Photo by Beth Moon.‘Anchises’ by Anna-Marie Ahn The Society January 31, 2021 Beauty, High School Submissions, Poetry 16 Comments . Beneath the starry firmament so dark There lies tonight an old, forgotten tree Whose bark is peeling, wretched, cold and stark And has not heard since auld youth’s melody. The crooked, blackened branches send a plea To heaven’s glowing mercies and respite For passersby mock its antiquity Unknowing of its tears of martyred plight. But in the coolness of the dark it lifts Its hoary head in confidence undrawn And sings a song through fluttering leaves that shift In sighing harmonies ignored at dawn. . . Anna-Marie Ahn is a senior at Westside Christian High School in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. 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CODEC News: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) 16 Responses Daniel Kemper January 31, 2021 Excellent. Such is how tradition is regarded these days. And such is how tradition itself regards these days. Reply Paul Freeman January 31, 2021 That’s beautiful Anna-Marie. I’ve read it twice and will probably read it again later. A lot of poetry these days, I find, is all me, me, me, so it’s refreshing to hear from Nature through an old tree. As usual, a wonderful illustration to go with the poem, in this case a baobab tree. Apparently a giant tore them from the ground in a fit of pique and re-inserted them headfirst in the ground roots up. Reply C.B. Anderson January 31, 2021 “Respite (RES-pit) does not rhyme with “plight,” and many of the clauses here lack firm syntactic connectivity. What, pray tell, does “confidence undrawn” mean? Reply Mike Bryant January 31, 2021 If you’re British respite does rhyme with plight. Ms. Ahn may be bi-lingual! Reply C.B. Anderson February 1, 2021 What, Mike, does being bilingual have to do with anything, unless you are referring to persons who speak both British and American English? (As someone once said, the USA & the UK are two countries divided by a common language.) And are you telling me that the British pronounce it reh-SPITE? I wouldn’t know, but sometimes I wonder: Why can’t the English learn to speak? Mike Bryant February 1, 2021 Good question! If they had all moved over here we would have had plenty of room for them. Heck, they’d still all fit in Texas. Then they could have acquired a drawl. C.B. Anderson February 2, 2021 Actually, Mike, I asked three questions.. Mike Bryant February 2, 2021 So you did… first, bilingual was my small (very small) joke since I live in a bilingual household. Second, respite is pronounced REH-spite in the Queen’s English, and third, I will pass that one up in the interest of peace. I realize the accent is on the wrong syllable… let’s call it metrical variation. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/pronunciation/english/respite Click on the speakers to hear the differences… Paul Freeman January 31, 2021 That ‘undrawn’ did pull me up a bit. ‘reborn’ would be fit for purpose, too, and perhaps ‘fluttered leaves’, or even ‘fluted leaves’ rather than ‘fluttering leaves’. Apart from the three syllable discordance of ‘fluttering’, I felt that any other syntactic disconnects worked in the poem’s favour. Reply C.B. Anderson February 1, 2021 So then, Paul, can I take it that you are on record as saying that you feel syntactic disconnects should be viewed favorably? What next? That all good poetry should be asemic? An anonymous, well-meaning citizen February 1, 2021 Is it truly necessary to get into an argument over a young girl’s poem, who will probably notice these comments with such joy, only to discover that a single, possibly overlooked pronunciation has transformed such a cause of joy in her life into discord? Joseph S. Salemi January 31, 2021 “Respite” (RES-pit) might be taken as a sight-rhyme with “plight.” But I do agree that it is a bit offputting on first perusal. Reply C.B. Anderson February 2, 2021 Yeah, Joseph, except that a sight-rhyme, in principle, requires a visual identity in all but the initial consonant. Abigail K. January 31, 2021 This is a lovely poem, Anna-Marie! Congratulations on getting it published! Reply Paul Freeman February 1, 2021 What a difference twenty-four hours makes, Anna-Marie – 3rd place in the 2021 High School Poetry Competition. Congratulations! Reply David Gosselin February 1, 2021 Anna-Marie, there are some nice lines here. I can tell that there is an old soul at work, even if this old soul is still in high school. As you continue to hone your craft, the ideas will continue to become more and more natural and more and more free. Keep digging deeper and keep sharing what you find. I look forward to seeing more of your writing soon. 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. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.