"Historia" by Nikolaos Gyzis‘The New Year’ and Other Poetry by Adam Sedia The Society January 8, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 12 Comments The New Year The fields stretch out, bare, icy: __Wide, blank, yet-unetched slates, Tabulae rasae, waiting __The chisel of the Fates, But deep beneath their starkness __A mighty force has stirred, The germ of the becoming, __Unknown, unseen, unheard. Its course is set in motion __That none may stop or stall: The seeds sown and forgotten __Must sprout, bloom, fruit, and fall. What shoots will break the furrows, __Coaxed by the waxing sun? What harvest will they proffer: __When the sun’s course has run? For now they hold their secret; __They tease the guessing eyes, Which only gaze in wonder __And fear at what shall rise. Midmorning Moon Translucent, pallid, gibbous ghost __Suspended low to west, Your splendor faded, washed away, Drowned in beams of dawning day, __Whose light you cannot best. Alas! So lately you could boast __A brilliance that outshone The diamantine stars arrayed Thronging through abyssal shade, __Ruling night’s realm alone. Now overthrown, you wander, lost __In empty turquoise breadth Among the rose-tinged clouds of morn, Dwindling as the day is born, __Wasted to weird half-death. And yet you course the sky; almost __A specter, yet you live. Just as to wax you first must wane, When the sun falls from its reign __Your brilliance shall revive. The Winter Stars Sparkling on high, unreachable, Strewn far across the endless void, Cold, dark, lifeless heavens devoid Of human scale and human feel; Casting a sterile, bone-white light That deepens the already biting chill Of frozen windblasts, reaching in to kill The very peace of soul with fright. What solace can I find in you, Your faintness, distance, or your glare— Aloof, disdainful, icy stare That pierces deep and freezes through? O soulless, unforgiving stars, Eternally unmoved and unperturbed! I rail in vain, for never have you heard A prayer, appeal, or even curse of ours. Waves Turquoise waves on shell-white sand Rush forth—crashing, crashing, crashing— Dying gladly as they land, Surging, breaking, foaming, splashing. Lines advancing, rank on rank— Never ceasing or deceasing— On the anchored rock’s long flank, Neither tiring nor decreasing. Soft, serene their rhythm sounds— Slowly lulling, lulling, lulling— Steady, steady, till it drowns Every sound but inward mulling, Awe at eons glimpsed as one, Wave on wave on wave forever. Can the world they overrun Curb them? Never, never, never! Previously published in The Chained Muse Knell Through the peace of balmy spring, __Bird-songs’ trills and breeze-tossed leaves, An alien sound, a distant ring __Dares to break the mirth to grieve: ____A distant, solitary bell ____Tolling out a funeral knell. Softly, softly first it sounds, __Tolling gravely, tolling sadly. Tolling, tolling, it resounds, __Grows, repeating—dourly, madly. ____Ringing, ringing, without end, ____Like the realm its calls portend. Swelling louder, louder still, __Drowning spring’s sweet nothings out. Pealing, pealing, stubborn, shrill, __Echoing forth, back, throughout. ____Silence! Silence! Ruthless bell, ____Silence the grim truth you tell. But my plea is cruelly spurned; __Now it takes its cruelest tone— Laughing, laughing—mourning turned __Into mirth, its mirth alone. ____Mocking, mocking bitterly, ____Knowing I know what must be. Previously published in The Chained Muse Adam Sedia (b. 1984) lives in his native Northwest Indiana, with his wife, Ivana, and their children, and practices law as a civil and appellate litigator. In addition to the Society’s publications, his poems and prose works have appeared in The Chained Muse Review, Indiana Voice Journal, and other literary journals. He is also a composer, and his musical works may be heard on his YouTube channel. 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) 12 Responses Joseph S. Salemi January 8, 2020 All are fine poems, but in my view “Midmorning Moon” is the best. I’d like to suggest one small fix. In the last stanza, the second line could be rewritten this way: A specter, yet alive. This gives you a perfect rhyme with “revive” in the stanza’s last line, in accord with the rest of the poem. And in addition, it does not vary either the meter or the meaning. Reply Peter S Bridges January 8, 2020 Fine poetry, Adam Sedia, and I would not change a word. Reply James A. Tweedie January 9, 2020 Adam, I particularly enjoyed your use of word repetition in these poems. I found it to be not just creative, but also very effective. The delightful variety displayed in these poems moved me to write the following: Oh, may such varied rhyme and meter lead us Into new, creative forms Of poetry that will inspire and feed us, Challenging old stagnant norms For formal poetry is more than sonnets, Or iambic’s rhythmic beat. Let them go, for when they’re gone, its Time to dance with different feet! Reply C.B. Anderson January 9, 2020 I admire your sentiments, James, but your logic smacks of false syllogisms. “Stagnant norms” as you have it, is a smack to the face of tradition, and I don’t believe that you believe that apostasy is a good thing in itself. Yes, we’re all in favor of creativity, but perverse liberality is no virtue. Watch your feet! Reply James A. Tweedie January 9, 2020 Yes, C.B., “stagnant.” As in “static” and “unmoving.” I have been challenged on this site for not having written a poem in iambic pentameter. (In fact there have been times when well-meaning people have sought to “improve” my poetry by actually rewriting them in a rhythmic form they considered to be more correct). There have been sentiments expressing preference for ABAB rhyme patterns over ABBA. Personal preferences are fine but when they begin to generate and encourage a general conformity to certain poetic forms then then the creative bounds of what constitutes “Classical Poetry” are in danger of being narrowed to the point of stagnation. The poetic forms offered in Adams’ post are (for this site, at least) a refreshing change from the “norm.” Water, even formal, classical water, becomes stagnant unless it is stirred up from time to time. As anyone can see by visiting my own SCP posts, I have nothing against sonnets (in fact my latest published poetry collection is titled, “Mostly Sonnets”). But, as Adam demonstrates, the poetic forms available to us in Classical Poetry are limited only by our imaginations. So let us not abandon the sonnet or eschew iambic pentameter, but let us not forget that, as any cook knows, the stew is best when it is stirred every so often. Thank you, Adam, for stirring us up and adding a few new flavors to our SCP stew. Monty January 14, 2020 Hear hear, James: variety is the spice of life. Let’s see poetry in all shapes and sizes. The sonnet is far too trendy on these pages, and far too overused. It’s as though some seem to think that writing in sonnet form somehow authenticates their poem. One should fit a suitable form around what they wanna say; not fit what they wanna say into a certain form. C.B. Anderson January 9, 2020 All of these are tending, tending, tending To resolve into good poems, but remain, With promising starts, without a good ending. If Peter Bridges would not change a word, then I suppose he has burned many behind him. Reply Peter Bridges January 9, 2020 I’ve changed many of my own words, lines, thoughts, sentiments, themes, but I didn’t think Adam Sedia needed to make any change in this poem. Reply Joseph S. Salemi January 9, 2020 Which poem was that? Adam Sedia January 9, 2020 Well, I seem to have unintentionally stirred some controversy. I have a knack for that. Thank you, Prof. Salemi for the helpful suggestion. It reads better with the change, I think. Reply James A. Tweedie January 9, 2020 There’s that word “stirred,” again! lol No controversy as far as I’m concerned. Can’t wait to see what you’ll give us next! Keep stirring! Reply Nathaniel McKee January 10, 2020 Enjoyed “the New Year,” its tabulae rosae give us a a fresh start and a chance to reflect. 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