The recital #poetry #dVerse

“As if we could hear music inside the words” Gail Newman ~ Trust

We listened, round the fire that night
and back three thousand years in time
(not quite) but still, we listened, spellbound.

The scene not by electric light
was lit, above the stars in canopy
crowded, as if to listen in, respectfully.

And as the ancient bard spoke on
reciting verse in extinct tongue
we understood, though strange the words were:

Achilles fell, and Troy was razed
Penelope weaved alone each night
and Circe lit the sailor’s heart with magic bright.

No other entertainment, since
has left me wrapt nor in such trance
as when the moon lit Homer’s song in Athens.

© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for dVerse

Laura has given us a very interesting (and challenging) prompt for Poetics this evening. We have to choose one from a selection of final lines of poetry, and write a poem ‘as continuation where the poet left off, thematically, in the same mood, rather than literally. Give special thought to your own final lines.’

I chose a poem by Gail Newman and added the final line as an epigraph at the start of the poem. I was not familiar with the poem and (as Laura suggested) didn’t read it until I’d finished mine. The poem could not be more completely different from my own, so I’m not sure if that means I fulfilled the brief, or failed completely!

My poem is completely imaginary: I have never been to Athens, let alone attended a firelit recital of Homer in Ancient Greek there. Though I rather wish I had! Sadly, I couldn’t find any photos of Athens lit only by moonlight.

45 thoughts on “The recital #poetry #dVerse

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  1. This is incredibly charming, Ingrid 😀 I love the intricate details woven here especially; “Achilles fell, and Troy was razed/Penelope weaved alone each night and Circe lit the sailor’s heart with magic bright.” You make me want to see Athens! 💝💝

      1. I hate the way the women are all evil witches (Medusa, Circe, Medea etc etc) or if they’re submissive obedient wives (like Penelope) they’re treated like dirt and they’re all just fit to be raped at will…

      2. It’s not a very balanced portrayal, is it? I wonder if the Minoans really were any better with their high priestesses, or if we just interpret them that way?

      3. I think all those ancient religions were pretty brutal, but a matriarchal religion at least didn’t have the rape mentality that the patriarchal ones did.

  2. Poetry recital night’s are entertaining events, and your intriguing poem had me sitting under the moonlight enjoying my evening of song and rhyme…. 😀🌚

  3. You did a great job ingrid and loved your lines. “Although I’ve never been to Athens” … I have and you picked great pic and should go someday. I love it.. I’ll have to get you some pics. ❤️

    1. That would be great, Cindy! With your name I’m guessing (or I think I read in one of your posts) your husband’s family is Greek?

  4. The ancient bard speaking…the recital in Athens moonlight….I love this idea. By the way, I’ve been to Athens a number of times with my job in the past (have been rejuvenated – never say retired – for 7 years)….and I stayed in a hotel that had a dining room and bar on the top floor. There was an additional space which in the summer, people could go out and sit and look out at exactly this scene. In the fall, when I was always there, they had heaters out ther and although there was no service there, I would always go and sit and just stare at this remarkable view. Unfortunately I never saw a moon like this…but the lit up scene was remarkable even without the moon.

  5. Wonderful imaginative piece Ingrid. I love where you took the prompt – and I’m completely convinced (by your poem) that they recite Homer’s epic for tourists at the Parthenon on moonlit nights.

  6. What an imaginative trip back in time, Ingrid! I love the fire and ‘stars in canopy / crowded, as if to listen in, respectfully’, and the thought that we don’t have to understand the language to enjoy the words.

  7. This is beautiful: “The scene not by electric light was lit, above the stars in canopy crowded, as if to listen in, respectfully.” Lovely imagery, lovely poem!

  8. No television… just the sounds of storytelling poetry to the ear. Loved where this took the reader.

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