anything to reproach as far as meter or rhythm and rhyme, I think the challenge is a conceptual one at this point. You’ve shown that you can write very well; it’s fine writing, but I would agree with Leo here, let us see more range. As Shelley said in his Defense of Poetry, poetry is a vehicle by which one can communicate the most “profound ideas concerning man and nature.” But I think this means going beyond the simpler Romantic poetry or praising the beloved and weaving together beautiful images of nature. If one looks at Wordsworth and his Ode on an Intimation of Immortality or Keats and his Odes (if you compare them with what came before), there was a conceptual leap. At a certain point, each one of us has to grieve out more “Romantic” leanings and face what lies beyond such ditties and images. In the words of Keats “She swells with beauty – Beauty that must die.” Keats was 24 when he composed his Odes. I wouldn’t end this post without giving an indication of what I mean by all this, so here it is: http://schillerinstitute.org/poetry/2009/keats_odes_leach.html The article concerns the nature of Keats’ Odes and the miracle of that young man, who was able to effect such a profound change in his being at such a tender age. Hope you like. The piece written by the poet Daniel Leach, who is himself in my opinion an outstanding poet in who can back up what he says. He recently published his “Ode: Spring Mourning” which I think you’ll appreciate. https://www.thechainedmuse.com/single-post/2018/07/09/ODE-SPRING-MOURNING Look forward to reading your future posts. Reply E. V. July 11, 2018 Beautiful, simply beautiful! J. C. M., you are an inspiration to reader and poet alike. Reply C.B. Anderson July 11, 2018 J.C., I especially like your back-door usage of the vanishing subjunctive mood (“that love abide”). It’s funny, but I’ve gotten used to your English sonnets, which are always lucid, lucent, and faithfully tied to your view of the purpose of Creation. There’s only one other author I have read that does this as well as you do, and that is Yakov Azriel. The difference is that he speaks of Judaism, and that his sonnets are mostly in the Italian style. As for the calls exhorting you to demonstrate more range, that’s something you will have to take up with yourself. If I only see more of the same, I won’t be disappointed. Reply Joseph Charles MacKenzie July 13, 2018 I shall endeavor, therefore, not to disappoint you, C. B. Anderson! Reply Fr. Richard Libby July 11, 2018 This is exceptionally good, Mr. MacKenzie. Congratulations! Reply Joseph Charles MacKenzioe July 13, 2018 Thank you, everyone, for you most edifying comments. A collection of love poems is slowly taking form. All good wishes for your many grand endeavors! Reply Leave a Reply to Bruce E. Wren 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.