Tag Archives: blank verse

“The Rage of Odysseus and the Cyclops”

 

[Polyphemus, painted by Jean-Leon Gerome]

“The Rage of Odysseus and the Cyclops”
Escaping near disaster made me bold.
Against the pleas companions wisely spoke,
I would not cease to taunt a wounded foe—
To make him feel again the blow
That rendered sightless that unsightly eye—
An eye that saw a meal, and little more,
Where gentler eyes would see a man in need.

The crash of boulders and resulting waves
Alarmed the crew, but rage was further fueled,
Not quenched, by drenching rains of salty sea—
The fire inside my spirit roared with flames
That strove to match the waves in height.
I thought I’d shout the fire ‘til none remained.

Despite increasing vehemence and force,
The hills he hurled and fiery words I shot
Became more futile as our distance grew.
Although I was exhausted, flames still burned.

Enraged about the men he had devoured,
I had endangered friends who were alive.
The smoke I blew had made me nearly blind,
And boulders hurled did not restore his sight.

a poem in blank verse–by Paul Burgess

Certain scenes from Homer continue to inspire me. This is the third poem I have written on this scene. The other two are here: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/cyclops/   https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/the-blinding-of-the-cyclops-polyphemus/[As with everything I post, this is a first draft.]

A 3-D Scene at the Park

In Response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-nine/

a 3-part poem in blank verse

“Joe”
He hated letting Alma see him cry
But knew the tears would flow against his will.
Remaining silent, Alma squeezed his hand—
A gesture barely noticed by the man.
The aging woman knitting on the bench,
Who had reminded him of Mother, turned
Revealing features not a bit like Mom’s.
Then, suddenly, it dawned on him.
…The sweater, small and red, his mother had begun
To knit for John—the child in Alma’s womb!

“Alma”
She always felt uneasy when he cried.
It seemed attempts to comfort often failed.
Making matters worse, she didn’t know
Why Joe was crying when he had been fine.
Unsure of what to do, she squeezed his hand.

“Perhaps he misses his mother,” Alma thought,
On seeing the old lady on the bench
With yarn and knitting needles in her lap.

“Old Lady Knitting on the Bench”
“I knew I shoulda stayed at home to knit
And watch my stories ‘stead of comin’ here…
I got some cryin’ sissy-baby-man
A lookin’ like I’m sweet old Granny Smith
Who used to bake him pie and knit him scarves.
A granny? Please! I learned me long ago
That kids would send me early to my grave.
No siree…knittin nothin’ ‘cept for Chip
Who’d never send me to no nursin’ home.
He never sasses me, jus’ wags his tail.
Now, Sissy, carry’in on like a brat—
If kin to me, I’d go upside his head
To cure him of his cryin’, starin’ ways.”

“To Anxiety” [Complete; parts 1-3]

In response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-four/ [Since I rarely write anything so personal or serious, I would genuinely appreciate constructive feedback.]

A  3-part letter in blank verse [unrhymed iambic pentameter]

Pt. I
Although I’ve spent a lot of time with you,
And you would often hold me, stand by me,
Remain with me in best and worst of times—
To starve equanimity while feeding fear
With nourishment required by peace’s roots—
Your frequent recent absences bring no tears
To eyes no longer clouded by your breath’s
Impenetrable, nauseating fog.

Pt. II
I never could escape when trying to flee.
To struggle only tightened boa-like
Embraces slowly piercing heart with bones.
Exhausted and resigned to dying in your grip,
I ceased to claw, to scratch, to push away—
No more diversion, dreaming, fear, or hope.
Observing, only watching, touching you,
I saw your face more clearly than before.

Pt. III
The wave of panic darkening your eyes
Expressed your fear; you knew what I had grasped.
Though coiled around your nearly vanquished prey,
Without my help, your strength began to wane.
You’d only grown so strong because I’d fed you;
I was entangled because I’d pulled the knots.
You let me go because I let you go.
On future visits, bring your food or starve.

“Anxiety” Pt. III

In response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-four/ [Since I rarely write anything so personal or serious, I would genuinely appreciate constructive feedback.]

You will find the first part here: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/anxiety-pt-i/

and the second part herehttps://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/anxiety-pt-ii/

“[To} Anxiety” Pt. III

The wave of panic darkening your eyes
Expressed your fear; you knew what I had grasped.
Though coiled around your nearly vanquished prey,
Without my help, your strength began to wane.
You’d only grown so strong because I’d fed you;
I was entangled because I’d pulled the knots.
You let me go because I let you go.
On future visits, bring your food or starve.

“Anxiety” Pt. II

In response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-four/ [Since I rarely write anything so personal or serious, I would genuinely appreciate constructive feedback.]

You will find the first part here: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/anxiety-pt-i/

“[To} Anxiety” Pt. II

I never could escape when trying to flee.
To struggle only tightened boa-like
Embraces slowly piercing heart with bones.
Exhausted and resigned to dying in your grip,
I ceased to claw, to scratch, to push away—
No more diversion, dreaming, fear, or hope.
Observing, only watching, touching you,
I saw your face more clearly than before.

“Anxiety” Pt. I

In response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-four/ [Since I rarely write anything so personal or serious, I would genuinely appreciate constructive feedback.]

“[To} Anxiety”

Although I’ve spent a lot of time with you,
And you would often hold me, stand by me,
Remain with me in best and worst of times—
To starve equanimity while feeding fear
With nourishment required by peace’s roots—
Your frequent recent absences bring no tears
To eyes no longer clouded by your breath’s
Impenetrable, nauseating fog.

10 Lines of Blank Verse written by Paul Burgess in 2006

When I was a sophomore in college, I was encouraged by a professor to submit this exercise to the school’s literary magazine. For reasons I have never guessed, the magazine accepted my underwhelming first attempt at blank verse.

A drunken man reclined against a curb
Recites Elizabethan sonnets while
A cop devours a box of doughnut holes;
In seconds, only crumbs remain inside.
A block away, a car’s alarm complains
Until, commanded silent, yields at once.
Another figure, clad in black, appears
A yard behind a graying Danish dog;
A leather leash restrains the aging beast
Enough to keep his feet upon the path.