I start the day by breathing in: the
sunlight, duly saluted in its splendour,
take a shower; as the water falls
my mind runs on:
‘My mind to me a Kingdom is;’ I think – a castle
at the least, rounded by chink-cracked walls.
And as I go about the day, my
oh my what I’m put through by that mind
which can be prison, also to
which end it’s important for me
to ground my thoughts without a
care for the external kingdom
knowing inner peace is all there is.
© Experimentsinfiction 2020, All Rights Reserved
About this poem
This is my first attempt at a ‘golden shovel’ poem, where you choose one line from someone else’s poem and take each word as the final word of each line of your poem: simple, right?
Peter is hosting the final dVerse “Meeting the Bar’ of the year and has challenged us to write a poem in which endings play an important role.
I first chose ‘The Splendour falls on Castle Walls’ from Tennyson’s The Princess, then as I quoted ‘My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is‘ by Edward Dyer, I used this to form the second stanza. If it reads a little strangely then I say in my defense that I have never been great at doing things backwards. Still, I couldn’t let the challenge pass.
The image is of Hrastovlje Church in Slovenia’s Primorska region. It was taken by my husband and I think it’s rather splendid!
The thought of the mind as a castle is a great starting point, but what really made it splendid for me was the realization that a castle can also be a prison.
That’s why I added some chinks in the walls!
I love that you chose the golden shovel form too, Ingrid, and that you chose that marvellous line from Tennyson’s poem. A great metaphor, the mind as ‘a castle / at the least, rounded by chink-cracked walls’ – which can also be a prison.
In case I miss you on the poetry trail over the next few days and into next week, I’ll wish you and your family a merry Christmas (as merry as it can be during a pandemic) and a happier 2021.
Thank you so much Kim! The same to you and yours 😊
A very beautiful, solemn, and realistic poem, Ingrid. Wow. I’m stunned. The mind can be a palace or a prison. Each day is different and will vary. The castle itself may just be a castle, but if we looked closer enough, perhaps we never even realized it was our prison from the start? As well, it can change from one to another or be both as a comfort. Our prison can be a castle that we are comforted in, and by leaving, over time it can seen as the prison it may have been. I love how there’s so many themes entwined and even more that can be delved in here. It’s brilliant, brilliant, brilliant and very germane to modern times. It’s been a joy to read your work!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Lucy! I suppose this lockdown situation has lead me to think about these things a lot.
Well done! I especially like these words
“My mind to me a Kingdom is;’ I think – a castle
at the least, rounded by chink-cracked walls.”
And yes, the image is amazing! A great photo!
Thank you, Lillian 😊
A sort of double golden shovel with a quotation within–that’s amazing, Ingrid! And the castle/prison/mind analogy is really great.
So now you have me thinking about people imprisoned within castles. 😀
The photo is splendid indeed! I think you shared another one–maybe it was on Instagram?
I think I possibly shared it on Instagram when I wrote about it for another post. Thank you for your kind words. We are all imprisoned in one way or another at the moment, I think!
One thing I see, Ingrid, is the image you chose is one surrounded by beauty, which is the best place to be for when your mind becomes a prison. Happy Holidays, Ingrid. See you in 2021!
That is so true! Happy Holidays Lisa 😊
Terrific stuff Ingrid – prisons, walls and castles – all the rage in 2020. And that reference to Tennyson – wonderfully done – it has (to me) a deranged imprisoned feel about it – particularly when such pompous grandeur is up against the normal domestic morning. And then the ruined castle in your photo – I liked all of this, a lot.
The life of a Lord is probably rather different to that of a working mum! I’m pleased you enjoyed, Peter.
way to stretch your history, mind and poetry with this challange and great compare of mind and castle. Love your husbands splendid phiotography!! ❤️❤️
Thanks Cindy! He’s a good photographer-I should get him to do more for my posts 🤩
You’re so welcome! Yes, for sure, that would be awesome! ❤️
Very ambitious to write a “double shovel”, but you pulled it off splendidly. I hope we all write to this form again next year. I, too, wrote to a golden shovel line, picking Leonard Cohen as my Muse. and I enjoyed the experience.
