‘Like a Bell’ by Robert Boucheron The Society April 29, 2021 Beauty, Poetry 15 Comments . Like a bell struck in the clear night, A voice that no one hears Tells me to leave my bed and write With ink distilled from tears. The stars exert their influence, The moon shines white on black, The planets weave a circle dance Around the zodiac. Bent under sorrow’s constancy, I labor until dawn Traces a finger through the sky, And all the stars are gone. . . Robert Boucheron is an architect in Charlottesville, Virginia. His short stories and essays are in Bellingham Review, Fiction International, Louisville Review, and Saturday Evening Post. His flash fiction is in online magazines. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: 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 disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which 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. Please see our Comments Policy here. 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) 15 Responses Joe Tessitore April 29, 2021 I love this and – can’t resist – it rings so true to me. Reply jd April 29, 2021 Beautiful, thank you. Reply Sally Cook April 29, 2021 You have a mystical path in your poem — a synthesis of planet, bell and finger of dawn — which strikes a familiar note to me. Yes, technique and form are important, but this is what the heart of a poem truly contains. Reply Cynthia Erlandson April 29, 2021 This is very musical! I love it! Reply Julian D. Woodruff April 29, 2021 Your imagery is striking, Mr. Boucheron, but I must admit I don’t know what this poem is saying. How does the imagery support a basic thought? Also, why “traces” rather than “tracing”? Reply Gail April 29, 2021 If I may . . . it is dawn who traces. Reply Tonia Kalouria April 29, 2021 Beautiful. (And I can identify.) Reply BRIAN YAPKO April 29, 2021 This is lovely, Robert. I especially like the rhyme of “black” and “zodiac.” And I also relate! Reply Gail April 29, 2021 Local poet William Stafford used to rise before dawn to do his work. His little daughter got up with him, because she felt sorry for him, and didn’t want him to be alone. And still he wrote. My children say I am crepuscular. It would be so lovely if that were the extent of it! Reply Yael April 29, 2021 This is a very pretty and lyrical poem and enjoyable to read, thank you. Reply C.B. Anderson April 30, 2021 I don’t know how such a small poem can loom so large, but it does, even though the images are simple ones. There is something elegant about the way the ideas follow one another in a precise, natural progression. I should pay more attention to the local astronomy. Reply Margaret Coats April 30, 2021 In addition to the beautiful imagery here, there is metrical artistry suited to the bell. The poem alternates lines of four stresses (tetrameter) and three stresses (trimeter), mostly regular iambic, except the first line. It has four stresses, on “bell struck” and “clear night,” not iambic at all, but four feet that are no-stress (pyrrhic), two-stresses (spondee), pyrrhic, spondee. A great way to ring the bell as wake-up call! Reply Sally Cook May 1, 2021 Margaret, I only wish I possessed your extensive knowledge of all things worth knowing. Nonetheless, on the basics we are soulmates. Your answers never fail to inform, and in a good way. Many thanks for that. PS – Sparky Barker is back on the subject of masks, and causing some hilarity over at Joe Tessitore’s latest. It would be fun to hear from you there. Reply David Watt May 2, 2021 For a short poem, you managed to include a number of memorable phrases which combined well. “With ink distilled from tears” presents a particularly strong image. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant May 3, 2021 Robert, this is an atmospheric, aesthetic gift of a poem that I’ve enjoyed unwrapping and savoring. Thank you! 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.