Wild Forms #poetry #dVerse

The mountains were wild forms, or monstrous shapes
which towered above the moonlit lakeside road
foreign to me as the stars above
which were obscured by streetlights in my town.
How I feared those dark foreboding heights!
And even in the day, the scree could send
you tumbling down the hillside like a doll:
it was enough to keep me for a time
sheltered from harm within the valley green
but as I grew courageous I began
to climb, and then you could not keep me down.
The broad realm of the sky was my playground
throughout my yearning teenage years until
the clamour of the ‘real world’ clouded in
and I forgot that heavenly realm above
where I once rambled solitary, fine
enchanted by untamed wild nature’s love.

Written for dVerse

Tonight, Laura is hosting Poetics, and she has asked us to:

Write a poem recalling some specific thing or things from the past
 more generally about what evokes a memory or memories in you

  • It can be recent, or as far back as childhood.
  • It can be true or fictional
  • It can incorporate persons, places or events/happenings
  • It is NOT a mournful remembrance as in elegy!

For an extra challenge write it in the ten-syllable or blank verse line (to give the sensation of actual speech, engaging others).

I went for the extra challenge, taking inspiration from Wordsworth’s epic biographical poem, ‘The Prelude,’ in which he describes his childhood and youth spent in the Lake District, where I happened to spend much of my younger days. In Book 1 of this poem, he describes an incident from his youth when he went rowing upon Ullswater at night. After returning from this adventure, he describes how:

That spectacle, for many days, my brain
Work’d with a dim and undetermin’d sense
Of unknown modes of being; in my thoughts
There was a darkness, call it solitude,
Or blank desertion, no familiar shapes
Of hourly objects, images of trees,
Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;
But huge and mighty Forms that do not live
Like living men mov’d slowly through the mind
By day and were the trouble of my dreams.

The idea of those ‘huge and mighty Forms’ gives me the shivers! The photo was taken at Wythburn close to Thirlmere this summer.

81 thoughts on “Wild Forms #poetry #dVerse

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  1. I can sense the freedom in your recalling here and the triumph over timidity before the adult world closed in (actually I can hear another Wordsworth poem here ‘Intimations of Mortality.
    “Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
    Shades of the prison-house begin to close
    Upon the growing Boy,”

  2. I am moved by your words and loved reading the piece that gave you inspiration! As a mountain girl, the shapes and huge forms of the mountains have always inspired me to fly. 🙂

  3. “The broad realm of the sky was my playground,”… this is incredibly hard-hitting and poignant, Ingrid! The initial years of one’s youth are commonly more timid than later stages of life. 💝💝

  4. I did think of Wordsworth as I was reading, before I saw your note. Like Sanaa, I loved that broad playground you found in the sky. It sounds like you are rediscovering the joy of mountains. Lovely read.

  5. Growing up in WA state, hemmed in by two mountain ranges, amidst the Ring of Fire volcanos, your pean to foothills and forests resonates deep for me. The city never replaced my sense of wonder while wandering the shoulders of the Cascades and Olympics.

  6. Really gorgeous…..sumptuous poetry, with the mountains always there, in poem and youth. I know that feeling of their looming presence always there, until you challenge them…and then cannot stay away!

  7. You picked up the Wordsworth well, we can see the shapes of those hills returning in the rapture of the words to come. Take us deeply there!

  8. Previous comment was lost — you did a good turn on Wordsworth here, the rapture of those hills are prelude to the glory of the words. What journeys to come!

  9. In youth, our spirits are so free. I walked by a playground the other day and the children were screaming and playing and I thought- how freeing it must be to scream with such utter delight. I love your poem- it is uplifting.

  10. For some reason, reading your lovely poem brought to my mind an old, old song that began “There will be peace in the valley”. by Elvis Presley.

  11. A beautiful verse Ingrid. I feel like getting my boots on but I fear my old legs are no longer up to the task. It brought back fond memories of my youthful wanderings. thanks for sharing your memories.

    1. There is nothing wrong with a little solitary wandering and enjoying one’s own company 😊 I wonder how I would find it now? I am not so used to being alone!

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