Film still from Cyrano de Bergerac.‘An Open Letter to a Fellow Poet’ and Other Poetry by Denise Sobilo The Society September 2, 2019 Beauty, Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Poetry 5 Comments An Open Letter to a Fellow Poet for Adam Sedia But why against one poor poet, a hundred men? —Cyrano de Bergerac (Edmond Rostand) What dreams do come to distress needful sleep, to cause me wakeful to take up my pen and write by Roman candle light of deep portentous auguries that must needs frighten vates* and seers bound the truth to keep? Against my will, this fiendish nightmare bids me mount and, bellicose, courses its night journey toward a pillar of acrid, smoth’ring smoke. It commands me to alight and witness that which pity ought forbid. Upon this place of abomination, Nero’s pleasure dome, I descend to view diverse sinners in diverse damnation: foolish, weak, confused, some few evil too; gruesome aspects lit by conflagration. Not to the damned but to that fiery light my eyes attend, transfixed in horror. For my visage I see, and on my right and left fellow guildsmen, in mad furor persecuted for the crime of Word-wright. If burn we must, poets, then let us blaze an incendiary light whose brilliance sights oriel eyes while souls it parlays into searing burning-bush radiance. On truth as human torches, let them gaze. *Vates: Cumulatively or alternatively, a divinely inspired prophet, poet or oracle A Postmodernist Bestiary “The animals they came on board, two by twosie, twosie; Elephant and kangaroosie, roosie. Children of the Lord.” —traditional children’s Bible song While walking today I glimpsed two otters at play, disporting themselves gleefully— I joined the merry chase, in hopes of a better view, but they were too quick for me; I could not catch them unaware. A loud slap of their tails ended the comedy as with a whoosh of rushing water they deftly dove and swam away, laughingly. I took great delight in our simple game, much joy, indeed, their gay frolics gave me. I marveled, though, that they were here at all: in urban settings, quite the oddity for they had long been gone from these environs, victims of the fittest philosophy. I have scant regard for the lake’s usual inhabitants who excel quislingly in adaptive coexistence: screeching gulls; scavenging coyotes cowardly; slithering green snakes, unseen underfoot, hiding with sly Masonic secrecy; and incessantly chattering squirrels, noisy in their useful idiocy. Migrant hordes of squawking geese flaunting their protected status I especially decry as contemptuous despoilers of the habitat’s native ecology. But of late I have seen evidence of some others, who also ought not be in this utopia, whose signs and spoors disturb the stamp of postmodernity. One is accustomed to used styrofoam Starbucks cups, domesticated-doggy droppings, old tires, an occasional hypodermic syringe—common debris— even feral human scat, but otters, sleek glistening brown; and white swans snowy, gliding serenely past a sentinel blue heron; red-winged blackbird soldiery guarding diffident dappled-deer browsing daintily near a leafy alder tree, and deep-bassed croaking bullfrogs, audible heralds of returning vitality. Thus conspicuous, they startle by their unanticipated residency. Rarest of all, and wonder of wonders, signs of a deemed-extinct species I see: Icthys*, the fish that walks on land. March, 2018 *ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys) is an acronym “Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ” which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour” initially used as a secret sign during the time when Christians were persecuted by the Roman authorities. Denise Sobilo’s work has previously been published by the St. Austin Review; The Imaginative Conservative; Jesus the Imagination; and The Antioch Review. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who harasses or disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comment or comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 5 Responses C.B. Anderson September 2, 2019 Denise, Please ask Evan to send you my e-mail address, or, if Evan reads this, then perhaps he will send it without your asking. If you contact me, I will ask for your land address, because I would like to mail you copies of my two books of poetry. Also, these two poems were delightfully complicated and I would like to discuss some of your prosodic techniques privately rather than publicly. Reply Denise Sobilo September 4, 2019 Done. Reply Denise Sobilo September 11, 2019 I have asked Evan for your email contact but the request must have slipped by him, or perhaps he needs to hear it from you. In any case, perhaps you should make the request. I am really interested in discussing your theories of poetry, especially since I recently found and read your interview and saw the title of your books “Roots in the Sky, Boots on the Ground: Metaphysical Poems” Adam Sedia September 2, 2019 I am as honored to have been addressed by such an illustrious colleague as I am delighted by the skilled craftsmanship and stirring message of the poem. I am touched and humbled to know that my experience could have inspired such a work, and I pray that the message resounds far and wide. Please get my e-mail from Evan if you wish at all to contact me directly. Reply Denise Sobilo September 4, 2019 And done. Looking forward to some meaningful conversation, as well as copies of your poetry, C.B. Reply Leave a Reply 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. 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