I haven’t tried the golden shovel yet… but, Ingrid, you did this SO smoothly! And Glenn is right – it’s even all the more impressive as a “double shovel”.
Thank you, David! I look forward to reading yours. I am sharing my laptop with my son who has school so I’ll be back reading a bit later…
I love Cohen so I’ll be heading over shortly to read yours. Pleased you enjoyed this, Glenn!
You’ve really caught the way the mind works here–excellent! (K)
Thank you, Kerfe! It’s how mine seems to work anyway…
That internal kingdom is one that matters the most. Inhale and let our minds wander.
Thank you so much for being part of our poetry community. Happy holidays to you & yours!
Happy Holidays to you and yours also, Grace, and thank you for your kind words!
I think your attempts are very successful.
I think you did very well on your poem. The endings of the lines work beautifully.
Thank you, Dwight: it was an interesting challenge!
I love the castle shot! Just Gorgeous!
My husband does have an eye for photography!
He is very good!
Slovenia! So many undiscovered places in Eastern Europe. My first brush with golden shovels. Well done.
Thank you Yvonne!
It is a great photo! And I enjoyed the castles and kingdoms of the mind. Prisons too. We’re all imprisoned by something though, and this is a spectacular one!
I was once inside such chink-cracked walls, and I know that feeling of when water falls. Quite splendid bit of writing, Ingrid.
Thank you, Misky!
An enchanted poem! Just as lovely as the picture, I am jealous of all your travels now! I have often thought about the mind as a prison and sometimes think to transcend the mind is a whole new realm, the real kingdom. Being in quarantine will cause one to reflect. We must make our thoughts like servants in our castle, I believe. Perhaps this will be my resolution for 2021. 🎉
I bow down to you and your first ever attempt the most difficult shovel poem form …. WOW WOW and one more WOW for good measure. Happy Holidays.
Thank you so much Helen and Happy Holidays to you!
great shovel, splendid photo … knowing our own mind and calming the inner kingdom is crucial, well done!
Thanks Kate – I’m pleased you enjoyed 😊
I did indeed, thanks for sharing some of your countryside, fitted well 🙂
Excellent response to Peter’s wonderful prompt Ingrid. Gonna have to try this style. Hope you have a great holiday season, and look forward to reading more of your work in 2021.
Thank you Rob! Best wishes for the festive season and I look forward to reading more of your work too 🌟
This took me on a journey of reflection 😃
I’m glad it did!
This is poignant for me, the mind I believe, is the greatest conduit to freedom imaginable, reaching out across the universe in its comprehensions, and is also the most solid of prisons. I literally beat myself up and held myself down inside a prison for decades, trying to be a “good boy” then a “good man,” until my only path for freedom seemed to be annihilation. I am so grateful instead for the freedom that has come from acceptance of who I am and attempts at authenticity has felt literally like a weight from my shoulders and an opening of prison walls. I might be a big boned, tall, clunky, square jawed, deep voiced woman, but at least I am being who I am. I am not sure that inner peace is truly all there is, the idea that I could find and affirm myself just by focusing on the interior was not enough for me, I had to try to bring myself out into the world, to my loved ones, my ken, and even to strangers, the connections we have to one another being somehow so important. But I do know that you cannot rely on those connections to be integral. For example, most of my siblings have been lovely and supportive, but one has refused to speak to me for over a year, it is a sorrow, but I can’t rely on him to focus the integrity of my love for him, I am forced to carry that love locked inside with no outward expression, but I am so grateful that this is not all there is with my other loved ones. You got me to thinking here, and pining too. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this! I am so glad you found your authentic self and a way to be comfortable in your own skin. And that you still feel love for those who won’t accept you as you are is surely a testament to your strength of character 🙏
well, we try, can’t say I don’t grouse about it. 😉
Stunning photo! Profound poem. The mind can be both a servant and a master! Impressive use of a “shovel poem.” It seems like it would be quite a challenge to write, but you make it seem effortless, Ingrid. 🙂
Thank you, Cheryl 😊